If you want to make more money selling tires, you’ve come to the right place! We sat down with Alan Beech, a 20-year veteran of the tire industry and President of Beech Consulting, to dive into the world of tires and see how tire shops can accelerate their growth.
Here are the top tips by Alan to help increase your tire sales.
1. Brag about your tires, your services, and your techs
“It’s not just about what you’re selling, it’s about how you sell it”, says Alan.
To attract more customers and to build your tire brand, it is important to constantly tell customers why your tire store is the best of its kind.
You can enhance your brand image by adding positive taglines on your newspaper ads, your website, and your social media accounts. Tell people “We’ve got the highest quality tire store out there!”
If you can’t brag about your tire shop, “fix it”, says Alan. The best tire shops have high-quality signage, displays, and inventory, and train their staff to be knowledgeable about the products and services that are offered at the shop, including knowing the differences between various tire brands.
Digital signage is an effective way to market your business. Consumer research shows that digital is far more engaging than print materials and static posters because they can display videos, animations, and other information that will catch the attention of customers.
You can also use digital screens around your shop to showcase important company news or advertise upcoming sales and events.
2. Put tires on display
From the moment customers enter your shop, it should be apparent that they have entered a high-quality tire business.
Here are some suggestions to increase the quality and presentation of your tire shop:
- Put 4-tire rolling quad displays at your service entrance as lane dividers.
- Advertise your tire business with colorful banners, snap-frames, and easel boards that tell customers that you carry the best brands.
- Another approach that we have seen successful shops use is to have a marketing banner at the front of the shop. For example, it could say: “For your safety, we check every tire – every time.”
- Ensure you have bright lighting and a squeaky-clean storefront.
3. Make sure you check every tire, every time
“A great inspection is the hallmark of any great auto service facility” says Alan.
So, inspect each tire for tear, damage, and ensure proper inflation.
Also, one piece of caution—be careful when purchasing tires in bulk because if you end up with tires that have a stale date on them, it could make the entire tire stock unprofitable.
Here’s a little trick by Alan to ensure that you don’t buy tires that are too old:
“Let’s say you’ve received 100 tires. Take a closer look at them to make sure they all look the same color. If one of them looks a little bit more brown, just pull it out and have a look at the date written on it.”
To check the age of your tires, remember that all tires manufactured since 2000 have a 4-digit code that can be found at the end of their DOT number. The first 2 digits represent the week in which it was made (01=week 1, 52 = week 52), and the last two numbers indicate the year that it was manufactured.
Additionally, Alan says: “A tire that’s brand new is carbon black, it will go more of a brownish color over time.”
Also, if you don’t have a digital tire scanner, we would advise getting one to ensure that every tire is inspected for tread wear.
These digital tire scanners may seem expensive but if there is an issue with the tire, and no inspection has been done, the potential damage would be much more costly. Inspecting every tire is also a great way to increase your average repair order (ARO).
4. Replace old tires today!
Statistics show that at least 2 out of every 10 customers in your service drive are driving on potentially dangerous tires. Someone has to tell them about this!
Tires that are older than 6 years are dangerous
According to tire defect attorney and author of The Invisible Danger of Aging Tires, Robert E. Ammons: “Tire manufacturers have long known that tires more than six years old pose a substantial safety hazard regardless of tread depth.” However, the public has only recently started to take notice as collisions caused by aged tires are on the rise.
Like other rubber products, tires also have a limited service life. Over time, their internal structure degrades, reducing adhesion between the belts which leads to tread separation.
Old tires are dangerous regardless of tread use or wear
In the early 1990s, old tires were a concern for many car brands. The large auto manufacturers then began adding warnings about this in their owners’ manuals: “Tires more than six years old present an increased risk.”
A message from Volkswagen said: “WARNING: Old tires can fail in use, causing loss of vehicle control and fatal injury. Replace your tire after 6 years regardless of tread wear.”
So remember to let your customers know when it’s time to replace their tires – this is a good way to help your customer while getting additional sales.
5. Increase customer retention by introducing a customer loyalty program
According to Alan, “75% of your first-time customers don’t come back for a second time.”
Now, this may hit the core of anybody who’s running a tire store and offers great services.
So, what can you do to ensure better retention of your tire clients?
Alan emphasizes that one effective way to retain customers is to offer special offers and discounts. For example, you could offer vouchers or punch cards for customers to incentivize them to keep coming back (“Get a free inspection every 5 times you get an inspection!”).
Another way to boost customer retention is to use an auto repair software to send automated service reminders to customers— for example, you can remind them to get their tires changed as soon as winter starts or seasons change. Pre-scheduling service appointments after the customer’s first visit is another way to increase the chances of a repeat (and hopefully lifelong) customer.
With the tips in this blog, you should be well on your way to a profitable tire shop— winning new customers, keeping them coming back, and making the most of them while they are still at your shop is the key to growing your tire business.
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