February '17

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FEBRUARY 2017 THE SHOP 13 It's common for customers to add or upgrade lighting on a vehicle they've recently purchased. Navigating through the sea of options in the crowded LED market might prove to be overwhelming for many, which is why they will come to your shop. A lot of the lighting selection process is about asking questions in order to under- stand the customer's needs better, so you can find the appropriate product. So, how do you steer them in the right direction? "This is a two-part deal," says Trent Kirby of San Marcos, California-based Baja Designs. "First, find out what the customer's pains are, and then present them with the appropriate light that solves their issue; and make sure you recommend a reputable product." Kirby advises shops to ask those cus- tomers a few key questions to get on the right track: • Why does the customer want to upgrade their lighting? • What is their budget? • Do they care if the product is manu- factured in America? • Do they care about warranty? Beyond that, from a business stand- point, he advises shops to be sure that whatever they're selling as a lighting solution represents their company and their brand to the level it deserves. Shops should also understand: • Lumens are not everything; in fact, optics are more important than lumen count; • Exactly which LED and efficiency bin is being used in a device; • What type of optics are being used in a device; • How long a manufacturer has been in business. "Spend time reading and learning more about the product and what makes a quality light," Kirby adds. "The last thing you want is to sell a product that your customer thinks is junk. That hurts not only the shop's brand, but also its credibility." Eight lighting zones for off-road enthusiasts are identified on this chart by Baja De- signs: 1) Dust/Fog; 2) Cornering; 3) Driving Combo; 4) Spot; 5) Racer Edition Spot; 6) Dome Lighting; 7) Flood; and 8) Backup Lighting. (Image courtesy Baja Designs) En-Lighten Your Customers

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