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Seizing opportunities to increase sales

1st July 2017

BM Catalysts’ Commercial Director, Mark Blinston, discusses how to generate and take advantage of upselling opportunities

Everyone knows that mints and chocolates are kept by the till in petrol stations to encourage impulse purchases, and staff are always eager to point them out as being on offer to give an even bigger incentive to buy something sweet to go with your fuel. Everyone knows this as they approach the counter, but not everybody can consistently resist temptation. It’s a tried and tested upselling strategy employed by a host of retailers.

So why should factors be any different when it comes to encouraging add-on sales? It might not be practical to have a stack of Catalytic Converters on the counter to entice buyers, and website pop ups can be irritating, but most manufacturers will happily provide promotional materials to overcome practical limitations. And with even a basic level of training, factor teams can have a dramatic impact on sales.

When it comes to upselling, there are a number of ways we help factors hone their techniques. One way is taking time to get a better understanding of complimentary products, and the benefits that buying them alongside the primary purchase will have. Manufacturers can be a great help here, and should be offering comprehensive training on their products at branch level to ensure factors can make the most of every opportunity.

Having a well-rounded knowledge of how parts interact during installation and on-going operation, as well as how they are impacted by the vehicle and the environment, will lead to reduced fitting times and more upselling opportunities for garage technicians. It will also eliminate the danger of unnecessary administration that can result from parts being returned because they have been incorrectly identified or fitted.

One of the biggest upselling opportunities with our parts is the addition of DPF Pressure Pipes. Our range now covers over 4m vehicles in the UK and almost 20m across Europe, meaning that we can help our customers overcome the challenges of sourcing parts from other manufacturers and give them an opportunity to make additional sales by getting everything they need from one place. When it comes to replacing an O.E. DPF Pressure Pipe, it is worth noting that these parts are not readily available for purchase without also purchasing the correlating DPF unit from the dealer. By linking each of our DPF Pressure Pipes and DPFs by part number (the ‘PP’ prefix, followed by the five-digit core reference number of DPF that it fits, and ending with either an ‘A’ or ‘B’ suffix), we ensure factors have the opportunity to upsell when selling one of our DPFs, a guaranteed fitment of both parts, and reassurance that the new DPF does not cause damage to the vehicle’s existing Pressure Pipe; which is what could happen if you weren’t to replace the DPF Pressure Pipe and DPF at the same time.

Dealing with customers quicker and in a more informative way adds value to them and ultimately leads to increased profitability for factors. Free, on site technical training sessions with manufacturers like BM Catalysts will therefore give factor teams a greater understanding of why a Catalytic Converter or DPF is being replaced in the first place. In turn, this can give a wider understanding of other automotive parts that could be sold at the same time. Empowering team members to offer expert advice, as well as questioning, investigating and understanding why a part may have failed before returning it under a perceived but inaccurate warranty issue.