Why Vetting Automotive Professionals is Critical
One of the greatest challenges in the auto industry today is finding quality candidates with the necessary unique qualifications needed to perform at a high level in an auto dealership in this era. This landscape is rapidly changing from the way we were used to hiring, training, and deploying staff. With new customer management systems, lead providers, social media, and many other technologies designed to enhance efficiency within the dealership, most get lost when they realize that all of these great tools need leaders to source, budget, and implement the new technologies without over-lapping already in place process'.
This is where properly vetting candidates becomes paramount. We used to hire sales professionals that demonstrated great interpersonal skills that would relate to our customers by building common ground, trust, and then landing them on the correct vehicle for their individual situation. Sales Managers would then assist in this process where new hires often fell short until they figured out how to do the steps to the sale properly. These individuals would work the long hours necessary to complete and compete with industry benchmarks so that your forecast for your dealership could be met. Now a professional sales representative must possess all of those same skill sets along with the ability to adapt to the new technology systems within the dealership that were designed to create a more productive work flow and environment.
Today a professional sales representative must be savvy with technology. They must be able to learn systems at a quicker pace to assimilate effectively to the processes of your dealership. Sales Managers must be more hands on willing to intervene when the customer first connects while teaching their new hires about overcoming objections and making appointments on the phone. They now confront the ever expanding what I like to call, "the professional customer" at each turn whether on the Internet, phone, or in person. Customers are armed with an expanded knowledge like never before about how an auto dealership operates and how they might be able to save a dollar. An automotive professional whether in service on the drive, on the showroom floor, or in the internet or BDC must recognize an individuals wants and needs quicker, evaluate their depth in the shopping process, and most importantly how to get that customer into our dealership.
Your next hire may change your entire organization, so make it count.
Vetting for these mix of qualities in an individual is tricky. I know at our company we really are always evaluating the culture of each individual work environment to be sure that our placements hit the mark for ongoing retention, which will really grow, and organization letting production thrive. The real questions are do you have a management staff willing to conform to the new auto industry or do members of their staff saying that they are lazy, unproductive, or impossible to get along with stick them in the “old school” mentality of calling out their failure. This is a pattern that will continue until you change the way you are vetting your hires from the beginning. Knowing that you are hiring someone willing to put an oar in the water each and every time without hesitation is a great beginning. Does your management team work within the confines of the technology you have elected to implement or are they themselves confined by the technology. In this case you often have teams within a dealership wandering aimlessly to figure out how they might manipulate the data being collected at every turn so their performance is not their cause.
Having a thorough vetting process you adhere to while you make hiring decisions at every level will cultivate a strong and productive work force that is ready for any/all technology currently being utilized, maximize it's designed efficiency, and have everyone ready for that technology of which is coming to a dealer near you. It will be a breeding ground for team members that are working in unison for the same goals of the dealership along with the stores reputation management. Just remember that your next hire's success is the future of your dealership, so be sure your vetting process is designed for any new staff members to assimilate to the environment you created.