SHOULD A DEALER HAVE AN AFTERMARKET MANAGER OR RELY ON SALESPEOPLE AND F&I TO SELL ACCESSORIES?

ELLIOT HOROWITZ
IS BEST PRACTICE TO HAVE AN ACCESSORY CHAMPION IN A DEALERSHIP? SOMEONE WHO MANAGES AND IS DEDICATED TO GETTING THE JOB DONE OR RELY ON CONFIGURATORS, SALESPEOPLE AND F&I MANAGERS?
Jim Bell
I don't think you have to throw another person into the mix to be effective. If you train your sales staff to present 100% of the time, you will have some success. After we consummate the sale, our salespeople are trained to say, "Mr/Mrs customer, a lot of my customers like to personalize their vehicles with some accessories. Most of my customers like to go with an all season package which includes all weather mats, trunk tray, and mud guards. Would you like to go with that to start out with?". We close about 70% of our customers just with that accessory package alone.
Tessa Wissler
I completely agree with Jim. By the time that a customer gets to the Accessory phase of the sell, they are invested in our salesperson. Why turn them over to another person? We are trying to eliminate the need for a traditional F&I department entirely, and go to a clerical F&I position, with the salespeople doing those functions, and getting the commission on the back end as well. I'd be curious to see if anybody else is going this route, and how it's working out for them.
Aaron Root
Dealerships already have salespeople that are supposed to ... wait for it... sell. They should be paid a % for accessories as well. If they do not get paid for their efforts they will simply blow it off and defer to your parts department. A showroom floor should also be plastered with accessories. Designate a popular model and load it up to the nines with goodies. Make sure the staff is comfortable with install and removal (roof racks, etc.). Having someone specific is a lot to ask. A team effort is best and be comfortable asking Parts Managers for help. I would say F&I, warranty, sealants, maintenance plans, etc. are a completely different story.
Linda Hansen
Great comments, Aaron. All too often, when I bring up accessories as part of my training sessions, the comments fly..."we're not paid to do that!" The dealers who do compensate for accessories are the ones who have the great dispays and have the loaded up car on the floor. Don't overlook your dealer website - plant the seed right there. One dealer I work with has a separate sticker on the vehicle that lists what accessories are avaialable - usually 4-5 of the most popular. It's amazing how many customers ask about the accessory before the sales consultants gets to it!
Jim Bell
@Linda....you need to incentives it for them. When they say WIIFM, give them money. We pay 30% on accessory sales separate from the deal. That can make or break your month as a salesman if you are stuck on mini deals.

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