Paint Protection Dealer Work
Q: I was wondering what kind of deals other installers are offering dealers. I give dealers a catalog of all of the cars that they sell. The catalog list retail prices and the price the dealer actually pays. Generally if a dealer sells protection for the whole car(2 kits) they make between $200 and $250. I figure that this is a good chunk for just calling me. I havent had a lot of luck selling thru dealers though. I always do a car for free for the showroom, make professional catalogs, and attend a sales meeting where I can tell the whole sales team about the product. Then....nothing. I would think that $200 would be enough to get a dealership fired up but I guess not. I have better luck just greasing the salesmen and I sell more PPF to my retail customers. To continue griping, I have a hard time selling PPF altogether. I'm glad that I have other businesses because I would not have come close to making a living on PPf this year. I have spent an average of $750 a month on advertisement and I think that our installs turn out well. Just not seeing a good return on my investment and am starting to get frustrated. Any Thoughts?
A: I know that with my limited experiance with dealers not only did the dealer want a % off the retail price But the individual selling it for likes to know what is in it for them. try giving that person a little incentive for selling you service I know some out there say that you should not have to do that but It works.
A: Let me say this before I begin. It sounds like you do not understand the value of what you are trying to get the dealers to embrace as the next big thing. NEVER do a car for free... It says I am weak, the product is worthless, the product is so hard to sell I will do almost anything to get rid of it... Sorry, just making a point, you get the idea. We require our dealers to maintain at least two vehicles with our full clear bra installed at all times - so they can sell off it. And yes, they pay for it. Usually they are store demos, and/or mgr's demos.
Now to answer your question/s
As they say WIFM - What's in it for me? The dealer needs to make money, the sales person needs to make money, and your company needs to make money. I don't know what brand of dealer you are talking about, but for the ones most work with 200-250 will not interest many owners/mgr's. They may send you some work if a customer asks for it, but they are not going to drum up business, because there is not enough of a financial motivation for them at such a low margin. Unless the store is completely unaware of what they can retail the stuff for I wouldn't begin to try and set prices for them. If you do set their retails, you need to keep in mind their selling culture. If they are like most and start high and offer a discount your retails need to reflect that. So the set retail would be the starting point, and they would use it as a closing tool. They offer a big discount on the clear bra and close the deal. That said I can only assume you are setting the retails way too low - or you are getting one hell of a wholesale price...
The stores sales plan will also have a bearing on your success. Do the sales people get paid on a percentage of gross? Is the sale of the clear bra and other accessories included in that calculation of gross?
You mentioned that you have greased the sales people's hands and made more on the retail sale. I really hope that was at two different shops. If you want to get larger volumes (or maintain any wholesale relationship for that matter) you CAN NOT be indirect competition with your dealer! If I was a dealer and I found out a sub was undercutting me and paying off a sales person I would sever the relationship immediately and slow slow slow pay any outstanding invoices.
I feel your frustration, the PPF side of our business will loose buckets full of money this year and in all likelihood next year as well. The car business is on the ropes right now, most dealers are running scared. The tax hike on SUV's killed that segment of the market for us. The overall economy is tenuous. The dollar has fallen dramatically. The Empire is in trouble. There are lots of reasons to be frustrated... Stay positive, stay focused, stay excited, and build the business! I do believe there is a developing market here, but it takes a tremendous commitment!
A: I have to say I agree with all the statements in this post so far. First and foremost NEVER give a free install to the dealer. Not only because of Sidewinders point, he is right, but also remember that any dealer is going to jump on a free install and then take all the profit and forget who you are. I also tried the full model price list and that was way to confusing, I am sure most of them went into the roundfile. I give them three prices Full, Partial, and with lamps. This makes it way easier for the F & I guys and service managers to remember your prices. they arent going to want to try and find and then go through a long price list. We try and make it as easy as possible for the dealers to use us.
I think that the dealers are some of the hardest clients you will ever have because you are continuously babysitting and protecting your investment. But played correctly can be one of the most profitable and easy forms of profit for your business.
This is one of our main profit lines as well as building custom show room cars for dealerships so we know that is has been a tough year but you have to stand your ground and keep your service as high as possible. You will pull through.
A: Im no expert by anymeans but i have to agree with what Sidewinder says. I also think that PPF is still in the beginning stages and is still going to take a little time to get booming.
Car buyers are more savy nowadays and do their homework online and find out what the invoices are for new cars, making it harder for car dealers to make hugh profits. Financing will always be thier bread and butter.
Thats why salesman or the finance guys need to push PPF, Lojack, aftermarket TV/Entertainment centers to make more money off of the sale. Its easier to sell if they tell the customer its just a few more dollars a month.
I also think its a good idea to give your saleman/Finance guy a gift certificate to a restaurant if he brings you alot of business. I mean the real nice places, Not MacDonalds
A: Thanks for the advice and encouragement guys. I am a little surprised about your responses to giving away a free job. I have a detail shop and I have done this for years. It gives me an opportunity to show a dealer that we can do quality work and has opened many doors for me. I used the way of thinking when approaching a dealer about PPF. Noone around here has ever heard of the stuff and the best way for me to get my foot in the door is to give them a free job, and show that we can put apply film
A: Very interesting posts, I really hadnt thought about a flat pricing plan. I dont have much trouble with my dealers pricing from my catalog for individual cars and pieces but that is an interesting idea.
My policy has been 1 hood, fender, mirror of my choosing at no cost and then they must keep a showroom piece at their charge from that point on. I do understand what your saying Sidewinder but if the right approach is taken I do believe this can be a good door opener for the dealership that has very little knowledge of the product.
Now with that said...as time passes and awareness increases around here I seriously doubt that free upper will still be available.
Carwasher...we arent vey far apart and Im going to guess that your dealers are very similar to mine. Most have NO clue what Im talking about. I spend more time trying to convince a new dealer that PPF isnt "paint sealant" or a wipe on "paint protection". Once I get over the basics of the product I can usually get them wrapped up with my enthusiasim for the product and it seems to progress well from there. Ive been working dealerships for PDR for almost 8 years now and I can always get a laugh from the vendor that walks on the lot to offer a service or product and they dont even seem to believe in what they are selling. Im far from successful every time but I honestly do think I will be every time I walk through the door. This is a no brainer product, why wouldnt everyone want this????
Other than the vehicles warranty PPF is the most important or valuable item you can get. I believe it, and I say it....alot.
A: If you are looking for a hard percentage you wont find one, and I doubt it is because anybody is 'skirting the question'. Price is a market driven and adjusted number. I know for example there are shops in more whored out areas RETAILing for less then we WHOLESALE the service for. I also know that there are shops getting more that we are getting at a wholesale level. To a certain extent, your wholesale price will not have anything to do with what "you" think it should retail for.
We price each vehicle the same for each particular dealer. We do have a few exceptions - usually one or two specific specialty vehicles per store that due to the coverages are more money. In some cases you accept lower margins and in some cases your wholesale price is MORE than what you might have initially thought was going to be a retail price. This is especially true with certain kit suppliers as there is such a wide gyration in pricing that there doesn't seem to be a logical system when they set their retail's. It makes your job much harder if the dealer has heard of the kit designer! If they have not heard of and are not aware of the wild price differences it is much easier to to do all cars for a flat fee and let the dealer set the retails on them. They are going to (or should) set better retails than you might anyway, and they will get them.
Sorry if that skirted the issue. Without knowing every intimate detail of your business and the market it operates in it would be irresponsible for anybody to say "you need to wholesale it for X% off retail".
A: Well said Sidewinder. This question is brought up often on this board and it is always answered the same way. It is up to your area how the pricing will be structured. I say find a comfortable medium based on your talents. If you are hands down the best installer in your area then go for the big guys and charge accordingly. If you are a good installer with solid service and great follow through that can handle good volume, then handle the dealers at a reasonable price, rember that the dealer needs to make the lions share or they more than likely wont sell your product. Everything else just seems to fall in place.