Top 6 Interview Questions to Get the Best Salespeople

Right QuestionsWhen it comes to staffing your sales department, finding the right people is half the battle. While recruitment agencies can find qualified candidates, it is up to the dealership to make the final determination about who will truly be the best fit for the brand and culture of the company.

To that end, we’ve put together the top six interview questions you should be asking to help you get to the heart of the job candidate, and determine whether or not they’re right for your dealership.

1.  What’s worse: Not meeting your quotas or having unhappy customers? The right answer to this will depend on your dealership’s values. It might be more important to have high sales volumes, or you might prefer to have your salespeople spend more time with each customer, which may lead to fewer sales. Either can be correct, but beware of people who completely gloss over customer needs. At the end of the day, a dealership lives and dies by its reputation, and you don’t want toxic people on your staff who will create lasting bad impressions.

2.  Who are you most comfortable selling to and why? How they answer this can be telling. Do they describe an ideal customer with perfect credit, or do they describe a specific demographic? Does their idea of the “gold standard” customer match with the type of people your dealership sells to? It’s one thing to expect your salespeople to be able to roll with the punches and handle anyone who walks in the door, but if they are telling you from the start that your customer base makes them uncomfortable, then they might not be the right fit for you.

3.  What motivates you? This is another question where there is no universal right or wrong answer. What you’re looking for here is whether or not the type of motivation your dealership offers meshes with the type of rewards the potential salesperson is most driven to try and earn.

4.  What do you think our dealership could be doing better? This is a great way to weed out candidates who haven’t done their homework. If they are serious about working for you, then it’s not unreasonable to expect they will have done at least a little research before walking in the door for the interview. It will also tell you how motivated they are to be long-term employees who work their way up the food chain — are their answers based solely around the basic sales position, or are they looking further up, to bigger picture issues?

5.  What is your approach to handling customer objections? There isn’t necessarily a wrong answer here. This is another question where it depends on your dealership’s culture. If you want your salespeople to approach objections with a soft-sell mentality, but the candidate believes in hard sales tactics — or vice versa — then they may not be the right fit for you.

6.  If you were hired, what would your first month look like? This is a great way to gauge their expectations. What do they believe the job entails, and while it doesn’t have to match with the reality exactly, it shouldn’t be completely out of left field either.
These are just a few of the questions you should be asking to help ensure you hire the right person for your dealership. Building a rock star sales team isn’t an easy task, but by focusing on the most promising candidates from the outset, you can set your dealership up for long-term success.


The Manus Group Stephanie YoungAbout the Author

Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. In here spare time, Stephanie mentors and encourages  young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers and is the driving force in her “Share the Love…Be a Volunteer” program.

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Copyright © 2016, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.

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