Selling using your WhatsApp status

Dealerfloor is seeing more sales staff using the Status feature on WhatsApp to show new stock to pre-selected groups.

KZN s13 Lee Chetty

Lee Chetty, who recently moved from selling new Peugeots to selling used vehicles at Key Pietermaritzburg, told Dealerfloor he shares photos and short videos of cars, sometimes with hand-drawn arrows or circles to point out a feature or a dent.

All this has been possible since WhatsApp revamped its Status feature in 2017 into something any teenage girl will recognise as a Snapchat clone. What makes Status especially useful for Lee and other sales staff is that the status update disappears 24 hours after uploading it. Apart from removing the need to do any post-posting admin, this feature also sets Status apart from the more informal groups in WhatsApp’s Chat function.

Lee says he prefers using WhatsApp over other social media because it is quick to open and is arguably the most trusted social media platform available to commerce, which is why the number of WhatsApp users has been increasing by half a billion every two years to the current 2 billion monthly users worldwide.

Lee Chetty
Used car sales manager Lee Chetty uses WhatsApp Status to stay competitive as used car websites drain the industry.

How to use Status

On Android phones, the Status tab is between the Chats and Calls tabs on an open WhatsApp screen. (On an iPhone, the Status tab is at the bottom of the app, because… Apple.)

To upload a photo or video on both Android and Apple, tap the green camera icon in the bottom-right corner. Tap Send to add it to your Status. Videos must be less than 30 seconds in duration, but you can send a longer video in segments of 30 seconds.

On the recipient side, a photo remains on the screen for a couple of seconds and then WhatsApp moves to the next status from the same contact, showing all updates to end back on the Status screen. Videos play automatically.

“Used car sales are increasingly moving to websites, and WhatsApp Status is the quickest way to communicate and stay competitive in this space,” says Lee.

READ ALSO: More online searches for pre-owned cars
READ ALSO: Customers are moving to ‘online tyre-kicking’.

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