Opinions & Advice

You got a STD? (Social Trusting Disease)

Most leaders of dealerships are firefighters, not visionaries, and certainly not risk takers (read: entrepreneurial). Like lemmings, these leaders follow what others do, blaming the handcuffs they wear on circumstances that surround them.

It’s this sea of morons (aka leaders) that mindlessly “follow the pack” into Social Media because everyone else is doing it. To these players, their entire Social Media business model lives on 5 minutes of research and 34 seconds of planning. They don’t get it and they wont get it…ever.

Oh…and just wait until the evil twin of Social Media comes out and WACKS them. Dealer Reviews has the potential to be the single greatest threat to Dealer Leadership since Al Gore invented the internet. By this time next year, I see droves of GMs and GSM’s in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs wondering how this all got away from them.

I am well known for my dis-taste of Social Media. It’s not Social Media that irritates me, it’s…us. Every where I look I see lackadaisical leadership that is so unprepared for the “Bright Light of Social Media”.

I swear the Franchise System (Manufacturer to Dealer) has sucked the balls out of decision makers. It has rewarded GM’s that defend it’s turf, not those that conquer new ground. Boys..I hate to tell you…new ground is coming your way!

Is your dealership READY?

  • B
  • January 21, 2011
Wait...where is Joe's line about when he asks the social media fairies for their ROI data and they just give him a puzzled look, hop on their magic unicorns, and fly away?
When you "Like" this article on facebook it says "Alex likes You got a STD...?" ....hilarious.
Now that is funny!! Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
hahaha, holy Viral Batman!
Very Funny! But I won't be clicking the "Like" button.
Great post, I totally agree. The signs of fear around review sites are already starting to show. Waking up and taking the lead is required.
Dealer Ratings and reviews is/should be a dealers first step into social. When I was with MileOne - I helped bring dealer reviews to the forefront knowing that it would allow us to transition into social media down the road with a better understanding on how to be "social".

Funny - 3 years ago I was speaking at JD Power and I said to the room that Dealer ratings and reviews were going to hit us like tsunami - all I heard were crickets. Not one person in the audience said a word. For a second I thought maybe I said tsunami wrong or something. They weren't getting it.

When I moved to Younger Motor Cars - dealer ratings was the FIRST thing I got our dealers focused on. I completely automated the process from sales to service. Each and EVERY customer is asked to review their experience. I've done my best to get all the managers onboard along with the GM. Explaining to him that it's his reputation online - not mine.

With all the review sites and more being added - it's not going to be easy for dealers to keep up.
  • M
    Michael Baker
  • January 22, 2011

Jeff: As you know, it the early days(late 80s/early 90s), dealers were skeptical of needing an internet site. Reviews/Reputation management will slowly evolve as videos and.... So be it. Nothing like having a free competitive edge as a franchise, UC operator or group. I must say the group that I am in is relatively akin to most dealers' 'not' staying ahead or on the curve of consumer activity. Afterall, when they were selling vehicles, the internet did not facilitate the selling of cars... You do know that in college a BS degree for most Business degrees is a Science degree. Maybe at large someday in this profession as more of a Science. For now, change is constant, action is too often optionally neglected.
I love the post...and the use of the acronym STD. You have said it well so all I can add is this: I AGREE - and thanks.
Jeff, I agree with you regarding ratings and reviews. Most GM's have not a clue and some have had their in-house "internet" gurus write fake reviews that are so bad they make you laugh. Others see some of the big auto review sites as a form of legalized extortion which given their lack of transparency I would agree with. But with Google's recent inclusion of 3rd party reviews with their organic search results, dealers have to be proactive right now.