In an era where manufacturers and hostile vendors are telling dealers to reduce salesperson pay plans, I can name 30 to 40 people off the top of my head who are making more than $40,000 a month selling cars. And they’re doing it in all kinds of markets.
These individuals come from all backgrounds, are of different ages, have different makeups, and sell both imports and domestics. But they have two things common: They all became a brand within a brand, a dealership within a dealership. See, these individuals reach out to their communities and generate their own business and manage relationships and referrals.
"Without exception, the super performers in the business are using social media and video to communicate with their customers, brand themselves, and humanize themselves."
"The most powerful people on Earth are those people that influence the most other people,” I wrote nearly 20 years ago in my book, “The Prosperity Equation.”
Without exception, the super performers in the business are using social media and video to communicate with their customers, brand themselves, and humanize themselves.
Remember “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”? It was a game that sprung up on college campuses back in the mid-‘90s. It’s based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which theorizes that everyone on Earth is connected through a chain of no more than six people.
Well, thanks to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, that’s not true anymore. The math is staggering when you consider how many relationships one can manage with social technology. Heck, I have YouTube videos that have surpassed 600,000 views. I also communicate with more than 100,000 friends and followers on social media, and I know people with more.
In 2005, I saw my friend Terry Brock’s workshop at the National Speakers Association Convention. He is a professional speaker and nerd genius. On that day, he was talking about a new technology called the Flip video camera.
Two weeks later, I introduced the automotive world to Terry’s discovery during a keynote address at an industry event. I walked into the audience to interview someone, and then showed them how quickly I could upload the video to YouTube and email it to myself. No one had ever seen a Flip video camera at the time, but everyone was using it to record vehicle walkarounds and responses to customer inquiries less than a year later.
While I was doing some targeted Google searches a few years later, I stumbled across Elise Kephart-Adame, a young saleswoman from Sunset Honda in San Luis Obispo, Calif. She was sending her customers some of the best video responses I had ever seen. I nicknamed her “The YouTube Diva.”
I immediately asked her to speak at one of my Internet Battle Plan events and she became a viral sensation. Now she’s going around the country teaching and consulting with her own company, The Elise Kephart Experience. Her main video platform is called “BombBomb,” and literally hundreds of sales pros are using it.
A few years later I had the opportunity to work with Tammie LeBleu. She worked in sales for the Orr organization in Shreveport, La. I was honored they hired me to train Tammie, who was the No. 2 salesperson in the history of Nissan. She made more than $1.2 million in three years, averaging more than 50 cars a month.
The dealer group brought me back later to teach Tammie sales management, and her department became the No. 1 Nissan internet department in the United States.
I also taught Tammie how to use video and social media. It wasn’t long before she had Elise taking her to even higher levels than I could. She was a phenomenon and spoke at four of my Internet Battle Plan events. Well, Tammie passed away in last August and all who knew her grieved. If you have a business development center in your dealership, check out here YouTube videos.
Facebook Live is another great video marketing tool. And nobody does it better than Mike Davenport, “The Louisville Chevy Dude.” Mike’s live broadcasts get hundreds of thousands of views. He’s a salesman at Bachman Chevrolet in Louisville, Ky., and one of the top Chevy salesmen in history. He has mastered social media sales, Facebook pay-per-click advertising, and Facebook Live, and he has a great website. The man is a self-promoting master.
There are other super performers like my friend Tim Denton of Five Star Ford in Warner Robbins, Ga. His numbers are in the stratosphere. But there are people all over the country making big money on social media. So make sure your dealership is doing the same — that’s if you want to soar with the eagles.
Jim Ziegler is the president of Ziegler SuperSystems Inc. Contact him at [email protected].