Individual Salesperson Marketing and Branding

Tony McMurray

My name is Tony McMurray, I'm new to the board so I would like to say thanks for letting me be part of this community.

I am very curious about individual salesperson marketing and branding within a dealership. Before I go any further let me tell you about my background. I've been in automotive sales about 11 years. During my 11 years I owned a very successful website design and internet marketing firm during the "internet hay day". When the economy went south around 2009 I closed my business and decided I missed automotive sales. I realize technology has changed and is moving at the speed of light but I can't believe after weeks of searching I find very little on how an individual like myself can really brand themselves and stand out. I have read much on Laura Madison from LauraDrives.com and how she turned her sales career upside down using personal marketing and branding.

Has personal branding and marketing for the individual car salesperson fallen by the wayside? Are we at the mercy of the "Internet Marketing Director" that screens all internet leads then passes them out to us?

It seems in my research that all I find are programs for dealerships and nothing for individuals. I work in a mixed environment dealership, some salespeople have been there for almost 20 years and have a lot of referral business but little computer knowledge. Some almost refuse to use a computer and some try to depend on "walk in" sales or sit by the phone all day in order to catch as many sales calls as possible.

It's not that I want to be greedy but deep down in my heart I feel that the skills I have as an internet marketing person can and should be used for me to create my own customer base.

Is anyone else doing this? Am I kicking a dead horse? Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Allyn Hane

Look up my good friend "Honda Pro Jason" - no longer in a dealership but for years he was and built a massive personal brand.

There are no tools or programs needed for you to market yourself because they already exist. YouTube being the one I like the best, but Twitter is great too and several others. And the only things you need to be successful there are information and the passion to deliver it. Build a community!

I'd just make sure your dealer principle is ok with you doing your own thing - some do not look fondly on that - and if you keep your own list outside of the CRM, make sure you are transparent about that with your DP as well. 

Tony McMurray

Allyn, thank you! Yes my DP is good with it and encourages it. I will check out your friend's site. Just curious, did your friend move on to open his own store or leave the industry totally? I've seen several great sites that sales people built but it seems they all date back to around 2014, it's like they either got burned out or discouraged. I have only found one salesperson website which is Mike Davenport "Louisville Chevy Dude" that seems to be really doing well.

Allyn Hane

Honda Pro Jason got hired by an agency that works in automotive and he still keeps his channel going.

Just to clarify, I don't recommend trying to build an actual website - that's an older strategy- major uphill battle trying to SEO your way to traffic and trust. 

I'm talking about building a community on social media (I recommend YouTube and/or Facebook) - a community that trusts you and will buy from you. I've done this myself - search "The Lawn Care Nut" on YouTube and you'll see. 

Either way, you have to be able to produce and deliver content people want to watch and engage with. That's where the knowledge coupled with passion comes in. 

Bob Parrish

Welcome!

When I started here with Honda I had the same question as you; how do I build myself into a brand?

As it turned out, it was easy.  A little different than what you're thinking but effective just the same.

I barbecue.  Not grill, not a crock pot; real wood and slow cooking.  One day a guest was teetering between buying and leaving and I heard myself say, "Tell you what, buy the car, enjoy it and I'll cook you a rack of ribs that'll make your knees buckle."

They did.  I did.  And off we went.  To be clear I didn't try and cook for everybody and I made it clear I wasn't inviting them to dinner.  I'd call, tell them when the ribs would be ready to be picked up.  I'm sure I cooked 150 racks of ribs the first year.  There were times when a guest would walk in the door and ask for the "rib guy."

Maybe not your idea of a brand, but it worked for me.  

Bob

Chris K Leslie

Tony, 

I dig your excitement around the topic. There really isnt a lot of need for the stuff you are looking to do in our space. I mean sure, sales guys would love to have their own brand. But, we all know the majority of what they do is going to get abandoned at some point. No matter how much we want them to succeed. 

People in general are lazy which is why I think dealerships are a bit reluctant to be cheerleaders for this type of stuff. Also, when it comes to local seo for websites. Having a bunch of say Facebook Biz Pages or Google Locations is a real pain the ass to try and merge. It could do some damage if not done correctly. 

 

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