As I am going through draft posts that I have written, I came across this one. Not even sure why I hadn’t posted it yet. This message was very prevalent at DSES so I almost decided to wait and post it later. It is such an important message though that I don’t think it could be said enough times. What do you think?
Does Social Networking Sell?
Whenever the discussion of Social Networking comes up with car dealers it always has the same theme. Everyone knows that they should be doing it but they want to know if will it generate sales?
I would like to suggest that as car dealers and salespeople you stop worrying about what will create sales. In other words there is no one thing that can be tied to the final sale. Look at advertising sourcing; can you really tie one media source to the final sale? If a buyer sees your tv ad 20 times and hears your radio ads 15 times over the course of a year and then goes to your website via a google search that isn’t specific to your dealership, calls your dealership and buys a car what is the true lead source?
Remember the sales training basic of Always Be Selling where everything you do has an impact on the sale. The time you spend with product knowledge, or honing your sales skills, or remembering the three foot rule while standing in line at the grocery store. Social sites are a new venue for the three foot rule that allow you to have conversations from anywhere you are. Conversations That can be overheard by hundreds or thousands of people at once.
Just about every car dealership has at least one superstar salesperson who writes personalized letters to his/her client base (without a crm). They see people they know AND take the time to greet them everyday.
Successful Social Networking is about being that person online. Strike up conversations on twitter and Facebook, share your favorite resteraunt on foursquare. Give subtle reminders of what you do and how you can help. This way when someone in your circle is discussing cars your name or dealership will come up. It is about word of mouth and relationships that you can build online.
The sales will come so stop asking if being social sales cars, people sale cars, so be a person online.
Addition, post DSES: One thing that was pointed out very clearly by most of the speakers is that you CAN sell in social networks. I think it is important to not be ashamed that you have a product to sell. As a matter of fact you should be proud of it. Besides, the product you are really selling is yourself.
P.S. if you missed the Driving Sales Executive Summit here is a link to a video that we presented for the Driving Sales Product Innovation Cup