Theory versus Reality: Automotive Product Specialists

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I have long supported the idea that the traditional  role of the automotive salesperson is under siege and will soon be replaced; first by a legion of hourly, retail refugees and then by whatever online, kiosk, or other platform that finally cracks the car transaction as a service secret code.

I will admit I was wrong, at least about the first evolution.

Automotive retail giants have tried the product specialist position, someone that is not a salesperson, with limited success and failure. I thought that this shift would be successful because that is what customers wanted. Customers want salespeople, many times they need a salesperson to help guide them to a decision in a way no hourly product specialist could do.

The problem with the specialist is that because of increasingly complex rebate and finance structures and the burden of state and federal regulations a vehicle sale is a very complicated process. Just like a real estate purchase a vehicle purchase takes professional representation in most cases. 

What people do want and deserve is a more professional sales experience which can only be provided by skilled and trained salespeople, not product specialists.

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