There is an old saying that says: “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” And while many would claim that the automotive parts business is changing at breakneck speed, it also seems like some things will never change.
Consider the way nearly all of us sell parts. It doesn’t matter if you are a Ford, Toyota, GM, Chrysler or any other kind of dealer; almost all of us still sell parts the way our respective OEM taught us. And, when we’re totally honest with ourselves, the percentage of business lost once the car is out of warranty hasn’t changed much in over 50 years. We still need a better way.
Add to the equation the ultra-competitive parts market where all you have to do is blink your eye and somebody is there to steal your lunch. If you’re a big guy, you want to stay that way, if you’re a little guy you want that big guy’s spot. It’s really, really tough to move the needle these days!
I like to use a simple analogy when talking to parts departments that are trying everything under the sun to sell more parts.
Think about two kids trying to sell lemonade. The first kid sells the way we were taught by our OEM. First you find a very expensive piece of high traffic real estate. Next you build the lemonade stand, you then put up a sign, now you pull up a stool and you sit there until people discover you and stop to buy. Sound like your Parts Dept.?
To make matters worse, this way of selling often actually causes one to end up making less money selling the lemonade than they could. Think about it. When we sit there and nobody stops to buy, we start to think about doing either, or both, of these things: lower the price of the lemonade or add expense by advertising our lemonade. Down goes the gross, up goes the expense, it’s the inherent flaw in the re-active sales model.
Now the other kid puts his lemonade in his little red wagon and hauls it down to the construction site where 100 guys are building a hotel. Who do you think will do better?
While the kid behind the stand is cutting his price and buying newspaper ads, the kid at the construction site is hearing things like: “You’re coming back tomorrow right?”, or “Next time you stop by, if you have some sandwiches in your wagon, we’ll buy them too.” Or, “Hey, what’s your name anyway, kid.”
More often than not, selling is about forming relationships and making the whole sales process easy and convenient for your customer. It’s not rocket science! If you make it easier for your customers to buy from you, they will buy more, buy more often, tell others about you and price will then often become secondary.
The new Microcat LIVE parts catalog from Infomedia enables it’s users to get out from behind the counter and do business where the customer is located. You can finally put your lemonade (every part in the catalog) in your wagon and take it to the customer.
Microcat LIVE is a totally on-line, automatically updated official OEM data parts catalog that has some seriously beneficial cloud computing benefits that will enable you to do things most thought would never be possible. It also requires not one minute of set-up to do anything in this article. It just works!
Click here for a short demo of Microcat LIVE