The car industry is changing. Car salespeople are changing too. Some have recognized the opportunity to leverage social media to their advantage. Many are looking for proven social media tips for car salespeople.
I’m here to present my case that “social selling” (using social media as a lead generator) is the most powerful tool salespeople have to close more sales. But it doesn’t happen easily or quickly.
One thing we know for sure: Building a recognizable professional brand opens up lead opportunities.
Every time you are online, in a meeting, at a conference, networking reception, even a backyard BBQ or other event, be mindful of two things:
- What others are experiencing about you.
- What you want others to experience about you.
In each of your engagements, your customers, peers and even friends and family, are evaluating you (consciously and subconsciously). When you’re solid in your professional brand, there is no difference between #1 and #2.
Being new to this idea of a professional brand can be challenging. However, when you begin to see yourself living through the “lens of a brand,” your perspective will change. You’ll become more mindful about how you approach the professional brand you are trying to define and aiming to live.
A professional brand is about making a full-time commitment to the journey of defining yourself as a leader and how this will shape the manner in which you will serve others. Your professional brand should represent the value you consistently deliver to those whom you are serving.
You’ve probably heard a million reasons why you should use social media in your sales process. Studies have shown that 79% of salespeople who use social media as a sales tool, outsell those who don’t. If there’s one thing I’d like you to take away today from this post, it’s this:
Social Selling = Lead Generation
Each one of the following social media tips for car salespeople is a pathway to create leads. Each one gives you a step towards the goal, even though some may seem like busy work. It’s all in how you approach it. Those of us who have been successful at selling cars know that it takes hard work…but the payoff is worth it.
19 Social Media Tips for Car Salespeople
1. Look your best.
Your image is just as important in the digital world as it is in the real world. Online, your profile image is the first thing prospective clients will see. Make a good impression with a professional image that isn’t too stuffy, but still makes you look trustworthy and friendly.
The copy in your bio on any social network has to accomplish everything a greeting, handshake and an elevator pitch would do in person.
- Write every word with your prospect in mind
- Write in the first person, not the third.
- Share your contact info.
If you’re bad at writing, or are stuck, hire a professional bio writer. Not sure where to find one? We offer Bio and About Pages at an affordable cost. Get in touch with me >>here<<.
2. Build authority, credibility and trust with the right content.
What are your customers’ most frequently asked questions?
What are the obstacles that are keeping them from buying?
Publishing content on your social channels that addresses their concerns, needs and desires will help you build credibility and authority.
3. Complete your LinkedIn profile.
There is no excuse for not taking advantage of free real estate to promote yourself. LinkedIn will guide you to “Create your Profile” (if you don’t have one already) and to complete it.
You’ll need a “banner” as well as a profile pic. I recommend Canva.com to create your LinkedIn Banner. Sign up with Canva (it’s free) then choose “LinkedIn Banner” from the Social Media design templates. You can upload your own images or use theirs for a small fee.
NOTE: When you select a profile pic, use the same one for all your social media profiles. That way, people will recognize you when they see the same image everywhere.
4. Do five things everyday.
There’s a lot of “downtime” on the sales floor, amirite? Make use of your time by committing to doing five things everyday that will further your value with prospects. Here are some examples:
- Like a post.
- Share something newsworthy.
- Comment on a post (but it must provide value to the conversation).
- Wish Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary to your connections.
- Publish a relevant story or image.
- Follow an influencer (and comment on their post).
- Google yourself…then take action on what you see or don’t see.
- Write an article on your blog, Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Ask for a review.
5. Connect with existing clients, colleagues and other professionals you know in real life.
One of the great myths of social media is that having more connections is better. It’s actually the opposite. 100 meaningful connections are better than 10,000 vanity connections.
People you’ve met or already know in person are ideal to connect with on social media. They are much more likely to engage with you than some stranger whose profile pic is all you know about them.
6. Create an Introduction video
One of the best social selling tips I can recommend is to introduce yourself to your customers.
Imagine you have 15 seconds to record a video explaining to your customers who you are and how you can help.
It seems like a big challenge to raise someone’s interest within just 15 seconds – but it’s really not – and here’s why. When replying to a customer via email or social media, all you need to do is pretend they are right in front of you and speak naturally.
It’s ideal to record a video for each specific customer. Mention their name and the chances are pretty good that you’ll get a positive reaction.
7. Join Groups
Participate and engage in Facebook and LinkedIn Groups. You can share your valuable expertise, helpful content, ask relevant questions and engage with group members to build relationships.
Some of the best conversations happen in LinkedIn industry-specific groups. Check the profiles of your prospects and see which groups they belong to, and then join them.
8. Ask for reviews and testimonials.
A regular stream of good reviews will show credibility and establish trust with car shoppers.
I have to confess something. When I first began, I felt uncomfortable asking for reviews. There’s just something about it that caused me to retreat every time I tried…until I developed a script for myself to help alleviate my apprehension. Once I had that script down, it became easy. Especially after the first dozen times I practiced it with a customer!
Would you like a copy of my script for asking for reviews? Here it is. It starts with a question that helps guide you into the ‘ask’:
“Mr or Ms Customer, did you have a good experience today?”
(They will nod their head and say, “Yes.”)
“That’s fantastic. My business is based on referrals and I would appreciate it if you would share your feedback with others who may be looking for a good car buying experience like you were. Would you please visit _________ and write a review for me?”
(You can choose which review sites you’d like to use to build your testimonials).
9. Make a powerful testimonial video.
A recommendation from someone still remains the most-trusted source of information to help car buyers decide to purchase. The web affords car shoppers many opportunities to seek recommendations:
- They reach out to their friends and family on social media.
- They visit Google, Yelp and other review sites.
- They look for testimonials on the dealership’s website.
- They might even Google you!
I find that when I talk about video testimonials, everyone is in favor of the idea. But when it comes down to actually doing it, many are reluctant.
Make a habit of spotting an opportunity for a testimonial video. When you’ve got a few ideas, try making one.
10. Use a script for your testimonial video.
Using a script is your secret to success. A testimonial video should last 1-2 minutes. The following script inspires the customer so they don’t have to think about what to say on their own. It also helps you to focus on getting the testimonial rather than thinking up what to ask your customer.
Here’s my script (it’s an introduction and 4 simple questions):
Testimonial Intro: Tell us about yourself (First name, city of residence)
- Is this your first (brand name)? (or, fill in the brand they bought if they bought a used vehicle)
If they say yes: What made you decide to buy a (brand name)?
If they say no: What do you like best about (brand name)?
- Why did you decide to buy your car at XYZ dealership?
- What did you like best about your experience with me today?
- What is ONE thing you would tell your friends/family about us?
Last step: Thank them!
11. Track your social selling efforts.
The best way to get better at social selling is by learning from your existing efforts. Collect insights from your current efforts and see what’s effective, as well as what isn’t. Based on this data, ask yourself what you should be doing differently and what you can do better. This can help you gain a clearer direction of how you should change and adapt your efforts to deliver even better results.
Track these metrics and set personal goals to improve:
- Inbound connections and network growth.
- Content engagement rate (how many people are engaging with your content each week?)
- Follower quality (followers who find and engage with your content)
- Prospect referrals
- Lead activity
Pro Tip: LinkedIn has a “Social Selling Index” (SSI). LinkedIn should be one of your preferred channels to prospect. Check out your own SSI right HERE.
12. Request LinkedIn recommendations.
In an ideal world, you’d never have to request a recommendation. A happy customer would just automatically post a raving recommendation on LinkedIn. But we don’t live in that world, do we?
Many people feel uncomfortable asking for recommendations (I’m one!). One way to get past this is to first write a recommendation for someone else. This is a much easier approach and LinkedIn provides an easy way for the other person to return the favor and write a recommendation for you.
If your situation is different and you want to simply ask someone for a recommendation, LinkedIn will take you through the process >>here<<.
13. Locate potential prospects.
Where do your potential clients turn to seek more information about concerns and needs they have?
- Do they belong to a LinkedIn group?
- A public or private Facebook Group?
- A weekly Twitter Chat?
- A specific Facebook page or Instagram account?
Plant yourself there, listen to their conversations and make every attempt to deliver value.
14. Share success stories.
I’ve always believed that this is the most valuable way to sell a car: by using images and video to ‘tell the story’ of your current customers’ experiences.
In advertising, the store may speak of providing exceptional service or you may be highlighting some impressive features of your specific vehicles. But because they get bombarded by so many ads everyday, prospects have a hard time trusting what’s being said.
If you wish to earn the trust of potential customers, use social media to showcase proof that will backup your claims.
This proof would ideally be the success stories and reviews from your existing customers. Examples like these:
- Create custom images with a photo of the customer with a brief summary of the results they achieved with your help.
- Share links to the success stories published on your website, blog or LinkedIn.
- Do a full-fledged video interview with a customer.
15. Be responsive to customer feedback.
Social selling isn’t about aggressively promoting yourself on social media. Rather, it’s the way you directly and indirectly promote yourself through your social media behavior.
A quick response (just like being the first to pick up the sales call) gives you the best chance to convert inquiries into leads, and leads into sales.
16. Use customer feedback to identify referral opportunities.
Referrals from existing clients are one of the most effective ways to generate new business.Don’t be shy or hesitant about it, even if you secretly feel a little uncomfortable. The fact is, most customers won’t refer you unless you specifically ask them to. It’s not that they don’t want to be helpful.
Most people are busy and distracted and it simply won’t occur to them unless you ask them directly.
17. Post vehicles and specials on local Facebook marketplaces.
Local “Buy, Sell, Trade” Facebook groups and pages can be a goldmine for car salespeople. Here are the steps:
- Explore and join groups
- Post select vehicles
- Monitor likes, tags comments and shares
- Respond timely (pretend they are on the lot!)
- Set appointments to take things offline
18. Ensure follow up messages are always about your prospect.
Does your follow up pass the “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?) test?
- If a prospect asked you a question, answer it. Then, ask them a question back to help learn more about their needs.
- Can you help them overcome a key challenge?
- Follow up with an introduction video to help them feel more comfortable.
- No sales pitch here, but if the time is right, do ask for an appointment.
19. Be prepared to take things offline.
Social media is a great way to establish that warm connection with a prospect. Social selling = lead generation. The ultimate goal is to convert inquiries into real life customers.
Once you’ve established a back-and-forth conversation with someone on social, it’s easier to suggest a phone call, text, or email to deliver more info, send an introduction video and/or to set an appointment.
Think about it: an email with a subject line referencing your Facebook conversation will be more likely to get opened. Now it’s up to you to make sure your real-life persona is just as great as your digital one.
The best way to get started in social selling is to try. After you’ve put together your plan, jump in! It’s not enough to “dip your toe in” so make the commitment to yourself (and your future self). Social media tips for car salespeople do not mean instant gratification. It takes time like all business relationships so be patient and don’t forget to have a little fun!
Are you a car salesperson who uses social media to sell cars? I’d love to hear your feedback.