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Haters Gonna Hate: DSES 2015 Breakout Session Preview

You’re cordially invited to my Driving Sales Executive Summit 2015 breakout presentation, entitled…Haters Gonna Hate: When Reputation Management Gets Personal.

It will take place this coming Monday at 10:05-10:45 AM, and I’ll be opening my personal playbook to show what I’ve learned in my 2.5 years as Wichita’s most recognizable commercial personality.

I will absolutely cram the session with as many case studies and actionable information as the allotted 35 minutes will allow, but felt it would be helpful to help you come prepared to the session by showing you some videos and links that we won’t have time to examine in-depth.

Super Car Guys advertising sticks out. A lot. Ask anyone in the lower half of Kansas who we are and you’ll get a strong reaction one way or the other. Not much in between. In the formative 2.5 years we’ve been doing this, we’ve had the good kinds of challenges—the challenges that explosive growth brings. Finding the right hires for the new locations we’ve opened, keeping our lots stocked with top quality inventory, that sort of thing.

Here’s a recent example of one of our ads:

[youtube id=”f3fw_m9GxD0″]

As you can imagine, these ads are a lot of fun to make. My wife helps me construct the props out of styrofoam, spray paint, and gorilla glue (there isn’t much you can’t make out of those three things), and the hundreds of customers who honor us with their business each month are able to recall many months’ worth of campaigns, oftentimes word for word.

But here’s a Shocker (Wichita State pun intended): not everyone likes our advertising. Sometimes they even express their often strong dislike of our advertising on social media.

Sometimes the language even looks like this:

SCG Feedback

Yep. Be still, my millennial feelings.

I’d be lying to you if I said this never bothered me, and I’d be lying even more if I tried to convince you that I’ve somehow “arrived” at the place where words like this don’t affect me at all. I’ve come a long way, mind you, but the truth is—words can hurt. In the case above, I couldn’t help but stop what I was doing and think about the safety of my family. Wouldn’t you?

On the internet, there seems to be an unspoken competition to see who can “out-nasty” one another. I get it—sentiments of mild irritation rarely inspire retweets. However—it is a mistake to treat feedback of this nature as “the public telling you what they want.” Instead, I’ve chosen to use this as an opportunity to establish myself as a local authority on reputation management and to do some good. You could say I’m uniquely qualified. There is only one “Super Car Guy” in Wichita, after all.

Aaron Wirtz at Wichita Business Journal Discussion

I regularly speak around town about marketing and reputation management, which is something I’ve been encouraging dealers to do for years. Instead of dumping all of your ideas into the national dealer blog scene, where none of your potential customers are looking, why not fertilize your local community with the marketing knowledge your position entitles you to? Naturally, no one in your community will go to a breakfast networking mixer to listen to you talk about cars, but they will beat down the door to hear you talk about digital marketing, social media, and reputation management. Give it a try sometime.

We’ve recently had the honor of partnering with musician Jenny Wood to create a music video and anti-bullying PSA campaign using her song “Don’t Let Them Get in Your Head,” as the anthem. Check out the video—we’re all very proud of it:

[youtube id=”onenDhQ-LS4″]

We’re also running this TV spot to encourage people to sign an anti-bullying pledge, which over 1500 people have done. Once the pledge has been signed, we send them a free wristband:

[youtube id=”LGprlnpqMHw”]

Naturally, making this video allowed us to get out in the community and make new friends. The folks at Valley Center Intermediate School agreed to let us use their buildings and entire student body, which made for a meaningful experience for all of them. See this news segment about the day we took a drone into the school gym:

Jenny Wood / Super Car Guys team up to send anti-bullying message to Kansas kids from Douglas Hahn on Vimeo.

The positive press continued after we launched the campaign, as well, which afforded me an opportunity to get my personal message out on the airwaves:

Aaron Wirtz on KAKE Channel 10 BullyFreeICT

High-energy advertising is a high-stakes proposition which has paid off BIG for us, and now, because of our prominence in the community, I’m proud to help use that influence for good.

Leave a comment below and let’s connect at DSES on Monday, October 19th. I’d love to hear your story.

[highlight color=”#FFD699″ font=”black”]With so many great speakers and session at his years (2015) DSES, it’s difficult to decide on which ones to attend. Well, if you’ve never had the opportunity watch Aaron and you’re looking to dial in on your dealers branding, become memorable and conquer your market, DO NOT MISS Aaron’s session. 

Monday, October 19th from 10:05-10:45AM 

You going to DSES? Let us know!! – Kershner[/highlight]