How Dealers Can Use Social Media at the Dealership

Automotive digital marketing changes, but sometimes it takes time for "old" techniques to sink in. Here, Dealer Authority's JD Rucker was delivering the keyn...

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Comment by Brian Bennington on September 24, 2014 at 9:40pm

So you agree, JD, that a picture is worth a thousand words?  (I think I recently wrote that somewhere else?)  Not only do they work on social media, they make a powerful impact in the one-on-one sales presentation.  I learned that long before I sold my first car, and shot a photo of every customer with me and their new vehicle, from day one.  I then attached them to a 4-question "survey"/referral request I'd designed and sent out when it was returned via an envelope labeled "Attention General Manager" I'd included.  I did that to make sure the GM read them (dealership politics - like many high producers I've known, I could often be a pain in my GM's ass.), and the GM would then give them to me so I could add the photo and put them in a binder.  This is something I did religiously at every dealer I worked for throughout my car-selling career. 

The three-ring binders (final count at the last dealer I sold for was 14 binders of 40 to 50 "testimonials" in each book collected over four years - I still have them) worked great for "getting a bump," as I let my customers review them while I was at the desk.  After all, testimonial advertising is a cornerstone of selling, featured in every medium including social media.  (Hey JD, isn't that how the Yelp, etc. ratings are suppose to work?)  Besides, I loved the idea of having my past customers "working for me" long after they purchased.  Seeing smiling customers in front of their new cars shaking my hand (male) or giving me a hug (female) was a real "credibility builder."

However, the two times I presented a couple of my binders during job interviews worked superbly, guaranteeing I could work there, providing the employer passed muster with me.  The surveys I included had a 40% to 50% return and I designed them to illicit "several sentence" answers, and the photos were the perfect illustration to the "stories" they wrote.  I've always believed that every sale I made should "do its part" to make the next sale easier.  And, that included "selling myself" to my next employer.     

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