Volkswagen’s best-selling model in 2015 was a sausage. The German automaker has been manufacturing the Currywurst since 1973, and the processed snack is often sold in dealerships in Germany to waiting customers. This year, sales of the Currywurst outstripped the 6.12 million cars sold by the company.
While this is an extreme example, the sales of car accessories and related branded products has become increasingly important in the car sales industry in recent years. Advances in in-car technology have meant that customers now have a range of customizable options on their vehicles. For auto sales professionals, this provides great opportunities to increase profit margins for their dealerships.
Read on to find out why accessories have become more popular, and some useful tips for selling add-ons to customers.
Why the Auto industry is Increasingly Focused on the Accessories Market
According to trade organization SEMA, auto accessory sales have increased 33 per cent since 2011, and were worth over $44 billion annually in 2014. A study by Foresight Research showed that accessory buyers spent an average of $3,000, underlining just why the market holds so much potential for auto sales college students. Most of that is down to the increased availability of performance and technology accessories, such as GPS systems, infotainment facilities, and in-car connectivity features.
Unfortunately, many dealers are failing to take advantage of the opportunities the current market provides. Foresight’s Business Development VP Nancy Walter said that “only 36% of accessory buyers obtain their necessary accessory information from dealership personnel. Given that total average accessory spend doubles when a sales effort actually takes place, this represents a lot of profit walking out the dealer’s door.”
Accessories Sales Tips for Car Sales Training Students
Walter recommended that dealers make more of an effort to promote accessories with in-store displays. Having pre-accessorized cars on the showroom floor can also help, giving customers a chance to experience the car fully loaded and piquing their interest.
Above all else, car sales training graduates need to consistently incorporate accessories selling into their sales process. While Walter said that “buyers perceive that dealers are better than the aftermarket on accessory installation, quality and durability,” many dealerships fail to even initiate an accessories conversation with most of their customers, missing out on profits as a result.
More Unusual Products You Could End Up Selling After Car Sales Training
Of course, it isn’t just high tech vehicle accessories that car sales professionals are selling these days. Many auto manufacturers supplement their profits with some unusual branded products. Sportscar manufacturers often have great success selling branded merchandise such as t-shirts and caps to enthusiasts. Ferrari even manufactures branded golf clubs, while Mercedes has its own line of designer furniture!
Accessories like iPhone covers are also common, with Nissan even developing one coated in its own self-healing car paint. Volkswagen meanwhile, not only sells its Currywurst sausages through dealerships, but the company also has special ketchup, of which it managed to sell 167,608 gallons last year.
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