What’s the most common misconception dealers have about Social Media? That it’s a necessary evil. Nothing could be further from the truth but day after day I talk with dealers who get this special expression on their face when I ask them about their Social marketing. It’s a sheepish look combined with something comparable to when your dentist says, “Sit back, this won’t hurt a bit.”
Lately I’ve been contacted by car salespeople all over the U.S. who understand the value Social Media has for them and their store. They all tell me it’s a struggle because their bosses don’t always endorse Social Media. Management is unfamiliar with the 2-Step approach to Social: 1. Build Fans 2. Turn Fans Into Leads, so they’re reluctant. One of the great sales guys I’ve met on Social Media was a few weeks ago. He’s someone who’s getting Social right and I want to share his story with you.
Meet Vince Cuffaro (“The Chef”) He’s the Internet Sales Manager at Elyria Hyundai in Elyria, Ohio. Vince has been selling cars for 6 years and I met him on Facebook one day in a discussion about dealership online reputations. He runs his store’s Facebook page and is the picture of how much potential there is for a car salesperson communicating his positive message.
Vince works daily to change the negative stereotype about car salespeople. “We need to be very careful and conscious of how we do business today. With all the online media and Social networking, a bad name gets around a lot quicker than a good one.” Vince continues, “I just try to always do the right thing. Little things mean a lot! We’re always trying to help out where we can–even just giving the car a once over for a guest going on a long vacation/trip so they’re secure about everything being up to snuff.”
“Everyday I revisit how I talk to people, how I interact with guests and how to change what I do to make sure everyone is comfortable with purchasing from me and the dealer. It’s “my business within the business”. Our owner is very family-oriented, does tremendous charity and donation work and really makes our dealership stand out in the community.”
These actions are what make up the foundation for successful dealership Social Media marketing. People want to buy from a salesperson and a dealer like this because they focus on developing the trust in the relationship. When the relationship is expanded through Social Media they increase their opportunity to foster leads, sell cars and generate positive word-of-mouth.
Vince says, “Social Media plays a big part in getting the word out. I like to advertise US (our dealership) rather than just our cars. Everyone knows what we sell so let’s tell them what they get with every purchase. I want our guests to ENJOY spending their hard-earned money with us!”
Vince uses the power of Social to amplify his positive message. “I want everyone to have FUN buying a car, want to come back and send friends and family. Social Media allows me to get that message out more efficiently than any other marketing medium.” Vince’s boss supports him every step of the way. “He let’s me run the ship. He see’s the advantage of getting in the public eye with Social and he’s open to it because it helps us sell cars.”
As dealers and their salespeople work at building relationships online with Social Media, the misconceptions fall away. Dealers quickly see the opportunities on Social as opposed to the old days of cold calls and retention lists. Implement Social Media networking into your store and with your frontline personnel. It’s fun to interact with your “community” and when someone needs to buy a car, they know exactly who to call.