When you want to buy a vehicle, it is important to conduct some research on the features and performance of the vehicles that fall within your budget. If you extend your research to a car dealership, you will most likely come across an auto sales consultant – a professional who will give you detailed descriptions of various vehicles. Read on to find more about the work of these consultants and what it takes to join the profession.
What Do Auto Sales Consultants Do?
Their duties include:
- Analyzing the stylistic and functional preferences of people interested in buying vehicles
- Advising buyers on the various vehicle options that can meet their preferences
- Educating buyers about the strengths and shortcomings of various vehicle models
- Demonstrating to customers how high-tech vehicle features work
- Advising buyers on possible car financing options
- Helping the customers to fill out car transfer or ownership documents
- Attending auto exhibitions to stay abreast of industry trends
- Conducting market research to identify vehicles that are in demand.
Auto sales consultants work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Weekend work is also common, mainly because clients often perform test drives during the weekends.
While at work, the consultants spend most of their time in showrooms explaining vehicle features to interested buyers.
The job may involve regular travel, since these consultants often accompany clients on test drives.
Auto sales consultants earn as follows:
Lowest earning auto sales consultants
$15,000 – $24,000
Middle earning auto sales consultants
$24,000 – $53,000
Highest earning sales consultants
$53,000 – $74,000
There are two ways to enter this profession. The first and most advisable route is to pursue an associate degree in automotive sales and marketing or automotive technology. The degree will equip you with the business and technical skills you need to thrive as an auto sales consultant.
Some of the colleges offering degrees in this field include:
- Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania
- Community College of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Fullerton College, California
Alternatively, you can begin as a salesperson in another industry, gain several years of sales experience and try your luck in the automotive industry. If you choose this route, you will probably undergo a period of on-the-job training to improve your automotive knowledge.
To be a competent auto sales consultant, you need:
- Strong business acumen
- Excellent selling skills
- Strong customer-service skills
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Persistence and persuasiveness
- A sound knowledge of vehicle registration laws and regulations
- A passion for vehicles
- Good analytical skills to analyze customers’ preferences
- The ability to read and interpret technical drawings
- Good teamwork skills
- Solid driving skills.
After getting employed as an auto sales consultant, you can undertake the following activities to enhance your chances of moving a step ahead:
- Pursue a relevant professional certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
- Join a professional association such as the Automotive Service Association – After joining ASA, be sure to stay updated on current industry trends
- Pursue a bachelor’s degree in automotive management.
The employers of auto sales consultants include:
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Franchised vehicle retailers
- Car dealerships
- Companies that sell auto spares and parts
- Auto consulting firms.
With vast auto sales consulting experience and an advanced degree in automotive management, you can be hired as an auto sales manager. It is also possible to move into self-employment and establish your own auto consulting business.
According to Equifax, a company that provides consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions, the US automotive industry is thriving. Manufacturers are looking to introduce new vehicle models, and more Americans are eager to purchase new automobiles. This means it is all rosy for aspiring auto sales consultants.
So, if you want to get paid helping people purchase vehicles that suit their needs, no doubt this is the career for you.