Personal Branding Interview W/ Robert Wiesman “The Showroom Executive”

robert wiesman dealer geek

 

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I am “all in” when it comes to building a Personal Brand as a sales professional.

Lately it seems there is finally a branding movement in the Automotive Retail world among retails sales guys and gals.

The days of pressing your nose up against the showroom window and waiting for a “lay down” to pay your rent are over.

If you are a 100% commission salesperson you are pretty much self-employed. Why wouldn’t you invest in, umm, I don’t know, how about YOU!

A new generation of sales pros are entering the retail automotive space and they’re “Drinking The Veterans Milkshake” (don’t know what that means? Watch THIS VIDEO).

Creating blogs, shooting videos, being active on Social Media, and turning your phone into a weapon is what separates the new kids on the block from the lot lizards of the past. We know that the Internet is the most important source for car buyers.

The question is “Are you there to answer their questions?”.

This Personal Branding movement is not smoke and mirrors I promise.

Heck this little blog your are reading right now has over 2500 Unique Monthly viewers and has allowed me to create relationships with Automotive Professionals all over the world.

But…. it’s hard frigging work.

Okay… back to the post.

One of my favorite things to do when talking through city streets of Toronto, is to listen to Podcasts.  I have around 20 that I subscribe to and think I have band with for a few more.

Automotive Success puts out a pretty good weekly 10 minute segment, that interviews sales pros and vendors from around America.

I had heard a few episodes with Robert Wiesman, and he really caught my attention.

Maybe it’s his enthusiasm, or his “cool guy” voice that won me over. Either way, this cat stood out from the hundreds of interviews I’ve sat through over the past couple of years.

Check out an episode with Robert HERE

He’s so passionate about using video and standing out from the crowd, that I had to reach out to learn more.

Is he in Elise Kephart’s league?? I’m not too sure but he’s pretty damn close.

So here we go. I reached out to Robert and asked him a few questions about his recent success and his thoughts on Personal Branding.

This is where I first found Robert. Great Podcast

This is where I first found Robert. Great Podcast

 

What were you doing before you got into the Car Biz?

Serial entrepreneur!!! I started in the car biz about 3 years ago at age 30 and it was my first “job” in my life! From the age of 18 to 30 and built, ran, bought and sold many different brands and companies.

Some struggles that you found your first year in the dealership.  How did you overcome these?

There was really no training whatsoever. They had a few videos from the manufacturer and that was it. I took it upon myself to consume as much content as possible. I have spent over 15k in 3 years on my education.

Whoa! $15k! What education did you invest in specifically?

Anything I could get my hands on. I literally OWN Grant Cardone’s entire library. I went to see him live. I have some products also from Jim Ziegler, Tom Vann, Fran Taylor, Jerry Thibeau, Joe Girard, and also a lot of non-automotive content from my man Gary Vaynerchuk

Can the new generation getting into the business still make 6 figures selling cars? With razor sharp margins, I’ve been told it’s not like the good ole days.

Hell yes!!! Learn your pay plan then learn how to push it to the limit!

What is your current position and was this promotion a direct result of becoming THEE authority on Hyundai sales?

LOL!! Well as of a few weeks ago I accepted an offer to be the Director of Online Operations (DOO) for Buchanan Auto Group which operates about 7 rooftops in MD and PA. Although they do not have a Hyundai franchise as of yet.. I am working on that one.

When did “The Hyundai Guy” brand first arrive on the scene and what kind of feedback did you receive in the dealership? Were fellow reps fist pumping or did they think you were nuts?

The Hyundai Guy was born on a dark and stormy night….LOL just kidding.. I launched the brand early December of 2011 and let me tell you I was the laughing stalk of the dealership…

Video seems to be your secret weapon.  Why video and what tips would give sales professionals that want to follow in your footsteps?

I love attention! I am a self-proclaimed attention whore and what better way to grab attention than doing what most people prefer to consume their content but is a very under-utilized tool?

My advice would be JUST DO IT! Do not stress about the quality or what cameras to use, what editing program to use etc. just turn the camera on and go!!!

How big of a part does yourhyundaiguy.com play in your personal branding success? Should a rep invest in their own site/blog?

It played a huge roll. Not as big as my personal robertwiesman.com (which is going thru a massive redesign as we speak) but was still a big part for me. We are on the verge of entering 2014!!

It is no secret that the internet is a crucial tool that houses all the eyes and ears… Having a site/blog built in today’s market is easier and cheaper than ever and a sales professional can’t afford not to have a site or blog in 2013/2014.

What advice would you give to a salesperson that is getting kick back from their management team on exploring some of these creative ways to get new business?

Be deaf and blind to them. Do not expect any kind of praise or buy in from them. I did not have any but I just put my head down and kept plugging away at it.

What’s next for you Robert? How do you take your Personal Brand to the next Level?

Well as I said earlier I am the Director of Online Operations for a 7 store and growing Dealer Group so my plate is very full with focusing on their branding and operations.

Like I mentioned my personal page robertwiesman.com is undergoing a makeover and when it is re launched it will be focused on information and content for sales people to help them sell more cars.

I have some products in the works that are also for sales people to help them better understand personal branding and the power of video. Keep a close eye on me ladies and gentleman!! There are some big things in the pipe line that will be explosive!!!!!

____________________________ END

My guess is we are going to hear a lot more about Mr. Wiesman in the very near future.

I wanted to leave you with really great video Robert created to poke fun at some of the misconceptions about the Hyundai Brand.

Follow Robert Here:

Twitter

RobertWiesman.com

 

Your Turn:

Who else in the Automotive Retail space is making some splashes with their own brand? Is it worth the time and effort? Chime in below in the comments section.

 

 

 

Working both in the dealership and on the vendor side, I have spent the last 10 years of my life studying the car business. I love car dealers. I love blogs. I am The Dealer Geek.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I love the video and I have been in a car biz for few years now, watch movie “suckers” must see.
    I think having a used car blog helps and its true many dealers are not tech-savy, and they don’t invest in internet marketing. For god sake most dealers if you check where they are located on Google their websites are showing different address from the actual one. Also O comment or all negative, nobody concentrates on actual after sales, like taking pictures from with customers, adding them to Facebook page, asking them to write a review. I would have to spend a day just explaining how important that is. Evenmore, every company that invested in little online marketing, revising a website and hiring a so called “internet geek” has found huge increase in traffic . However you can get all the customers in the world but if you don’t know how to train your staff and convert it into sales then train them… Anyway good luck all the best check my blogs, not the best but its a blog.

    • Ryan Thompson

      Thanks for stopping by Duke. I took at look at your blog and it looks like you are on your way to figuring out this “blogging thing”.

      Don’t forget to give your readers an easy way to get back on your “isellusedcars” site. I couldn’t find my way back to your home page.

      I’ll be watching out for you!

      • Thank you for your respond and I wish you all the best with a blog we need some great blog writers, I am not a great blogger but I just love to share information in regards to Automotive Business, I like to clear things up for consumers who are walking into showroom and at the same time let them know where we in the automotive business are coming from.
        I am not concreting on ISellUsedCars actual website at this time but I love to blog. Keep in touch and feel free to post something there as well. Thanks.

  • Joseph

    Personal branding IS very important, but so is attention to details such as the spelling, punctuation and writing style of the author. Do you want your readers/customers to think you’re an idiot? You give the industry a bad name and reinforce negative stereotypes about auto salespeople. If you want to be a writer, please learn how to write properly.

    • Ryan Thompson

      Hey Joseph – Thanks for stopping by the blog. I was hoping by sharing some tips and tricks with my car dealer friends it would help make an impact on their business, not give the industry a bad name!! Doh!

      I’ll work on my writing.

      ***Disclaimer – I am not a professional writer and received B’s in school.

  • Ryan;
    I was doing the corporate marketing and sales thing before I got into the retail car sales business about six years ago so my natural inclination was to “market” myself to customers and prospects. I read all the books Joe Girard had written and adapted a lot of his philosophy and techniques. However, the explosion of social media in the last five years has made it possible to take the concept of personal branding to the limit (if there is a limit). Tom Peters wrote about it in his best seller “Re-Imagine”. I used that as my starting point and then stole ideas from Robert Wiesman, Tom Vann, Grant Cardone, and Duane Marino on how to adapt personal branding to the car business. Now, I get people coming into the dealership and saying “I saw you on YouTube”.

    Right now, I am writing a blog (http://GordNWright.blogspot.com) which is generating comments, leads, and credibility with prospects. I have a personal website (www.GordNWright.com) which is currently a hub where I direct people from my Facebook Business Page, Google + Page, YouTube channel, LinkedIn profile, and other social media sites. Robert Wiesman said it best in an interview he gave about a year ago, “I want people who come to the store to be asking for me when they walk in”. If someone is on Google looking for a “Mazda in Mississauga”, they should be stumbling upon one of my internet outposts. If I make a personal connection, maybe I jump to the front of the line in the prospect’s mind. That’s why I have been spending most of my social media time generating YouTube content. Besides being the world’s 2nd largest search engine, it helps create a personality very quickly.

    As a marketing geek who transitioned to sales, I think that personal branding makes complete sense and I applaud you for beating this drum. Too few car sales people are “getting it”. Even though almost every sales person on the showroom floor is walking around with a smart phone, very few of them are anywhere close to unleashing the true power of these devices. Thanks for all the work you have been doing to move the industry into the 21st century.

    Gordon Wright, Your Friend in the Car Bsuiness

    • Gordon…as you know from my stuff, recognition and branding aren’t enough. You have to create “First Point Association”. When someone thinks of me, I want them to think of training, and when they think of training I want them to think of me. Obviously, this leverages ALL relationships into business opportunities, in the perfect world. Your goal is obviously Gordon Wright = Cars and Cars = Gordon Wright. Now, here’s the power of this: if I said “Soda Pop or Soft Drink”, “I have to blow my nose” and “I cut my finger” … if you instantly thought “Coke or Pepsi”, “Kleenex” and “Band Aid”, your brain cut through the haze of the other brands and associated that need instantly with those brands, which is literally priceless for them. This is done through repetition. Now, if I asked you to remember 9/11 or where you lost your virginity, your instant memory and association of those events are obviously not built on repetition, but on emotion. As my good friend and mentor Joe Girard taught me, you become favorably memorable through “Positive Emotional Repetition”. Punch-line: Every time you contact a customer make sure you get in their head AND touch their hearts! And this is true for all forms and media of contact. This is where all the money is. They liked you the first time and that helped you pay your rent, if they love you they will remember you forever and buy you your vacation homeS!
      Duane Marino, Your Friend in the Training Business 😉

  • Hurting the industry?! Joe I must disagree with your aggressive response. (Like u care) But look for Ryan to take the time to put this together is more of what our industry needs . Who gives a crap if the spelling is wrong and might not be structured properly or whatever? What’s the big deal? Even with misspellings the content is valuable. Thanks so much for reading but if your looking to call people out?? I’d say your the one hurting industry.

  • Personal branding is just getting started… leaders like Robert and Elise are opening a few doors (trailblazers are needed and appreciated) but (I believe) that exponential personal branding growth will most likely come from the least likely of places. Spelling and punctuation are helpful, but their personalized message along with it’s creativity and passion are what potential readers / viewers are going to respond to. Personal branding stands out as unique today with minimal competition. Getting on board now will make you a leader. As you can tell by now… my ship sales on the tidal wave of potential growth associate with personal branding. Good Selling All, DTG

  • Personal branding is the main concept in the way that over 1200 franchise automotive dealers across Canada have their dealerships website available on the front pages of Google Canada Yahoo Canada Bing.com . All that exposure through just one automotive portal the (Canadian Automotive Indexing Directory.ca) , this directory allows the masses to view and shop online for any manufactures automotive products and services. This automotive portal is controlled by over 125 automotive domains or slogans such as (findatruck.ca) (findasuv.ca) driving internet traffic to each dealerships website for online purchasing. Any internet consumer can go from any of our automotive domains to any franchise automotive dealerships website for online purchasing in less than .28seconds. Please take the test drive , type http://www.findatruck.ca into any search engine mention above and see what I am talking about, you will now have at your finger tips over 1200 franchise automotive dealerships websites in which to choose your favorite manufactures product from. Personal branding is using both a domain such as (findatruck.ca) and creating a memorable experience that will stay in the consumers mind for ever whenever they are thinking about purchasing trucks in the Canadian market place. One of the main reasons that this website is considered a vocal point for online shopping is because of it’s high level of fresh content supplied daily by the franchise automotive dealers using this automotive portal to showcase their manufactures products to the masses for online purchasing. Please enjoy your personalize shopping experience on our automotive portal. Canadian Automotive Indexing Directory.ca

  • Personal branding can also mean business recognition. Such as a Domain name used in the title of a website. The Domain (www.findatruck.ca) is both a domain name and the title of a website that show cases over 1200 different franchise automotive dealerships websites across Canada for online purchasing.
    The Domain (www.findatruck.ca has started to catch on as one of the newest methods of marketing on the internet today. Domains use a direct drive approach in searching out over 500million websites on the internet today. You talk about branding ,Marketing with Domains is a brand in itself that is starting to take the world by storm. Domains are a form of branding that communicate between intellectual property and any internet consumer looking for something to purchase online. By using a Domain such as (www.findatruck.ca) it now has the power to bring together both consumer and marketer no matter where they are on the globe. With the internet there are no boundaries or borders as to where your next customer can come from. Personal branding whether it be for an individual or company makes your image stand out ahead of your competition. That is why you can find the Domain (www.findatruck.ca) on the front pages of Google Canada / Yahoo Canada / Bing.com plus many other major search engines.