The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 1 year 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.


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Hey, gang, you know what's on my mind? More than deleting all the annoying kids shows that show up in my YouTube watch. History from over quarantine. Better marketing decisions. Yep, that's right. That's why I'm so excited to be supported by my friends at pure cars who put the power of data and superior information into the hands of dealers where it belongs. Use peer car to make better marketing decisions and get better results. Visit Pierre cars dot com to get a free no risk, no obligation digital strategy analysis today that's pure cars dot com. I feel like my intention on social should 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 and that's the thing. When you're going and you're starting your own social presence and you work at a dealership and you're in sales or let's say, for example, you're in service. Whether it's a sales executive or service consultant, you want to know where your audience is, like, where are your customers? Who are your customers who are buying your cars and so when you understand who your customers are, and most people that work at dealerships do understand who's buying their cars. They go through a lot of factory training. They're interacting with customers. If they sold cars for a year or for 20 years, they know who their customers are. So once you have an understanding of who your customers are and how they shop, right. So, for example, I was having a conversation with the G M this morning of another dealership outside my group. Just he just called to say hi, and he works for a domestic brand. And I do believe that some of the domestic brands that are not 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 line and and knowing the differences and how they shop and where they're shopping and what they're looking at and having that education because a lot of times dealerships and you could probably agree with this to they're not even educating their sales teams on what marketing they're doing and where their marketing and what kind of marketing And if they're doing traditional advertising and they're not asking their customers. Where did you find us? So educating your sales teams on marketing? In my opinion, if you want your store to have a team of people that's successful with social, you want them to have a full understanding of what marketing is, and it will only help them. And it will only help the... and increase gross profit by doing so. This is so amazing. Now you mentioned to have a plan, and you also mentioned lead by example. So I'm curious because I don't think a day has gone by that I haven't seen a post from Melanie. What is your process for maintaining consistency when it comes to social? And and does that even matter like Doesn't matter if I'm there every single day? I do think it matters to to show up every day. I do think it matters to be consistent, and I think that every platform is different with how you interact with it, and the platform has its own algorithm, depending on which one you're on. But all of them interact with engagement. And so if you are engaging in the comments, if you have people who are liking your posts who are viewing your posts who are saving your posts. Commenting The engagement is really important in terms of your posts when they're out there. But what I have found and I started with just LinkedIn and now I've kind of branched out to other social platforms. Now that I feel more comfortable and more confident in myself and my abilities to post, um, I have found with Lincoln, and this is and you probably already know this. But this is like my insider tip. When you post at the same time every day the algorithm favors you. I know that it's true and there are analytics that you can download and that you can look at to prove it. But that has been something that I have found that has helped me with the engagement on my posts. Are you scheduling those that like to use the software? You like setting an alarm and you're like, All right, 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 a couple different times. I mean, some people say you should post 12 times a day Some people say it's a post six times a day. I try for one or two, but I also usually take one day off a week from posting. But that's just my personal preference. But because you've shown up every single day at the exact same time, your audience knows when to expect you. Right? Um, I did not know that, by the way. And I wrote that very quickly. Yeah, with the star. So let me just make sure I got that when you post at the same time every day the algorithm favors you. But in addition to 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 away from. But first of all, how could they prove you wrong? Because within 20 minutes 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 I know Well, you know, but this is interesting, because in full transparency, like at the top of the show, I brought up like my own social media journey. A lot of people over the years, like I've picked up a lot of flak. People are like, How do you have the top podcast with all these streams and all these listeners and you become a keynote? This and that, and then nobody's following you on Social, And the simple answer is because I wasn't focusing on it. I was building a business, right? Um, yeah, there's that phrase. It's a what is it? It's Oh my God, it just lost it. Energy When energy flows, where thoughts go, thoughts go where energy flows. Something like that the same. That's that's what I think when when I hear that now, having said that, speaking to your point about consistency every single Thursday for the last seven years a new episode of this podcast has come out. And let's call the my social platforms the last seven years speaking to your point about consistency have favored that consistency. Those those are my social platforms now, but to the point of LinkedIn, because I think this is an underrated and should not be an underrated platform. It is, in fact, my platform of choice. Um, so I mentioned that I finally felt like I had the bandwidth. My team has grown. The business 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, you know, and doing all that kind of stuff, which is so fun. But in December, just to give context to what Melanie is saying here in December of 2020 I decided I am going to go all in on LinkedIn and full transparency. I only I think I might have had 3500 connections or followers. Mhm. That was November 29th or November 28th is when I made the decision. I'm like, I'm going to go all in on LinkedIn. I'm gonna post every day. I'm gonna engage in the comments. Like the way Melanie just said, By the end of December, I had over 100 and 60,000 views on my content. It blew me away. Melanie. It's continued to blow shield analytics. I am using shield. Yeah. Yeah, that was at 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 your point, like you said, engaging in the comments, it is crazy to me. Back to your point about this is the modern way of connecting with people and how many people post. And then people are commenting. But the author...

...of The Post doesn't get back in there and engage with those comments. Absolutely. And I started with LinkedIn because I just looked at some of the facts about the platform. I mean, you have every C level executive globally on LinkedIn and from a sales perspective, anyone who I mean for the realm that I live in, which is high lined vehicles. The customers who are buying $100,000 car. They're on LinkedIn 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 a sales executive at a dealership be creating an audience for themselves? We're talking about the vehicles and talking about themselves and talking about 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's my platform of choice. Clubhouse has forced me to be a little more active on Instagram. Yeah, you know. But do you Do you think that that feeds into consistency for for the individual, that's like, Oh, man. But there's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest. Like all these things, I feel 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 you have to? I mean, it's good to have consistency everywhere, just like with your marketing messaging. You want to have the same message on your website as you do in your advertising, as you do in your paid advertising on social as you do in whatever campaign that you're running and invent. It's the same thing. You want to generally have the same look and feel whether it's on LinkedIn Twitter clubhouse Instagram. Look, if you use it, you feel the pressure to be on all of those because I know you pick linked in. But what do you say to the person like you say? Pick your spots or you say no. You got to be everywhere I really wasn't active on social media in January of 2020 at all, so I mean, I wasn't on Instagram. I was on Facebook, but I used Facebook more 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 did not like Instagram and I fought being on it. I just felt from a perspective of trying to be taken seriously in the business world, There's a lot of misinformation from people who represent themselves as being something that they're not. And I feel like that's very prevalent on Instagram, and it's just it's just like a personal...

...quirk of mine. But I'm on it now. I'm on it now. You there I see their US newbies to instagram. Um, you mentioned something, so I just wanna before I I transitioned into picking your brain on storytelling and how you do that in your process. For that, you did. You know, I kind of want to circle back a little bit. Um, you mentioned that this is the modern day way of connecting with people like there are still the antiquated, and I don't want to say it antiquated. I don't want to suggest that they don't work, 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 your organization or in your mindset, I guess. Flipping that on its head, I know people are going to wonder. Well, how much time, then, per day should I be committing to social media activities? And what should those activities look like, Right. That's a great question. And it's something that I get asked a lot in terms of how much time do you spend? And it's really as much time as you want to spend on it. So for someone who's in sales, who's just starting out? So, for example, there's a woman at one of the dealerships in the group that I work for, and she is one of the top salespeople. She's a single mom. She takes social media very seriously. She has her own tripod with a light she brings. You know that that around with her at the store, in between test drives are in between working on her desk. She's using that. She joined a mom group on Facebook in her town that she lives in, which is right next to the dealership. And she's active on that group, not even trying to be Sales E. But she created her own Facebook page for herself for her business because she looks at it as if she has her own business. And she has generated a bunch of sales just from the mom group. And she's developed relationships with the P T O that her son school. She's developed relationships at baby stores. She joined the Chamber of Commerce in her town. So there are things. It's what you make of it. It's how driven are you? How motivated are you? Are you going to take 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 you sending your customers videos when they're sending in a lead on a particular car? So there's so many things that you could be doing, and you can spend anywhere from five minutes to five hours creating content. You obviously 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 some posts, I think, would be a really great initiative for anyone at a dealership to 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 a salesperson so that she could just be a good part of the community, right? Exactly, exactly. And she worked in restaurants for the majority of her career. So she already has this hospitality mindset, and she understands the value of community and the whole customer experienced. And her reviews are amazing. And, by the way, with mentioning reviews, you could take pieces of the reviews and use that for content that takes, like, literally 30 seconds 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 defining themselves by what they do for a living. You just showed an example. I mean, we can look to you as an example? Yes, You work quote unquote inside an organization. But you are the CEO of you, Correct? Right? And so you conduct yourself as the CEO of you, which which, in my opinion, kind of opens you up to not 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 my community and you know, feeds into who I represent and, you know, and other operatives who knows who knows when we're gonna see a LinkedIn course by Melanie Borden on how to use LinkedIn like it feeds into so many facets of life? Exactly. And the thing is, is that a lot of people have a mindset of while 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 I don't want anybody else to steal that information because that is our information and no one else can have it. But you can work in marketing like myself, and you can create a name for yourself and not mention one thing that you do in your daily job in specifics as far as detail on Data Analytics. You know, your day to day, et cetera. You can be very, very general and still build a following about yourself, which I have walked that line since January last year. And you're doing amazing at it. And I love it. I mean, this podcast is a testament. We've done it for seven years. I've maybe mentioned the name of my agency five times over the years. Yet this has somehow driven our biggest and longest lasting client relationship. Yeah, absolutely. It's so true. And the opportunities people say to me, Well, you know, I've been posting on social media and it's just not just not doing anything for me. Mm said Okay that I hear that a lot. It just doesn't do...

...anything. It doesn't. It's not gonna do anything. Well, you have to be consistent. Number one, you've got to keep it going. You can't just stop because you didn't sell a car. You got to keep it going. It's about networking. It's about like you mentioned building relationships, and the opportunities come they do. This is a perfect example of an opportunity for myself. on social media. Right? Because I never would have met you without links in. And you wouldn't have asked me to come on to your podcast without LinkedIn, you would have never. But you would have been like, Wait, who is this bald bearded Seth Rogen lookalike? What's what is this? Um, okay, I want to transition because I really like I love this conversation. Melanie, um, let's talk about storytelling because you are so good at it. And we hear people like this is the the great challenge of, you know, non sequential learning a little bit like it's always a challenge we have on the podcast is this is one nugget 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 going with this, as so many people say, Well, you just got to tell better stories and they never like, break that apart for it. Like I just think of the poor people I know I've been there. They're going. What makes a good story or or the best clubhouse nugget is you just gotta give more value. I don't know what my sister college. Of what? So all of that to ask you, How do you How do you actually tell better stories? Like, what are some simple things you've learned in your journey that help you tell better stories? Right? So it definitely the first place I would start as it ties into Number one, your goals and what your intentions are with using social media. So I'll give myself as an example. When I set out to do this, I wanted to create a name for myself in the auto industry, not just here on the East Coast, but all over the country. I've always worked in the auto. I mean, since 2000 and nine have been 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 the Midwest. I don't know many people in the South or on the West Coast, So my number one goal and objective with Social let's create a name for myself so people know who Melanie is. And so with that being said to get there and to start with, the story is and this ties into something that I executed for myself was trying to figure out what I do that's different. How do I differentiate myself? So some of the things that I would ask myself is, What benefit 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 because you're really trying to figure out who... are as a person, and how do you want other people to feel when they're reading your content? I mean, that's something that I think is so important with storytelling is how do you want other people to feel when they're reading Your posts are watching your videos. And if someone's in sales knowing who your audience is, like who is buying your cars where those people like we mentioned earlier, those people who are buying your cars are the people that you need to understand as well. Mhm. Uh huh. I'm Michel Cirillo, and you'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 to make big changes in your life and career and want to connect with positive, nurturing automotive professionals, join my exclusive dpb pro community on Facebook. That's where we share information, ideas and content that isn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanks for listening.

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