February '20

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54 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2020 staffs is with in-person sales training ses- sions. You want them to understand the products you offer, know their features and be comfortable explaining them to customers. Not all accessories look or function the same as factory equipment, so it's impor- tant to train salespeople to explain this to a customer. Positive stories and experiences from happy customers help the industry and other restylers. When dealerships are low on vehicle inventory, restylers have a chance to help them pull up profits per units sold. It's hard to break records if the dealership's inven- tory is limited, but by adding accessories to what they have, they can increase profits on the vehicles they can sell. The day we heard the strike was ending we made another trip to each of our deal- erships. We were told when the cars were projected to come in and asked what date would be most appropriate to swing back in to ride the lot. We knew there may be some hiccups when waiting for inventory to trickle in, but the more you communicate with your managers, the sooner you will be watching the showroom cars flowing once again. There's never a good time to experience a halt in business, and the significant trickle- down effect that commonly follows. And, when business slows from something that's out of your control, it's important to adapt to the circumstances. Educating dealer salespeople on acces- sories and benefits is one way to utilize the downtime that typically follows a halt in production, and the increased communica- tion and visibility will also help you once things get back to normal. COURTNEY LEIGH PAHLKE and her brother are second- generation partners of their father's 45-year-old company, Top Coverage. Their locations service nearly 350 dealerships in Chicago and throughout Illinois, where they work hard to grow their father's empire. Learn more at Back in the Swing of ings If your dealership customers are experiencing a slowdown, use the extra time to set up training sessions introducing the sales staff to the latest accessories and the many benefits they can provide. Staying in touch with dealership clients during a strike or slowdown will also put you front-and-center for increased business once things return to normal.

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