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They say that if you can dream it, you can build it. That’s exactly what happened with AddOnAuto, our phenomenally successful accessories solution. It all started when I met Sidney at Galpin Motors in San Fernando Valley, Southern California. He was one of the best Internet Managers in the automotive business and not only understood how to use the Internet to sell cars, but also had a deep understanding of its ability to impact how we do business.
Sidney had seen it all – from a struggling entrepreneur to running a public company he founded to being the most successful Internet Manager in the industry. Always a dreamer, he had some great ideas of what should be done in the automotive business and one of them was an accessories sales solution. I was skeptical because I knew the technical challenges involved and it required the building of a huge database of accessories with accurate mapping to vehicle trims and the need for all vehicles in each and every model, trim and color. I would listen to him and politely agree because it seemed like such an impossible task that it would probably never happen.
He seemed very committed and I wanted to help in whichever way we could so we gave him high resolution images of automobiles from time to time. This went on for a while, till one day I called him to ask how things were going and he said that his product was ready. It was the most exciting piece of news that I had heard in a long time and I flew down to LA to meet him. When he demonstrated AOA to me for the first time, it completely blew me away. Here was a product that would change the way dealerships did business, the way accessories were sold, and would impact the industry as no other product had done before.
The deal to acquire AOA itself was easy as we shared the same ideals, vision and goals. Before we knew it, Sidney was an integral part of izmocars and AOA was well on its way to creating history. But it took a lot of guts, pain, and hard work by a highly committed team to bring it to where it is today. We made mistakes, learnt a lot of lessons, and slowly but surely got AOA to being a very effective solution for selling accessories in dealerships.
Accessories are a $44 billion industry with franchise dealers having less than 10% market share. That is surprising because independent customer surveys show that consumers would rather buy accessories in-dealership than in the after-market. However, in the absence of an effective tool to sell accessories, dealerships are losing that business and have an uphill battle turning it around.
When we first launched AOA, no one believed that accessories could be sold in dealerships and we won them over one dealer at a time. We went into dealerships and built sales process, negotiated between part and sales departments, actually sold accessories for them, and showed them that this was true and not some marketing gimmick. With little or no marketing, but with a lot of customers as raving fans, AOA emerged as the only effective solution in selling accessories in dealerships.
The numbers are astounding – growth of anywhere from 100% to 300% in accessories sales, an average of $400 a copy and an ROI to dealers of more than 1000%! No other product in history has produced such results and yet it takes less than an hour to learn how to use it!
Today AOA is lighting the way for dealerships across the country, increasing sales and profits, creating a new profit center within dealerships. If you don’t believe us, ask our customers…
It was originally created for http://blog.izmocars.com/ceo/