The 21st Century is shaping up to be one of great change for the auto industry. In this ever-shifting environment it seems harder than ever to determine who would make a good team member when looking at potential employees. That said, there are a few key skills you’ll want to look for during the interview process. These are skill sets that are emerging as vital for dealerships that want to maintain an edge as we march further and further into this new world of ours.
#1. Tech Savvy
If it’s starting to sound like a broken record, it’s only because it is true: those who can harness the power of technology at their dealership will rise to the top in the coming years. This is for several reasons.
First, our customers aren’t coming in “cold” anymore. They’ve typically shopped around a bit online before, and know what they’re looking for and how much it should cost. If you want to draw modern buyers in, you’ll need an online presence that pulls people to you. This means having someone, or a group of someones, who are well versed in online sales, specifically how to market online, connect virtually with customers, and maintain a compelling internet presence.
Additionally, having someone good with tech can allow you to set up data monitors that can assess your traffic to see how effective your different approaches have been. This is the age of big data for a reason: the information collected has been boosting sales across all sectors. Having someone on board who can gather and interpret data will be a boon for your dealership.
#2. Good Listeners
Often times we focus on salespeople with the gift of gab, assuming that they can charm the sale out of any customer. However, today that’s less important than the gift of silence. In an era when people are constantly bombarded with noise, customers appreciate when someone takes the time to truly listen to them. As mentioned above, today most buyers walk in already knowing a lot, so they’re not necessarily looking to you for more information, rather to be a sounding board who can provide directional cues and nudges where needed.
#3. Able Adapters
At this point you may think the ideal candidate is a young, fresh out of college kid who has his finger on the social media pulse of the nation. Not necessarily. Look more for potential hires who are able to adapt quickly and easily. The industry is changing at a quick pace and you’ll need employees, young and old, to be able to keep up with those changes. Be it the trend away from cars to a new market for autonomous vehicles to something yet unknown, your team needs to be able to regroup and reform as needed. In this way, a veteran may be a better bet than a newbie, as you’ll be able to look at their record and see how well they roll with the punches.
#4. Learning Mindsets
Finally, given that things will unquestionably change, you want to look for employees who have learning mindsets, who are not just able but excited to learn. Seek team members who try their best to stay abreast of new developments in the automotive industry, and who aren’t afraid to ask questions and take additional training. Your customers will appreciate the more knowledgable, well-rounded salesperson handling their needs and your dealership will benefit overall from their added awareness.