Car dealerships and their salespeople are one of the most maligned industries in the marketplace, next to lawyers, and its one reason why, if you’re a car salesperson, you need to actively participate in managing your online reputation.
If you have a great reputation selling automobiles, then it’s even more important to manage and build your reputation. Don’t wait until a bad review happens, and then try to recover from the disaster it can possibly create. If you are proactive, you’ll be better off, should something does happen in the future.
Reputation Management – Before the Disaster
The advent of Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, gave car salespeople a way to effectively communicate with their customers in a positive way, maintain relationships with them, while using these platforms to attract new consumers to their product. Today, when people are trying to decide who to choose to sell them something, they’ll go online to see what that person’s reputation looks like with other customers. By actively engaging your customers, they have to ability to leave you great feedback about your selling techniques, helpfulness, and continued follow-up with them. These people are your most effective sales tool, and nurturing them is an important part of your business success.
The consumer of the digital age requires salespeople be available in an online environment. This allows them to feel more comfortable with you, before even choosing you to sell them an automobile. Through Facebook, Twitter and Google+ they can get to know you, which makes managing your online reputation more important than ever. The online environment is not just about letting people know about you, it’s also about providing them with up-to-date and relevant information as part of your overall customer service.
What if You Were a Customer?
Think of it this way; you’ve got a really old television and you want to buy a brand new one. You have no idea of what the different types of TV’s offer, let alone what LED, LCD and Plasma mean to you as a buyer. The first place you may turn to are friends, to see if they can give you information, but many of them don’t really understand the dynamics of new televisions. One of them tells you about a salesperson who is active online, helps people make decisions, informs them of what the different types are about, and is always available on Facebook to answer inquiries. It doesn’t take long for you to discover, that this is a person who cares about your knowledge, and wants you to make an informed decision. Chances are this person is who you’ll pick to help you make your choice. The same can be said with automobiles.
How often do find that your customers have little understanding of what new options are available on today’s car, and how to use these new gadgets. When you become the person who is using the internet to broaden your customer’s knowledge, your reputation as an expert in your field and your reputation as someone who cares about their customer will soon become known to a wide range of people. This is part of managing and creating a great online reputation.
Then one day along comes a bad review, about you and or your dealership. You may be devastated by this, but this can be turned into an opportunity to strengthen your reputation. This allows you, in public, to address the person’s concerns, and actively work to rectify the situation. While you’re doing this, all your followers are watching how you handle the criticism. If you do it correctly, you’ll gain more respect, but more importantly with so many followers that offer positive feedback, one disgruntled person is not going to stand out. You may even find that your followers and customers will actually stick up for you. The overall outcome becomes a positive one, because you’ve built an online reputation ahead of time, and your reputation will always speak for itself.
Build your online reputation ahead of time, and you’ll never have to worry about one bad review. Take the time to get involved in social media and learn how it can help you professionally, and increase your bottom line.