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Accessory Myth: “I have to hire more people.”

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Article Highlights:

  • Two best practices for starting accessories with the staff you have today.
  • "Dealers are looking to cut costs, not add more."

Accessory Myth #1: To add an accessory department, you would have to hire more people.

One of the first concerns I hear when I talk about accessories is… “I don’t want to hire more people.” In today’s market, hiring additional sales, service, or even parts associates is not ideal. Many dealers are looking to cut costs, not add more.

The good news is you don’t have to hire more people. You can implement a successful accessory process with the staff you have today. Here are two best practice strategies I like to offer dealers:

1) Use Your Existing Sales Team:

If you already have a great sales team, adding an accessory presentation into its current process would be ideal. This allows you to capitalize on the sales skills of your current team while eliminating the need to introduce the customer to another “sales guy.”

Another benefit to this strategy is giving your sales team the opportunity to make more money with each deal. Many dealerships struggle with attracting and retaining good salespeople because the money isn’t what it used to be. But with the added benefit of accessory sales in their paycheck, you may be able to keep the salespeople you have and use it as leverage when hiring new salespeople.

2) Assign a Dedicated Accessory Representative:

If your sales staff seems busy enough already, assigning a dedicated accessory person is another strategy I like to discuss. This is a great opportunity to promote a hard working salesperson to manager or a good place to start cross training millennials to keep them motivated in their job.

Other dealerships I’ve worked with use this strategy as an on-boarding tool. They will take a budding salesperson, a BDC representative, or sometimes even a service advisor and introduce selling techniques to them through accessories. It’s a great strategy for introducing newer employees to selling, but you want to make sure you are keeping them in the dedicated accessory position long enough to be successful at accessory sales.

Which strategy is right for you?

Finding out what works for your dealership depends on many factors, including dealership size, number of sales associates, skill level, sales volume, etc. Some dealerships start with one strategy and then switch to another. Either way many of the stores I work with have seen great success using one of these two strategies. In fact, some have had so much success selling accessories they actually wanted to hire more people so they could sell even more to meet their accessory demand. Now that might be a problem you look forward to having.

Stay tuned for the next Accessory Myth article in an upcoming edition of Fuel.

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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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