April '19

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8 THE SHOP APRIL 2019 marketing manager for Hellwig Suspension Products, explains that many consumers drive off the lot believing their new vehicle is ready to handle any towing situ- ation from the start. "The fact is, most vehicles designed for towing lack the proper equipment from the factory," he says. "For instance, the majority of trucks sold today do not come from the factory with a rear sway bar. By adding a rear sway bar, you reduce body roll in turns and give the vehicle a more planted stance while driving down the highway. There is a noticeable difference between towing a trailer with and without a rear sway bar, with the sway bar mounted from the axle to the frame of the vehicle." And the issue may become more common if fuel prices remain low, he adds, prompting increased sales of larger tow vehicles and a busy travel season. RESPONSE: Present customers with knowledge and accessory options, and pursue sales on related vehicles. Information is always a shop's best weapon. In the case of tow vehicle owners, suggesting add-on sales can get them thinking about upgrades they may have never known existed. Hallmark recommends the tried-and-true "Do you want fries with that?" approach. "Ask them if they'd like to consider a performance or control-enhancing item to make sure they get the most out of their towing/hauling experience," he says. "Every time a customer buys a hitch, wheels, tires, a lift, shocks or whatever, the counter- person should be asking, 'Would you like a sway bar with that?' 'Would you like an air spring kit to support that?' 'Would you like helper springs to support that?' These are all easy questions to ask to ensure a better driving experience for the customer and a sale for the shop." Quiroz agrees that many customers may not be aware of upgrade possibilities. "Inform customers about the great options the aftermarket has for their towing product needs," he says. "If you can give them solid information about manufac- turers' products and come in at an attrac- tive price point, it will increase sales." 8 THE SHOP APRIL 2019 Factory tow sys- tems can often be improved upon to fit the specific needs of your customers. (Photo courtesy Hellwig) TACKLING TOWING'S TOP ISSUES Add-on items ensure a better driving experience for the customer and a sale for the shop. (Photo courtesy Hellwig) The aftermarket has great products for every towing need. (Photos courtesy Westin Automotive)

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