HARDISON’S TIPS – JUNE 15, 2021 – GUIDE TO BECOMING AN AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCT SPECIALIST
How to become an automotive product specialist
You can follow these simple steps to begin your career as an automotive product specialist:
1. Earn a high school diploma
A high school diploma, or the global equivalent, is typically the minimum qualification for automotive product specialist positions.
2. Consider an undergraduate degree
Though some employers only require that their applicants have a high school diploma, most automotive product specialists decide to pursue some sort of higher education. Earning an associate or a bachelor’s degree can often bolster your resume and overall marketability as an applicant. There’s rarely a preferred field of study for this role, but it can be beneficial to major in things like:
- Automotive marketing and management
3. Gain experience
As with most sales positions, relevant experience is an essential way to develop your skills and knowledge. Most automotive product specialist positions require experience in a role as a sales associate, sales representative or customer service representative.
4. Pursue a professional certification
Though rarely a requirement, a professional certification can help you stand out as a candidate that is dedicated to their career, genuinely passionate about the industry and eager to learn. If you know the brand or brands you’d like to work with, you can showcase your specialized knowledge by completing manufacturer-specific training. These programs are typically meant for automotive technicians, but the in-depth knowledge you gain can be invaluable as an automotive product specialist because it gives you a thorough understanding of the product, allowing you to successfully address any client questions or concerns.
Automotive product specialist skills
Some of the key skills for this role include:
- Communication skills: As an automotive product specialist, communication is essential. Aside from communicating with clients, these professionals must also communicate with coworkers, technicians and managers. They must be able to clearly explain a product’s key features and address a client’s questions and concerns. Because automotive product specialists are often responsible for lead generation via email and text, this role requires both written and verbal communication skills.
- Listening skills: The main way that automotive product specialists set themselves apart from car salespeople is by focusing their energy on meeting the needs of their client rather than upselling. In order to effectively do this, they must be have well-developed active listening skills.
- Customer service skills: Customer service is a key aspect of an automotive product specialist’s job description. These professionals must be adaptable, skilled problem solvers and excellent communicators.
- Interpersonal skills: Automotive product specialists interact with a wide range of individuals, which is why interpersonal skills are so important for this role. Additionally, they are responsible for generating leads and fostering quality, long-term relationships with clients.
- Product knowledge: Because automotive product specialists are expected to act as resources for clients, it’s imperative that they become experts in the automotive industry, as well as the specific products and vehicles that they work with. In this industry, products and features are constantly changing, which is why this position requires an eagerness to learn.