We teach the concept of the Business Development Dealership as a method of helping our dealership clients achieve broad scale business growth by leveraging the relationships of every employee.
When I was managing a dealership, an office manager shared an insight with me that I carry with me everyday: she told her entire team that included the reception role, vehicle titling, payroll, payables and receivable that “if you are not selling a vehicle, be sure to help someone who is.” This epiphany moment for me, brought to light that every employee is responsible for selling vehicles in a dealership.
Following this logic, we teach the concept of Social Selling as a subset of the Business Development Dealership (BDD) strategy. Social Selling is a simple way of explaining the complex leveraging of each team members circles of influence to help build relationships and become a magnet for friends, neighbors and acquaintances to ask you about buying a vehicle when they are ready.
Think of how often you’ve seen your technicians wearing their work uniform during lunch at a restaurant and someone approaches them to talk about the noise or other ailment their vehicle is having. This is a natural element of the work they do and most are very willing to share their expertise. This attracts people to want to visit them when they opt to pay for the repair.
The same thing happens on the sales staff when they wear logo shirts outside of the dealership. In fact, if you are a progressive salesperson that is open to strangers approaching and asking about vehicle purchases, it makes sense to be engaging in a kind manner that draws them to want to buy from you when they are ready. Dealerships that invest in logo wear are smart because it will provide a living billboard and attracts buyers.
Once we understand that the best salespeople are “always on,” it is important to consider what this means in a Social Selling environment. Social Selling works hand-in-hand with online social communities such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. When you engage as a representative of your business, you are either an attractor or you repel. If you choose to govern your personal posts and remain neutral in subjects such as politics and religion you run less risk of alienating any audience. However, if you choose to post what anyone could consider as risky content, you run the risk of scaring off possible buyers. Some would argue that you have to be true to yourself and I am comfortable with that position as long as you understand that some viewing your content will exercise the same right.
In my humble opinion it is smart if you sell products and services to people of all walks of life with a myriad of views on any topic, to be neutral. Perhaps think of posts on cute animals, vehicles or ways to help humanity as potential material. It is best to stay away from the emotionally heated topics that could cause alarm when car shoppers see it.
This leads me to my guidance with this article – You can Post, but you can’t Hide! I was recently communicating with a young salesperson that had posted a selfie with him going to work saying “Time to make some $$$$.” Now, his family may say, “That’s good, he needs to earn a good living,” but that same family may also say, “I better buy from someone who doesn’t need to earn so much money or someone who can give me a better deal.” In counseling with him, I suggested perhaps a culture shift to post something along the lines of, “Time to help my customers vehicle dreams come true!” This small shift in words is a mega-shift in how it will be perceived. He said he appreciated that and since it was on his business page, it would work well. He said he also had a “private” personal page where he posted things he wouldn’t want clients to see. My suggestion was to remove any goofy stuff that could be screenshot and shared because nothing truly is private online. You can do whatever you wish to do, but remember that screenshot you took and shared with others about (fill in the blank). Keep it light, neutral, meaningful, humorous, beneficial and such, but please stay away from posts that could scare potential buyers away.
In Social Selling as a part of your own Business Development strategy, remember the golden rule of being attractive. Give it a go and please share with me how you make it happen for you and your business.
Thanks for reading and if I can ever be of service as a thought partner, please reach out.