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3 Major Pitfalls Keeping You Out of the Accessory Game

Article Highlights:

  • Selling accessories isn't the hard part...
  • "The actual payment price turns out to be different than the quoted price."

Where does the accessory sale typically fall short? It’s not really the sale; that’s the easy part. It’s the pricing, part ordering, part delivery, installation, tracking, and finally customer delivery processes that cause the biggest headaches and pain for you and your customer. Let’s take a look at some of the major pitfalls dealerships face in today’s accessory selling process:

Information accuracy:
Many dealerships I’ve visited are still using the old fashioned method of quoting prices for accessories… calling up the parts and service departments individually and getting their numbers. Typically each department will look up the parts and hours; then add its own mark-up to arrive at a final number.

Nine times out of 10 the actual payment price turns out to be different than the quoted price. This means either the customer ends up paying way more than he expected, causing CSI to drop, or someone will get a talking to from the general manager.

Parts Ordering:
Next is the parts order process. Parts typically don’t get ordered until the salesperson delivers a we-owe to the service advisor. The margin of error here is huge. The salesperson’s job is to sell, so when one deal is done, his mind is already onto the next customer, not delivering that we-owe to service.

This is also typically a paper process, so the chance of that we-owe getting lost or misplaced is pretty high. Next thing you know, the customer is calling in to schedule an appointment and the salesperson has no clue what he is talking about. Another drop in your CSI score.

Tracking and Communication:
Poor tracking and communication are also major problems for dealerships selling accessories. Oftentimes, dealerships have to work with outside installers to get certain types of work done. If communication is lacking, it’s hard to schedule and the installer may show up when the vehicle is not at the dealership or still being worked on.

Communication with the customer is also a missed step. Whose job is it to contact the customer… service, parts, sales? Scheduling follow-up appointments or even ensuring the customer is contacted if not all the parts have arrived can be a major issue for dealerships that don’t have the right communication processes in place.

There is too much room for error in each of these pieces—lost profits, a drop in CSI, decreased employee morale, or bad relationships with installers. It’s no wonder dealerships try to steer clear of accessories.

But, the accessory process doesn’t have to be a headache for you. With the right processes in place this can transform from a tangled web of mishaps into a streamlined, and profitable, process. Not sure that’s possible? Take a look at how Acton Toyota has replaced each of the issues you just read about with an easy, hassle free accessory sales process.

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East Region AddOnAuto Consulting Supervisor

David is the East Region Consulting Supervisor for AddOnAuto. He has over 19 years of dealership Fixed Operations experience working as a Service Advisor, Assistant Service Manager, and Service Director. David joined Reynolds and Reynolds and the AddOnAuto team in 2014. Today, he uses his industry and AddOnAuto experience to assist the AddOnAuto Business Consultants in coaching, mentoring, and leading dealerships to develop a successful accessory program.

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Editor’s Note: This article was written by guest author Jordan Collins, who was an intern in the Reynolds Marketing Communications department. Jordan is a 4th