When it comes to guiding auto dealers through digital marketing, Elise Kephart is leading the way. It all started when Elise was in a dealership as a salesperson. She quickly realized the power of video as she created personal video messages to connect with her prospects and customers.
From her days on the frontlines, she has moved to build her coaching business, “The Elise Kephart Experience,” where she trains dealers to build and cultivate customer relationships and earn more business.
Elise visited BombBomb HQ in Colorado Springs to talk about how video communication through the BombBomb platform has changed the way she and her clients convert lead opportunities into appointments and sales.
Watch the full interview with Elise and BombBomb’s Director of Training and Education, Jason Sheffield. Or jump in at a specific time for a specific topic based on our recap write-up.
“Toss the Dinosaur” – New Ways to Win in Sales
Right away, Jason asks Elise about the first “Aha” moment when she knew that video was key.
Elise tells her story about how she broke through with YouTube video, and branded herself the “YouTube Diva.” Her real “Aha” moment came from impressing an internet lead who gave her a fake name and later confessed that his name was Burke and not Toby. Elise called the experience “a real eye-opener.” In fact, she still has a screenshot of the message on her old iPhone.
At 3:24, Jason asks Elise what are the big changes in video that she’s seen over the years?
Elise talks about how technology makes it easier to record quality videos. Moreover, BombBomb makes it even easier for her to embed videos natively into her emails, which has helped her move away from YouTube. On YouTube, you cannot track who is specifically watching your video. YouTube also always adds a timestamp to your videos so customers will know if they are outdated.
At 5:11, the conversation moves to quality of videos. Here, Elise talks about production value of video and if it’s necessary to always create high quality videos.
Elise explains that while there are some dealerships that produce high-quality, impressive videos that give a nice “wow” factor, these aren’t the type of videos that she’s trying to create. Elise is using video messages to close the gap from internet opportunity to appointment. She wants dealers to make authentic, personal videos that relay everything they need to communicate. “Customers don’t want to see overproduction. It’s getting back to real people and building relationships.”
It’s all about ROI! At 7:05 Jason asks, How do you help people realize their ROI?
Elise says you have to be consistent in your process. ”If you make video communication a part of your process, you’re going to see results.” She also explains that customers notice your videos and let you know that they’re impressed. Finally, Elise states that often dealers only get email addresses and not phone numbers from internet leads. Video email is the gateway platform that will help you build that relationship, land a phone number, and make the sale.
At 10:57 Jason asks the all-important question that we’ve all dealt with, how do you overcome your fear of being on camera?
Elise explains that it’s normal to have butterflies and feel nervous on camera. But you have to remember that if you’re in car sales, then you’re normally good at face-to-face interaction, and you shouldn’t let that change once there is a camera in front of you. Video brings out the best in you, and that’s why people buy cars from you. The best way to get over the nervousness,”is by just picking up the camera and doing it.”
At 13:07 Jason asks, what are three things that will help people become more comfortable, whether they’ve been doing video for nine years or just starting out?
- The first is to get comfortable off camera. Don’t start with a selfie, put the focus on the car or product. Practice speaking fluently.
- “You just have to do it.”
- Know that you’re not going for an Oscar. Your hair might not be perfect and that’s okay. If you’re in sales you should already have confidence in yourself, and feel comfortable working with people. Don’t let the confidence and comfort fade away simply because there’s a camera pointing your way!
At 16:05, the conversation moves to trends. Jason asks about trends that Elise has seen over the years.
Firstly, she explains how in the current market, more people are going online to search for cars before actually walking into a dealership and purchasing a vehicle. Dealerships are also seeing a lot of internet traffic, a lot of phone calls, and less walk-ins. Pricing also seems to be pretty consistent across most dealerships. As result, Elise explains that people aren’t just purchasing cars strictly based on price alone, ”It’s about who am I going to give the business to because they gave me the best experience.” That is where video email in automotive is specifically setting itself apart.
At 19:27, Jason brings up key differentiators between dealerships.
Elise explains that since product and location are no longer as important, it’s now all about trusting, knowing and liking the people you work with at a specific dealership. “I connected with you. Therefore, I’m going to buy the car from you.” “The product doesn’t differentiate you. You differentiate you.”
At 19:57 Jason asks, what are one or two things dealerships should think about adding into their process?
Elise explains that with so many digital leads or internet leads, many come without real phone numbers. Dealers can use video email to convert leads without phone numbers to actual phone calls. She also says that dealerships need to focus on retaining customers. They need to use “Happy Birthday Videos and “Thank You” videos to make the customer feel good so that they get the all important repeat and referral business.
To round out the interview at 22:43, Jason looks for one thing that Elise thinks every dealership should do to get more leads and sales.
Elise says that dealers have to realize that “it’s no longer the dinosaur on the roof that’s going to get us more car sales. It’s the relationships that you build and continue to retain that’s going to set yourself apart and help your business grow.” She stresses that dealers need to focus on customer experiences and their relationships, which can easily be perfected and maintained with video email.
A big thank you to Elise for taking the time to visit BombBomb. You can learn more about The Elise Kephart Experience here.
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