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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Personal Branding for Car Salespeople, It's PERSONAL!

It's the new year, and many people use this time of year to set personal goals including the classic "I'm going to join a gym and lose that weight I've been meaning to lose." Last year one of my family members paid $750 for a half-price gym membership with good intentions and only used it twice. Those were some pricy workouts! Seems crazy, right? Is it the gym's fault that their client didn't gain VALUE? Of course not. In fact, they contacted my family member and encouraged them to use the membership they had paid for. My family member knew he wanted to lose weight but apparently wasn't willing to put in the work. At the end of the year he was disappointed and exactly where he started a year ago.

So what does this have to do with a car salesman or personal branding? A lot, actually. At least based on what I see almost daily. I got a call from an automotive salesperson client this morning who has been using our services for only about 6 months. He has a great website, he's motivated to sell cars, and he takes all his own photos to manually upload vehicles to his site for his customers. So what's the problem, you ask? Simple: his personal branding website is "just another website."

It's great that his site contains vehicle inventory to show his clients, an online credit app to get the financing started at the dealership he works for, directions to his store, contact forms, etc. While evaluating his site this morning I noticed a very important piece missing, content. You would think that over the course of six months he would at least put a sentence or two on his "about me" page but to my dismay, it's still completely blank. For a site that's intended to help a salesman with personal branding, there's not much personal about it. Just like the gym example above, just having a personal website is one thing; it's another thing to use it.

Unfortunately this is quite common with our clients. We try to beat it into their heads that the site is all about YOU and people want to get to know YOU before they hand over large sums of money for a vehicle purchase. Being able to view the inventory is great but without any personal touch, the site is just another dealership-style site that provides the same info to the shopper they can find elsewhere. As a salesman you don't want to compete with the dealership site because that's a battle you'll never win. It should compliment the dealer's site. In other words, there's no real value that sets it apart from the dealership site itself.

We'll keep badgering our clients to write a few sentences about themselves, and we'll keep seeing heightened success by those who take the 5 minutes to do so. Remember, personal branding is personal!