Every dealership wants its salespeople to share a connection with their online audiences in the efforts of creating trust and building loyalty.
Realistically, salespeople receive no training on how to form such relationships. Leaving them to feel they are not fulfilling or living up to their manager’s expectations.
Some dealerships think that by merely telling their salespeople to make these connections, that it will happen. But, without adequately equipping them or offering any assistance on how to do this, it is almost a guarantee that it will not happen.
Let’s not forget, your salespeople know on how to sell cars. However, they never received training on the expectations customers have today.
Car buyers want to see the human side more and the business side less. How does that even start to happen? Without proper training on branding and content creation, salespeople will not know how to improve the buyer’s journey.
They need your help.
For salespeople to become employee advocates, they often need leadership, guidance, and encouragement. All of which has to come from owners and managers. No longer are words enough.
They need action.
What is an Employee Advocate?
Employee advocates publicly promote their workplace, profession, brand and the products they sell. Whether it be online or face to face, advocates create exposure for the company they work for, and in this case, your dealership.
It is from seeing these types of actions that you will know that an employee advocate exists. It is one of the greatest ways to spread the word about your dealership.
If an advocate already exists at your dealership, ask for their help. They can work towards getting other salespeople onboard, wanting to be advocates too.When potential customers learn about your brand and the vehicles you offer from the people who work there; it presents your brand well.
It displays a unity among your salespeople and the dealership. It shows customers you are all working together toward common goals and objectives. It gives the impression that an exclusive “team” exists and that you are inviting them to be a part of it and they will want to join.
But, this immense responsibility cannot solely fall on the shoulders of your salespeople. Owners and managers need to take part in the creation of employee advocates, too.
How to Create Employee Advocates at Your Dealership
The first step is to create an employee advocacy-friendly environment. You want to have it woven into your dealership’s culture and brand’s DNA. It is vital that you design a set of social media and promotion guidelines for your salespeople to use. Start implementing an employee advocacy program.
Having a plan ready for salespeople to use encourages them to want to be an advocate for your dealership. It also helps in strengthening your existing marketing efforts, as well.
You must articulate the expectations and limitations that come with being an advocate. Share with employees the need for personalization and the importance of representing the brand well.
The real value of employee advocates is when they express their individuality. But, you will need to give them the necessary structure on how to do this, correctly.
Every individual at your store has the potential to build genuine connections. However, it is more effective when the environment they work in encourages it.
Be an advocate for developing employee advocates at your store.
Why Employee Advocates are Important to Your Dealership
When employees can create a brand within your dealership’s brand, they become a part of the “bigger” picture. Each becomes a contributor to your store’s long term goals.
Currently, you are marketing for your dealership, which is only one form of marketing.Now imagine, you have twenty-five salespeople sharing and engaging with online customers. Each of them creating content and sharing dealership-related information.
All use their social media accounts, blogs, and websites to connect with customers. As a result of their actions, it creates an even larger online presence for your dealership.
You will go from having one form of marketing to a whopping twenty-six. Amplifying your dealership’s marketing efforts.
Brand messages reached 561% further when shared by employees vs. the same messages shared via official brand social channels.
Your store can do this without needing to spend additional marketing dollars. You can scale back on paying companies to target people in hopes of reaching the right audiences.
The majority of the online connections your salespeople have on social media are already local people.
Empower your employees.
Listen to them and give them opportunities to use their often underutilized potential.
“Some brands spend a lot of money on research to learn how their brand is perceived by customers, but they spend very little time on listening to their employees, who are constantly in contact with customers and prospects”- Khodarahmi
By encouraging salespeople to become advocates, you will see a positive change. You will increase exposure, develop productive employees, and save marketing dollars.
Together, you can generate more leads, increase prospects, and convert more local people into buying customers.
As a dealership owner or manager, it is up to you to set the tone and to put an employee advocacy program into motion.
An employee advocacy program costs one-tenth of paid advertising.
Your salespeople are your best advocates. Nobody knows the dealership, vehicles, or customers better than them.
Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads.
Direct and equip your team by supplying them with the right information and the precise amount of encouragement.
Allow your dealership to provide exceptional customer experiences. It is much easy to do coming from salespeople who love where they work and show it by advocating for it.
LinkedIn reports “In an average company, only 3% of employees share company-related content but they are responsible for driving a 30% increase in the content’s total likes, shares, and comments.”
Now think of what it could produce if this was intentional.
Permit salespeople to join your brand and to advocate on its behalf. As a result, your employees will organically share their unique perspectives through storytelling. Each story helps to humanize your dealership and its people.
This is precisely what customers want.
Ultimately, you want your salespeople to show loyalty to your brand. Your employees, want your dealership to demonstrate a commitment to them. And your customers, they will only be loyal to those who care enough and deserve it.
“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” – Howard Schultz
Let’s put this all together. Advocates increase loyalty, improving employee and customer retention rates.
Dealerships want that!
It just makes sense. Encourage your salespeople to be advocates for your dealership. They are the best ones for the job.
Not to mention, it is a win-win-win situation — for the dealership, its salespeople, and customers. It is time to design a well thought out advocacy plan. You need equip and train your salespeople on what it takes to best represent your store. And then begin transforming your salespeople into your dealership’s best advocates.
A Digital Marketer, Brander, and Content Writer, Amanda is caught up in “all things internet.” Her purpose in sharing helpful information is to provide readers with content they can actually use.