While your parts department is normally stuck back toward the rear of your showroom, it is the department in your dealership that gets the most traffic on a day-to-day basis. As a customer pulls into your lot they drive by shiny new equipment that represents your wholegoods department. As they get out of the car or truck, they are met by the energetic sounds of engines running and tools being used in the service department, only to walk up to a messy counter with a couple of people behind it who ask, “Can I help you?” If you can relate to the scene, then maybe it’s time you made your parts department more appealing and began to realize the great profit potential your parts department can bring to your dealership.
Showcase fast-moving parts
When it comes to parts, most people don’t think about them until they need them. This is why it is critical to be at the front of your customers' minds when that need arises. One of the easiest ways to do that is to set up parts displays in your showroom near the equipment you are displaying. While the customer looking at new equipment is not thinking about parts at that moment, a display conveniently located near the equipment will burn an image into the customer's mind so when they do need parts, you are who they think of.
Keep your fast-moving parts in your showroom and use the endcaps on your displays to feature parts that match the current season. Displaying products that fit the season is a quick and simple way to turn up parts sales and improve profits.
The 3 keys to displays
- Appearance is everything. There is nothing worse than displays that are dusty, disorganized and poorly stocked. Every day someone at the parts counter should be responsible for taking 30 minutes to reset the displays, making sure they are clean, organized and that the product is labeled and faced toward the front of the display.
- Use signage. Take the time to put up signs that direct your customers to what you are selling. There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than to have to hunt for what they are looking for. Have your fast-moving parts clearly identified with a sign that quickly catches your customers’ eyes.
- Rotate your stock to keep it fresh. If you have product on display that is beginning to look a little old, pull from the shelves to fill the needs of the service department. Technicians won’t care what the label on a tube of grease or a pail of oil looks like. Plus, it gives you the ability to keep a fresh, clean look for the customers.
Piggyback on your ads
Advertising and marketing is the life and soul of a successful dealership, but few dealers leverage their ads to promote their parts department. I encourage all of my dealers to mention their parts department in every ad they do by saying something as simple as, “We carry an extensive inventory of parts for almost every need.” Then you are creating an image that you are the place to visit when a part is needed.