New Simulator Tests Job Skills

How do you determine if someone looking for a showroom sales job has what it takes? One way is to take a chance, hire the person, and hope for the best. But that could just acerbate auto retailing's high turnover rate of salespersons. A more systematic way is for job candidates to take a multiple-choice online test featuring video clip simulations of various customer situations. A new web-based sales

How do you determine if someone looking for a showroom sales job has what it takes?

One way is to take a chance, hire the person, and hope for the best. But that could just acerbate auto retailing's high turnover rate of salespersons.

A more systematic way is for job candidates to take a multiple-choice online test featuring video clip simulations of various customer situations.

A new web-based sales simulator from Hire the Winners LCC is designed to screen prospects and filter out people who are better suited for employment elsewhere.

Test-taking job candidates are cast in the role of sales reps faced with trying to sell cars to virtual, on-screen customers. Candidates are scored on how well they respond to situations during the 25-minute test. Scoring is based on seven criteria identified by top industry analysts as prime indicators of auto sales success.

Prospective dealership sales people first meet Steve, who is in the market for a truck. But when his wife Glenda appears on the scene, the conversation quickly turns to SUVs.

By watching video sequences and selecting what to say and which questions to ask, job applicants probe Steve and Glenda's needs, suggest an appropriate vehicle, take them on a test drive, and defend the purchase recommendation amid customer concerns and objections.

When the conversation turns to price, the customers get a bit testy. Cue the hard-charging sales manager looking to protect his margins. Like in the real world of auto retailing, the test-taking job candidate must seek a win-win solution that offers a fair deal resulting in a sale.

Another simulation features Doug, who is looking for a full-size sedan. One misstep and he's out the door. When the customer leaves, the applicant has to decide how aggressively to pursue him.

After going through the various scenarios, test takers respond to a series of statements designed to assess their personalities.

Prospects are graded on their responses. Their scores are compared with people who've done well and poorly. Results are automatically sent to dealers.

Tests are $98 each plus subscription packages ranging from $100 to $500 a month.

National sales trainer Jonathan Dawson wrote the script for the various scenarios. The Gronstedt Group developed the simulator. For more information, go to www.hirethewinners.com

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