Salesperson Online Profile Pages

Ed Dugas
Hello everyone, Haven't posted on here in a while, but I'm interested in getting some feedback about an idea I have. Obviously, salespeople should be promoting themselves through their social channels, whether it be LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. In our sleepy little retirement town with our primarily 50+ sales crew, not a lot of social media interaction occurs (or so sales/management thinks). LinkedIn is a decent solution for salespeople, but if the goal is to interact with potential customers, my thoughts on LinkedIn is it's very business-business, and Facebook is (for most) more family, friends, etc. Where is the solution for salespeople to present themselves how they would like best to their customers/potential customers? This would be my vision, and maybe there is an obvious solution and I'm over-thinking things here or offering something foolishly redundant, but what if there was a car salesperson network where salespeople profiles lived and potential and current customers could interact with that profile on a salesperson-client basis? It could be very simple, a profile picture in the top right, maybe a couple of other pictures (kids, fishing boats, antique cars, whatever) a brief bio with some personal/professional info, etc). The salesperson can control the content and make it very relevant to that salesperson-client relationship. A reviews portal would be very powerful, where a ton of good customer reviews could live. I would love them to just be listed in the bottom 50% of the front page (you could click to load more, or the rest could live on another page, but the first 10 or so would show up right on the bottom page). It would be perfect for a BDC. An appointment is set and an associate says, “Okay, you'll be meeting with Jim at 4:15pm to look at the Camry. So you'll be able to put a face to a name, here is a link to some info about Jim.” The prospective appointment looks at the link, sees that Jim is a family man, not some scary car salesman, and, most importantly, that dozens and dozens of people love working with this guy. I think this would go a long way to breaking down the barriers ahead of time, and I think it would give that appointment a better chance of showing and maybe even buying a car. I suppose this could be accomplished with an additional Facebook page, or the person's actual Facebook page, but again, it's not particularly relevant if all this other extemporaneous chatter is everywhere, what your mom is writing on your wall, etc). It could also be accomplished from LinkedIn and the “Recommendations” could serve as the reviews, but that's kind of a clunky fit and I see LinkedIn as more of a professional, employee-employee tool. My only other thought is a Google+ page. Ideally, it would be awesome if Google reviews could automatically feed specific to the salesperson, but under the general umbrella of the dealership. Like they would be itemized by salesperson but all be under the dealership name. This would be good for SEO as well. There really isn't anything in-between, is there? Something more relevant than LinkedIn, but less personal than Facebook? Something that would be appropriate for a salesperson to interact with their client? Maybe I'm missing something, but thoughts?
Nathan Eck
You'll probably have a hard time getting the guys to use and maintain their pages. Without them maintaining them they won't be much good and might even send the wrong message. The benefit being that as a company on Facebook, you can't tag buyers. However, a salesman with a dedicated page would be able to, so that would help with the viral effect you are trying to achieve. Check out Button CDJR in Kokomo Indiana. They have set up all their guys on dealership branded Facebook pages. It might give you a starting point.
Dustin Lyons
Fantastic idea Ed. I had the same idea when I was a team leader. I created it and it really works when it is done right.
mark rask
This is a great idea but nathan is right.
Dustin Lyons
Actually I did this myself as a team leader and that led me to create my company which has done this very successfully for several dealer clients. Nathan is right, there are some challenges and one of those is getting the sales people to use it, but the way I do it only takes about 20-30min from each sales person one time, and then if they don't ever do anything with it it is still highly effective because it can be automated and leveraged over and over again. You don't need something that is updated daily like Facebook, you just need to reach the right customer at the right time. Having a dealer branded Facebook page for each salesperson is a good idea though, this is usually more successful when a social media company is handling the majority of the posting so that it actually gets done with appropriate content.
Renee Stuart
Ed, I think you'll find the solution to your idea at www.marscars.com - to see it live, visit: www.kevinthejeepguy.com. Connect with Kevin McCarthy - He's a great guy and I'm confident he'll be able to answer your questions regarding ease of use and ROI. Kevin: http://www.drivingsales.com/profile/2402 Kevin Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kevinthejeepguy

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