Thursday, June 4, 2009

Social Networking for Sales-Interview with a real dealer Part #1

William Bryant, Internet Sales Manager, Steve White Motors
On Twitter I follow several dealers that are using Social Networking for business. One of the most active is Steve White Motors in Greenville, SC. Recently I contacted them to find out who the man behind the account was and get his perspective on using Social Networking for Sales. The next three posts will be on my interview with William. William Bryant is the Internet Sales Manager at Steve White. They carry Audi & VW and of course also provide pre-owned vehicles. William got started in the car business a little less than 5 years ago as a college student. Looking for part time work, he found school in the mornings and selling cars in the afternoons to be a great opportunity. This 23 year old has now created & fulfilled an online strategy that is producing 30% of the store's sales every month. We were able to spend a few minutes on the phone together one evening this week and I wanted to share this with you all as soon as possible.
Tell me about your dealership-Steve White Motors? I came on in January of this year, the last dealer I worked for didn't see the benefit in online marketing and it was a struggle to get any budget at all. The owner at Steve White just turned 30 and understands that this is the marketing of the future. He's very willing to give me the time and budget needed to make this department work. As a dealership our sales are up 8% year to year. We mostly use Radio, Email campaigns and our website/social networking work to advertise. I attribute a lot of our success to our products-as Audi & VW are still strong brands. However, a lot of it is how we treat our customers. We're finding 100 miles won't stand between someone and good customer service. After mystery shopping other dealers in the area I find we are one of the few to just talk to people and find out what they need--there are still a lot of "old school techniques" being used that just turn customers off. That and we give people a lot of different ways to contact and interact with us--they choose the way that works best for them.

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