These are unique times for the automotive industry. Online car sales are surpassing what we're used to, while in-person sales are transforming to fit the times. Unfortunately, accessories can fall by the wayside when we're hyper-focused on moving metal. After all, many dealerships are merely surviving. How can a salesperson offer accessories online without losing the customer's interest? How can an in-person sale survive the perceived "extra step" of an accessory presentation?
The reality is, accessories can cushion your bottom line. After all the hard falls we had this spring, we could all use some extra cushion now. So don't neglect the incredible profit potential Vehicle Personalization has to offer! Lead in to your lead-in products for an easy transition from car sale to accessory presentation.
Choosing the right lead-in product for your dealership will depend on various factors. Consider your brand, customer base and environment to start. It’s important for everyone to be well-versed and enthusiastic about this product. Over time, you should see proven success with transitioning into the full presentation. If not, you may have the wrong product. And, the beauty of a lead-in product is you can change it at any time!
A Hyundai store in South Carolina used window tint as a lead-in and sold it almost every time. A northern Toyota dealer took a different approach with a remote start as their lead-in. The result landed the dealership in Insignia Group’s Million Dollar Club for several years in a row. The personality of the accessory manager, the brand and the location all factored into these success stories. What factors assist your lead-in product success and how can you personally improve them to promote accessory-sales?
Let’s take a closer look at a few you can implement today!
Brand | What are you known for? Hondas and Toyotas are known for reliability and longevity. Weave that into your pitch by offering protection packages that will last for the long haul. Jeep and Subaru should appeal to the brand's adventurous spirit. Bike racks and spare tires are an easy “yes” for that crowd. Ford’s toughness goes hand in hand with work-related accessories, like tool boxes.
Customer Base | It can be tricky to generalize your entire customer base, but you can identify some similarities. If you sell a lot of family vehicles, you might focus on cargo organizers for everybody’s stuff. If you see a lot of business men and women, you might lead with a cell phone mount. You can choose to go in another direction and lead with a navigation system. It’s up to your dealership (or sometimes trial and error ) on whether you go with an easy yes or try to lead with an accessory heavy hitter.
Environment | A good lead-in product can change with the season. Remote starts can be a natural and profitable introductory product for some parts of the country. Florida summers and North Dakota winters beg for climate controlled vehicles. When the season shifts, the product you start off with can too. If you’re in a state with less extreme temperatures, you can focus on football season or an upcoming holiday.
Small scale tailgating packages can be a great segue if you live somewhere with a strong fan base. Is your terrain red dirt rich? Or do the coming months call for snow tires for a safe commute? Then plug those all-weather floor mats for every season. It’s an easy introduction when your customer realistically needs your lead-in product.
Remember, the purpose of your lead-in product is to make a smooth transition into the Vehicle Personalization accessory presentation. Take the tips mentioned and tweak them to fit your store.
What will you lead with?