Just like any other lead or sale... social customers take work!
I'm blogging on the TECOBI site, so this seems fitting tonight. And note, I'm not an employee or an affiliate of TECOBI; I am a fan, however.
I believe in Facebook and other social advertising to generate sales leads. This can be done for virtually any business, regardless of demographics, background, or area. Social media advertising literally didn't exist 10 years ago. Recently, in 2017 more than $30 billion dollars was spent in the US (info from the HootSuite Blog) getting the attention of people on Facebook, alone.
With all that money being spent on social media... it should be easy right? To sell. People, all those potential customers, should be tripping over themselves to buy cars from you because of the advancement of social networks, relationship marketing, and the need for transportation. I mean, after all, they clicked your ad... what else is required?
IT TAKES WORK.
Facebook and other social platforms will be able to produce leads, to get clicks and eyes on your business. But...
Someone still has to WORK the lead, WORK the relationship, WORK to make a deal. Just because you are able to appear where the eyeballs are, doesn't mean that it just happens. People want to be taken seriously and treated well, just like any other customer from any other lead source.
In fact, most any social media platform can generate leads. Social leads, "relational leads," I think are unique compared to some others. These people are shopping first for who you are before they know who you are! The reason someone has provided their information is because of who they believe you or your business are. It's because of their perception and how you represented yourself on Facebook (or elsewhere). They just want to be acknowledged, make a friend, and purchase a vehicle.
Is their perception congruent with your store's process?
The problem here is that many salespeople miss this first opportunity. Salespeople get in their own way and create objections because they have been conditioned not to be human anymore, but to be salespeople. They pre-judge and try to determine what the "good leads" are. Managers get in the way of progress because they don't think Facebook is a "real" way to advertise. We do the old school method of, "Get 'em in!!" and let's work it out once they are at the dealership. BDC (phone) people get in the way of the customer because in most cases, they simply don't know the answers to the questions. It's like a maddening game of customer volleyball. THAT CRAP DOESN'T WORK.
Now is the opportunity for you to shine.
Here is what does work. Here's where the magic happens. It's the golden rule: TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.
When did we lose that? Treat people like humans. Be kind and remember that a social customer came from a social network. In theory, one could argue that you should treat all customers the same regardless, but sometimes social customers... they don't even realize they are customers yet. They may not have been shopping 19 other sites and touch points. They were just cruising their Facebook talking to cousin Eddie when they saw a truck they liked. So they clicked it. And next thing you know... #BOOM, sales process.
Allow the greeting and the early stages of "wants and needs" assessment to happen here at the beginning. Remember... when someone asks a question, what is the one thing they expect in return? Yes, an answer. Even if it isn't the one that was expected, in communication, people want a response... closure to what was asked. Then as the sale moves forward. As things progress, continue each step where you left off.
The last thing in the world a customer wants is to feel like they are making progress they decide to move forward with you towards a purchase; just to be thwarted and have to start over when they come into the dealership... they will be asking themselves... "What just happened?" Provide continuity, pick up where the conversation left off, both online and offline.
In short, YES, social media advertising works, Facebook advertising works. You are spending money on these platforms -
PUT IN THE WORK! Like anything in life, it will only be as effective as you are.
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