Many parts managers feel like the bulk of their business stops at the service lane. Growing beyond that can be a challenge, especially where your wholesale customers are concerned. So how can you find ways to grow your parts business and increase your wholesale customer reach?
Here are five wholesale growth hacks to help you win more customers and increase your revenue.
Draw Your Wholesale Radius
Depending on your location, you might be surrounded by wholesale customers. Local collision and mechanical shops could all exist within walking distance of you. On the other hand, there could be very few wholesale customers near you, which means you’ll have to expand your reach.
Figure out what your wholesale radius is. It could be 10 miles or 30 miles. Ideally, your radius shouldn’t exceed 30 miles. Anything larger than that and you risk speed on your deliveries, which we’ll get to later. Once you’ve found the magic number and feel comfortable with reaching out to those customers, it’s time to do a little digging.
Find Out What They Need Most
The best dealerships determine the needs of their wholesale customers before they start making offers. You need to find out more about them. What repairs do they do most often? What parts do they always run out of? Who have they ordered from before? Were their experiences good, bad, somewhere in between?
This is the research stage, so don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. The more you can find out about them, the better prepared you’ll be to fulfill their needs.
Let’s say you’ve got a few customers who are interested in purchasing parts from you or maybe they’ve already started purchasing from you. Fantastic! Now, how do you build and maintain that relationship?
The trickiest part of selling to wholesale customers is keeping them. Each one has their own needs and their own way of doing things. Knowing how to cater to those needs is crucial to keeping their business. Do regular check-ins with your wholesale customers.
Be sure to ask them:
– What they need
– How they’re doing
– What problems they’re anticipating
This can help you determine how you can better supply them in the future and build trust.
The same goes for returns. When a wholesale customer returns a part or needs to exchange a part, stay calm. Ask them to clarify why they want to return or exchange the part so that you can avoid these situations in the future. Keep track of what parts get returned so that you can better anticipate their needs and avoid returns in the future.
Fulfill Their Needs
Every customer is different, which means every customer has preferences for how they do their shopping. Your wholesale customers are at the top of this list. How they put in parts orders, how they prefer to handle pick up or delivery, and how they prefer to communicate with you will be different from customer to customer.
Creating a standard operating procedure (SOP) for how you do business with your wholesale customers can help you provide them with the best experience possible.
Use Same-Day Delivery
Your wholesale customers are looking for parts that will be delivered fast and conveniently. They don’t want to have to wait 3 weeks for the right part to be shipped or set reminders for a part pick-up the morning of a repair. That’s why so many body shops and repair shops turn to aftermarket retailers online. They can send parts in as little as 24 hours.
If you’re going to maintain your competitive edge, you need to offer your wholesale customers same-day delivery. With same-day delivery, you can get parts orders to wholesale customers quickly, and with no hassle.
Growing your wholesale business doesn’t have to be a challenge. With these five tips, you can reach more wholesale customers, get them what they need, and keep their business in the long term. Make your wholesale customers your most valuable revenue stream.