Tire margins are getting tighter every year. Selling tire protection is one way to regain the lost revenue caused by shrinking margins. And, of course, selling alignments is a way to increase your profitability. But as most tire dealers will tell you: it’s not easy to sell alignments. So how do you get more alignment business?
First, you ask for it. Yes, it seems pretty simple. There’s a good chance your customers aren’t thinking about an alignment. By asking them one question—“Would you like us to align your wheels?”—you’re reminding them of the importance of an alignment. More importantly, you’re reminding them of that importance while they’re at a place that can easily and quickly perform the necessary maintenance. By simply asking, you can expect to grow your alignment service (and your revenue).
Second, set alignment goals. Depending on the size of your shop, that may be a half dozen in a day or it could be a dozen or more. To do that, simply check the alignment on the majority of the cars that come into your shop. And if you don’t already, offer free alignment checks. It gets more cars into your bays, and you don’t have to ask customers if they’d like an alignment—because they’re already there with an alignment in mind. That’s an easy way to fulfill those alignment goals.
Third, show the customer their alignment problems. If you can’t sell a customer on an alignment when they first come into your shop, sell them once their vehicle is on the lift. Have your tech examine the tires and mark any imperfections with chalk. Then show the customer the negative effects of their poor alignment.
Finally, educate your customers. Tell them that aligned tires provide better fuel economy and extend the life of their tires. And be sure to explain that their tire warranty doesn’t cover tires that wear out faster because of misalignment. The possibility of a voided warranty is often enough to raise their concern and make the sell.
But what if you’re not a repair shop? What if you’re a collision shop? Perfect. By checking your customers’ alignment on repairs that don’t require it, you’re providing an unexpected added-value service—not to mention a new source of revenue for your shop.
Whether you’re a tire shop, a repair shop, a collision shop or even a shop that services heavy-duty commercial vehicles, the right equipment can run alignment checks much faster than older equipment. Alignment checks that once took 10 to 15 minutes can now take less than five minutes, which means you can move cars through your shop much faster—and more profitably—than you could just a few years ago.
Using the right equipment.
There are a few reliable manufacturers of alignment systems that have been around for years. Now there’s one more: Rotary. That’s right, we’ve designed some of the highest tech wheel alignment systems available today. We even have an extensive offering of wheel balancers and tire changers. And why wouldn’t we? They’re perfectly aligned with the rest of our business. Have a look at all of our wheel service equipment today.