Industry Minute: Sales, Search and Sales Process

[podcast format=”video”]http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Sales_Search_Sales_Process.mov[/podcast]

Cliff Banks, VP and editorial director for Dealer Communications, discusses topics of interest at this week’s Digital Dealer Conference in Nashville.

One thought on “Industry Minute: Sales, Search and Sales Process

  1. @ Cliff – It was great to see you at Digital Dealer 7 in Nashville, and again, thank you for the wonderful intro you gave me at the General Session on Tuesday morning… And, thank you to so many dealers who made it to the 8:30 AM session! I was surprised by the large turnout and the reception my topic seemed to receive. Of course, having Gilbert Ancira and Elizabeth Barrera from http://www.AnciraCommunity.com which was featured in my presentation seemed to add another dimension of credibility and “realism” to the topic covered. I really like Cliff’s video clip because as usual, Cliff provides some sound advice that is free from the hype that seems to surround any new technique for dealers to connect with their customers and local community.

    However, Cliff, there is something that you said in your video that causes me concern in how it may be interpreted by dealers. Far too many dealers are blocking their employees from having any access to any social media type sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, etc. This has the effect of isolating your employees from being able to access customers in what might be the only channel those customers can be reached.

    What about email? The sad reality is that a combination of spam filtering at the ISP level, bad practices by dealers sending out massive bulk emails that hit email servers all at once and a few other issues have resulted in the current situation where far less than half of all emails sent by dealers actually land in the customer’s inbox! I have to laugh when people question this, because let’s face reality, for years we have looked at reports where consumers say that less than half of the dealers they sent leads to actually responded, yet every dealer shows in their CRM or lead management tool where the majority of leads ARE being responded to by email… Doh! Think about it… With most social media sites, when a customer friends, follows, fans, subscribes or whatever that network calls it, the dealership employee has a direct pipeline with a 100% delivery to the customer within a closed system not subject to multiple layers of spam and unsolicited message filters.

    By blocking employee access to these free online communication tools, dealers are effectively saying “We Are Closed” to any business or inquiries from within the world of User Generated Content (UGC) social media sites. The right way to handle this is to have a written employee policy and to educate employees on the proper and improper use of these tools while at work… Meanwhile, for dealers who want to get started… Start by listening first. There are free and easy to use tools from several sources like Google Alerts and Twitter Search Widgets that allow dealers to see whenever their dealership’s name is mentioned anywhere on the web… Listen first, then acknowledge and explore, and with a carefully considered and crafted message, then respond.

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