Your reputation can precede you. And, like your business, it’s important that you give the right impression. Part of this is your personal brand. Everyone needs to find their own personality and style. I could name off a handful of nicknames in the industry that you could immediately put to a face. Be your own brand. Here are some suggestions on how to do it.
- Get Your Own Website — Why not? As a salesperson, it allows you to get your face and personality out there much more than you can beyond the staff page from your dealer’s Website. Are you “Houston Hyundai Dude” or “Atlanta Audi Guy” or even “Cleveland Chrysler Girl?” Go show off your personal style. Tell your potential customers why you’re the best choice for their business. You can do a relatively simple WordPress-based site or a full-on site through one of the many dealer Website providers. Talk to your manager.
- Use Video Email — I’ve talked about this before: Use a video email service to respond to your leads. The videos don’t have to be perfect. Just be yourself and be genuine. You can respond using video in less than a minute, or you can do walk-around videos of specific vehicles. If you don’t mention the customer name, you can re-use them. Splice them together in MovieMaker or iMovie. Put together your own highlight reels to send as follow ups. Add your custom lower-thirds. Video email is taking off big time now because it works.
- Check-In Specials — Add a tip or special to Yelp, Foursquare or Swarm.
- See if Facebook Beacons are Available for Your Business — Facebook Bluetooth beacons are free for you to use and help people see more information about you or your business whenever they use Facebook during their visit (which is just about everyone).
- Create a Custom Snapchat Geofilter — Help Millennials spread the word about your great service by offering Snapchat geofilters. A geofilter is the overlay you see available in certain retail locations or amusement parks, etc. You can create your own branded one, for yourself or your dealership, for a reasonable fee.
- Make Sure Your Social Media Profiles are Created and Updated Regularly — You can use your Facebook personal page or create a business page for yourself. Weigh the pros and cons of using either one. Use Instagram, Pinterest and, of course, YouTube to spread your message.
- Take Advantage of Online Reviews — Make sure you have your own listing. Be careful here, as sites like Yelp can somehow sniff out reviews they feel were solicited. Have a conversation with all your customers, however, and get a feel for their level of comfort with online review sites. Ask them to consider writing a review for you on Google, Yelp, DealerRater, etc. Give them a card with links and your personal brand on it. Then, keep an eye out for the reviews and respond to all of them.
- Offline bonus: Get some branded USB flash drives and drop a couple of files onto them, like a video of you thanking them for their purchase, or a document that says “thanks,” with a link to your site or a referral card, and asks them to consider writing a review online. Hand them out to your customers.
The idea of personal branding can be overwhelming or daunting, but once you start getting out there, you might be surprised how your referrals will grow and your online presence will spread.