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Personal Branding Is Key to Auto Sales Success

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“Personal branding is a leadership requirement, not a self-promotion campaign,” reads an article at Forbes.com. For most of us, crafting a personal brand wasn’t something you thought much about, outside of a resume. But now, everyone from entry-level employees to Fortune 500 CEOs Google themselves and are keenly aware of their online reputation, personal branding has become an essential part of a professional’s toolkit.

Nowhere is personal branding more important than at an auto dealership. This week, Automotive News ran a story on how sales staff at car dealerships are figuring out ways to stand out from salespeople in other stores, and even within their own store.

“Auto salespeople increasingly are promoting themselves — apart from their dealerships — with personal websites, YouTube videos and social media pages as a way to sell vehicles now and down the road. It’s a trend akin to one in the real-estate world, in which salespeople promote themselves rather than their agencies,” the story in the May 18, 2015 edition noted.

DealerRater CEO Gary Tucker was quoted in the story, suggesting that beyond product, price and place considerations when buying a car, “we’re seeing this fourth leg: Not only which dealership am I going to go to, but who am I going to ask for when I get there?”

When consumers search for a dealership’s reviews on DealerRater, the right panel of the screen is dominated with dealer staff reviews. Consumers can read reviews of that sales professional just the way they can read reviews of the dealership itself.

When consumers add a review of a dealership, one of the questions they’re asked is to name the people that they dealt with during the sales and delivery process. It gives other consumers a face to look out for, after they’ve made a decision to work with a specific dealership.

What it means for individual sales staff is that the interaction with the customer not only has a direct impact on the dealership’s reputation, but their personal brand, too.

Asking customers to fill out reviews and making sure they know who they’ve worked with is a critical part to getting those reviews posted.