Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
Leveraging social media for sales is no longer an option. Facebook is the go-to channel for dealerships these days, but Twitter and LinkedIn are invaluable resources for sales professionals willing to put in a little time and effort. The greatest resource sales professionals in any market can have is a vast network of supportive, and mutually beneficial professional partnerships. Social selling strategies will help you develop that resource. Still not convinced? Here’s a few numbers to inspire you:
If you’re convinced social selling is important, but you just aren’t sure how to begin…I’m here to help! Social selling works because it is customer centric. The majority of the marketing your dealership does will always be very product centric. There is an over-abundance of information about your product online. Customers do an average of 16 hours of online research before they purchase a vehicle, and this research will largely be product-focused. Approaching customers with more of the same information without a relationship, isn’t likely to result in more sales.
Capturing today’s customer, automotive or otherwise, requires something different. Successful salespeople become experts at effectively connecting a customer’s wants, needs and desires to their product and brand. They understand the power of cultivating relationships with potential customers through asking questions, listening, and looking deeper to discover how the product they offer intersects with customer’s stories in a meaningful way. The bottom line: Social selling offers you the opportunity be the human face to your brand.*
Sales guru, Zig Ziglar once said, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” I think adopting that philosophy as your guide for all content marketing and social media interactions will not only result in effective online engagement, but will help social selling become a personally gratifying experience as well.
Before we talk strategy, let me share my top 3 tips for successful social engagement:
Twitter is an information powerhouse. I have said more than once that I have learned more from Twitter than I learned in college. Twitter indirectly provides you with the opportunity to be mentored by the best in every business, and it offers you the opportunity to connect with a large pool of potential buyers. A recent partner study by Twitter and Datalogix revealed:
Make sure to link to your dealership in your profile and use industry relevant hashtags, but after that, avoid more than the occasional sales post. Instead, position yourself as a resource. Discover the hashtags and accounts car shoppers follow and show up. Answer questions twitter users ask about the car buying process, makes and models or any other area of expertise without looking for anything in return. A small investment of your time being of service to someone will make a lasting impression.
Twitter Social Selling Strategy Starters
Twitter Bio Tips-You in 160 Characters – Create an engaging Twitter bio with these stellar tips.
Twitter for People Who Still Don’t Get Twitter – Invaluable tutorials for Twitter newbies.
Sales for Life Blog Post – Check out this great post and do what it says.
Twitter Analytics Tools to Improve Engagement – Discover tools to understand how Twitter works and reach your audience more effectively.
As of July 2015 LinkedIn had more than 380 million users. Sales professionals who want to be successful need to learn to leverage the power of LinkedIn. Most sales professionals can immediately see the value of LinkedIn for B2B markets, but let’s take a look at how a robust LinkedIn presence, both for your personal brand and your dealership, has the potential to grow B2C marketshare as well.
LinkedIn Social Selling Strategy Starters
How to Build the Perfect LinkedIn Profile for Social Selling – Animated infographic with excellent information from the folks at Sales for Life.
How to Use Your LinkedIn Feed to Create Real Time Conversations – Good news: Twitter hasn’t cornered the market on real-time interaction.
Staying out of LinkedIn Jail – Avoid sales tactics that get you blocked or banned on LinkedIn with this article.
The resources I’ve linked you to will help you with social selling on Twitter and LinkedIn whether you’re just getting started or have been building your network for a long time. I’d love to hear from you and invite you to share your best social selling tips in the comments below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Start paying it forward online, and prepare to reap the rewards.
*For more information on customer-centric marketing, I recommend the book, The Difference, by Bernadette Jiwa