Leveraging social media to promote pre-owned vehicle sales — Helmand Anwary | Easy Honda

It’s no secret that auto dealerships rely on a robust pre-owned car department. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re joined by Helmand Anwary, Pre-owned Director of Easy Honda in Houston, Texas, to share what’s working for his used car department today and how Easy Honda is using social media to bring in additional sales.

Anwary acknowledges that the used car market is in a softening phase right now and that his dealership is seeing less walk-in traffic and fewer phone calls from customers looking for new and pre-owned vehicles. To combat this, Anwary says he is trying to think outside the box. One of the ways he has done this is by hiring three employees who do nothing but assist his salespeople in managing their social media accounts.

“All we’re doing is social media,” Anwary says about what he’s doing differently. Every salesperson must maintain an active social media profile at his store, and the social media managers help the salespeople film short TikTok videos to show brief 60-second walkarounds of their products. Anwary says social media is the biggest thing that’s working right now.

Anwary says a significant component is training his team to use social media and that the most considerable value they get from the experience is being able to engage with customers. All his salespeople must record three videos on every single car they have. This allows his people to get their product out there, their name out there, and their face out there. He compares it to how business is usually done over text messages through platforms like Facebook Marketplace – very informally and with no personal connection. Instead, his team pre-records short videos of them walking onto the lot and showing the customer the product.

“You’re not the only one responding to customers,” Anwary says. That’s why he believes standing out from the crowd and developing a personal connection with the customer is so important, and he says social media is the best way to do that.

Another benefit Anwary sees in this strategy is that customers often reach out for information about a pre-owned vehicle after-hours. Pre-recorded videos featuring every car for sale on the lot allow his salespeople to have that information ready, no matter the time of day.

Anwary is very passionate about creating a training culture and believes that owners need to train their team members every day. He says he does most of the training at his dealership and warns that if leaders don’t get engaged with training daily, then “salespeople are going to fall.” He says many salespeople need to remember how the car business typically works because it has looked so different over the past several years. According to him, these salespeople have forgotten how to handle sales, negotiations, and objections.

He says it’s essential to teach the salespeople that selling is all about building relationships and building value that can succeed over price.

Anwary says dealers need to look at their staff as a long-term investment, not just a short-term stopgap. And that’s why he feels training is so necessary. Even 15 minutes of training per day on a topic that comes up every day can make a huge difference, in his opinion. He says that if dealers don’t get involved with training, they’re going to see a rotating door of staff members, and dealers will get into a situation where they need bodies to fill positions – something he warns will perpetuate the cycle.

“Saying is one thing,” Anwary says. But he says it is more important to do it and to show salespeople that it’s working. Then they can start to trust the process and believe it. He says they start to understand its value once salespeople see their colleagues getting appointments through social media. “It’s clicking,” he says.

Anwary says one of his favorite sayings is, “no one is above anybody.”

Anwary says around 78-80% of his pre-owned car sales right now are generated through social media. Every single person on his sales team must be engaged and represented. “Everybody’s a walking internet department,” he says. But he pushes the fact that his goal is to show them how to do it and have his team work together on the strategy.

The team at Anwary’s dealership must have three posts on three different platforms daily. They all share those posts on WhatsApp so that everyone can see what everybody else is doing, helping them generate ideas and get inspiration from one another.

Anwary believes social media is the new era and mentions that he is working on finding new ways to use it to generate pre-owned business and build customer relationships – something he considers crucial because the industry is changing so quickly now.

Did you enjoy this interview with Helmand Anwary? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by connecting with us at newsroom@cbtnews.com.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok to stay up to date.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.