Marketing June 20, 2014 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,419 Reads share

Social Media: Lessons You Could Learn From Used Car Sales Process

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When you mention used car salesmen or the used car sales process, it tends to illicit all sorts of emotions depending on who you are talking to.

What is the Value?

Ever heard of Kelly’s Blue book? If you haven’t it’s the tool that is used to determine the monetary value of a car. Say you bought a car 5 years ago and now you want to sell it, and you have no idea, what price similar vehicles are selling for, you look at Kelly’s Blue book and it gives you an estimate as to what the value of the car is at the current time.

  • In the used car sales process, or even in the new car sales process one might want to trade in their used car as a down payment for another car that they are intending to buy. When this happens, various processes and procedures are set into motion.
  • The car dealership is left with no other choice but to have to find a way to determine the value of the car being traded in, as a down payment for the car that the customer is intending to buy costs.
  • During this time sales manager will go and physically look at the car, to determine how much the cars value has depreciated due to wear and tear. Not only does the manager have to do that they also have to then decide what the wear and tear seen on the car seen on the car equates to, in terms of dollars and cents.

When the whole exercise is done, the manager then goes to the customer and tells them what his perceived value of the customer’s car is. Now you might be wondering what that has to do with social media, and that is a valid question, keep on reading the article.

The next step is the most critical step in the sales process, it is this step that determines whether or not the sale will go through for the dealership, or end for the customer. The customer comes into the dealership, armed with their Kelly blue book, print outs from websites that they have researched, and they are pretty sure that they know what dollar figure they are expecting for their trade.

Willing buyer willing seller

In sales, it’s all about willing buyer willing seller. Both parties have to find an acceptable place where they feel that it’s mutually beneficial for everyone’s best interests. Your trade in might look like a million dollar car, but it might in actuality be a lemon with a nice paint job. The dealership has to consider what the cost of bringing the trade in to acceptable running condition will be, for them to be able to resell the car at a profit. If it will cost them too much money to do that, they will not give you a high resale value, regardless of what your Kelly’s blue book says the value of the car is.

Your brand on Social Media

Similarly when in comes to social media, as a business owner you have to ask yourself, is the image of your company brand (used car) affecting your resale value? Meaning, you do not have a conscious awareness of how people perceive your brand in the social media market place, and your ignorance is costing you dearly with lost sales and growth opportunities for your company brand.

This is also true in real life, for example, a customer who is trading in a used Mercedes Benz, most of the time gets a better resale value for the trade in than a customer trading in a Suzuki, or a Mitsubishi. The worst part is that the Mercedes Benz could even have more issues than the Suzuki or Mitsubishi, and the customer with the Mercedes trade in will end up getting a better deal. Why? It all boils down to how people perceive your Brand.

Because Mercedes Benz has high brand recognition as opposed to Suzuki or Mitsubishi, the dealership will give the Mercedes Benz customer more for their trade in. It’s unfair but it’s the truth, and it happens at car dealerships all day long.

Are you a Mercedes Benz?

When it comes to your social media campaign and how you execute your brands social media campaign, do people see your brand as a Mercedes Benz or as a Mitsubishi or a Suzuki? What does your brand’s social media persona communicate online? Do people perceive your brand as a winner? Or do they see you as a loser.

Doing things that show that you care about your brand, makes you look like a Mercedes Benz (a winner), it shows your fans and customers that you are on top of things. Keep your brands image up to date, stay current with your social media strategy, define what your expectations are for your company social media strategy. Be proactive and take responsibility for your own company social media strategy, so you are in control.

Images: “TILBURG-HOLLAND-JUL Y 1, 2011. Mercedes ‘Fintail’ in a quiet street on July 1, 2011 in Tilburg. The Mercedes Benz ‘Fintail’ (W111) was a top-range four-door sedan, produced from 1959 to


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Graham Odenyo

Graham Odenyo

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