How Warranty Companies Can Help Retailers
Neal Bobrick, senior vice president of sales, Warrantech: Lots of companies are putting the word 'training' high on the list of things to emphasize with dealers. What we're doing now and will continue to do in 2009 is work to make sure the independent dealers we serve have programs that help differentiate them from the big-box competition. That being said, selling an intangible is a difficult thing, and a lot of retailers struggle not only with selling it, but also with managing the sales process and helping their salespeople develop the skill set to sell this product in a way other than using the scare tactic of the 'break-fix' model.
"Our focus is on training them on how to sell the entire program and all its benefits and more important, on teaching the managers how to teach their salespeople, how to track the numbers, how to manage this business to success. Making this important to management makes it important to the sales floor. Once management has decided they are going to focus on the category, they will spend more time working with the floors to do that. It's no longer just, 'Sell this, or else.' It's 'Here's what we're selling, here's what it covers and here's how to do it.'
Mike Frosch, President/COO Consumer Products, The Warranty Group: The single most important and significant differentiator for us is the financial strength we bring to the table. Our carrier, Virginia Surety Co., was just reaffirmed by A.M. Best with an A- "excellent" rating. In this day and age, that's incredible.