The idea of a “product expert” instead of a “salesperson” is getting a lot of traction as the world of digital retailing has come to automotive. With the amount of research done by car shoppers, making sure that your sales teams are true product experts is a challenging task. Let’s take a moment to talk about what a product expert is and how to become a product expert.
Product Expert Definition According to MAX Digital
Going piece by piece, we’ll start with product. A product is anything that has been made for you to sell. As a car dealer, this means every car on your lot, new and used, is a product waiting to be sold. Parts, equipment, and accessories sold by your service department also count, even service contracts can be considered products, but for simplicity we’ll focus on vehicles as the core products.
An expert is someone who can speak or act with authority on a given subject. You could also call them a specialist, or someone who specializes in a given field.
Putting it all together, a product expert is someone who specializes in selling a manufactured good or service. They have access to a complete breadth of knowledge on their product and can answer any question a customer might pose. We checked in with Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition and modified it slightly to reflect this compound meaning of product expert.
prod·uct ex·pert | \ ˈprä-dəkt ˈek-spərt \
: one with the special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a product or service that is marketed or sold.
The notion of mastery implies a level of training and total time invested in product knowledge. One of the best examples of product experts in practice is Apple’s Genius Bar. If you’re having a problem with a Macbook or iPhone, you know you can schedule an appointment with a Genius at your local Apple Store and they will get you sorted out. Best Buy’s Geek Squad might actually predate Apple for their brand of on-call tech expertise.
Closer to home, certain auto manufacturers have put their own product experts into play on the sales side. BMW launched its Genius initiative and Lincoln is giving its Black Label customers their own liaison within the dealership.
These programs are a terrific step in the right direction for customer service, but they’re limited in practice by the amount of training needed and the number of employees that have been trained to take on these roles. In the world of used cars, each vehicle in inventory is unique, so learning the details of each individual item stocked is not possible in the same way it is with a smaller number of products to learn. Employee turnover is high especially among sales staff, adding to the challenge. So how do you make all of your employees instant product experts?
Become a Product Expert with the MAX Digital Showroom
To raise the effectiveness of your sales team, you need to empower each employee with the detail on that specific vehicle. The services you have access to with MAX Digital will help you do just that.
With a simple scan, our software gives your sales associates full access to:
- Detailed listings for every car on your lot, whether it’s an on or off brand vehicle.
- Real-time market comparisons using the largest bank of historical and market data in the industry.
- Original OEM package information, including a package’s original MSRP.
- Complete vehicle history reports, along with service information, past ownership and past accidents.
- Price comparisons between similar models for sale at third party sources and your competition.
MAX Digital gives your team access to all the information available on any mobile device. Pair that with the kind of data with the quality training you give your staff, and you’ll be working with true product experts. Preparing your team for that level of success will help you validate the value of every car in your inventory and build trust among your customer base.
Even a sales novice can be highly successful with that level of detail at their fingertips to share. In the picture featured at the top of this blog, one of our Dealer Development team members, Ty Fleming was walking a client’s used car lot when a customer was looking for more information on the vehicle. He had never been a car salesman, but was able to scan the car and answer all of the questions the customer had. That customer purchased the car that same day.
If you want to learn more about what MAX Digital can do to turn your sales team into product experts, or if you have questions about any of our solutions, request a demo now. We look forward to introducing you to our product experts.