Best Practices: Knock-Knock…

knockWho’s there? It’s Old Man Winter… again!

Every year something happens in Canada… winter… an annual event since annual anythings on Earth have existed. However, some people think it won’t happen this year. This head-in-the-snow group includes consumers…and unfortunately, some tire retailers.

How could a tire retailer in an industry heavily dependent on winter be in denial about winter? Well, subconsciously, some are in denial. Here are a few examples:

– You think the delivery frequency from your wholesale distributor will be the same as it was in the summer.

– You do not think there will be longer “on hold” times when you call your wholesale distributor.

– You think all the winter tires that you may need will always be readily available from your wholesale distributor at short notice.

– You did not keep a record of the shortages that occurred last winter – the items you could not get enough of – and you did not stock up on these items.

– You have not prepared a selling guide for your counter team with all the data to support the necessity for winter tires, especially data on the increased      safety provided by winter tires.

– You will not be installing winter tires on your own vehicle.

Denial will not stop cold-hearted Old Man Winter. He is coming, and so is the peak demand for winter tires.

Increased demand

In 2014, the tire market in Canada has experienced strong growth. Tire manufacturers are facing increased demand for tires, and winter tire demand is very high. Wholesale distributors increased purchases from tire manufacturers, and many retailers increased purchases from their wholesale distributors.

A higher volume of tires is being bought and sold on in the Canadian market. Consumer demand for tires is up, including demand for winter tires.

Are you selling more tires? If not, maybe it’s is time to look at what you do and how you do it. Many retailers are selling more tires. What are they doing that you are not?

Know your customers

High volume successful tire retailers stock plenty of tires. They look at consumer demand. They stock what they sell and they sell what they stock. They plan to succeed.

True, you can’t stock everything consumers may want. However, you should know your consumers and the tire sizes that will fit most of their cars. Stock a good coverage of these sizes in recognized and reputable brands. Work to sell what you stock – if it is a recognized, quality brand and it’s the right size and specifications for the car, then you have a strong chance of making the sale.

Successful high volume retailers do not subscribe to the myth of achieving success with no stock – or very little stock – on the shelves. However, they are happy when their competitors subscribe to the myth, thus keeping them at a disadvantage. To be blunt, the retailer with stock wins more sales than the retailer without stock. The retailer with stock achieves higher throughput per service bay – the tire is in stock, they can do the job quickly.

This article may create some negative emotions. However, sometimes it pays off handsomely to shine the light on the cold, hard facts.

I hope this provides food for thought…

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