Ok car biz, we need to talk.... about social
Social Media, Social Networking, Social Selling... all terms that have been the center of MANY conversations at car dealers across the country and Canada over the last year or so. The problem is that like many (some would say ALL) changes that the car business is slow to embrace, these conversations are years and YEARS too late! There seems to be so much focus on whether or not sales people should be using social media as a sales tool, lead generator etc when the real issue isn't a lack of sales people willing or wanting it is the extreme lack of automotive leadership that is willing to except that social is here and it isn't going away!
Being creative with each and every post day after day can be a bit challenging sure however, if the best you can come up with for an Instagram post is a reference to a highly sensitive mental health topic you need to take a coffee break! When this post was brought to the attention of the management of the marketing company the reaction was, "who posted that? And how did that get past all my people? Don't worry, I will have it pulled right away..." From my perspective it was already too late. Is this type of message being posted on YOUR business pages? How do you know?
Recently I had the awesome opportunity to sit down with my friend and amazing guy, Terry Lancaster, and chat about the evolution of social into the sales game. It was so cool to catch up and share my own perspective and techniques of how I have been successful for many dealerships and the best part is, you can sit in on it! For the 'Ridiculously Simple Secret To Social Selling' watch this segment of the Get Ya Some podcast!
When you are paying a vendor to post on social media for your company it is important that they have some knowledge of your industry. It's crazy to me that no one at the company that created this Facebook ad thought that a brand new Chevy Corvette should have an MSRP higher than $15k! Social Media takes time to do right and running a business doesn't allow much time so hiring an outside company makes sense but, this type of 'phoning it in' doesn't help your dealership! Luckily, the ad had such low viability there we NO calls or lead submissions! Which is concerning by itself but for another post! :)
Many companies offer 'Reputation Management' in their portfolio of services however at best they are more 'monitors' than managers. Once a negative review hits the Internet it is usually too late to save that customers experience but it is always imperative to try! Sometimes you can save the customer and earn them back but as important is how you are viewed by potential customers who are surfing reviews looking for a company they would feel good doing business with. A company that is responsive and shows a willingness to be open to the customers point of view and quick to react looks far better than a silent, unresponsive (read: uncaring) company. Timing is everything as they say and responding to reviews is in the category of everything! Once a typical reputation management agency is alerted to a review they will generally post a vague, generic reply thanking the customer and when a negative review gets posted they will email for direction on how to respond. In the case below the email came the day AFTER a seriously negative review had been posted to Facebook, and copied and pasted to Yelp and Google Business as well. Luckily I had spotted the review almost instantly and reached out to the customer, by the time I got the email she had not only been taken care of and was thrilled with the response but she had pulled the negative reviews! Its your business, your partner companies should feel the same urgency as you do when managing how your company is viewed online, shouldn't they?
Goals without a plan are just wishes and wishes rarely come true. Looking at our own individual success we can break down exactly what it takes to reach our own goals mathematically. If our goal is to sell 20 units this month its easy to work backward and find out what each workday requires and then build a plan from that....
To sell 20 we need to write up 40
To have 40 write-ups we typically need 65-70 demo drives
To get 70 demos we would need to have 80 customers in front of us.
We generally work 20-22 days each month. 80 customers in 20 days is 4 per day.
To have 4 customers show up we need to have 8 appointments made and confirmed.
On the surface, it seems pretty intimidating, however, we are not limited to only the NEW LEADS that everyone seems so intense about. Each of us has a customer base that none of us can honestly say is being worked. One of the reasons I always ask for detailed notes in the CRM is for future follow up! Our memories are great a few days after delivery but not so much a month or three later. Wouldn't it be much easier to open a conversation if there were a whole mess of notes about the customer's likes, habits hobbies and the like? What if the customers favorite sports team had made the playoffs? Wouldn't a note in the system be a great opening line to engage the customer in a meaningful conversation that can be transitioned into asking for a referral rather than just pick up the phone and say 'whos next for a new car Joe?'
There is also whats being called 'social selling' as a means of finding customers. It's not always just posting a new car on your Facebook! Sometimes just a cool pic or even just a mention of a vehicle that you like a lot is enough to open a conversation that can lead to a deal. And it goes without saying but our own friends and family should know that when they need a new car they can look to us for the best assistance!
Reaching your goals doesn't have to take days and days of bell to bell shifts, it does take effort but the tools are here and in place already all we have to do is make the simple decision that we are willing to do the things needed to be successful. Wanting and willing are not the same, we cant want more if we are willing to do what it takes to get more.
Let's get to work.
Hey there, I'm Mike theCarGuy and here are some of my thoughts about cars, the car business and sales! Take a look around, maybe you will learn something or at the very least find your self smiling, and if you do... leave me a comment so I know I at least did something right! Thanks for stoppin by...
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