Auto marketer Charlie Foster’s advice to salespeople: ‘If you can do one thing today—go make a TikTok’

Dealers around the country are spending less on marketing and redistributing those efforts in less traditional ways like social media. Today on CBT Now, we’re joined by Charlie Foster, the Senior Marketing and Sales Consultant at John Sinclair Nissan. Charlie has gone viral on social media for his comedic, relatable videos poking fun at what he calls ‘dealership life.’

Foster says it was his daughter who introduced him to TikTok, and at first, the decision to make his own channel on the platform was more of an experiment.

“I didn’t know what to do at first,” he says. However, Foster realized that automotive salespeople had been creating content for years, even before TikTok was a thing. Foster has been doing standup comedy for the last four years, a hobby that he says “has helped me tremendously.”

“Some of my best videos are just organic. They happen just like this,” he says – snapping his fingers. Foster says people working at the dealership will often suggest ideas for videos, drawing on their personal experiences.

When asked if his dealership has seen any business due to his TikTok account, Foster says that cross-posting content onto the dealership’s Facebook page is creating some buzz. He also says that the people working in the dealership get excited about the possibility of people seeing these videos.

Foster says the comments that people leave on his video are critical, especially when it comes to interacting with customers. He says all the content he creates is “clean,” with no foul language. “A child could watch this video just as much as an adult,” he says. Foster adds that the entire point of his content is to get people to laugh.

For example, a TikTok about a customer who said he doesn’t want the dealership’s name on the back of his car got over 1,500 comments, mainly from customers talking about their own experiences. That video got over a million views, he says, because that’s something a customer can relate to.

@chas_1942 Dealership Life #MadeWithKeurigContest #saleshumor #dealershiplife #carsalesman #usedcars #fyp #CheetosReaperReactions ♬ original sound – Charlie Foster

Foster says he monitors the comments on his videos and tries to respond to every single one to ensure the customers don’t feel left out. Foster says he treats all his followers like customers because they are all potential future customers. Foster says even the negative comments even get a response in the form of humor or a simple thank you.

Foster says salespeople often have a stigma attached to them. However, his team works on salary instead of commission which he believes cuts down on any hard feelings between salespeople and customers.

When asked if salespeople should use social media to further their careers, Foster says yes. He believes social media presents the perfect opportunity for salespeople to make funny videos, product videos, or even to inform the public about how they can help.

Fosters TikTok page now has 42,000 followers. As for future goals, Foster says he wants “every car salesperson out there to follow me.” He says he is at a point in his career where he wants to give back to the business, possibly by focusing on training. He says many great things are happening in the industry right now and that training is the key.

As for the future of the automotive salesperson, Foster believes technology and sales will become even more intertwined. “Social media is huge,” he says. He says to salespeople in the business, “If you can do one thing today—go make a TikTok.” Foster says the industry is turning to technology to take care of the customer, show them the product, and demonstrate how it can change their life – all things that can be done through TikTok as well.

Foster’s future, however, is up in the air. He says he has been dabbling in acting, including filming his first commercial, which featured his daughter playing herself. He also says he just wrapped a short film where he did some acting as well. Other than that, he says, “I’m going to continue to make TikToks and try to motivate people to laugh.”

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