The following article is based on roundtable discussion at the 2019 Dealership Minds Summit. To watch the roundtable recap, click here.

There’s no shortage of sales opportunities for a dealership’s aftermarket parts and service team to pursue. But often the challenge is getting those employees to know how to recognize and capitalize on those opportunities.

From getting employees out from behind the parts counter, to implementing incentives and sales goals, here are 3 ways to motivate your aftermarket team to adopt a sales mentality.

  1. Get Out of the Comfort Zone. Several dealers cited the value of putting parts department staff in situations that allow them to interact with customers on a more consistent basis vs. seasonal visits to the parts counter inside the dealership. Accompanying salespeople during on-farm visits will expose them to setting where they can offer feedback or suggestions to customers, and also “shadow” a member of the sales team to pick up tips and advice on selling strategies. This helps reduce the risk that parts employees only see themselves as “order takers” and build their confidence in being able to add margin to equipment sales.
  2. Set Incentives. A key component to getting your aftermarket team motivated to sell is to develop and implement the right incentive program. These should be specific and measurable to focus the efforts of parts and service employees. Monthly specials and sales goals for each parts person is one option, with an emphasis on low-dollar, modest-margin products to start. One dealership notes a monthly program it runs where each parts employee is challenged to sell 15 bottles of glass cleaner in 30 days. “It’s not a high-margin product, but over time, that adds up,” the dealer says. “The important thing for us is it’s a goal we can track and then share to keep it a little competitive.”
  3. Challenge Expectations, Encourage Collaboration. Another critical step in increasing aftermarket sales opportunities is to communicate between departments how and when they should be working together. A coordinated effort among parts, service and sales can be productive in creating a more collaborative and less competitive atmosphere for selling aftermarket products. One dealership embraces the motto, “run like new or look like new” for equipment that enters service bays. The strategy is to keep equipment as long as possible and explore, upgrade, or update opportunities beyond the original repair. This requires parts and service working together to identify opportunities during a walk-around which may reveal the need for new tires, a seat in the cab or other aftermarket add-on.

More Dealership Minds Summit coverage 

No More Order Takers: Strategies for Motivating & Improving Your Sales Team

8 Factors for Cultivating & Promoting a Professional Culture of Excellence

Compensation Plans: A Tale of Two Dealerships

Van Wall Equipment’s Formula for Clear Sales Strategy

No Sales Left Behind: Using Tech to Boost Your Sales Team

Ritchie: Create a Team of Solution Sellers

Feed Your Sales Team — A Presentation From Shawn Skaggs

The On-Farm Visit: How to Get the Most from Client Face Time

Redefining Your Sales Mindset

Adding Specialized Product Lines Can Expand Your Customer Base

Getting the Salesforce Out of the Dealership & In Front of the Customer

Purchase Projections: Look Beyond the Sale

3 Ways to Get Your Aftermarket Team to Adopt a Sales Mentality

Is a Call Center Right for Your Dealership?