Reynolds & Reynolds recently said the automotive accessories industry is a $40 billion per-year business. Sadly, the vast majority of it (less than 10%, according to multiple sources) is not being won at the dealership level; instead, it is going to third-party companies. It’s high time this changed.
So let’s look at why so many dealerships are lagging behind where they should be in terms of sales. Starting with the basics, do you have a dedicated accessories department – and people who know all about them? Having a separate department where customers can see some of the products available to them makes a big difference, and an accessories expert who’s able to answer their questions will increase your chances of success. (Note: As recently as late 2013, a Forester Research study found that less than half of all dealerships had accessories on display.)
Now, if you have these departments already in place and knowledgeable employees to help your customers, it’s time to take a look at what you’re selling. Do a little research on what your customers might be looking for and make the necessary seasonal adjustments to the inventory.
It also isn’t a bad idea to add a few accessories to cars already on your lot. Why? Because when a customer sees them actually on the car, they might just like them enough to buy it.
Finally, it never hurts to contact your customer a few days after a sale via e-mail or phone to remind them that it can be wise to accessorize their vehicles.
Of course, the best time to approach a customer about accessories is always during and immediately after the sale – the time when they’re excited about the purchase and there may be the ability to “fold in” the cost of what they buy into the monthly payments (if applicable). This can be a big assist in easing the customer’s mind about cost.
Improving Accessories Sales
The end of the year – just before the holidays – certainly presents the greatest chance to sell automobile accessories for obvious reasons. But if you put a little extra effort into it all year, you can greatly increase your sales in this department. As a result, you can increase your numbers – and your profits – to a level that might pleasantly surprise you, and you’ll get a bigger piece of that tantalizing $40 billion annual pie.
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