The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 10 months ago

Why Selling Cars On Social Is a Bad Idea w/ Melanie Borden


Get the social media cheat sheet here: 

Selling more cars comes from building relationships, not talking about how you sell cars.

It can be easy for car sales professionals or service consultants to only talk about what they do for a living.

Melanie Borden shares that the best way to sell cars is to focus on building the relationship first. Social media is one of the best tools to make that happen these days. 

Once you have an understanding of who your customers are and where they shop, it is easier to get to know them and speak about topics they care about.

Doing this will remove the default action of only posting about what you do for a living.


Support the show by checking out our sponsor over at

They provide powerful resources that are helping dealers supercharge their sales volume. Whether you’re looking to increase market share vs. your competitors, turn inventory faster, increase ROs or expand reach.

PureCars is offering DPB listeners a free digital strategy analysis so that you can unlock your dealership’s true profitability potential.

Hey, gang, you know what's on my mind?More than deleting all the annoying kids shows that show up in my YouTubewatch. History from over quarantine. Better marketing decisions. Yep, that'sright. That's why I'm so excited to be supported by my friends at pure carswho put the power of data and superior information into the hands of dealerswhere it belongs. Use peer car to make better marketing decisions and getbetter results. Visit Pierre cars dot com to get a free no risk, noobligation digital strategy analysis today that's pure cars dot com. I feel like my intention on socialshould not be to sell more cars. That should be to build more relationships,right? Well, the sell more cars comes from the relationship part. So andthat's the thing. When you're going and you're starting your own socialpresence and you work at a dealership and you're in sales or let's say, forexample, you're in service. Whether it's a sales executive or serviceconsultant, you want to know where your audience is, like, where are yourcustomers? Who are your customers who are buying your cars and so when youunderstand who your customers are, and most people that work at dealerships dounderstand who's buying their cars. They go through a lot of factorytraining. They're interacting with customers. If they sold cars for a yearor for 20 years, they know who their customers are. So once you have anunderstanding of who your customers are and how they shop, right. So, forexample, I was having a conversation with the G M this morning of anotherdealership outside my group. Just he just called to say hi, and he works fora domestic brand. And I do believe that some of the domestic brands that arenot luxury have a different type of shopper than, let's say, for example,some of our shoppers that come into our stores because we're super high lineand and knowing the differences and how they shop and where they're shoppingand what they're looking at and having that education because a lot of timesdealerships and you could probably agree with this to they're not eveneducating their sales teams on what marketing they're doing and where theirmarketing and what kind of marketing And if they're doing traditionaladvertising and they're not asking their customers. Where did you find us?So educating your sales teams on marketing? In my opinion, if you wantyour store to have a team of people that's successful with social, you wantthem to have a full understanding of what marketing is, and it will onlyhelp them. And it will only help the... and increase gross profit bydoing so. This is so amazing. Now you mentioned to have a plan, and you alsomentioned lead by example. So I'm curious because I don't think a day hasgone by that I haven't seen a post from Melanie. What is your process for maintaining consistency when it comesto social? And and does that even matter like Doesn't matter if I'm thereevery single day? I do think it matters to to show upevery day. I do think it matters to be consistent, and I think that everyplatform is different with how you interact with it, and the platform hasits own algorithm, depending on which one you're on. But all of them interactwith engagement. And so if you are engaging in the comments, if you havepeople who are liking your posts who are viewing your posts who are savingyour posts. Commenting The engagement is reallyimportant in terms of your posts when they're out there. But what I havefound and I started with just LinkedIn and now I've kind of branched out toother social platforms. Now that I feel more comfortable and more confident inmyself and my abilities to post, um, I have found with Lincoln, and this isand you probably already know this. But this is like my insider tip. When youpost at the same time every day the algorithm favors you. I know that it'strue and there are analytics that you can download and that you can look atto prove it. But that has been something that I have found that hashelped me with the engagement on my posts. Are you scheduling those thatlike to use the software? You like setting an alarm and you're like, Allright, here we go. On my phone, I see an alarm on my phone and I post it.Yeah, and there are for me. There are acouple different times. I mean, some people say you should post 12 times aday Some people say it's a post six times a day. I try for one or two, butI also usually take one day off a week from posting. But that's just mypersonal preference. But because you've shown up every single day at the exactsame time, your audience knows when to expect you. Right? Um, I did not knowthat, by the way. And I wrote that very quickly. Yeah, with the star. So let me just make sure I got that whenyou post at the same time every day the algorithm favors you. But in additionto your audience also favors you because they know when to show up. Yeah,I'd like someone to prove me wrong on that, but that is my personal take awayfrom. But first of all, how could they prove you wrong? Because within 20minutes of you posting, you've got 400...

...likes and 30 you know, 3000 views. And,like, I think you've cracked the code. Um, Melanie LinkedIn, though, that Iknow Well, you know, but this is interesting, because in fulltransparency, like at the top of the show, I brought up like my own socialmedia journey. A lot of people over the years, like I've picked up a lot offlak. People are like, How do you have the top podcast with all these streamsand all these listeners and you become a keynote? This and that, and thennobody's following you on Social, And the simple answer is because I wasn'tfocusing on it. I was building a business, right? Um, yeah, there's thatphrase. It's a what is it? It's Oh my God, it justlost it. Energy When energy flows, where thoughts go, thoughts go whereenergy flows. Something like that the same. That's that's what I think whenwhen I hear that now, having said that, speaking to your point aboutconsistency every single Thursday for the last seven years a new episode ofthis podcast has come out. And let's call the my social platforms the lastseven years speaking to your point about consistency have favored thatconsistency. Those those are my social platforms now, but to the point ofLinkedIn, because I think this is an underrated and should not be anunderrated platform. It is, in fact, my platform of choice. Um, so I mentionedthat I finally felt like I had the bandwidth. My team has grown. Thebusiness is growing. I'm in that, like, sweet spot where I can focus on scale.Not like, uh, like, hands on, like, rolling up my sleeves and type and, youknow, and doing all that kind of stuff, which is so fun. But in December, justto give context to what Melanie is saying here in December of 2020 Idecided I am going to go all in on LinkedIn and full transparency. I onlyI think I might have had 3500 connections or followers. Mhm. That wasNovember 29th or November 28th is when I made the decision. I'm like, I'mgoing to go all in on LinkedIn. I'm gonna post every day. I'm gonna engagein the comments. Like the way Melanie just said, By the end of December, Ihad over 100 and 60,000 views on my content. It blew me away. Melanie. It'scontinued to blow shield analytics. I am using shield. Yeah. Yeah, that wasat the maybe my third weekend. I saw a post about shield, and I'm like,metrics for the marketer. So that's been tremendous. But but also to yourpoint, like you said, engaging in the comments, it is crazy to me. Back to your point about this is themodern way of connecting with people and how many people post. And thenpeople are commenting. But the author...

...of The Post doesn't get back in thereand engage with those comments. Absolutely. And I started with LinkedInbecause I just looked at some of the facts about the platform. I mean, youhave every C level executive globally on LinkedIn and from a salesperspective, anyone who I mean for the realm that I live in, which is highlined vehicles. The customers who are buying $100,000 car. They're onLinkedIn They are. They might not be as active as you and I are within that 1%of the people who are posting, But they're on LinkedIn. So why wouldn't asales executive at a dealership be creating an audience for themselves?We're talking about the vehicles and talking about themselves and talkingabout the ways that they bring value to the whole customer experience. Right?You mentioned. So now we know you started on LinkedIn we know that it'smy platform of choice. Clubhouse has forced me to be a little more active onInstagram. Yeah, you know. But do you Do you think that that feedsinto consistency for for the individual, that's like, Oh, man. But there'sFacebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest. Like all these things, Ifeel the pressure to be on. Do you think that that creates a fatigue?Perhaps that causes me to not be consistent. Yeah, I mean it. Could youhave to? I mean, it's good to have consistency everywhere, just like withyour marketing messaging. You want to have the same message on your websiteas you do in your advertising, as you do in your paid advertising on socialas you do in whatever campaign that you're running and invent. It's thesame thing. You want to generally have the same look and feel whether it's onLinkedIn Twitter clubhouse Instagram. Look, if you use it, you feel thepressure to be on all of those because I know you pick linked in. But what doyou say to the person like you say? Pick your spots or you say no. You gotto be everywhere I really wasn't active on social media in January of 2020 atall, so I mean, I wasn't on Instagram. I was on Facebook, but I used Facebookmore for, like my family pictures of my kids, my friends from high school,etcetera. That's newly Facebook for me, so I tend to keep that more private.But with the other platforms. I wasn't as comfortable, and I personally didnot like Instagram and I fought being on it. I just felt from a perspectiveof trying to be taken seriously in the business world, There's a lot ofmisinformation from people who represent themselves as being somethingthat they're not. And I feel like that's very prevalent on Instagram, andit's just it's just like a personal...

...quirk of mine. But I'm on it now. I'mon it now. You there I see their US newbies to instagram. Um, you mentionedsomething, so I just wanna before I I transitioned into picking your brain onstorytelling and how you do that in your process. For that, you did. Youknow, I kind of want to circle back a little bit. Um, you mentioned that this is the modernday way of connecting with people like there are still the antiquated, and Idon't want to say it antiquated. I don't want to suggest that they don'twork, but there are still people just pounding the phone day in and day out.And they're not devoting any time to social media now in in yourorganization or in your mindset, I guess. Flipping that on its head, Iknow people are going to wonder. Well, how much time, then, per day should Ibe committing to social media activities? And what should thoseactivities look like, Right. That's a great question. And it's something thatI get asked a lot in terms of how much time do you spend? And it's really asmuch time as you want to spend on it. So for someone who's in sales, who'sjust starting out? So, for example, there's a woman at one of thedealerships in the group that I work for, and she is one of the topsalespeople. She's a single mom. She takes social media very seriously. Shehas her own tripod with a light she brings. You know that that around withher at the store, in between test drives are in between working on herdesk. She's using that. She joined a mom group on Facebook in her town thatshe lives in, which is right next to the dealership. And she's active onthat group, not even trying to be Sales E. But she created her own Facebookpage for herself for her business because she looks at it as if she hasher own business. And she has generated a bunch of sales just from the momgroup. And she's developed relationships with the P T O that herson school. She's developed relationships at baby stores. Shejoined the Chamber of Commerce in her town. So there are things. It's whatyou make of it. It's how driven are you? How motivated are you? Are you going totake it seriously? Do you want to take photos? Do you take delivery photos? Um,are you taking video of yourself doing walk around the vehicle? Are yousending your customers videos when they're sending in a lead on aparticular car? So there's so many things that you could be doing, and youcan spend anywhere from five minutes to five hours creating content. Youobviously will get better at it as you do it more, but it's really, you know,spending an extra 15 to 20 minutes a day. Just working on creating someposts, I think, would be a really great initiative for anyone at a dealershipto do. I'm so inspired by stories like...

...that of individuals who are doing it.And the big takeaway for me is that it sounds like she stopped thinking like asalesperson so that she could just be a good part of the community, right?Exactly, exactly. And she worked in restaurants for the majority of hercareer. So she already has this hospitality mindset, and sheunderstands the value of community and the whole customer experienced. And herreviews are amazing. And, by the way, with mentioning reviews, you could takepieces of the reviews and use that for content that takes, like, literally 30seconds to do. There's your post outside the box, thinking I love it. Um,it is It's so inspiring because I think you know, too many people are definingthemselves by what they do for a living. You just showed an example. I mean, wecan look to you as an example? Yes, You work quote unquote inside anorganization. But you are the CEO of you, Correct? Right? And so you conductyourself as the CEO of you, which which, in my opinion, kind of opens you up tonot think like a marketing director like a you know, like a VP of marketing.You think of, like, know, how do I expand my community? Because mycommunity and you know, feeds into who I represent and, you know, and otheroperatives who knows who knows when we're gonna see a LinkedIn course byMelanie Borden on how to use LinkedIn like it feeds into so many facets oflife? Exactly. And the thing is, is that a lot of people have a mindset ofwhile I don't know if I can be posting about the things that I do at work,because that's proprietary information to the company that I work for. And Idon't want anybody else to steal that information because that is ourinformation and no one else can have it. But you can work in marketing likemyself, and you can create a name for yourself and not mention one thing thatyou do in your daily job in specifics as far as detail on Data Analytics. Youknow, your day to day, et cetera. You can be very, very general and stillbuild a following about yourself, which I have walked that line since Januarylast year. And you're doing amazing at it. And I love it. I mean, this podcastis a testament. We've done it for seven years. I've maybe mentioned the name ofmy agency five times over the years. Yet this has somehow driven our biggestand longest lasting client relationship. Yeah, absolutely. It's so true. And theopportunities people say to me, Well, you know, I've been posting on socialmedia and it's just not just not doing anything for me. Mm said Okay that Ihear that a lot. It just doesn't do...

...anything. It doesn't. It's not gonna doanything. Well, you have to be consistent. Number one, you've got tokeep it going. You can't just stop because you didn't sell a car. You gotto keep it going. It's about networking. It's about like you mentioned buildingrelationships, and the opportunities come they do. This is a perfect exampleof an opportunity for myself. on social media. Right? Because I never wouldhave met you without links in. And you wouldn't have asked me to come on toyour podcast without LinkedIn, you would have never. But you would havebeen like, Wait, who is this bald bearded Seth Rogen lookalike? What'swhat is this? Um, okay, I want to transition because I really like I lovethis conversation. Melanie, um, let's talk about storytelling becauseyou are so good at it. And we hear people like this is the the greatchallenge of, you know, non sequential learning alittle bit like it's always a challenge we have on the podcast is this is onenugget in a sea of everything, and obviously, we need to apply anything.We learn anywhere to the context of our circumstances. However, where I'm goingwith this, as so many people say, Well, you just got to tell better stories andthey never like, break that apart for it. Like I just think of the poorpeople I know I've been there. They're going. What makes a good story or orthe best clubhouse nugget is you just gotta give more value. I don't knowwhat my sister college. Of what? So all of that to ask you, How do you How doyou actually tell better stories? Like, what are some simple things you'velearned in your journey that help you tell better stories? Right? So itdefinitely the first place I would start as it ties into Number one, yourgoals and what your intentions are with using social media. So I'll give myselfas an example. When I set out to do this, I wanted to create a name formyself in the auto industry, not just here on the East Coast, but all overthe country. I've always worked in the auto. I mean, since 2000 and nine havebeen working in the car business, and I know a lot of people in the New York,New Jersey Connecticut tri state area, but I don't know as many people in theMidwest. I don't know many people in the South or on the West Coast, So mynumber one goal and objective with Social let's create a name for myselfso people know who Melanie is. And so with that being said to get there andto start with, the story is and this ties into something that I executed formyself was trying to figure out what I do that's different. How do Idifferentiate myself? So some of the things that I would ask myself is, Whatbenefit do I provide to other people? What are my values? Who am I? I mean,it's kind of like a a journey into your soul when you start doing this becauseyou're really trying to figure out who... are as a person, and how do youwant other people to feel when they're reading your content? I mean, that'ssomething that I think is so important with storytelling is how do you wantother people to feel when they're reading Your posts are watching yourvideos. And if someone's in sales knowing who your audience is, like whois buying your cars where those people like we mentioned earlier, those peoplewho are buying your cars are the people that you need to understand as well. Mhm. Uh huh. I'm Michel Cirillo, andyou've been listening to the dealer playbook podcast. If you haven't yet,please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening. Right now,leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. If you're ready tomake big changes in your life and career and want to connect withpositive, nurturing automotive professionals, join my exclusive dpbpro community on Facebook. That's where we share information, ideas and contentthat isn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanksfor listening.

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