Debunking Those Myths

Why bother with OEM accessories when comparable aftermarket brands can be had for less cost to the dealership potentially producing more profit when sold? Three big reasons: fit/finish, warranty and serviceability. Parts managers tell me they use OEM accessories because of fewer problems after the sale. This was the impetus for dealerships switching to the OEM brand and vowing not to go back to the

Why bother with OEM accessories when comparable aftermarket brands can be had for less cost to the dealership potentially producing more profit when sold? Three big reasons: fit/finish, warranty and serviceability.

Parts managers tell me they use OEM accessories because of fewer problems after the sale. This was the impetus for dealerships switching to the OEM brand and vowing not to go back to the aftermarket.

Yet, some dealerships and parts managers cling to the myths surrounding OEM accessories. These myths can be exposed as little more than bunk. Here are five debunked:

Myth 1: OEM accessories are too expensive.

If that were the case, no dealerships and their parts departments would be able to sell them. My research shows that $1,900 worth of OEM accessories, added to a vehicle with a four-year lease, amounted to a cost increase to the customer of less than a weekly lunch at McDonalds.

Myth 2: Customers feel they get more value for their money with aftermarket parts.

One of the strongest arguments against this is the warranty offered by the OEM versus the aftermarket, and the ability of the customer to resolve problems at any like OEM franchise.

Myth 3: OEM accessories are hard to sell.

Not true, according to those successfully selling them. They say the new-car buyer is already choosing the OEM brand when they decide to purchase the vehicle, is already a captive customer and is already in the dealership ready to spend money.

Myth 4: OEM accessories are not worth the trouble.

Quite the contrary. Of the dealerships and associated parts managers surveyed, and where sincere collective effort was exhibited, OEM accessory sales per vehicle sold rose 200%-300%. for some.

Myth 5: The new-car department isn't interested in selling OEM accessories.

Of parts managers surveyed, those that experienced resistance by the new-car department eventually overcame it by persisting and convincing that department to market accessories on in-stock vehicles.

All dealerships that successfully market OEM accessories agree a strategy for that is essential. Following are 10 rules I've developed to assist you in forming your strategy:

Rule #1: You have to want to do it.

Rule #2: Believe in the product. This is necessary when selling any product.

Rule #3: Have product available.

It's difficult to sell accessories that you don't stock. Decide what vehicles to accessorized. Carry a logical supply in inventory to support desired sales objectives.

Rule #4: Let the customer experience the product.

The accessory business is as much visual as it is “touchy-feely.” It's hard to sell accessories if the customer cannot experience them.

Rule #5: Have a quality product.

Who better to purchase accessories from than the people who built the vehicle.

Rule #6: Keep pricing competitive.

Most customers know what a good price is and who charges what. Shop your competition to set a pricing policy consistent with your marketplace.

Rule #7: Have vendor support.

This is critical and support is highest from the OEM. Their stake is a satisfied, repeat customer who will purchase another one of their vehicles in the future.

Rule #8: Satisfy the impulsive needs of the customer.

Accessories are easiest sold when they're on vehicles. The customer is more likely to impulsively purchase.

Rule #9: Make accessory sales a team effort.

Of the dealerships surveyed, those with continually high OEM accessory sales and profitability ranked departmental cooperation and team effort as the biggest contributing factors.

Rule #10: Plan.

As with any business endeavor, planning is essential.

Gary Naples provides parts consulting and training to dealers and manufacturers. He is the author of two books on parts management. He's at 570-824-1528 and [email protected].

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