IMI launches sales accreditation scheme for car dealers

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has announced that it has launched a new accreditation for automotive sales personnel.

The IMI Sales Accreditation initiative has been created to set new professional standards within the motor trade industry. Around 5,000 registrations for the scheme are expected within the coming months, with those being tested needing to demonstrate competence in the areas of communication, product and technical knowledge, objection handling, complaints, and business processes if they are to gain the accreditation.

Industry bodies are keen to enforce new systems for ensuring both car mechanics and dealers reach a certain level of competence. This could mean that in the future, certification will be required - along with things like motor trade insurance - to allow garages and dealerships to operate legally.

Once tested, the IMI will list accredited car dealers on its public facing IMI Professional Register, with the traders being categorised as either a sales executive or senior sales executive. The higher level requires additional competence in the areas of workload management, warranty, coaching and supervision.

IMI chief executive Steve Nash explained the reasoning behind the accreditation scheme: "The role of the automotive sales professional in today’s business has never been more challenging, with product, variant and option proliferation as well as ever tighter regulation of finance, so an accreditation route which addresses professional standards in this area is an important and logical step to take.

"We are certain this is the right course of action to raise standards in the sales arena and ensure good operators are rewarded and placed at the forefront of the industry."