By Susan Gaytan, Director of Dealer Engagement & Training, Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions 

If you’re in the business of selling cars and wish to capture opportunities with potential car buyers outside of the brick & mortar showroom, it’s important to know the steps to selling a car using social media and how to be more effective there. It is a growing medium that takes a whole new skill set that differs from the traditional method of selling cars. Most salespeople are lost when it comes to how to sell a car via social media and or how to be a good car salesman on this newer lead platform, and therefore don’t see the results they want.

The New Retail Landscape Post Covid-19

Car shoppers’ behavior and buying preferences have completely shifted as a result of COVID 19. According to Alan Haig, the president of Haig Partners and an automotive retail consultant, in 2021, approximately 30% Of U.S. retail car sales were completed online, compared to 2% before the pandemic. A vast percentage of shoppers have now shifted to using online buying tools & resources. The question is no longer who is on social media these days but who isn’t? 4.48 billion people use social media, and yes, that includes your potential car buyers! A Facebook study found that 62% of car buyers find their car online, and 78% find social media useful when deciding upon a new automobile purchase.

Unfortunately, most car salespeople do not leverage social media to sell more cars and instead will wait for the next fresh up. And, if they do, there is no strategy. So, it is important to have some car sales training specifically on how to convert more leads and opportunities on social media, as it might differ greatly from what you are currently flooding your social media content with, that is if you are leveraging social media to sell at all

Social Selling Tips to Cultivate Online Car Shoppers

Some key points to consider:

● You don’t want to SELL on social media, but rather cultivate connections that will turn into leads.
● Social media is the ultimate “farming technique” that will yield future loyal customers and shoppers will end up coming to you. (VERSUS the one-and-done sale)
● All shoppers are the same whether calling, clicking, or, in this case, scrolling. They all have the same fears and reservations about buying a car, so the messaging needs to be the same about overcoming the common challenges.
● Your content is ultimately the key to standing out on social media.

When it Comes to Social Selling, Old-School Tactics Don’t Work!

Most dealership managers today understand the opportunity and the vast number of shoppers that exist on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social platforms that continue to grow in popularity. Some of you might even have special social media initiatives or a marketing team to assist in that area. Either way, the fact remains that more shoppers are viewing and scrolling through social media than walking into your dealership, or even calling or emailing you.

The question is, are you doing this whole social media thing the right way, or do you revert to old-school car strategies and just throw a bunch of car photos up to see if anyone bites? Maybe you post your occasional “really rare car” photo or share the dealership’s posts whenever you remember. But are you standing out? Are viewers finding you appealing? Are you truly selling yourself, your dealership, and an exceptional car-buying experience?

Social Media can be quite the game-changer when done right and I know people in this industry who have leveraged it to change their careers and even their lives! The challenge for most people is the HOW. Many people in this business have a lack of understanding of how social media works and get discouraged or impatient when they don’t see immediate results.

Social Media: The Ultimate Sales Farming Technique

Selling on social media is the ultimate farming technique for sales. With a little thought and strategy, over time you can cultivate a wealth of exponential opportunities and shoppers looking for you and contacting you first. But in this industry, many of us lack the patience required. Yes, time, strategy and patience prevent people from sticking to it. Don’t be that old-school hunter that simply reacts and just waits for “something to pass to shoot”. That short-term mentality is precisely the reason most people don’t ever succeed on social media.

The Need for Compelling Content: Consumers Still Need to Trust You

At the end of the day, the same shoppers that call or email you are also the ones browsing social media. They have the same fears, the same reservations, and they have the SAME misconceptions about “car sales.”

Social media is part of your digital showroom and more people scroll your feed than will ever walk into your showroom. And your content on social media is ultimately what sets you apart from everyone else. Shoppers STILL want someone to trust, someone who will be transparent, and most importantly someone likable! And no, this doesn’t mean you have to look like a Hollywood glam star. Your posts should be a genuine extension of you and your dealership, and what makes you unique and relatable. Your content is the key to attracting more viewers and eventually engaging more potential customers.

Don’t do a one-and-done and simply post content based on sales, discounts, and offers. These types of posts simply don’t engage people and they don’t create connections. Be the trusted sales advisor. Engage with these social media prospects as these days, there are exponentially more opportunities outside the showroom.

Every shopper wants to feel valued. Showcase how you take care of your customers – this is your differentiator.

Social Selling: Create Connections and Keep up with Current Buyers

A younger generation of buyers is coming into the market so don’t exclude them from your reach. The bottom line with social media is please don’t just go for the quick sale – and don’t flood your page with “sales’ ‘ related pitches. People will sense your desperation. Social media is about creating connections, building trust and confidence, and being the advisor that everyone wants to go to. And, perhaps best of all, there is little to no cost to get started on social media, yet the potential results are limitless. To your success!

Author: Christine Corkran

Digital Dealer