Lifting Your Selling Potential

Selling vehicle lifts can increase a dealer’s profit margins

When you think of cash sales, you think of instant business. And any dealer who sells durable medical equipment has the ability to take advantage of instant cash.

Once a person receives his mobility device, the dealer can order a lift for the vehicle, which will arrive in a couple of days. It’s an instantaneous transaction and the customer doesn’t have to wait for funding, says Andrew Bayer, product manager of the automotive division at Bruno Independent Living Aids Inc.

And it only gets better.

If the vehicle isn’t more than a year old, the customer is eligible to get a $1,000 rebate from certain car manufacturers.
Cy Corgan, national sales director of retail mobility at Pride, affirmed that all the major car manufacturers offer rebate programs. By accessing Pride’s Web site, Corgan says consumers will find a link to the manufacturers’ Web sites that participate in this program and from there will be able to print the form that is required to get the rebate.

Applying for a rebate is hassle free.
“You can apply very quickly to get the rebate from the car manufacturer and there is no waiting for funding sources,” Bayer says. “They can immediately order the lift and one to two days later the lift is shipped out.”
Another big selling point is fast installation, he adds.
“A customer could come in the waiting room just like they would at a car dealership,” he says. “You come in at 9 a.m. and by noon you’re ready to go. So it’s easy for the customer.”

When dealers sell power chair, scooters or any other type of durable medical equipment, the cash sales opportunity is right before their eyes, says Sarah Penix, business development manager at Harmar Mobility.
“If they don’t offer their clientele a power chair lift or a scooter lift, and their client realizes that the product is out there and available, then they’re going to go somewhere else,” she says. “And they’ve just let that cash walk out the door.
It’s that golden upsale rule that dealers have to remember, Penix says.
“It goes back to that Golden Rule: Would you like fries with that?”

If you’re selling power chairs or scooters products, you need to be selling lifts because they go hand in hand, she adds.
Reimbursements used to be the core business, but things have changed.
“It’s flipped,” Penix says. “Cash sales have come to the front of that store.”

In this industry right now, with the baby boomer tsunami, people are staying in their homes because homes are not selling as easily as they used to — making home accessibility items in high demand.
“At the same token, people are staying in their homes and they need vehicle lifts to get out and do their daily errands,” Penix says. “So this industry is seeing a huge increase in cash sales right now.”

Corgan agrees. “There are a lot of challenges in the market place right now and vehicle lifts are very good cash sales items because they offer a low-cost alternative to vehicle conversions.”

This article originally appeared in the October 2008 issue of HME Business.

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