Discuss LinkedIn: What Can It Do For Your Dealership? in the Automotive Internet Marketing forum at Car Dealer Forums; Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that the secret to sales is ...
LinkedIn: What Can It Do For Your Dealership?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that the secret to sales is networking. Networking gurus would have you believe that all you have to do to sell the most cars in the country is go to enough cocktail parties and you’ll have people lining up before your dealership opens on Monday morning.
This is a great theory -- in theory. The reality is that people have commitments. Your salespeople have families and personal lives and as much as they want to make lots of commissions, they don’t want to spend their whole time schmoozing with strangers. Luckily, there is an online way to do your schmoozing and it doesn’t require dressing up or wearing nametags.
LinkedIn for Auto Dealers
LinkedIn is a social networking site in the truest sense of the term. Many of the sites that say they’re for networking are actually more conducive towards socializing. While there’s nothing wrong with socializing, it doesn’t do much to advance your career or your wallet.
LinkedIn is different. It’s a purely professional way to keep in contact with associates, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and people you’ve met through business. Through the network you make what are called ‘connections’ with people you know and trust, creating a web of people who can vouch for each other professionally.
How Can LinkedIn Help Your Auto Sales?
As part of your automotive internet marketing strategy, LinkedIn can help you connect with people in the position to buy your vehicles. In addition to the people you already know, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to make second and third degree connections to the trusted associates of people you know. This can build your sphere of influence simply by signing up. People get to know and trust you before you’ve even met.
How Is LinkedIn Better?
Every social network has its pros and cons and each can be a valuable piece in your automotive internet marketing puzzle. LinkedIn has the added benefit of a ‘gated-access approach’ which means that you can’t be contacted by people not connected to someone you know. You need to have pre-existing relationships with people before you can connect with their associates which greatly reduces spam and people trying to game the system.
How to Get Started
Anybody can create a free account on the system. Sign up with a username and password and enter your relevant career details. When you’ve done that, all you need to do is start looking for people you know by searching for them by email address or name. Let the networking begin!
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You hit the nail on the head with "trust." The key to LinkedIn and why it's so valuable is the ability to connect with people you already know and trust, and who already know and trust you, your dealership, and your salespeople. With the 2nd and 3rd degree connections you mentioned, it's also possible to find new connections. I think that's what helps make LinkedIn so credible- it's not a free for all aimed at getting as many connections as possible. These connections are actually based in something.
The branding, many claim that a sound successful brand, will become invincible.Thanks for sharing informative post. simons.
Another idea is to start your own group for dealerships, or any other companies you may do business with, in your area. It is a way to connect business looking for local help and avenues.
Melissa L. Kepley, M.S.W.
Director of Sales and Advertising
I recommend Zoho CRM for tracking LinkedIn profiles. I also develop modules tailored to auto-dealerships needs.
LinkedIn doesn't bring customers to your dealership.. it's not made for that. it doesn't help sell more cars
I would have to agree that Linkedin is not the best use of you online marketing budget. I would think Facebook or even investing PPC would bring more clients than Linkedin. Our auto dealer SEO strategies focus on local markets and harnessing crowdsourcing.
Check out Net Driven's new Virtual Showroom for car dealers.
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