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.