Dealer fixed operations are the hidden powerhouse in every store. Fixed ops, an industry term for the parts and service departments, made up at least 49% of a dealer's gross profit in years past, and that number is expected to rise in 2021.
As a result, many dealerships would struggle to keep the doors open without fixed operations, cementing that the back of the house is a foundation on which dealerships are built.
Dealer Fixed Operations Is the Ideal Sales Environment
In the showroom, the gross is a variable. For example, you might sell three Ram TRX trucks at three different prices, depending on the negotiation. As a result, dealers can only predict the income potential based on inventory.
While the well-dressed car salesperson gets a bad rap for being a smooth talker, employees in parts and service are non-threatening. In reality, parts and service is the ideal place to upsell, in a low-pressure environment.
Back in fixed ops, there's considerably less pretense. Your customer is an active buyer "looking" for something rather than being sold on something.
4 Ways to Upsell Dealer Fixed Operations
Make It Personal
Today, fixed operations training has to include the sales process and customer satisfaction. When customers bring their car in for service, they typically want to get in and get out quickly. Deliver excellent customer service, making the appointment comfortable and convenient, and don't miss the opportunity to ask about their vehicle. Is there something they find uncomfortable or inconvenient? Often an accessory can help with that. Is the need for an item on the horizon (such as a bike rack or cargo carrier for a trip)?
After the service appointment:
Do a walk-around with the customer.
Point out what types of things they should look out for and anything they need to know for the next appointment.
Take the time to explain the service performed and the vehicle's condition in layman's terms.
When the service appointment is efficient and personalized, your customer will schedule their next appointment with you.
Fixed Operations Training: Overcoming Objections
When 90% of your traffic is through the service department (most days), you can't afford to let upsell opportunities slip. Give your staff the fixed operations training they need to keep from shutting down in the face of an objection. With training, back-of-the-house employees can upsell additional services, replacement products, and accessories.
More often than not, customers object because they think you're selling them things they don't need. Therefore, service doesn't need to master a sales pitch as much as they need to take the time to educate. Explain why an alignment or air filter change is necessary to maintain their investment with numbers. For example, "$100 now can save you $2000 in a year."
Customers Choose Budget Over Quality
Common services must be competitive in pricing with Valvoline, Tuffy Tires, and the mom-and-pop mechanic down the road. Services like an oil change, alignment, tire rotation, and cabin air filter (to name a few) have to be competitively priced to retain customers.
Customers assume dealership pricing is more expensive—whether or not it’s true—which will count you out for services unless you are purposefully putting out pricing where it’s easy to find. The customer may well know that their vehicle is in the best hands at your store and still choose service based on price. Getting your customer in the door is half the battle, so make sure you explain the value of your services clearly.
If they can trust your oil change price, they won't balk when you recommend changing the worn tires too. When you're moderately priced, the customer isn't compelled to shop around when you recommend tires. Instead, they'll choose the convenience of doing it while there.
First Introduction to Service: Accessories
The easiest way to get more service appointments is by closing them at the point of sale, with an accessory purchase. Too many introductions to the service department happen because something is wrong or needs maintenance. Imagine a customer you've never met who comes in with an issue 60 days after buying the car. They're not happy. And you're in the line of fire because your first meeting is unpleasant.
You could more easily defuse the situation if you were familiar with that customer. Dealerships that sell accessories at the point of sale turn more customers over for a pleasant fixed operations introduction. The customer will need their accessory installed on the new vehicle, which they're happy and excited about, allowing you to meet on much better terms.
Accessories connect the customer to their car with the personalized touch and connect your customer to service on a positive note. Vehicle Personalization will increase the service department's bottom line and turns a customer into an acquaintance.
Roll Out Fixed Operations Sales Training in 30 Minutes
Insignia Group is the leading provider of digital accessory selling systems nationwide. Our sleek interface is user-friendly and makes pulling information and recommending accessories in dealer-fixed operations a breeze. In addition, our consultants can have your parts, sales, and service staff acclimated to using the system to upsell in under an hour.
Our Everything program provides your dealership with step-by-step guidance on setting up, to training, and implementing a sustainable accessories process from showroom to service lounge.
We have 20 years of experience and a complete money-back guarantee if your store isn't successful. Turn your customers into super fans with accessories.