Auto Service World
Feature   March 1, 2010   by Auto Service World

How To Sell More! Ride Control

The key to increasing your ride control sales can be defined in one word: communication.

While building sales and profits in many product categories primarily involves being able to convince a buyer to purchase premium-level products or promote added sales of related items, ride control success is really driven by the ability of you and your trade customers to communicate the need for ride control replacement in the first place.

For professional technicians used to dealing with a breakdown-driven market, it can be difficult to make the transition to talking to customers about ride control. Despite the acknowledged benefits to both the comfort and safety of the driver and passengers, many consumers may still view the replacement of ride control as discretionary.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Know the Facts

Most consumers know very little about the function of ride control, thinking that its role is just to cushion their ride, when it is really designed to keep the tires in contact with the road.

A number of research studies into the effect of poor ride control on the safety of a vehicle have shown unequivocally that poor ride control can manifest itself in a number of negative effects:

• Poor ride control hurts vehicle handling

• Poor ride control hurts braking performance

• Poor ride control hurts steering performance

• Poor ride control hurts tire wear.

Most consumers, and more than a few aftermarket professionals, will be unaware of the real facts about deteriorated ride control; the industry as a whole has agreed that the 80,000-km point is where ride control should be considered for replacement.

Training programs are available from a number of ride control suppliers to help your customers understand these facts and increase their comfort level with talking about ride control.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

A great trainer by the name of Chuck Udell at the Essential Action Design Group training organization is fond of the phrase, “Variation is the enemy of excellence.”

In the context of ride control sales, it can be the best route to success.

If a shop, armed with the training you have access to, puts its communications tools to use consistently and accurately, the business’ performance in this service category will build.

It has been proven time and time again that having the proper communication approach–one that informs the consumers about the facts as noted above and the condition of their vehicle’s ride control–can generate business they never would have seen before.

Believe in the Win-Win

Selling ride control is one of those tasks that, when successful, builds satisfaction at the consumer level. This is at odds with what many professionals believe the reaction of their customers will be to what can be a significant dollar investment. And it is all the more remarkable when you consider that many consumers were not even aware of their vehicle’s shortcomings in this area when it was pointed out.

And yet in countless experiences, this has been proven to be the case.