The Power of Bling: Part 1

by Colin Gaffney

Let me ask you a question……How many of you have gone to a car dealership and looked down the aisles only to see 20 of the same car? Sure they may vary in color, may even differ in the interior options that are available, but are you really going to take the time to look at them all or bother to ask what sets them apart from each other? While it is comfortable to blend in and maintain the status quo, are you really creating a memorable experience for the customer? Today’s customer is not the same as yesterday.  Consumer needs are constantly changing and it warrants asking yourself am I staying one step ahead or have a fallen a few steps behind? Refelect on your own dealership for a moment…how do you  display units? Are most of your machines stock machines only or do you keep one or two show stoppers to catch the customers eye? Do you dress them with only OEM parts or do you add some aftermarket flare?  Often times challenging the status quo, offering something surprising or unique, and displaying it in an appealing way is all it takes to change someone’s perception…and buying habits.

So, what sets you apart from your competition? Is there something drawing customers through your door instead of the dealer down the street? You may be able to beat your competitor on pricing, customer service or availability of product but don’t you also want to make some money while doing so? Machines sell, we all know that, but they don’t generally make much margin, even less if you’re competing on price point. Aside from F&I, money is made in the accessories department.

Stacy wrote several weeks ago that we know and understand that the OEM’s are becoming more aggressive with the accessories that they require dealers to stock but there’s one thing that they don’t seem to understand. Consumers want something unique!!! They are looking for something different, something that’s going to set their machine apart from their friends, neighbors or even rivals. Customers don’t want to just blend in and be one of the crowd. They want to STAND OUT, to make an impact, to turn heads and be noticed. Reid noticed this concept many years ago when the UTV industry was just starting to grow in popularity. Customer’s wanted to buy machines, but they wanted to customize them to their needs, to add accessories that just weren’t available in Canada at the time. So Reid and family began to seek out the newest, coolest, highest quality products to help consumers accomplish this very task. This is why at UTV Canada, our slogan is “Define Your Ride.” We built our business on this concept and that’s what continues to make us successful.

This is the power of bling, and no matter how many options the OEM’s offer; many customers are always going to want something different from the norm. How do you go about accomplishing this then? I propose to you 2 options that we will be making available to our dealers.

The most effective way that we’ve seen this put into practice is something that I’ve already mentioned. Dress up a machine with accessories that are going to make it stand apart from the crowd. I’m not saying that you need to spend $20,000 on accessories to create a show stopper, although as Sales Manager I wouldn’t mind that either. You don’t have to break the bank to accomplish this purpose. If customers can see accessories on a machine, touch them, play with them, visualize them, they are more likely to buy them over just hearing “hey, we have this really cool bumper….” By all means, have OEM accessories on most of your machines on the floor but pick one or 2 units to display some aftermarket accessories as a contrast. Pick some doors, some wheels and tires, a different bumper, stereo (that is hooked up so they can hear it), etc. Whatever is going to catch their eye and say, “hey, I really like that.” To help you accomplish this, we have a demo program available to dealers that is both customisable and affordable, but most importantly, it’s going to help you sell! The other upside to this is the parts aren’t taking up any more space as the machine is already sitting there. Call your UTV Canada rep today for more details on how you can participate in this program.

The other option we propose is that we can create a display rack of product for you that shows customers some of the most popular accessories available for your brand and lets them see firsthand what the parts look like. This of course takes up some space in your showroom and it doesn’t allow them to visualize the parts on their machine as effectively but it’s the next best option and far better than parts sitting in a dusty box in your warehouse.

We want to help you make money and sell accessories and machines alike. Often just having the accessories on a display unit helps not only to sell more accessories but move machines quicker because they are already accessorized in a way that the customer would like, and if they can drive it off the lot as is, all the better. Here’s the clincher, if you sell your display unit, build a new one, it was successful once, it’ll work again. We are happy to help. Give me a call and I’d be happy to discuss in further detail.

Stay tuned for Stacy’s blog next week as she’ll be discussing how one dealer in the United States has been very successful selling units using an innovative approach, and is one of the largest single store dealers in the Powersports industry.