Ron Lamb tracks megatrends.
Selling Accesories a Challenge
WardsAuto: Why do so many dealers have a tough time selling accessories?
Strawsburg: It needs to be correctly fitted into the sales and finance-and-insurance process, and it requires a lot of discipline. Not many people have gone to the effort to make it work.
Lamb: Thousands of vendors sell accessories. They’ll all send dealers books. How do you show the consumer all of those? The dealer reaches a point of saying, “I just don’t want to deal with it anymore.”
A really interesting dealership hires new people from outside the industry, say a young kid from Best Buy or the Verizon store who’s interested in stepping up in auto sales.
This dealer says, “You become the accessory salesman for six months before you get to sell cars.” By sitting down with customers and helping them with accessories, you learn a lot about customers and about the cars you eventually will be selling. But it needed the technology like Add.On.Auto to bring it all together.
WardsAuto: You offer a lot of stuff like that, but how much of a challenge is it for dealership people to actually use those tools?
Lamb: People are seeing the bigger picture. We’ve been releasing products that seem like stand-alones. But it is not a bunch of things. It is one thing doing many things seamlessly.
Reynolds has been around for 140 years. To be fair, if you talked to us five or 10 years ago, we were very proud to be a DMS company. We could count the money faster and better than anybody.
I have been trying to create a mentality internally to change it from counting money to instead helping dealers make more money by creating a Disney-like customer experience by using our retail-management system.
WardsAuto: Some dealers are up to speed with technology, some aren’t and some are in between. Where are we with dealers accepting new and improved technology?
Lamb: Dealers want sophisticated retailing tools. Our job is to get to a solution they can all participate in. One of our principles is that the dealer is not technologically sophisticated. The psychology needed to understand code doesn’t fit well with knowing how to sell cars.
Dealers tell me, ‘I need it stupid simple. I just want the thing to do this or that.”