THE SHOP

July '20

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JULY 2020 THE SHOP 17 T hink of winches as an insurance policy for off-road customers who like to work and play hard. Attractive to the 4x4, overlanding and lifted vehicle crowds, winches and their owners quickly forge a strong connection. Aftermarket bumpers can look naked without one, but how do shops match the proper winch with a customer's unique needs? Winch manufacturers—like the products they offer—are happy to lend a hand. IRRESISTIBLE PULL You can't sell winches without knowing who to target. Luckily, potential buyers aren't difficult to locate. "Our target consumer is the person who goes off-road on a regular basis and would need a reliable winch from time to time," says Henk Van Dongen, director of mar- keting for Rugged Ridge, a Truck Hero company. Since degrees of difficulty can vary among preferred off-road adventures, it's important to match the proper winch with the customer's vehicle and the terrain they expect to conquer, notes Jane Donnelly, marketing director for LKQ Specialty Prod- ucts Group and the TrailFX brand. "Buying decisions are made primarily on the weight rating of the product, how the per- formance of that product compares to other available options, how the product looks on the vehicle, the retail price point and brand confidence," she explains. "Performance speci- fications and value drive most purchases." Why winches are a must-have product for off-road customers. JULY 2020 THE SHOP 17 Strong Connection By John Carollo When they are out on the trail, customers want and need reliable products to protect their safety and their vehicles. (Photo courtesy Mile Marker Industries) The last thing you want is to be stuck out on a trail with a load that is heavier than your winch can pull. (Photo courtesy Mile Marker Industries)

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