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Build Your Brand With Social Selling Part I

By Joey Little, AutoAlert Director of Digital and Social Engagement

 

Part I: Social Selling and Your Bottom Line

There’s serious hype about social selling in every industry, but do you know what it means for your dealership?  Do you know how it can impact your sales, your employee engagement, and ultimately your bottom line?

If not, it’s time to take a look.  There are several ways social selling can dramatically impact your dealership, and in Part I of this 3-part series, you’ll gain insights that will help you leverage social media to make the greatest possible impact on your bottom line and set your dealership up for continued success with today’s consumers.

What Is Social Selling?

Social selling is the idea of using social media to interact with consumers via online social platforms—like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more—in order to gain brand recognition and build relationships, ideally culminating in consumers seeking out your dealership when they are ready to purchase.

If you haven’t taken a look at the facts, you might be surprised.  Social selling is garnering attention for a few reasons, namely because it works—exceptionally well—and it won’t break the bank when it comes to your marketing budget.  In addition, social selling can help your dealership reach an extremely large audience in a fairly short amount of time.  In fact, when you enlist the help of your employees and get them on the social selling bandwagon, you’ll reach even more consumers than your dealership alone could ever reach.

Social selling can make a huge difference in your dealership’s performance when you have a plan and tackle things the right way.  It may seem counterintuitive at first to encourage your employees to become active on social media while at work, however, it will pay off for your dealership in the long run.  To bolster your confidence in the whole idea, keep in mind 73% of sales reps who are active social sellers end upoutperforming their colleagues. Leveraging your social channels in the right way can help your team hit their goals and help your dealership rise to the top.

In the age of social selling, the idea of making friends takes on an important meaning for businesses. Getting to know your customers, building a recognizable brand, and focusing on growing relationships will greatly increase your chances of bringing shoppers into your dealership.  And that makes it more likely you’ll create customer relationships that could last a lifetime.

Interact and Connect

It’s important for sales professionals to connect with consumers via social platforms; after all, that’s where a majority of today’s shoppers research and get feedback before they even think about visiting a dealership in person.  Rather than solely focusing on the content, it’s beneficial for your sales team to schedule time to interact with online consumers.  When businesses take time to answer questions, reply to feedback, and respond to posts on their sites, they’ll end up building solid relationships—and followers will come back for more.

92% of buyers will delete emails and ignore missed calls and voicemails from people they do not recognize. For this reason alone, it’s essential to be recognized and accepted by consumers.  Interacting with potential customers on social media will not only allow you to get to know them and what they are looking for, it will also enable you to connect with them on a deeper level and form relationships that will ultimately bring them to you for their car-buying needs.

Finding prospects is a key element in the success of your sales team. Without leads on potential customers, the list of people they’re selling to becomes very short.  Savvy dealerships and salespeople are looking toward social selling to break the ice and build their prospect lists.  82% of prospects can be reached on social media platforms, making it vitally important for your employees to become active and reach out to consumers by sharing relevant information that will position your dealership as a leader in the industry.

When your dealership professionals find and interact with prospects in the places where they research, seek feedback, and learn about products, they’ll be perfectly positioned to share valuable insights and build trust in your brand.  By being easily accessible, potential customers won’t have to look hard to find them, and they’ll be top of mind when it’s time for shoppers to buy.

Get Social to Meet Your Goals

Goals and quotas are a way of life for nearly every salesperson.  In place to ensure individuals perform well and everyone does their part to contribute to the whole, sales goals can be daunting without a steady stream of opportunities coming in.  An important note for modern sales professionals is the fact that those who do not use social media miss their quotas 15% more often than peers who are frequent social media users. Social selling increases the number of leads, improves customer relationships, promotes brand awareness, and allows for ease of access to potential customers—all of which adds up to your team being able to make more sales and hit more goals.

A Few Quick Tips

A constant presence is needed to ensure your social selling strategy becomes a success. It won’t work if it’s treated with a “set it and forget it” attitude; instead, keep the following Do’s and Don’ts of Social Selling in mind, and you’ll be golden:

  • You don’t have to create your own content every day.
  • Do read consumer posts and be a good online listener.
  • Do respond appropriately with content that brings value to the conversation and shows your interest.
  • Do leave comments, like posts, and interact whenever possible.
  • Do offer industry insights that may be helpful to consumers.
  • Don’t use social media to oversell. In fact, most of your posts should be for the purpose of interacting, not selling.
  • Do be easy to find by making your presence known and offering multiple access points across a variety of platforms.

Social selling will take your dealership to the next level when it comes to building your brand recognition, growing your customer base, and increasing your bottom line.  Most consumers turn to social media to interact and share feedback, and dealerships that find new ways to build relationships in a market that is constantly changing will reap the most benefits. When you build relationships and focus on social selling, your dealership will break through to a whole new level of success.