Once you’ve developed a cohesive plan to connect locally the real work is just beginning.

...If you're using social media the same way you were a year ago, you're already behind.

The value of networking is crucial to anyone in sales. Automotive is no different and the changes in social media during the last decade have increased the need as well as the opportunity to expand your networking outside of the golf course or happy hour. People are spending more time on Facebook than their personal grooming - something to keep in mind. Social media's influence is increasing as a buyer’s first point of contact and has become the second-most common channel for consumers to voice concerns and ask questions about an upcoming purchase. Nearly 1 in 4 buyers are not already aware of F&I products prior to going to the dealership. Consumers, who are previously aware are more likely to purchase.

The act of selling is not what makes us feel as if we are a high pressure, manipulative salesperson - rather it is the intention behind the act.

Remind yourself that you are not just providing your customer with a vehicle to transport precious cargo (As if that weren’t enough!) - the purchase you help facilitate is part of their life’s journey. The focus should not be about the sale. Connect to a time in their life where their car was the pivotal part of their story: the road trip, college bound, prom night, their first date, taking the baby home from the hospital or their very first new car.

I’m always in pursuit of information. When first meeting with someone, a potential client or not my first thoughts are what is it that I will learn about them? This fundamental can be applied to your activity on social media that will do more than just keep your brand in news feeds regardless of ever altering algorithms.

Being a radio geek and student of digital marketing, I follow Lori Lewis Vice President, Social Media/Cumulus Media and Westwood One. Lewis gives solid advice on selling and dealing with potential clients.

Here are 10 of my favorite of her recommendations:

1. Be less about what you're selling (listen now!) and more about the essence of the brand (inclusiveness).

2. Think of social as serving; not interruption

3. Size doesn't matter; it's caring that counts

4. Go beyond the ordinary and create meaningful moments

5. Social media is the metric of emotional response

6. Showcase the audience every chance you get through UGC (user generated content) and UIC (user involved content)

7. Focus on what is valuable; people want to feel a part of something

8. We are a scroll nation; pay attention to what triggers reaction

9. Equally study what does not generate interaction and stop; pivot for optimization

10. Being involved every day is more important than the (viral) 'lightning strike'

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