- Social Media Tip: In the “Thank-you Economy” don’t outsource or automate your thank-you’s.
- Social Media Trend: Community building skills are becoming more important than pitching or selling.
Establish Your Personal Brand as a Car Salesman
Just about every profession has turned to Social Media to generate sales, establish expertise and create a personal brand, with the exception of car salesmen. Of all the professions with an image problem these guys could really benefit from a Brand Makeover or a personal brand. The public perception of the whole car buying experience is one of dread and apprehension.
Recently, I was contacted by someone that was just starting out in the industry as a car salesman and he was wondering if creating a blog or website would benefit him. What an interesting idea that really had not occurred to me. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to be different and establish yourself as someone that truly wants to help in the buying decision?
That led me to thinking, what would I do if I were a car salesman to change the public image of my profession and let people know that I am different?
Personal Brand – Step 1 – You Are the Brand
First of all, I would brand my name and purchase my URL. Even though I may work for a certain car dealership, I would want to leave the door open in case I should change dealerships down the road. My object here is to create trust and credibility with my name and the buying public.
Personal Brand – Step 2 – Start a Blog / Website
Incorporate Social Media by first creating a blog to project an image of professionalism and share information. The great thing about the blog is that there are so many ways to communicate trust, expertise and establish a reputation of being a “different” kind of car salesman.
Here are some key ideas for a car salesman wanting to start a blog:
1. Definitely use your personal picture that is friendly. Also, a short video that projects a positive image of being genuine, reliable, honest, knowledgeable, collaborative – not pitchy will set you apart from other car salesmen.
2. Use the About Me section wisely. Talk about how you are about creating and changing the customer experience in buying a car. People want information, people want “space”, the ability to talk freely and make decisions – talk about these things.
3. Become a resource of information. Use the blog for articles that provide information on car types, financing, comparisons, safety features. Show people that you have their interests first. Incorporate key words for terms that people will search the internet for in making a car purchase. Very few people are doing this and you could get a customer from being found online. Research your brand and gear your articles to feature your brand’s best attributes. This could come from magazine reviews, fuel consumption reports or other industry articles. People search online for information to arm themselves before approaching the dealership. If you are the source, you could be the one that they ask for. Offer to answer their questions on your blog and provide an easy way for them to contact you.
It is said that 90% of car buyers today use the internet to research and shop for a car before they ever get to a dealership. People no longer go to multiple dealerships to make decisions and some select the car and dealership from internet shopping. The biggest reason is that they want to avoid that “pushy” car salesman. This is your chance to show that you are not that person.
4. Put your web address on your business cards and let people know that they can search for important information on your site. You could have links to Consumer Reports and other publications that make it easy for people to conduct searches. This is a very low key way to selling, but you are selling your personal brand as the expert car salesman.
5. Use your blog to feature your cars. Take a video and post it that describes the key features that make your cars unique.
6. Ask satisfied customers if they would mind doing a short video testimonial on their car buying experience, their experience with the vehicle or their experience with the service department.
7. Be sure to include either articles or videos on the negotiation process because this is where customers end up hating the whole car buying experience. If you supply them with helpful tips, knowledge and offer assistance this would go a long way in creating that personal brand of professionalism.
Personal Brand– Step 3 – Use Facebook
People start the car buying process by talking about their wants and needs with their friends and at times, with complete strangers. People like to talk and you have the chance to be part of the conversation with your knowledge and not by “selling”. Your personal brand can be extended through Facebook by actually building your sales force. Your blog allows you to post great information that people are looking for to help them in the buying process. You can share this with your Facebook friends and, if worthwhile, they will share with their friends and you may end up connecting with someone in this process. The key is to use good social media etiquette and not come across like you are Mr. Car Salesman out to make a sale.
Personal Brand – Step 4 – Use Video / You Tube
Video is very powerful. Let’ say you sold a car today and you use a Flip camera to shoot a video when they come to pick up their car. It would be great if they were able to say that you made the whole experience a blast and that they are so excited with the vehicle. Offer to send them the video or better yet, ask to be their Facebook friend and share it with them. Now if they share with their friends that you have never met, this is building “word of mouth advertising”. Additionally, you would want to share this video on your blog or with your Facebook friends. The more that you can deliver your personal brand of standing out as a different car salesman the more that people will remember this and seek you out.
A Strong Personal Brand Primes the Pump for Your Car Sales
The most important thing is to project your personal brand in your face-to-face transactions. When your online and offline personal brand match up it will create winning behaviors for success in your industry. This person is going create a new road map for car salesman by starting a social media campaign by developing a personal brand through My Branding System. I like the idea of building a positive personal brand as a car salesman.