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I've been on the Internet side of this business for 14 years. The first portion of that time was spent trying to get buy-in from top management. The last portion has been spent getting buy-in from the sales staff.
When you have a vision for the future, it's not always easy to get others to see that same vision until it plays out.
I recently read a post on this forum by Ryan Leslie of DealerRater called, “Are you marketing the Brands within your Brand?” It was inspirational because your people at your company are your most valuable asset. I later watched his webinar on the same subject and passed it on to our sales staff.
One of our top salespeople came to me and asked, “Can you help me build my online presence?”
This was more than I could have asked for! I said yes, of course!
I was thinking to myself, “Don't make this too complicated but make it worth his time and make it worthy of the dealership.” I devised a strategy similar to what I use for the dealership online.
The centerpiece of the strategy will be a blog or personal page. This person already has a head start with great YouTube walkaround videos and a Facebook page. He has great product knowledge as well. We will make him a how-to guy, the go-to guy for Chevy vehicles.
Utilize his Facebook presence and add Twitter and Pinterest to round it out with links to his blog and the dealership websites and other online assets.
Take his great customer reviews and pull them into his blog and Facebook page to create credibility.
Create a page on the dealership website that features his how-to videos and walkarounds that promote him as the guy to ask when you have questions.
Create a space in the company newsletter for his blog articles or videos linking to his blog and to the dealership website.
Create a board on the company Pinterest site that features photos and videos from his efforts.
Assist and create for him where possible but “let him fly” with his own efforts and creativity.
Giving him organic recognition may lead to incorporating his presence into the company SEM efforts. Win-Win.
Why do this?
This salesman has been at our company longer than I have. (I've been at it for 12 years) He is successful and ain't going anywhere. He's got a database of customers, great CSI, and good reviews. He doesn't want to be an up-chaser.
This can only benefit the dealership. Everything is tied to the dealership and its websites and current SEO. It can only increase the footprint of the dealership online and the profits from SEO, social interactions, referral traffic, and reputation.
And yes, one success will lead to many by example.
It used to be accepted that a salesperson was in business for himself. OEM actions, the economic climate, and dealer competition have not been kind to that axiom.
This is the modern salesperson's response to take control once more of his or her own destiny and create wealth. When this happens, it benefits the dealership as well.
As usual, I wanna know. Whadaya think?
Written by Tom Gorham
Editor, From The Trenches