THE SHOP

August '17

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68 THE SHOP AUGUST 2017 W e all see hundreds of cars and trucks every day, whether they are in our shops or just driving down the road. We see them when we look through magazines or websites—but 90 percent of the time what we see is the exterior. The exterior of the vehicle is many times referred to as eye candy. And, just like a first date, it's the part of the vehicle we are first attracted to. But any lasting relationship has to be built on more than physical attraction, and our vehicles are no different. The exterior look of the vehicle may grab our attention, but the interior is what keeps us interested and engaged. Besides, where do you spend 95 percent of the time with your vehicle—on the out- side or the inside? PROFITABLE & NECESSARY Interior accessories are usually not as flashy as exterior accessories, but they are just as profitable and necessary to win over your customers for the long term. There are thousands of interior accesso- ries available to consumers, so how do you determine which ones to focus on at your shop? First, look at the market to determine which accessories are not being offered by the masses. For instance, how profitable would a shop be offering air fresheners if they are available at every car parts store, gas station and even online? That may be extreme, but it proves a point: to be profit- able, find accessories or services that only a limited number of companies offer. For example, how many people can just jump online or run to the store to get a leather interior? Or what about a wood dash or 12-volt product like a back-up camera or HomeLink? These are by far more specialized products that fewer com- panies carry. THE UPSELL FACTOR Also, because of your existing product line and reputation, many consumers will ask you for products that are much easier to handle, such as floor mats or floor liners. True, this at first may not seem like a specialized product, but if a customer is coming to your shop to have a suspension lift, wheels and tires installed and your goal is to upsell him or her on perhaps a leather interior or window tint, then why not also have access to something the customer is not aware of, but wants—like all-weather mats? Sure, that example might not add a lot of profit to the bottom line, but the labor cost is cheap and the warranty issues are rare. Over time, those small profits start to build quickly and again you have prevented a consumer from looking elsewhere for something you can make money on. WHAT NEW VEHICLES COME WITH Interior accessories that are popular right now—and will always be popular—come from customers asking this simple ques- tion: "What do new vehicles have that my vehicle doesn't have?" The answer is: "a lot ..." A lot of both exterior as well as interior product catego- ries. The interior products usually fit into one of these two sub-categories: Interior accessories can be small items that make a big difference. By Josh Poulson Look Inside Interior product sales often come down to the question: "What do new vehicles have that my vehicle doesn't?" (Photo courtesy Porsche) Leather seat covers are always popular, especially for pre-owned vehicles.

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