Kicking and Screaming – Your Sales Team and the Future
The world of selling vehicles has changed a lot.
The classic car salesman (and they were mostly men) waited for the customer to hit the lot. The customer usually arrived because they knew the make of the car or the dealdehip was the “best one in town.”
As soon as a toe crossed the line, the salesman would ask the question, “How are you today?” Oddly, everyone knew that he didn’t care. It was a formality that really meant, “How fast can I get you into a car and earn a commission?”
That’s all changed. Today, the buyer is in charge. The world is different and sales people are finding that they need to adapt.
Using the Modern Tools
Recently, we sat down with one of our long-time clients, Oliver. He discussed why he was using SimpSocial and how it affected his business.
SS: Why did you choose to use SimpSocial?
O: Well, I realized that everyone around me was using social media. My kids, my grandkids, my sales people – everyone is social media all the time. I asked my adult daughter how often she went on Facebook and she told me that she looked at it about five times a day. That convinced me that I needed to look at using social media to promote sales.
SS: How did you decide to use SimpSocial?
O: When I started, I had no idea what to do. I gathered my sales team, a group of younger men and women, and asked them what they thought. I don’t really use Facebook or Twitter or any of those other platforms, but I know that they all did. “What do you think we should do?” I asked.
They told me that we should do social media advertising, then use text messaging and emails to develop a relationship with the lead.
One of my salespeople, Kelly, showed me some messages she got from a competitor. They were interesting.
SS: Then you started looking for the right service?
O: I asked my sales manager to bring me some recommendations. He came to me with three different companies. We chose SimpSocial because it was the right price, the right services, and is oriented specifically to auto dealers.
We looked at a couple of other companies, but they didn’t specialize in what we do. I’m sure they can do a fine job, but I don’t want to have to explain our goals and priorities. SimpSocial was the answer.
SS: And how has it been?
O: Great! SimpSocial created Facebook Lead Generation ads for us and linked them to the CRM. They helped set up a communication system that pretty much runs itself. My sales manager assigned someone, Kelly, in fact, to keep track of leads and sales.
The leads we get have been very productive. Kelly tracks leads from the time they first fill out a form to the time they buy a car or truck. We’ve been well into the 30% success rate and that’s just in six months. I’m told there are leads that might not pan out for a year or so, but that they’re moving through the sales process and will buy.
Since I don’t have to pay per lead and I don’t pay someone to sit and make calls all day long, it’s a great return on investment.
SS: What do you say to dealers who are thinking about their advertising and sales?
O: I would say, look at social media. Everyone is doing it. I’m an old guy and it’s not my thing, but it doesn’t have to be. The best part about hitting SimpSocial is that I didn’t have to learn to do anything but read a screen on the CRM. I can see what the lead has been doing, what they clicked on, and if they’re active.
Once in while, I just open the CRM and make a couple of [one calls. All I do is introduce myself.
SS: How has it affected your advertising budget?
O: Honestly we’ve gone ahead and cut out most of the ads that we used to do. No one buys the paper, the phone book is a thing of the past, and billboards were never all that great for us. SimpSocial and my team have turned this new technology into a really great tool for our dealership.
I’ll tell you the truth. I was dragged kicking and screaming to this idea. I know I make it sound like I was relaxed and happy about it, but in reality, it was something I resisted until my daughter convinced me that it was probably the easiest way to reach people.
Like I said, I’m not young, so these ideas are not foreign to me, but I’m glad I listened to her and to my team.