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Hiring car sales reps can be challenging, and dealers need an excellent interview process and a viable training program to identify and groom the best ones. Picking the wrong staff can result in sales drops, lost revenue, and damage to the dealership’s image.
However, not all dealers know where to start or what to look for in candidates during an interview. This article outlines some of those beginning steps to help dealerships upgrade sales staff.
Strategies for Hiring Car Sales Reps
Dealers should consider the following strategies when posting new sales position openings:
Pick Upstanding Individuals
Any employee who sells cars at the dealership represents that dealer’s brand.
If they lie or are dishonest about a vehicle or sales package, that poor customer experience reflects on the dealership. The resulting harmful exposure could damage the bottom line or create legal issues.
During their interviews, hiring managers should focus on a candidate’s honesty and integrity by identifying the following red flags:
- The candidate appears to exaggerate frequently.
- The candidate avoids questions that might reflect poorly on them.
- The candidate’s answers imply that honesty and integrity are second to sales numbers.
Do Not Fixate on Experience
While asking for years of experience to narrow down the applicant pool might be tempting, dealers might overly limit their options. Established sales reps who are mainstays at their current store are unlikely to switch dealerships.
If they are willing to make a change and lose their seniority to the new dealership’s current employees, the dealer should move forward with caution by taking the following steps:
- Ask the candidate why they are looking to take a potentially lesser role.
- If they are currently unemployed, contact the previous dealership and request the documented reason for departure.
- Weigh those risks against a less experienced candidate with a clearer employment record.
Assess Candidate Commitment
Creating brand loyalty and repeat customers is a focal point in today’s market. However, dealers must remember that employee loyalty can be equally critical to the business.
Hiring managers might inquire as to the following to gauge a candidate’s commitment to their employer:
- What excites them about auto sales
- Why they applied for a position at the dealership
- What they are looking for in a new position
Consider a Training Program and Trial Period
Dealerships can safeguard against committing to new hires long term and promote competition with an effective training program and trial period by taking the following steps:
- Dealers enroll new sales reps into a training program to provide them with the necessary tools but retain the ability to cut ties if the candidate does not meet predefined benchmarks.
- Dealers can recruit and enroll multiple candidates in the training program with only one full-time position available, which will go to the top performer.
Look for Positivity
Selling cars is a challenging – and potentially discouraging – profession. Dealers need sales reps who are not only driven and enthusiastic but ones who also remain upbeat in the face of rejection.
While there is no foolproof way to identify these candidates until they are in the showroom speaking with customers, there are ways to make more informed judgments.
More specifically, a hiring manager might ask the candidate if:
- Car sales is a long-term career plan or a short-term “fix”
- They thrive in fast-paced work environments
- They are excited about performance-driven compensation
Inquiring about a candidate’s professional ambitions might assist dealers in gaining insight into their overall mindset.
A Digital Landscape Requires the Best Sales Reps
Consumers rely on internet resources and price comparison tools more than ever, resulting in more knowledgeable customers who know what they want when they walk through your doors.
Increased use of these digital features makes a practical and straightforward sales process critical. However, that sales process is only as valuable as how you go about hiring car sales reps.
Those employees are the primary point of contact for these highly informed clients, and how they interact with and advise those customers reflects directly on you and your dealership.
Contact us today and learn how Affinitiv’s innovative data-driven solutions can provide your new hires with the tools to drive more sales revenue on day one.
All | September 19, 2023