Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 29

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

SUCCESS
continued from Page 28

result, she says, "the conversation about accessories gets swept under the rug."
At her Toyota dealership, Allen says, the service manager is immediately notified of every
new-vehicle sale, so that a service employee
can discuss accessories with the buyer. The
Ford store maintains a "parts boutique" that
acquaints buyers with popular accessories,
she adds.

2

Give dealership employees meaningful economic incentives to learn
about and sell accessories. A 2016
survey of 2,600 dealership general
and sales managers by the industry consulting firm Carlisle & Co. found that 9 out of 10
new-vehicle dealerships sell accessories actively. Yet one-fifth of the respondents said
they were not compensated for such sales, according to the report.
"If dealerships are not clever enough to incentivize their salespeople, shame on them,"
says Lawrence Constantin, director of Americas sales and marketing for Solar Gard, which
makes window tinting and paint protection
products.
Nor should incentives be limited to sales
managers and employees, says Nancy Vanderbilt, president of Automotive Aftermarket
Services LLC, a firm in Santa Fe, Texas, that
works with dealerships to sell accessories.
"Everybody plays," Vanderbilt says. "Each
department should share in accessory sales
profit, because each department touches the
process."

3

Leverage the dealership's natural
advantages in accessories sales.
A new study by Foresight Research,
an automotive marketing firm in
Rochester, Mich., concludes that like vehicle
manufacturing itself, accessories sales increasingly are focusing on technologies such
as connectivity and driver assistance.
Franchised dealerships are well placed to
dominate the market for such high-end accessories, the study says, because "customers
want professional installation and warranty
protection."
Yet just half of the new-vehicle buyers surveyed by Foresight Research said they recalled
talking about accessories during the purchase
process - and buyers initiated two-thirds of
those conversations.
"Manufacturers and dealers continue to

Value added

The 10 most popular auto accessories, by sales volume
1. Floor mats
2. Window tinting
3. Protection products
4. Factory exterior items (such as
splash guards)
5. Alarms, remote starters, vehicle
recovery products
6. Body side moldings
7. Step bars
8. Factory interior products (such as
cargo nets)
9. Wheel accessories
10. Trailer hitches and related products
Source: 2017 Auto Accessories Trend Report, Reynolds
& Reynolds

lose a significant portion of accessory sales to
the aftermarket," the report concludes, "because buyers simply aren't asked what accessories they want and need."

4

Train dealership employees to sell
accessories effectively. Some salespeople - and dealers - say they
don't want to lose the sale of a
$40,000 car or truck by making a customer feel
pressured to buy a few hundred dollars' worth
of accessories.
Such apprehension can be eased, consultants say, by training salespeople and other
workers to present accessories knowledgeably to customers.
That process goes beyond shoving sales brochures at new-vehicle buyers and service customers or pointing to product displays. It
means, among other things, working with
customers to use computers to configure their
cars and trucks with the accessories they want
and to review prices.
Suppliers say they are eager to educate dealership employees about features of their
products. Martin Klein, vice president of Recaro, a maker of high-end automotive seating,
concedes that "it's hard to train people to consult the customer in the right way" about accessories.
But Klein, a former dealer, notes that gross
margins on aftermarket parts exceed those on
new-vehicle sales. He adds that his company
makes a point of asking new-vehicle dealerships: "How can we help?"

Too often, dealers don't seem interested,
says David Borla, vice president of sales and
marketing at Borla Performance Industries
Inc., which makes high-performance exhaust
systems.
"A dealer told me, 'My guys don't know how
to sell it'," Borla says. "The dealer mindset is to
sell cars. They think that performance equals
problems. I don't know what it's going to take
to change that culture."
Some vendors provide software to dealerships to help manage accessories sales. Reynolds & Reynolds, for example, offers a product
called AddOnAuto, which helps dealerships
create digital accessories presentations and
enable departments to work together on sales.

5

It's OK for dealerships to favor
automakers' accessories, but don't
ignore aftermarket offerings. The
Reynolds & Reynolds report points
out that automakers generally don't provide
some top-selling accessories, such as window
tinting and vehicle upholstery.
Consultant Vanderbilt notes that service departments also can market profitable accessories such as nitrogen tire conversion and
windshield enhancements.

6

Hire an accessories manager, but if
that's not in the budget, designate
a point person to coordinate accessories sales.
A dedicated accessories manager, Vanderbilt says, can focus on sales, installation and
training, freeing other dealership employees
from those duties.
That shift alone, she estimates, can increase
gross profit by an average of $50 on every new
vehicle sold.

7

Consider partnerships with other
accessories vendors.
The e-commerce site eBay hosts "several hundred" new-vehicle dealerships
that sell accessories to online shoppers, says
Matt Thomas, director of parts and accessories account management for eBay Motors.
"There's definitely an opportunity to sell
more," Thomas says.
"Those who see that opportunity tend to
dedicate in-house resources" to online sales,
he adds.
Allen of the Santa Margarita dealer group
calls for a "culture change" that elevates selling accessories as a dealership priority.
"We've got a lot of work to do here," she says.
"People want to buy presents for their car." 

DECEMBER 2017

PAGE 29



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Big verdict
Ho-ho-ho
Battery charge
Price is right
Tomorrow’s techs
Selling accessories
SEMA dreams
To the rescue
Profit Builder
Richard Truett
On the line
Letters
Real time
Feedback
After hours
Efficiency expert
Longer lasting
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Big verdict
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 11
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Ho-ho-ho
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Battery charge
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 18
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Price is right
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Tomorrow’s techs
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Selling accessories
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - SEMA dreams
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - To the rescue
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Profit Builder
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - On the line
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Real time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - After hours
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Efficiency expert
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Longer lasting
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover3
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