How Car Dealerships Can Manage Their Salespeople’s Personal Branding

“Who’d you get your new car from?”

Once upon a time, this question would be answered with the name of a dealership. But for many people, that’s not really what they want to know. When a dealership has dozens of salespeople, potential buyers don’t just want to know where to go, but which salesperson to ask for when they get there.

Whether you are a car dealership or an individual salesperson, making sure your employees are building their own personal brands should be a top priority.

Importance of Building Personal Reputations

In a DealerRater survey, 79% of respondents say that their personal profile helped them sell more cars. In 58% of those cases, customers asked for the salesperson by name after reading their online reviews.

58% of car salespeople have a customer ask for them by name after reading their online reviews. Inigo digital business cards

Online reviews are a major part of building a strong brand. Simply asking for reviews, which many salespeople don’t do, can have a major effect. Also, understanding how and when your customers are reviewing, whether it is at home after the purchase or on a mobile phone right there in the showroom, should inform how you ask for a review.

Joe Davis at Bryan Honda has solved this problem with digital business cards. Using Inigo to send his contact information and DealerRater profile to every customer, he went from 0 to 100 online reviews!

Joe isn’t the only one working to build his personal brand. Kinny Landrum at Toyota of Bowling Green records a weekly Q&A YouTube series called “The Kenny Landrum Show.” Personal websites, social media profiles, blogs and other web content are now all being used to promote auto salespeople.

When salespeople look for a way to point customers and prospects towards their online reviews and other branding, digital business cards offer an easy way to provide them all the information in an interactive way.

How Dealerships Can Offset the Risks of Personal Branding

Some auto dealers are uneasy about this new trend of salespeople building their own brand rather than relying on the dealership’s. If a popular salesperson leaves, their customers could go with them. However, what’s good for the employee and what brings in sales is also good for the dealer.

The real risk is when an employee’s self-branding is done incorrectly or damages the store’s reputation in some way. Because the dealership has such little control over their salespeople’s content and messaging, they could end up running into issues.

Toyota of Bozeman learned this when their employee’s website, lauratoyota.com, violated Toyota’s dealer agreement.

"I think the fact that salespeople are engaging in self-promotion is a sign that maybe the dealership isn't doing enough to get their names out there." -Max Zanan, Founder of dealership consulting group, IDDS Consulting

“I think the fact that salespeople are engaging in self-promotion is a sign that maybe the dealership isn’t doing enough to get their names out there.” –Max Zanan, Founder of dealership consulting group, IDDS Consulting

The solution to these personal branding risks is for dealerships to start offering branding resources and guidelines for employees looking to expand their reach. One of the best ways to do this is to support their use of digital business cards through a single portal.

With Inigo Team, dealerships can create digital business cards that fit their business’s brand guidelines and that the employee can customize with their own personal information. This provides the business insights into what elements of their business cards customers are most interested in, whether that is online reviews, social media profiles, videos or other content. This will help you determine what additional brand resources your employees could benefit from the most.

Interested in trying out Inigo Team for your car dealership? Click here to learn more and start a free trial!