By Ryan Leslie
Most of us have a pretty good understanding of the importance of branding. We want the public to have a clear sense of who we are and what we offer because we know the impact this can have on our sales and growth—but have you thought about your employees?
The fact is, along with your web presence and marketing materials, your employees can dramatically impact your brand messaging. Your sales people, for example, are your representatives and have a huge impact on the customer experience. So when your employees share your understanding, they help you grow; when they don’t, they damage your credibility.
As a dealership your sales team members are your brands within your brand. How well are you marketing your brands to assure that you get a shot at every sale?
For a dealership to be truly competitive in the research phase of the buying cycle and improve its lead-to-appointment ratio, the salesperson’s online greeting needs to be as polished as their lot greeting.
Here are a couple thoughts to help effectively market your brands within your brand:
• Professional Pictures: Ensure that staff page pictures on your dealer web site as well as employee-specific review pages on third-party review sites like DealerRater are professional, clear images and that each includes a phone number.
• Strong Bios: Encourage your staff to sell themselves in the bio section of your staff directory page and link prospects to their information. Make it light, fun and engaging. Video is a terrific medium for an introduction. If you don’t have a bio, you don’t have a brand.
• Stand out from others: Specific points of personality or interest that make the employee stand out can make a huge difference: Does the employee speak 3 languages? Do they rally race the same models the dealership sells on the weekends? Do they personally own the model the customer is interested in buying? What makes this sales person different that should make the prospective buyer want to work with them? Each employee should make the effort to tell their own unique story.
• Link to 3rd party reviews: What have previous customers said about working with the employee? What will prospects find when they Google the employee’s name? Each employee should digitize their “Why Buy Book” or “Evidence Manual” and use it to win the appointment AND the sale. Some third-party review sites such as DealerRater offer dealers employee-specific review pages that serve as the digital age equivalent of an “Evidence Manual.” A customer can buy from a lot of sales people; the salesperson must convince them that they are better than the rest of the pack. In employee email signatures or staff pages on your dealer website, be sure to include links to employee-specific reviews on third-party review sites.
For a great example of this concept in action from a store that is north of the Border, click on any of their sales team members on their DealerRater Page: www.dealerrater.ca/dealer/Davis-GMC-Buick-review-34356/