Winter Tire Sales: Face the Facts


Winter tires make a difference! Do your customers understand the facts?
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Winter tires make a difference! That’s a fact you’re going to have to share with your customers if you want to increase your winter tire sales numbers this year.

It is inevitable. We will get winter in Canada. It may be early, it may be late, but it will happen. Winter may be wet and rainy, we may get periods of wet snow and ice, periods of heavy snow, or it may be sunny and very cold. Regardless of the mix, winter presents the most challenging driving conditions in Canada.

Driving is the daily activity that carries the greatest risk for most people. This is an activity where the condition of our vehicle, our driving ability, the actions of other drivers, the condition of other vehicles, road conditions, weather conditions, visibility and other factors all contribute to the risk. This risk is heightened in winter where the weather conditions can change dramatically and rapidly – dry in the morning, freezing rain and ice in the afternoon, and there is a lot of strain on the ability of all drivers.

Proven effective

Winter tires have been clearly proven to provide the best traction, especially for braking and vehicle control, in the full range of winter conditions – cold dry roads, cold wet roads, icy roads, snow covered roads etc. Numerous tests conducted by tire manufacturers, independent testing bodies and government agencies have all given us the proof we need to state beyond a shadow of a doubt that winter tires dramatically improve safety on the roads in winter conditions. In addition, we have a great, real life Canadian example – the Quebec winter tire law has been proven to reduce collisions and related injuries during the winter months.

Now, we do know that despite the overwhelming proof that the earth is round, the flat earth society is still able to attract members… smile… a little humour. You will always have to deal with the consumer who tries to ignore the facts and thinks that you are just pitching winter tires so that you can up-sell them and make more money. However, if you do have the facts, and you can speak about the facts easily and confidently, your success rate at closing sales of winter tires will increase.

Here are a few questions — a preparation checklist:

  • Are you and your sales team properly armed with the facts on winter tires? Have you all rehearsed the facts so that you have them in memory and they flow easily as part of your sales conversation? You must be confidently educating your clients along with selling.
  • Is your showroom and sales counter ready for winter? Winter tire displays up to date? Winter brochures up to date? Winter wheel display? Winter pricing ready to go? You cannot just talk the talk; you have to show that you can walk the walk.
  • Winter tire inventory? Winter wheel inventory? TPMS inventory? You should have all or most in stock by now. Every year there are shortages of many key winter sizes such as 225/65R17, etc. Did you take this into account when doing your winter booking? Did you pay attention to your 2014 winter purchases as outlined by your Tire Wholesale Distributor or Tire Manufacturer, and plan for increased demand where applicable?
  • Do you have winter tires on your own vehicle? What will you say if the consumer asks, “Do you use winter tires?”

Preparation is the main ingredient for success. You should already be prepared. If not, act quickly… winter is coming.

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