Social Media leads for Auto Dealerships: Stop making #SocialSelling so weird!

Picture this. I am in the market for a new car.  My lease ends in November but I wanted to start the process early this time to make sure I get the sunroof I desire and have full control on the my choice of color, pearl white if they have it.  I mention on Twitter “ I can’t wait to go car shopping this weekend. #Excited!“ and the tweet ends up in outer space with the millions of other tweets expressing some sort of intent to purchase a product or service.

I ask myself, why are car dealerships locally not reaching back out to me? No Twitter engagement at all in hopes that I consider their dealership as I work through the process to selecting my new ride. Purchasing a car in general is one many people don’t enjoy; after all we know how the movies portray car salesman, not too far from the truth. It is a process of small talk, building trust, some negotiation and then a purchase. So why does social selling feel so weird?  It’s because we make it sound weird!  

I attribute the lack of social engagement and nurturing to one or a combination of these 4 factors:

  1. Lack of strategy around how social media fits into the companies overall marketing plan

  2. No idea how to approach/find relevant social media leads to engage with locally

  3. A few years ago the industry said social wasn’t a place to sell

  4. Social engagement is not always easy, posting a picture of a kitten on the hood of a car is easy.

Honestly, where else are we going to take our efforts on social?  2013 was expected to be the year of 1-1 engagement.  Instead all we see are posts and fluffy content with little to no community engagement paired with high level graphs and widgets we struggle to get any business insight from.  Social Selling is the next phase whether you like it or not.  Selling in general has never been easy! All sales start out with engagement, followed by nurturing in hopes that the end result is a mutual win between the 2 participating parties.

Last week we had the chance to meet Gary Vaynerchuck and listen to him passionately speak about how he got started with Wine Library TV.  A remarkable story of hustle and genuine engagement in a world of social that may not have been ready for him in 2006.  He adapted, he believed and is now a social media legend.  He inspired us to continue to push the envelope of where brands can go with respect to social media? Gary reminded our team of one thing, “ Success takes time”.

Seth Godin’s post last week validated it for me:

“Anyone who says failure is not an option has also ruled out innovation”.

Sales people fail more than they win, but we are usually open to new ideas around how to increase business, and find more ways to generate new leads to fill our funnels.

I will continue to take the direct mailers from my mailbox to the garbage without even reviewing them.  I will also continue to tweet about the products I am in the market for in hopes that sellers of these products and services will reach out and engage their way to my heart, or wallet.

It’s not supposed to be easy, if it was everyone would be doing it! It is time to put some offence into your social media strategy.  Taking the first step is the most important one – start engaging you way to a #social sales strategy today.  The shift is already happening.

How do you feel about random engagement on Twitter when you express intent to purchase through your tweets?