Elevating Your Sales Game Through Parts Packaging

Breaking down the art and science of a well-designed, customer-focused, profit-friendly parts package.

Good parts managers are a rare breed. We are among the few who enjoy flipping through paper catalogs and covering them with notes. We love seeing how other companies merchandise shelves. We are always absorbing different sales techniques and wondering if we could use them too.

In that vein, when it comes to continuing to boost our numbers post-COVID, I have a few strategies for you to try. It might sound odd, but not everyone can remember that most winches need a winch mount. Or that certain winches require a hidden harness stored at the bottom of a book (hello, Can-Am). Or that Honda has split its winch harness between the winch and the mount. If you don’t want service techs to hate you, you need to order both part numbers or else face their wrath.

Heck, most people don’t know how to read and decode an aftermarket axle. The secret is to be able to read its part number to determine its size, manufacturer and vendor. I’m looking at you, All Balls axles. 

I often take for granted the sheer amount of knowledge in my head. I’ve given up trying to turn non-parts people into parts people. This is where my playbook comes into effect. I’ve discussed the strategy and mindset behind the playbook in another article. But this focus is on using the playbook to sell to others easily. 

It comes down to the proper packaging. Most people — (cough) salespeople (cough) — think a package is just a few parts grouped together and — ta-da! — a parts package. Enter the head-back, soul-deep groan from the parts department.

We are not here to slap together basic packages. Instead, I want to break down the art and science of a well-designed, customer-focused, profit-friendly parts package.

Step 1: Pick a Theme

No sales package will hold up without a theme. The theme is the glue that links all these random parts together. It also helps set up your main selling points as to why you are picking those products in the first place.

Step 2: Create the Good, Better and Best Versions of the Package

While this might seem like a waste of time, it is designed to be fair to everyone’s budget. We have so many people that buy in the industry. One of the reasons why my dealership can maintain a 39% customer retention rate five years running over the counter is because no sale is too small. I would rather have them spend a dollar with me and get good customer service than $5 with Amazon and not know if they got the right thing.

Step 3: Make It Visible and Easy to Understand

You’ve put all this hard work into creating a proper parts package; now it’s time to bring in the money. Print it out, create social media graphics, and create handouts for customers to take home with them. Do whatever you need to do so your work is visible everywhere. On average, each month when I’m creating a sales package or promo, I’ll list it in at least six places, both physically and online. I know that I could do more, but with the limited time and resources we have, this is what I can consistently create each month.

Here is my list of six:

1. Printed and taped to the back of each part’s department computer.
2. Printed and taped to the parts entrance door.
3. Printed and taped to the products that are on sale or part of that package.
4. A graphic for Facebook.
5. A banner for the website.
6. Shared out into about 30 different groups that are within a two-hour drive of us.

Step 4: Make It Profitable

Stuck when it comes to creating your package? Try this — run your current inventory report or just walk around the parts room. Then ask yourself: What’s not selling? What’s in season? What can you bundle? This helps you prioritize stagnant inventory and helps increase your turn ratio.

What does this look like in action? For next month’s sale, I’m creating a mud-ready package. That includes rims, tires, snorkel kits, lift kits or portal builds. Why those parts? Well, it’s getting ready to be mud season here in Florida. 

We have a ton of tires that need to move as well as some stagnant rims that I would like to sell. Plus, when it comes to getting mud-ready, that means sinking the machine in the mud, which means lift kits and portals.

Have you tried these strategies? Share your success stories with me. I’d love to see your parts packages and promos in action.

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