How They Sold Accessories with Low Inventory
In Burnsville, Minnesota there’s a CDJR store called Dodge of Burnsville and they’ve been with Insignia Group since November 2013; they have really upped their accessory sales process over the past few years, starting with signing up for the Everything Program (called Guided Program then) in January 2019.
Comparing accessory sales revenue from 2019 and 2021, they’ve increased their revenue by 117% in 2021. During a time when chip shortages, job losses, manufacturing lulls, and an actual pandemic are hitting the nation; Dodge of Burnsville has managed to double their revenue in two years. How did they do it?
Matt Courts, the sales manager at Dodge of Burnsville, gave us insight into what his CDJR store did to have such great sales results.
Q: You’ve doubled your revenue from 2019 (before shortages and the pandemic), what do you think helped your store reach those numbers?
A: “Trucks. We sell more trucks than anything. Most people want the spray in bedliners, covers, side steps...we also have things like protection tint. We make sure that every customer gets presented with accessories and a majority of those customers will start adding things to their vehicles without much prompting.”
Q: Do you have any advice for other dealerships out there who might be struggling with getting employees to “buy in” with using our system to promote accessory sales?
A: “I would say, don’t have an accessory department. Pay the sales guys really well and make them do it. Our sales guys sell the accessories and get paid 20% of the gross sale on them. This is usually a great motivator for them to get involved. If they aren’t getting paid for the accessories, why would they try a new process that does nothing for their paycheck? We recommend getting at least 1-2 accessories per vehicle. We have some guys that are making $800-$1000 a week on accessory sales commissions alone.
Not only do we give them incentives with commission, we make sure the process is second nature. We are constantly focusing on accessory sales. We hold our salespeople accountable for the deals they make and obligate them to always present accessories. All the managers hold the salespeople accountable. Any system takes time to learn and adapt new processes, but once the paychecks start coming through people stop objecting.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the inventory shortage and what you are seeing on the floor?
A: “The inventory shortage is definitely being felt by many stores. We have been really lucky because we were a high volume store, which means we got sent more inventory than some of the other stores. That being said, we are getting to the end of the year and the holidays and are starting to feel more strained on inventory.”
Q: With the pandemic, many stores turned to digital retailing to try to keep their numbers up the best they could. Does your store use a digital retailer?
A: “Yes, we have a site set up with CarNow. Right now, we are seeing many customers start the buying process online and then come into the store to finish. It’s hard to sell accessories with digital retailers unless the digital retailer is set up to do so.”
Dodge of Burnsville is set to have a record-breaking year in accessory sales and it can all be summed up to accountability, consistency, and visual presentations customers enjoy! When asked about the Insignia Group accessory sales system, Matt says, “The system we had before Insignia Group was a mess. The Insignia Group system helps organize everything, gets information to the right people…[it’s] easy to manage. The system has basically removed the need to have actual accessories personnel. Really simplified things for us.”
To further explain his satisfaction with the system, he commented on the benefit of having a consultant with dealership experience, “He [Kurt Daugherty, Insignia Group Customer Success Consultant] was the support we needed when we got it off the ground. He really helped with training the new hires, was very responsive, and I love the promptness. There’s nothing worse than launching new software and having no one to help you through it.”
Congratulations to Matt and his team at Dodge of Burnsville for being creative in a time of uncertainty, and smashing records, when many forecasted barely breaking even!