I’m a freelance marketing professional, and I met with the sales manager of a truck dealership to discuss his interests in boosting sales & customer interest in their trucks.
Me: How are things going so far at the dealership?
Client: Not well. Sales have been down, and we’re financially struggling. I don’t have time to do any marketing.
Me: That’s not good. I did some online research, and it looks like there are a lot of very negative reviews on Google and Facebook about the dealership. That’s likely hurting sales. Have you seen them?
Client: No, let me check.
I was a bit surprised by how unaware he was, as a large part of dealership sales are influenced by online reputation.
The client checked his iPhone and scrolled through Facebook.
Client: Wow, here’s a horrible review from two years ago. This is the first time I’ve heard of this!
Me: Take a look at them all. It’s helpful to respond to negative and positive reviews in a timely fashion if possible.
Client: Why would I need to do that?
I further discuss the details with him.
Me: Have you tried paid online advertising for your dealership?
Client: No, how does that work?
It seemed odd that they had done so little to market their dealership online.
The client followed up with me a week later and tells me they don’t have the funds to put towards marketing.
I learned a year later that the dealership went bankrupt and was bought out by another company. I was not surprised.