Employing automotive product specialists at your dealership shows that you understand today’s customer. Especially given the social distancing mandates and additional safety precautions, your customers don’t want to spend hours of back and forth with a salesperson. They want to talk to someone knowledgeable that can answer specific questions about particular products.
According to the 2020 Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study, an individual spends an average of just under 15 hours shopping for a new vehicle, 10 hours of which are completed without ever entering a dealership. That means you need employees that know your products inside and out to answer any lingering questions they may have from their own research in order to drive value.
What’s the Difference Between a Product Specialist and a Salesperson?
The typical car salesperson is intent on making a sale, regardless of the customer’s needs. Their job relies on commission, and that has put a bad taste in the mouths of car buyers everywhere. A product specialist differs greatly from the traditional salesperson in several ways:
- They work on a fixed salary as opposed to hitting monthly sales numbers, allowing them to focus all of their energy on finding the best car for customers.
- They have extensive product knowledge of everything in your showroom and act as a resource to your customers.
- They listen intently to the needs of their customers to find the right fit.
Filling your showroom with product specialists rather than salespeople shows that you are dedicated to providing the best customer experience. Here’s what you’ll need to attract a product specialist to your dealership.
How to Attract the Right Automotive Product Specialist
There are two critical factors for attracting qualified candidates to fulfill your product specialist roles: the job post (which includes a job description) and your company’s career site. Most young job seekers aren’t looking to get into traditional auto sales, so highlight the fact that you’re hiring for a product specialist position to drive more interest in the younger market. Let job seekers know this key difference in the job description and post.
What to Look For When Hiring Automotive Product Specialists
According to the Hireology Customer Success team, here are the critical factors to look for when hiring for a product specialist:
- New to the industry – You want someone who hasn’t developed sales-y habits so you can mold them to your system. Of course you can still hire industry veterans, but make sure they know your dealership runs differently.
- Ability to be a sponge – If your new employees aren’t familiar with the car business, they should be prepared to absorb information.
- Aptitude to demo the vehicles – They should focus on showing customers what’s standout about any vehicle, and not focusing on number crunching.
- Knowledge of technology – Applicants must be savvy enough to speak to tech and upsell to customers.
- Provides great customer service – They should have a willingness to learn and develop their knowledge of how to help customers.
There are loads of job seekers out there that could be the right fit for the role. Don’t limit your recruiting to only those with experience or a relative job history. As long as a candidate has the right attitude and personality, they could be the exact employee you’ve been looking for.
Where to Post Your Open Role
Knowing how to properly source candidates is a must when deciding where to post your open positions. You need to proactively determine where you want to locate top talent. Think about using job boards such as Indeed.com, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Snagajob so you can source candidates from the world’s best job sites.
Here are the critical factors to consider when advertising your product specialist role:
- Publish jobs to the most effective job boards
- Implement social sharing through your social media pages
- Transform your website into a customizable job site
- Use digital and mobile-friendly job applications
- Apply candidate pre-screen surveys
- Set up an employee referral program
Outside of utilizing job boards, you should attend college career fairs, and build a strong social media presence for your dealership by highlighting what makes your company stand out — such as your company culture, career opportunities, and employee reviews — on your dealership’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages.
How to Post Your Job
We’ve created a Product Specialist job description that you can use to outline your own post. Don’t forget to include a brief description of your company — including your core values and team structure. Top talent is attracted to a strong and positive work culture, and want to see a clear career path, as well as the impact your company has in the local community. Design and word choice also play an important role in attracting applicants, so be thoughtful when producing your own job postings.
Job: Product Specialist
Company: Awesome Automotive Group
- Base + bonus compensation
- 401K, medical and dental insurance, paid time off, etc.
- Any other benefits that your dealership may offer to employees
- Assist customers in selecting a vehicle by asking questions and listening carefully to their responses
- Direct clients to online tools available for reviewing vehicle options, packages, features
- Prepare and present demo vehicles so latest technology is enabled and ready for display (Bluetooth, navigation, green fuel options, hybrid tools, etc.)
- Explain product performance and benefits
- Describe all optional equipment available for customer purchase
- Build strong rapport with customers
- Perform high-quality, professional and knowledgeable presentation and demonstration of new/used vehicles
- Work closely with Sales Manager on pricing tiers associated with different models & their respective technology options
- Assist with lead generation by managing incoming email leads & set appointments for vehicle demonstrations all over email and text communication
- Prepare email collateral for clients in anticipation of scheduled appointments, making sure clients are informed before they walk into the dealership
- Enthusiastic with high energy throughout the sales workday
- Prepared to be mentored by senior sales managers and grow
- Eager to learn about the automotive industry and help customers
- Ready to hit the ground running on learning new vehicles and products
- Outgoing and resourceful with a friendly personality
- Have quality customer service skills
- Possess strong communication skills with customers and team members
Start Hiring Product Specialists Today
Product specialists can transform your dealership and your customer expectations around purchasing a vehicle. For more pointers on hiring for open roles in your dealership, read our eBook on the top 50 automotive job descriptions.