For the past six month our business has been excellent. We have been extolling to dealers through our “Boots on the Ground Program,” the opportunities that exist for all equipment dealers to increase both product support sales as well as product support profitability.
Today, worldwide equipment dealer’s professional sales and marketing personnel know that they must approach the customer face to face at some point in order to sell and market any kind of product. This is especially true in the case of marketing the dealership’s product support. Too many times the typical equipment dealership takes the exact opposite sales approach. There is a tendency to believe aftermarket sales are guaranteed and all that is necessary is to wait for the customer to ask for the dealership’s aftermarket products.
An analysis of any equipment dealer’s market clearly points out customers have a choice as to where they buy product support for their equipment, no matter where they purchased it. Many customers have their own shops and technicians performing
Your dealership requires sales and profits to survive, and your equipment customers are spending only an estimated one third of their dollars with you for their parts and service requirements. Why? No one is in a better position to capture an increasing number of these dollars than your dealership. You have the physical distribution system in place, product knowledge and trained personnel available. You have the “outlets” and the “facilities” where your customers would be happy to give more of their repair and service parts/accessories business to your dealership if you would only focus your dealership to aggressively market your entire dealership.
Surveys have clearly indicated that the major reason many customers shop elsewhere, or perform their own service on equipment that they bought from your dealership is: 1. No one from the dealership has solicited the customers’ service business, 2. Customers want to maintain control of the care of their equipment because they really don’t trust you to take optimum care of their equipment, 3. Customers think they can do it faster, thereby keeping machine downtime to a minimum, 4. Customers think it costs less to perform their own service or to have the independent perform the service.
All of these negatives can be overcome by “old-fashioned” face-to-face selling by professional sales personnel in all phases of the dealership’s business.
There is strong evidence that certain companies and equipment dealers are performing innovative projects in the parts and service areas of their dealership. However, there still appears to be no full acceptance in the equipment dealer fraternity that getting aggressive in the area of parts and service marketing is the acceptable and wise thing to do!
Parts and service offers equipment dealers the opportunity for both increased profits and increased sales volume. Margins on the sale of equipment dealers are selling are declining. Increased parts and service sales and profits are becoming more and more important to dealer survival.
Remember, selling service is “the key element” in increasing the dealerships’ overall parts business!
Over the years AMS has been steadfast in encouraging equipment dealers to hire, train and maintain customer service sales representatives (CSRs, PSRs). We have been somewhat adamant that equipment sales personnel don’t do an adequate job of promoting the dealership’s aftermarket. We have maintained equipment sales personnel are coming through the “front door,” making the sale and moving immediately to the next sale, while the aftermarket sales personnel are entering through the “back door” and maintaining the customer’s continued interest.