“Our hiring managers would often choose candidates who had previous car sales experience,”
Talent Q conducted a validation study of 205 sales executives from Ford Retail who had completed its Dimensions personality questionnaire and Elements ability tests. Each person’s results were compared against their sales profits, their sales volumes and their customer service rating over a four-month period.
The study found that those who achieved the most sales were open communicators with strong verbal reasoning skills and an ability to build rapport. However, those who rated highest for customer service had different characteristics. They were strong in empathy and were supportive, relaxed and consultative.
“Our philosophy is to create customers for life, not just make an initial sale, so we need to recruit well-rounded people who can perform well in both the sales and the customer service aspects of the role,” said Sharon Ashcroft. “Talent Q created an optimal profile of the personality traits and abilities that would bring all-round success.”
Over the four months of the validation study, Talent Q proved that the sales executives who matched this optimal profile demonstrated a higher calibre of sales performance compared to those who didn’t match the profile.
“We were initially surprised by the results - consultative and supportive are not the traditional traits of a sales role - but actually it makes perfect sense,” said Sharon Ashcroft. “Today’s customers don’t want a fast-talking salesperson. When buying a car, there are now so many ways to source information that, more often than not, customers just need someone to guide them in making their final decision.”
In a change to its recruitment process, Ford Retail now looks for candidates who match its optimal sales profile.
“We have a template of what ‘good’ looks like and this enables us to take a huge number of unsuitable applicants out of the process,” said Sharon Ashcroft. “Our recruitment process is now much more consistent and it’s no longer subjective. Also, because we know the attributes we’re looking for, we can cast a wider net to find the right people and train them in our way of working. Best of all, our dealership managers say we’re now bringing in better people than ever before.”
For further information, please call Talent Q on +44 (0)1844 218980 or visit www.talentqgroup.com
Background notes: Founded in 2005, Talent Q provides personality, ability and competency assessments, as well as learning & development programmes and consultancy services. It works with over 500 clients worldwide.
Ford Retail is the world’s largest, dedicated Ford dealer group, operating a network of 65 sites in the UK under a variety of local brand names including Bourgourd Ford, Brunel Ford, Dagenham Motors, Heartlands Ford, La Motte Ford, Lindsay Ford and Polar Ford. It also operates Ford Online, Ford Online Parts and @firstParts Solutions. Ford Retail is wholly owned by Ford Motor Company but operates as an independent dealer group with its own board of directors and operating strategies. Ford Retail employs 3,000 staff all of whom have attained or are working toward a diploma or NVQ in customer service as part of Ford Retail’s unique Moments of Truth customer proposition. www.fordretail.com