How To Sell Cars On YouTube

How To Sell Cars On YouTube With Chevy Dude and Tolis Dokianos

Last updated on July 12th, 2020 at 07:42 pm

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I was on Tolis Dokianos’ YouTube channel with Chevy Dude and Tom Martin to talk about how to best sell cars on YouTube.


Today we’re talking about how you can drive sales with YouTube. Is it worth your time? Is it worth your money? We’re also going to be giving you some tips and tricks on what you need to do to make the most out of your YouTube channel and videos.

And today I’m joined by a good bunch of friends. Dane Golden over here. Tom Martin over here and an up-and-coming YouTube automotive sensation all the way from Louisville, Kentucky. Please help me welcome the Chevy Dude, Mike Davenport. So if you’re in business, in the automotive sector or even in retail for that matter and you’re stuck on the fence about YouTube, it’s really important to understand a few of the basics to get you on the right track. And that’s where we’re going to be giving you today.

I’m Tolis Dokianos with APEX Video Marketing all the way from Zurich, here in Los Angeles today with these amazing guys. I’m an automotive expert, video marketing expert, multi-lingual video marketer. And what we’re going to do before we get started, I want to give a shout-out to the people who made this live stream possible Cinamaker. They help take you from a one single camera setup to a multi-camera setup and make live streaming a breeze. So let’s get started. Mike, tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got started with YouTube and why.

I’m based out of Louisville, Kentucky. I’m a Chevy car salesman. And I got started with YouTube because I moved to Louisville, Kentucky from a town, four hours away from Louisville and didn’t know anybody in Louisville. So I thought that it was going to be a way that I could like get known locally in Louisville and sell some cars. So awareness was really an important part of your strategy. Okay. Why, why YouTube? I don’t know. You know, really I don’t know. I just, I started doing, you know, other social media, Facebook and it just seemed like YouTube was there.

And, really what happened was in 2013, Chevrolet came out with a brand new Corvette and all the community was sitting there badmouthing a feature on the car. And because I work for a Chevy dealership, I can’t go onto the Corvette forum and post, they want, they want me to be a paid person to post on there. So I was like, I’ll just make a video on YouTube. And that’s what I, that was one of my first videos is like how to close the deck lid on the 2014 Corvette Stingray. And the video is still up and it was just, still does really well today. And, so, so I did that without any SEO either. but, so I did, so that’s what I did. And that video just like took off and it was like an epiphany. I’m like Whoa. And so dabbled in it, you know, for several years, not knowing what I was doing and you know, here I am today.

Were you camera shy before you got started? How did that work out for you? Very, very camera shy.

Yeah. So, all my videos had the word “um” in them. I was doing a lot of “ums”. Yeah. I’m not a script type guy. I’m a very type of person that likes to ad lib, show what I know. share what I know on a probably more personal level than a scripted level. I’ve never scripted anything out, in my life. So, so that’s what I did. And with not having, a script, I would sit there and do um ,um ’cause I’m sitting here thinking I had to get that out of my system and I still do it a little bit today, but nowhere near what I did back then.

So you actually noticed a change in the way your own personal business has been performing or rather you work for business. So you’re, you’re a salesperson working in a dealership. Presumably the dealership is happy with what you’re doing. And so, have you noticed results in terms of financial gain compared to where you were before you started with YouTube?

So, so financially, my year-to-year income is usually pretty consistent. but my sales are much, much easier. So, it does allow me to, you know, sell my product without negotiating, which is fairly hard to do in the car business. Because I do have that trust and people know they’re going to be taken care of. And I think a lot of times what people realize is, Hey, listen, I’m willing to pay for a profit. I’m willing to pay a premium for great customer service and I go back to, you know, a, a waiter or waitress, right? We tip based off of how well we think they do their job. And that’s, that’s their income, right? Yeah. We have a great waiter or waitress. We, we tip well if not, you know, might leave a penny or you know, not even give him a tip at all.

So let me ask you a really important question. How many cars did you sell last year?

Oh man. I don’t ever tell anybody that number. Okay. It’s, it’s a high number. Yeah.

So if you were to take a look at your year-on-year sales, so since you started using YouTube as a, as a driver to get you new leads, I guess in conversations going and getting butts on seats, what, what, what was actually your comparison year-on-year in terms of percentage maybe?

So I’ve always gone up. I’ve always gone up and right now currently in the automotive market, the auto market is kind of, plateauing, because since 2010, we’ve done nothing but go up, up, up, up, up. So, you can’t increase year over year, 10 years in a row. So, so right now we’re on a plateau and, and our sales are down a little bit, but mine are staying steady. I’m not losing any business. gaining a little bit here and there, but like I said, it’s just easier sales… and then you don’t have to negotiate.

I’m sorry to interrupt Tolis, but how much would, how much would any of us give to just make the sale and not have to negotiate, because you’ve already done essentially the pre-negotiation by building that trust.

And I give everybody, that’s right. I give everybody a fair, a fair price. Right. So my dealership is pretty much a no negotiating dealership anyways, but if there’s room, which, which the car that I will, we’ll change the online prices, the Corvette, because I sell more Corvettes than anything. And I always come out and say, I’ll do this price. Don’t worry about online pricing. I’ll, I’ll do this. right here. So what I’m hearing here is first of all, you, you’ve got a passion for what you’re doing. So, your passion comes through in the way you, you make your videos is probably one of them very important thing. Secondly, you’re like a 24 hours salesman with your videos aren’t you? Yeah. You’re giving the information that people need when they’re on the customer journey, looking for the car that they want to buy.

And I think Dane, you mentioned it spot on. You’re creating that confidence and that authority, if you will, and trust, I think that’s the biggest, the biggest thing here, right?

Well, who doesn’t trust the car salesman?

Well, exactly. Yeah.

But the fact that he’s on YouTube really helps you. I think you mentioned that in, in, in passing that by doing what you’re doing actually, that that trust and credibility factor is what’s lacking in the automotive industry, especially when it comes to sales of cars.

Right Yeah. So, and that’s what I tell a lot of people is like, I don’t to clickbait my videos because I feel that I’m already behind the eight ball with, with, with my profession. Right. I’m obviously based off of reviews from people who are buying cars that are away from the dealership writing reviews on me and my dealership. We’re an ethical and honest dealership. And there’s many, there’s many of them out there. Most dealerships nowadays are very ethical and very honest because social media is a determining factor. But, but yeah, I have an out there, people just gain, gain a sense of trust when they can see stuff going on there. So I don’t click bait because, because the fact that if I click bait then, then the common denominator would be, “Oh, here’s, another car salesman.”

We just look at this, you know, Tom you’re from the UK. tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in all this.

Yes. my backup band are here, sorry. My support band and yeah, so I’m more from the entertainment industry. so working with media brands, so sales were less of a priority. We were mainly making money through advertising and it’s really attention and eyeballs. But we did have quite a lot of licensed product. So, working on brands like Doctor Who, Top Gear. Selling tickets to live events, home video, merchandise. and so yeah, that was, and we actually sat in the marketing division, so it was seen as, a marketing function of the business. Like it was very, doing very well in terms of generating revenues. but really our first duty was to market the TV shows and the products around that. and if I was, I was running that network of channels for five years at the BBC. And, in that time, you know, we generated billions of views, millions of subscribers, lots and lots of revenue. And then in turn, lots of awareness for the shows that we were trying to promote into brands, which then allowed us to sell tickets, DVDs, tee shirts. So in brief, you’re a YouTube certified expert. Very Right. Yeah. Awesome. So I mean you’re, you’re from the United Kingdom. But don’t hold that against me.

Not at all. I mean, I used to live in the UK, worked for Ford motor company in the UK, so I know it very well. And here we got Mike from, from Louisville, Kentucky. How well would what Mike is doing right now on YouTube translate across markets in the United Kingdom, for example?

I think it’d be fantastic. I don’t think, I don’t think we have that kind of a personality, especially in the kind of business area of YouTube. I struggle to think of anyone in the UK that would be comparable to what Mike’s doing. we do have a lot of automotive channels, but again, that’s more people trying to make their own Top Gear on YouTube. So if you were to compare something like a Top Gear to what Mike is doing on YouTube, what are, what are the benefits and how could someone emulate what Mike is doing? I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want to kind of, belittle how much work and effort Mike is putting in. But pretty easily, if, depending on the industry, obviously it’s going to take a lot of hard work, effort, resources, time. You know, Mike’s got a full time job obviously, but it’s also filming, editing, planning, strategizing. Then you’ve got the whole upload part, SEO ,etc. But I think the benefits are really clear, you know, that know, like, and trust factor. Just so important, especially in sales.

So that, that goes back to one of the things that I first learned when I worked for Ford. you’d see it everywhere with a Henry Ford signature. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So that’s very important when it comes to, to producing video. So, Mike, is that your experience as well?

Yeah, yeah. You definitely have to. You have to definitely plan ahead, you know, and, it’s been a learning curve for me over the years to, sit here and learn, learn this. I mean it really took me from 2012 when I started getting on YouTube. you know, a year later, it was like August, 2012 and then like September, October time, 2013 before I made that, then that Corvette video, that got some traction and you know, here we are, 2019 and I mean it was last year before, you know, my channel took off. So, you know, you’re talking 2012 to 2018, you know, and … So what’s keeping others from doing the same thing as you are?

I get asked that question all the time because I go to automotive conferences and I talk about what I’ve done and, and how to do it right. I’m really good at putting the game plan out for people to emulate me and copy me and, and really overtake me. Do better than me. Right? ‘Cause I have all this learning curve that I have. There’ll be teaching me how to do this for automotive space and for car sales. So I go out there and that’s a questions like, “Why are you telling everybody your secrets?” And, because unfortunately the automotive sector has a lot of lazy people in it and they don’t want to work. So they would rather – the automotive sector in, in my experience – they would rather sit around a table with three, four or five guys and play Candy Crush or whatever games they have on their phone, watch nonproductive YouTube videos or vines or whatever, Tik Tok and, and, and rather than trying to protect or, make their trade better, train themselves, stuff like that. So I’ve always been one to, you know, spend money on training courses, you know, stuff like Grant Cardone, Gary Vee, you know, watch stuff like that in my downtime. So that was another reason I started YouTube is because I could sit around in that group, which I call it a Six Car Club, which you can Google it and get that terminology and, and then, I could sit around that club or I can be productive. And I found, I found that, Hey, I can shoot video and upload it and be productive that way rather than…

So what I’m hearing here also, what I, what I like about what you’re, you’re talking as collaboration. Like here we are, we’re all here at VidSummit2019 here in Los Angeles. And you know, you’ve got Tom and Dane – and Dane, we’ll get to you in just a moment because we want to know more about you as well. But what we’re doing is we’re collaborating here, we’re sharing experience, we’re all working together as a team so everyone can be successful. And that’s what’s really great. So that’s something that would be very, well to do if we did that in the automotive industry.

Yeah. That’s, and that, and you kind of maybe just hit it on the head, the automotive sector – when I came here last year for the first time, I’m used to being in automotive for almost 20 years now and in the United States for sure, In automotive, everybody wants to one-up each other. Everybody wants to pound their chest and say, I did this and not give credit and stuff like that. So, and I think that’s a hold-back for some people in automotive, as they don’t want to help others. They want to do it for themselves.

And that’s a big difference when I came to VidSummit. Yeah. Automotive is very, very competitive. And when I came here, I was shocked at how open everybody was to help one another. And you’d go into a session and it wasn’t a pitch to, “Hey, do business with me.” It is in automotive. When you go into an automotive conference and you’re sitting there and watching somebody do a session, you can see that it’s underlying like, “Hey, you should do business with us.” You know?

So yesterday, Tom, you made an awesome presentation where you basically audited Mike’s channel in front of a big audience. We’ll get to that in just a moment. But what I wanted to talk to, I wanted to ask a little bit more about Dane. Dane, tell us a little bit more about what you do and how you help businesses.

Right. Well, we help businesses that are interested in taking a tutorial video approach to their marketing and that’s exactly what Mike is doing. And our company – I’ll just say it, it’s, V I D I U P dot TV. But I want to talk about Mike’s example if that’s okay. We’re slightly, I know we’re short on time. He’s talking about how the auto industry is not doing this, but, but there are mavericks like Mike in other areas: in cooking, we’ve, we’ve seen people here in plumbing in, you know, just all sorts of trades, dry wall, believe it or not, hundreds of thousands of views, small businesses as well. Yes and these are people who are looking for business and had a skill and wanted to share. They have something in them that wants to help not sell. And that’s what we talked about at another conference: VidCon. I gave a presentation called help don’t sell. And that’s exactly what Mike is doing. I haven’t looked at all his videos but in the example that he’s given about the Corvette that, was it a hood that was hard to close?

The deck lid, or the trunk.

Deck lid, okay. And people need to know this. I, I did some research for another company where we looked at all of the YouTube influencers for automotive worldwide. And one of the most popular videos we saw at the time was an old video shot on a terrible phone camera about how to start a Prius, if the battery had gone out on your key fob. Sure. You think about it, that’s a problem that somebody has and they need to solve it right now ’cause they’re stranded. They’re looking on their phone how to solve a problem and this one person has, has given it to them. Who do you think they’re going to go to? It’s, you know, it’s that person who’s shown them and helped them with something they need and not give them a hard sell.

I’m really liking what I’m hearing here, I think one of, one of the most important messages, ’cause I talked to a lot of businesses on a daily basis, and a lot of people are afraid of getting into YouTube because they need to have everything perfect or everything’s got to be spot on, you know. But what we noticed in mainly, and a lot of the other participants here at VidSummit, even even mice doing it really well as you got to, in my opinion, you got to do it consistently. You need to continuously generate content that’s gonna help people. And I really like what you said, you want to, you want to sell by helping, so to speak, but you want to help first.

That’s more accurate. We say help, don’t sell, ’cause that gets attention, but help first to sell later. And you hit the nail on the head. So when I started creating these videos in ’13 and ’14 and ’15, my goal was not to sell cars, my goal was to help people. But the underlining goal was in 2019 when the new 2020 Corvette is introduced, to sell a lot of those cars. And I sold 175 in one night.

You sold 175 Corvettes? And how many, how many YouTube videos did you need to make to make that sale?

For that performance? 500. Okay. So let me ask you this… … because over the years everybody watched me. I mean, I literally made a video how to sit properly in the Corvette because I’m in all these Facebook groups and people are complaining about things. And again, I can’t go to the Corvette forum because they want $800 a month and it’s not feasible for me to pay that. So, so I sat there and, it’s just, I’ll make my videos based off of what I see people wanting to complain about. And, and you know, if like in a Corvette, you could rub the, the edge of, of a seat and cut it. And because of the side bolster. So I just like, here’s how you sit in the Corvette.

And I want to interrupt here if it’s okay. I believe there are people in each industry, everyone watching here is in a different industry where they want to help someone they got into in this business, yeah they want to make money but they’re doing this particular job because they want to help somebody learn how to, they know how, what they know how to do in that particular type of job. And there are people all over the world who want to do that. And Mike is showing by example in a, in a sell-sell business.

Yeah. That helping actually helps you sell. I mean that’s a very powerful message. The car salesman can do it who is very low on the totem pole of people they trust, anybody who can do it, you know? So Tom, I, yeah, I think as well is probably the number one tip that I give because although I worked in the entertainment industry, I’ve worked with a lot of brands and companies that do sell and that their purpose of being on YouTube is to sell products. And the number one tip that I give them is that you need to, when you create a video, you need to create a video to deliver value so that if the mention of your products was removed, yeah, it would still deliver value.

So if Mike was giving a talk about, you know, how to sit properly in the Corvette, if he never mentioned that he was a car salesman or that he worked for his particular dealership, that viewer would still be able to get that exact same, value from that video. ‘Cause what a lot of times companies will just, instead of running a channel, they will just run what I would like to just call like a repository for their adverts.

Yes. Yes. That happens all the time doesn’t it, that’s not a strategy, that’s just a broadcast – particularly in automotive it happens. If you watch my videos, I don’t say where I work. And I feel sorry if you were to leave your dealership because what you’re doing is you’d be taking your own brand name wherever you decide to go and people will trust Mike Davenport, the Chevy Dude. They trust our dealership too because people come and, and sit there and we’re like, well, I think Mike’s too busy. So, but I, I came here because of Mike, you know, and they’ll come up and talk to me after they buy their car and say, “Hey, I just wanted to say thank you so much.” And maybe because they were there for an hour or two hours watching…

Do the other sales people thank you?

Yeah, no, they, they, they get it. They do to some degree, which is great. We get along really well.

One of the key things, and Dane, I think you’ll be one of the first people to actually agree with me on this is, I always say to my clients that YouTube is called “You” Tube to for a reason because it’s all about the viewer. It’s all about adding value to you, the viewer. And Dane’s actually done some research. You might want to look into that about the word “you” being used in videos, but ultimately it’s all about creating the value for the u-ser, right? So that’s why I think, YouTube as, as a platform is so powerful for businesses big and small. And I’m, I’m amazed at just how many big businesses don’t get it right. But I think there’s a lot of things that people can learn from a creator like, like Mike Davenport and I just want to close off this afternoon or today rather, with, depends on what time zone you’re in.

You gave a really great presentation yesterday, Tom, and you pointed out a lot of important things that people who are making videos and managing YouTube channels for their businesses. Do you want to kind of leave us with a few golden nuggets before we finish up today? I think the most important tip that I can give to businesses, again, especially businesses that are being over promotional, is that their first instinct is going to get people to go to their “.com” or a landing page or “get this free download”.

But the problem with that is, especially when you’re in that initial growth phase of growing a channel, is the more that you send people away from YouTube, the more YouTube are going to stump your growth because they’re delivering you traffic and you’re sending their traffic away from YouTube and they want people to stay on YouTube so that they can serve more ads, collect more data. So you need to give YouTube what they want, especially in that growth phase. Keep people watching more videos, just keep delivering value. And then eventually they’ll visit your “.com” by osmosis. Or you might get, you might get to the end of like a series of five videos and then say, yeah, now go and visit absolutely So I always say it’s a marathon, not a race.

You gotta be in it for the long haul, especially when you’re dealing with YouTube. That’s why 1000 subscribers is one of the key milestones that I also tell my subscribers or my clients. You really want to put a lot of effort in those first and that first leg of your productions on videos. Because once you reach a thousand, a lot of stuff can unlock for you on YouTube, but that makes you diligent. It makes you be consistent with your content that you upload on a regular basis. You have the opportunity to look at the analytics of the videos and how they’re performing so you can make all the tweaks necessary so that when you get to that 1000 mark of subscribers, then you’ve got a following of people who are actively watching you, who can be your ambassadors.

And then they come, they come through your doors and they want to ask about buying a car, not once, maybe they’ll come back again after a couple of years to buy a car from you. Mike, what parting tips would you like to leave people who, who are in the automotive industry, but to that extent also in retail. what partying tips would you want to leave our viewers with today?

The biggest tip that I can give someone is create value in yourself to have people not buy something from you, you know, sit there and create content that self-serves them that down the road there’ll be like, “Hey listen, I’m not, I’m not in the market right now, but I want to be in the market with this person later on.” You know, and I get, I get every single day, every, you know, middle of the night, whatever case. Like, “Hey man, I just really appreciate your videos.” next time I’m in the market, you know, I’m going to be with you. Or you know, people make comments, right Yeah.

So, you know, you just creates, create stuff that gives them a purpose of why they’re there and have them come back and then when it’s, when they’re in the market, it’s an easy transition. That’s how you create loyalty. Dane. Any parting thoughts?

Well, you did mention the study we did about the “you” and YouTube and saying the word “you” can get you 66% more views if you say it in the first five seconds. Why is that? It’s because each video is about the viewer. You looking at me right now, it’s about you. It’s not about us, it’s about you. And if you can make your videos about the viewer and what they want and what they need, you will succeed. So Dane, tell us where can people find out more about what you do and where can they follow you? Go to

Perfect. Tom, what about you?

Yeah, you can find me and all of my services at Okay, great.

And Mike.

Just Google Chevy dude. Just Google Chevy dude. Chevy Dude!

That’s strong when you can sit there and just say, just Google me. That is really fun. It’s really just something that people in automotive love. They’re like, how do I find you? Just Google me. Cool. I think that’s a really powerful thing. And I think at the end of the day, what we’ve, what we should, I really encourage you to go and watch some of, Mike’s videos on his YouTube channel. ‘Cause there’s a lot of useful information. And if anything, it’s a great example of what the, the automotive market can do to promote their brand or promote their brand locally, nationally, regionally. if you’ve got someone like Mike on your team, definitely look, look at his videos, learn from them. ‘Cause finally, yes, it’s all about making money. We’re all looking forward to making money today, tomorrow and, and meeting our sales targets or what have you. But if you’re in it for the long haul and for adding value to people and really giving them the information that they need when they’re in market for a car or whatever other product or service they’re looking for, it’s, you know, it’s down to offering that sort of value so they can make an informed decision and have an open and engaging conversation with the likes of Mike or even ourselves. You know? So Tom, Dane, thank you very much for being here. You’re great friends. We’ve been around for a long time. Mike, it’s great getting to know you this time at VidSummit, I’m Tolis Dokianos with APEX Video Marketing. You can find more information about my services and what we do on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Thanks for paying attention to this video. We really appreciate your support. Make sure you subscribe to our channel and stick around for more in the weeks to come.