In the business we are in, the car business, it is very important to continue to learn and adapt. The old school mentality and way of doing business is basically headed out the door. It’s getting both harder and easier to sell cars. What do I mean? Well, with the expansion of the internet it has created a new culture of buyers. The new buyer does much of their actual research online before they even go to the dealership and now, because of that, they are visiting far fewer dealerships. So why do I say this is a good and a bad thing? Well, the good is the fact that buyers are far more educated and knowledgeable about what they want but the bad is the fact that if they are indeed doing most of their research online then they are also shopping online which in turns causes less actual dealership visits. What this does is gives us fewer chances to physically be in front of customers on the lot but the good thing about that is, though you may have fewer customers on the lot, the ones that actually make it to the lot are probably buyers.
So, that being said, being transparent online is important and could prove to be beneficial. Why? Well, if people are doing most shopping online then it would be important because if they do happen across your info or social media during their searching then they will be able to see who you really are and see what you’re all about. I’m not saying that you must expose all of your deepest darkest secrets but it’s about sharing your ups and downs. It’s about showing your good times and some of your struggles. It’s much easier to trust people that are open and transparent and that’s part of why it’s important to be so.
I know you’re probably thinking that you don’t want to share things online for everyone to see. I get that and I sometimes have issues giving everyone every single one of my struggles so I try to be selective but I still try to give the ones that I believe may help someone else. One thing I try to remember and that is the fact that here in the near future video is going to be the most rendered result during online searches and if that’s the case you have to be able to be found on video and video is the best way to show people who you really are. Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone needs to run out and start doing videos because not everyone is going to be good at video but there are other ways to be transparent and let people know who you are such as regular written post or maybe even a blog post.
So, I have touched a little about why I try to be transparent online but let me go a little further.
The fact is that people buy from who they like, know and trust. Just a few years ago customers would come to a business or dealership and that’s how they got to know you. Now, they can know about you and your business beforehand and decide if they want to even visit you or not while sitting behind a computer or phone. So, if that’s the case, you not only want to have online presence but you also want to be real. The more real you are then the more people can get to know you. Again, I’m not saying to expose all of your past transgressions necessarily but you must be real nonetheless.
Having said all of that, there are basically 2 reasons why I want to be transparent to some extent online.
1) I do it so people can get to know me and possibly like and trust me. If most people are searching and shopping online and most people buy from people they like, know and trust then it only makes sense to help them during that process. First, if you have no online presence at all you will probably struggle in the future but second, if you aren’t open and transparent then people may think you’re fake. It doesn’t help that most people have a negative view of car salesmen anyway so why must we continue to confirm what they already believe and act like we have things to hide. Often times if they see you being upfront and transparent about possible struggles in your life then it may be a little easier for the customer to actually believe what you’re telling them during a buying transaction.
2) I try to be transparent in order to help others. Ultimately this is the one that I think of most of the time. I think about who I can help with what I say or do. If I am sharing a struggle or tough time in my life it is usually because I think there may be someone else out there with a similar struggle that might can relate and maybe what I have to say may help them. Also, if I have something positive or uplifting that I think may help someone then I share that as well. This could be anything from motivation, a certain way to do something or helping a customer buy a car. I try to have a wide range of videos and avenues in order to get information out that may can help others.
Again, I am not saying that everyone needs to run out and do videos and to share all of your deepest darkest secrets. I am simply sharing the reasons I do it and how it may help. If you’re in sales then videos and online presence will be helpful but I totally understand that not everyone is comfortable doing them and posting them but you must find another way to get a presence online and let people know who you are and what you’re about and in doing so it is very important to let people see who you really are because no one likes a fake person. If they see you as fake they definitely won’t like, know or trust you.