Tips for closing the sale of light truck tires
Sticker shock is not exclusive to touring tires. Light truck tire prices also increased. And buyers who have been out of the market for a while have noticed.
We recently asked light truck tire suppliers to share tips to help dealers navigate the pricing discussion with customers. Here’s what they had to say:
Brandon Stotsenburg, Vice President, Automotive Division, American Kenda Rubber Co. Ltd. : Understand the particular situation of the consumer. Explaining financing options without sacrificing performance will be the recommended approach.
Stephen Liu, Senior Manager, Exclusive Brands, American Tire Distributors Inc.: Educate consumers on the benefits of buying local and build a relationship with your outlet that lasts longer than just a tire sale.
J. Downey Sr., Product Manager, Apollo Tires Ltd. : Light truck tires are designed to meet manufacturers’ specifications, safely and meet consumer expectations. Weighing the risks of compromising security against performance/price should be the topic of every conversation.
Brad Robison, Senior Product Manager, Bridgestone Americas Inc.: It’s important for dealers to have conversations with their customers to understand their specific vehicle, typical usage, and performance expectations to ensure they get a product that meets their needs.
Travis Roffler, Chief Marketing Officer, Continental Tire the Americas LLC: I always advise dealers to put LT-metric tires in place of P-metric tires without discussing the potential impact on ride comfort, noise and handling with the consumer, depending on the type of model you replace.
David Shelton, Industry Relations Manager, Giti Tire (USA) Ltd. : The good thing here is that these tires are more of a “want” (category) buy, rather than a “need” buy. Your task is to find out what the (customer’s) hidden expectations are and define their limits and where they are willing to stray to get what they want, while remaining satisfied with their acquisition.
Rob Williams, Senior Vice President, North America Sales, Hankook Tire North America: With the cost of light truck tires continuing to rise, we have seen consumers opt for the most reliable and economical option. With this in mind, dealers need to recognize the consumer’s point of view.
Victor Qui, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Horizon Tire Inc.: It really depends on the brand you want to push. End users normally listen to the retailer’s talk about tire value.
Rick Phillips, CEO, Keter Tire Inc.: You need to keep up to date with what’s going on in the industry and the factors that affect pricing. If you do this, you are able to educate customers. When customers feel well informed, they have more confidence in their buying decisions.
Chris Jenkins, Programs and Marketing Manager, Automotive Division, Maxxis International – USA: It’s not as complicated as most think. It comes down to the basic quality characteristics of the tire. Is the consumer looking to buy a name or buy the best quality? How about both?
Jason Yard, Director of Marketing, Nexen Tire North America Inc.: Take advantage of manufacturer incentives and distributor accounts where applicable. It’s good to have a few options to offer, but having too many can dilute your threshold for discounts and rebates.
Stephen Leu, Brand Publishing Manager, Nitto Tire USA Inc.: Light-duty truck tire buyers have a wide variety of needs, and the off-road, off-road, and mud-terrain segments have a plethora of product offerings, each with their own unique strengths and characteristics. Finding the right product to meet the customer’s predispositions is always a good start.
Erdem Halulu, Commercial Director, Pirelli Tire North America Inc.: Light truck tire customers don’t want to sacrifice tire performance. That’s why tire dealers should explain to them that investing in a leading tire brand will give them and their vehicle the best performance.
Jack McClure, Director of Product Development, Sailun Tire Americas: It’s always about building a relationship with the customer and gaining their trust. With pricing in an uncertain economy, an important first step in building customer trust is providing a quality product with value.
Darrel Jackson, Senior Director of Learning and Franchise Development, TBC Corp: Listening to your customers is essential. To truly understand the customer and their needs, ask relevant questions and listen to the answers provided. If you take the time to describe how the features of a more expensive tire meet their needs in a way that a cheaper tire cannot, often price is no longer a factor.
Andrew Hoit, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Brand Division, Tireco: In times of economic inflation, consumers are more likely to consider a lesser-known brand with a strong value proposition. It’s also a great opportunity to remind consumers of the benefits of proper tire maintenance, including periodic air pressure checks and tire rotations, to maximize fuel economy and life. tire life.
Joaquin Gonzalez Jr., President, Tire Group International Inc.: When discussing options with your client, you need to have options to allow them to make the best decision that meets their needs and budget. If you only offer a Tier 1 product in your portfolio in a specific category, you will miss sales.
Conrad Galamgam, Vice President, Product Planning and Technical Services, Toyo Tire USA Corp. : It is important to note that load/ply range ratings cannot be used alone to identify a suitable vehicle fitment. Regardless of on-road or off-road use, it is imperative that replacement tires for any vehicle be of a size, load range and load capacity – per inflation – capable of supporting the same load than the tires originally installed on the vehicle.
Roman Racela, Marketing Manager, Transamerica Tire Co. Ltd. : Once a tire dealer makes a value proposition to consumers by educating them about the features and benefits (of a tire), price becomes less important, thus increasing the chances of closing the sale.
Martin Marquez, Regional Sales Manager, West, Trimax Tire: Make sure you have the right app for the right vehicle. Be confident with the tire you are selling and above all, be honest with the customer.