The winter months are especially notorious for pushing vehicles to their absolute limits. Snowstorms, wind chills, ice, and hail are just some of the rigours drivers and their cars are put through. With this in mind, it is up to you to ensure that your customers are receiving the best quality products for the job.
Here are some tips that will hopefully increase your sales and help pull you through till spring.
Tip #1. Promote Inspections
Be aware–and be sure to advise your technician customers– that just because spring will be arriving soon, it is not the time to skimp on your offerings for certain products. Post-season maintenance repair is the perfect time for your technician customers to review all systems, since they were exposed to harsh conditions during the previous months. Any kind of extreme conditions can cause parts to get overused, rusted, or damaged due to snow, ice, salt, and water, reducing the part’s performance.
Tip #2. DIY Opportunities
Many winter products are specifically designed for the DIY market. DIYers are less likely to do mechanical work in winter, but there are still DIY opportunities. Make sure your showroom is well stocked with such products as windshield antifreeze, de-icers, floor mats, ice scrapers, traction sand, and salt–basically any accessory product or kit that will make life easier when it comes to dealing with the winter grind.
Tip #3. Act On Seasonal Promotions
Keep apprised of any promotional incentives offered by aftermarket manufacturers for your technician customers, and consider creating your own. In addition to instant deals and mail-in rebates, offers can be expanded to include contests, giveaways, and new products that may have come to market in recent months. A lot of aftermarket manufacturers give you the option of having promotional newsletters sent directly to your e-mail’s inbox, saving time and paper.
Tip #4. Bundle Items
Bundled kits of auxiliary items can be put in the same product category. For instance, offering wiper blades with a windshield antifreeze or lighting replacement bulbs alongside headlight glass cleaner might be enough of an incentive for your customers to make that extra purchase.
Tip #5. Keeping Clean and Safe
While making sure the winter items in your store are prominently displayed, the overall impression and appearance of your store can be just as important in the eyes of your customer. The last thing you need is a walk-in customer turned off by a dirty and wet floor. (Well, actually, the last thing a jobber needs is to have a walk-in customer or fellow employee slip and fall lugging auto parts.) Floors should be cleaned regularly, probably more than once a day in sloppy weather. Also, make sure that walkways leading to your store are properly cleared of ice and snow, and that the parking lot is sufficiently free of snow.
In The Clear
One of the leading causes of winter accidents is poor visibility on the roads while driving. Heavy snowfalls, especially at night, make it extremely difficult to get a clear line of sight, not just in front but around the entire vehicle. That’s why it’s especially important to put visibility products in a prominent position in your store.
Winter can take its toll on wiper blades. They can be frayed and torn from being dragged across a frozen-over windshield, or they get hit with scrapers. This can result in streaking, patching, haze formation, and chatter marks across the windshield. If not regularly replaced, they can seriously impede a driver’s vision, especially during the winter months.
Headlamps (as well as surrounding light fixtures) are crucial, not only to ensure a clean line of sight in front of you, but also to communicate to other drivers where you are on the road at all times. The life of any halogen bulb will depend upon the vehicle’s type and how much it’s driven. However, most halogen headlights dim up to 20 percent over time. That’s why it’s recommended to replace headlamps in pairs about once a year, before they burn out. Headlight alignment and burnt-out bulb replacement are just two suggestions for your technician customers.
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