Can Social Media help me sell cars?


I can’t find time for social media, you say. Who needs it? It’s a waste of time. And by the way, isn’t a handle something people used in the ‘70s on CB radios?

What we would tell you is that utilizing social media to sell more cars is not only beneficial but critical to your success in 2016 and beyond.

Let’s compare two fictional, but entirely possible, sales representatives for a car dealership.

Joe hates all things social media. His wife uses it and seems to enjoy it, but Joe doesn’t want any part of it. He wants to keep selling the way he has sold cars for 30 years. It works, so why change it? Joe meets his quota every year.

Michael uses Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to connect to everyone he knows. When a friend buys a new car from him, he asks to take a photo of him or her with their new car. When Michael posts it, he tags his friend, which essentially invites others outside of his immediate sphere to notice that their mutual friend has a new car. And hey, isn’t that a great car? I wonder if Michael could sell me a car just like that? Michael’s sales numbers are increasing, and he exceeds his goals.

A real-life example: in Bozeman, Montana, saleswoman Laura Madison turned the sales process upside down – she went so far as to create her own website, had her personal car wrapped in marketing messages featuring that site, and regularly uses Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to create conversations. Her results have been stellar; in 2014, she sold about 20 cars a month, up from 12 when she started in 2012, and her boss predicted she would be top 30 a month before the end of that year.

“Various estimates from Gartner, Harvard Business Review, Sirius Decisions, and others confirm that today’s buyer begins the process without the involvement of sales 60-80% of the time. Cold calling and spam emails have diminished in effectiveness, with some 92% of buyers saying they merely ‘hit delete’ when the email or call comes in from someone they don’t know,” says Jim Keenan of A Sales Guy Consulting. He says that using social media will usher salespeople from the old world to the social world. In fact, he conducted a survey of 500+ sources to determine the scope of the impact.

He discovered in 2012 that 78.6% of salespeople using social media to sell outperformed those who weren’t using social media; Keenan wasn’t expecting a number that high. Then, he found that when it came to exceeding sales quota by more than 10%, social media users were 23% more successful than their non-social media peers. According to his survey, no matter how you sliced the data, social media users came out on top.

Social selling isn’t the end-all, be-all magic dust that replaces everything else. It’s an enhancement to what you’re already doing. And who couldn’t use a little help? Social media can positively affect your business via relationship building.

Today, potential buyers expect a business to have a presence online. It’s not necessary to flood the field with all of the channels; pick the ones that interest you most and establish a handle.

Take a look at your buyer demographics: who are you reaching? Then formulate a strategy based on the missing pieces.

Sources: The Impact of Social Media on Sales Quota and Corporate Revenue here