Auto Service World
Feature   February 1, 2002   by Auto Service World

Market Feature: 10 Surefire Tips to Build Wiper Sales

Make hay when the sun shines. Sell wipers when it isn't.

1. When it rains, pour it on. When it’s raining, talk to every customer about wipers. Put your wiper displays and signage front and center. Most car owners don’t think about the state of their wiper blades when the sun is shining. It’s another issue entirely when the weather’s bad.

2. Install the wipers you sell to consumers. Put a sign up to that effect. Despite the great strides made by wiper manufacturers to simplify the process, many consumers will still be reluctant to try. Take advantage of the easy to install wipers and take minutes off the process.

3. Have an umbrella handy. When it’s raining and you’ve sold the wipers, walk out to the car with the customer and then hand them the umbrella while you install the new wipers. The surprise for this kind of service will stay with them for some time; they’ll probably tell their friends.

4. Wipers aren’t just for cars. Everything from trucks to trains has wiper blades. Call on the local municipal works department to inquire about their need for wipers.

5. Pick up the phone (right now) and ask your wiper blade rep “What’s new?” Don’t accept “Not much, what’s new with you?” as an answer. Wiper manufacturers are continually adding products and applications to their offering. Being unaware of what they can offer you to sell can cost sales that, when you are talking about $20-plus a wiper sale, are nothing to sneeze at.

6. Talk to your installer customers about inspecting wiper blades. Many shops have successfully integrated the procedure into their multi-point inspections, with profitable results. Get consumer brochures or flyers from suppliers about replacing wiper blades and what they can do for vision. Than make sure that these are distributed to your walk-in and trade customers.

7. Remember to sell minivan and station wagon owners three wipers, not just two. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) at how often the rear wiper is neglected.

8. Rubber shrouded winter wiper blades can also double as “mud blades” for the off-road set. It can help you sell into another niche.

9. Stock an organized selection of products at different price points. As long as competitive pricing can be retained, go to non-standard markup to minimize the gross dollar margin difference among the levels of product.

10. Advise customers about how residue inside of the windshield and wax buildup on the outside can impair vision and damage new wipers. Household glass cleaners aren’t formulated for automotive windshield cleaning. Stock and sell proper windshield cleaners with new wipers.

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