Carlisle & Co.’s recent “Auto Accessory Survey,” reveals that dealers are stressed about accessories.
According to the survey, dealers worry that vehicle sales will suffer due to the additional cost of accessories, and the dealers who opt out of accessories sales altogether claim it’s because the customer’s only concern is the final price.
The accessories market is worth almost $40 billion dollars. Businesses like Amazon and CarMax are cashing in on accessories sales. But, dealers are only capturing a tiny fraction–less than 8%–of this market.
With vehicle sales moving from a growth market to a flat market, dealers are looking to capture more substantial profits where it makes sense for their business. And, it starts with the booming accessories market. With the right solution which connects all departments electronically, dealers can conquer their fears.
Step 1: Present, Don’t Pitch
On average, car buyers spend three hours negotiating the car sale. The last thing they want is another sales pitch.
Instead of selling accessories, present them and keep the presentation low pressure. The salesperson’s job is to show customers how they can make their vehicle unique and personalized. It should be on the customer’s term.
The best way to do this is to make the process interactive. Have customers guide the discussion, and show them what their vehicle will look like with and without all the different options.
Step 2: Show, Don’t Tell
If you try to verbally explain accessories options, or hand customers a price sheet trying to sell off of it, don’t be surprised when customers don’t show interest.
You need to figure out a way to show customers exactly how different accessories will look like on their vehicle. Do that, and my experience has been you’ll see customers light up at the options they have, especially when they realize they can have many of these accessories for just a few extra dollars per month. The best news is customers can finance accessories purchases with the vehicle and gain additional benefits, such as OEM warranty protection where applicable.
Step 3: Time it Right
The best time to present accessories is after a deal is agreed on but before F&I. In this window of time, have a member of your team show customers the options available for accessories on the exact vehicle they’re buying.
As a bonus, this process gives your F&I manager a few minutes to get the paperwork together, and your customers will be glad not to have to sit around waiting.
In my experience, it’s not that dealerships don’t want to sell accessories. It’s that they don’t really know how to sell accessories. But now that the market has changed and the customer has changed, dealers need to change, too. It’s time for a new profit center.
Using a proven process that includes the steps above can help your dealership eliminate anxiety around selling accessories and increase vehicle sales profits.
Author: Mitch Falink
Mitch Falink is vice president of Variable Operations Sales at Reynolds and Reynolds. Falink received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He started his career at Reynolds in 1997 as a system account manager. Since then, he has steadily climbed the ranks within the company. He became Midwest CRM specialist in 2003 and was promoted to the national CRM specialist position in 2005. Falink then became regional sales director for the Southeast in 2007 and was named to his current role in 2016. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.