Automotive Digital Marketing

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From the Trenches - What if you gave a party… and you didn’t come?

The party was well planned. The dealer spared no expense. Hundreds of the dealership's best customers sent their RSVP saying they would attend.

The arriving guests were met with red carpet and parking attendants. When they entered the dealership, there was special lighting and tables filled with food and several bars offering whatever they wanted. Live music echoed through the room from a local band. It was a great opportunity to socialize with those wonderful people who treated them so kindly when they bought their car.

And there to greet them was… the Internet Manager wearing a logo bowtie. Friendly guy or gal… Nice to meet him or her.

Each customer asks upon arriving, "Is my salesperson here? Is the owner here?"

"No", the Internet Manager tells them. "I am your host tonight. Your salesperson wasn't interested in coming and the owner is way too busy. But I welcome you and will keep you entertained. We value you and want to be friends."

How do you think the rest of night went? This is Facebook.

When one of your sales staff invites a new owner to write a review and visit your Facebook page, do they reciprocate? Do they have a photo taken of their customer and their new car? And then have it posted on Facebook… and then comment under that photo how much they enjoyed working with that customer?

Does your sales staff monitor your Facebook page and when they see a comment by one of their customers, take that opportunity to say hi?

Ask any salesperson, "Is this your customer or the dealership's customer?" They will claim it's their customer, because they did so well taking care of that customer. So why do they expect the dealership to maintain that relationship?

It's the Internet Manager's job to provide a platform, but shouldn't your sales staff provide and maintain the relationship?

Ask yourself, "Are you giving parties and not coming to your own party?"


Written by Tom Gorham

Editor, From The Trenches

Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community

Views: 483

Tags: Customer, Facebook, Media, Service, Social, customer, retention


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Comment by Tom Gorham on May 9, 2012 at 4:29am

Karla thank you. Just as your web presence is the first impression people get of your business, the people they meet at your business should be their lasting impression that sustains that relationship.  Appreciate your comment!

Comment by Karla Pincott on May 8, 2012 at 11:37pm

Tom, I think you've hit the bulls-eye here. There's too often and too easily a chasm between personal contact and social media contact. Perhaps we forget that when somebody leaves a comment on our page, they believe they are communicating with a person, not an amalgamation of real estate and signage with a fast broadband connection.

Comment by Tom Gorham on May 8, 2012 at 6:04pm

Thank you Keith.  BTW, I'm so bummed out that I won't be able to see your presentation at the upcoming Bootcamp! I know it will be great!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 8, 2012 at 5:51pm

I agree 100% with this article.  Great post!!

Comment by Tom Gorham on May 8, 2012 at 5:08pm

Thank you Timothy!

Comment by Timothy Martell on May 8, 2012 at 6:52am

Right on Tom! GREAT stuff!

Comment by Tom Gorham on May 8, 2012 at 4:44am

Thank you Jennifer for commenting.  Participation is the key to personalization and relationship building.  Businesses are either people or an anonymous entity in the way they present themselves online.

Comment by Jennifer Sanford on May 7, 2012 at 7:13pm

What a terrific analogy.  You captured the essence in that post.  Too often senior managers allow a social media specialist define the business brand online without personal involvement.  They're just too busy to participate in the conversation.  Been there.  Done that.  Have the t'shirt, but sold it.  Learned the lesson.  

Comment by Tom Gorham on May 7, 2012 at 6:14pm

Diane, I think it has always been important but less urgent than today.  Our lives are so involved online and everything moves at a faster rate.  It's not customer loyalty that has lessened, it's the approach to receiving it that has changed.  Thank you for your comment.

Ralph, it seems so elementary, doesn't it?  But I have a problem trying to get some sales staff to do the simple things that are in their own self-interest.  I find it enigmatic that some people think it's "cool" to be sooo above Facebook and Social Media (and even computers).  I also find it strange that some salespeople have time to socialize on the floor with their fellow salespeople, but no time to connect in a friendly way with the people who pay their wages... customers.

Comment by Diane Anderson on May 7, 2012 at 5:44pm
What an awesome post! Unfortunately, most salesmen don't understand why it is so important to stay engaged with their customers. And FB makes it so easy! Thanks for the post Tom.

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