Personal branding is now more important than ever at auto dealerships. An individual car salesperson is no longer competing solely by location or car model, everyone is now competing for new business based upon their own online reputation.
It’s an opportunity for industry professionals to document all of the great work they do in person, and amplify it online for all to view. Doing this drives more business not just to their location, but to their desk as well.
The challenge is the ability to do this at scale, with some semblance of control.
Dealers see the value in the sales staff raising their profiles and building strong consumer relationships, while at the same time, there’s a concern that a dealership could lose customers if a popular salesperson leaves. Dealers also worry that they may have insufficient control of their salespeople’s websites and social media content.
While some industry commentators may see the need for personal brand as a sign of the dealership not doing enough local area marketing, Experience.com (Formerly SocialSurvey) CEO Scott Harris sees it this way:
“The local area auto sales person is the lifeblood of a dealership. There is an opportunity to provide a platform, like Experience.com (Formerly SocialSurvey), to automatically build the online reputation at a salesperson level which drives local area business. Their individual reputation is what will give dealerships 2 to 3 times the response rate and allow them to win locally on sites like Google. It’s exciting to be offering our suite of reputation products for dealership sales and service department.”
While the sales professional, the dealer and reputation management companies argue the pros and cons, the buyer is moving along their journey, unimpeded by the arguments and simply looking to buy their next car from a great salesperson.
A March 2015 survey from online marketplace Autotrader found that nearly 75 percent of 4,000 respondents said they were willing to drive farther for a great salesperson.
Customers are searching online for real people who are considered both credible and knowledgeable about the industry. If these salespeople can be found on multiple places online, with the social proof of what others are saying, ie. reviews, it must be true!
At the recent Digital Dealer conference, attendees fell in love with how Experience.com (Formerly SocialSurvey) gives them the ability to:
- Share the sales professionals’ online reputation at a local level to earn more business
- Drive reviews to the Google My Business location to earn more business
- Power the brand to grow a stronger team, so that they can earn more business
All in one automated, low-touch, high ROI software platform.
Experience.com (Formerly SocialSurvey) takes the voice of the happy customer and pushes it online to maximize your RO count and increase your dollars per RO. Five-star reviews convert to more service appointments, and happy customers convert to more sales.
BONUS RESOURCE: What else can you give your sales professionals to help them build their personal brand online? Kick them off with a WIN LOCAL training session, have them go out and create content that showcases everything ‘local’ Start by downloading this six day content plan! Make sure to celebrate when it’s created, share it on your brand page and celebrate when they do create content, and reward them regularly for doing so.