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How to Sell Accessories by NOT Selling Accessories

Article Highlights:

  • To win at accessories, you’ll have to rethink your sales approach.
  • The best way is to make the process interactive.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2014. It was updated with new information in March 2017.  

 

According to the 2016 SEMA Market Report, car and truck buyers are spending over $6.5 billion annually in the U.S. on automotive accessories.

The opportunity is clear. In an era of falling gross profits and CFPB scrutiny around F&I reserve, accessories is a huge opportunity for dealers to find a new profit center in their everyday sales process.

But, if you want to win at accessories, you’ll have to rethink everything you know about selling.

Because to sell accessories, you have to NOT sell accessories.

Here’s what you should do instead:

Step 1: Present, Don’t Pitch

Make sure the person presenting the accessories keeps it very low pressure. The customers are already committing to a big purchase. The salesperson’s job is to show how much more they can add to their vehicle for just a few dollars extra.

The best way to do this is to make the process interactive. Have the customers guide the discussions, and show them what their vehicle will look like with and without all the different options.

Step 2: Show, Don’t Tell

If you try to verbally explain accessories options, or if you pull out a price sheet and hand it over to a customer and try to sell off of it, don’t be surprised when customers don’t show interest.

You need to figure out a way to show customers exactly what different accessories will look like on their vehicle. Do that, and my experience has been you’ll see customers light up at the options they have, especially when they realize they can have many of these accessories for just a few extra dollars per month.

Step 3: Time it Right

Done right, accessories are presented after a deal is agreed on but before F&I. In this space, have someone show them the options they have for accessories on the vehicle they’re buying.

As a bonus, this process gives your F&I manager a few minutes to get the paperwork together, and your customers will be glad not to have to sit around waiting.

Conclusion

In my experience, it’s not that dealerships don’t want to sell accessories. It’s that they don’t really know how to sell accessories.

To win with accessories, you have to shift away from old-fashioned sales tactics.

We’ve developed a proven process complete with training methods that will help dealerships make the transition.

Want to know more? Check out our whitepaper: In the New “Golden Age” for Automotive… Where Are the New Frontiers for Dealership Profits?

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Vice President, AddOnAuto, Reynolds and Reynolds

Sidney Haider is founder and leader of AddOnAuto, the leading digital platform for marketing and selling vehicle accessories. Haider was previously general sales manager at Keyes Automotive and e-commerce director at Galpin Motors.