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Tire Dealer Perspective: Navigating Customers Through the UHP Tire Segment

The name of the game is making money, but when working with customers in this segment, Jessica Palanjian Rankin, vice president of Grand Prix Performance, points to a more important sales pitch.

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Jessica Palanjian Rankin, vice president of Grand Prix Performance (left) with her father, Jerry Palanjian, founder of Grand Prix Performance, and her brother Alex Palanjian, founder of Formula Wheels. Both businesses are located in Costa Mesa, California.

The name of the game is making money, but when working with customers in this segment, Jessica Palanjian Rankin, vice president of Grand Prix Performance, points to the most important tire sales pitch:

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“Listen to your customers.”

She refers to a tire and wheel sale in this segment as more of a consultation at Grand Prix Performance. 

“When you take the time to understand their driving habits, performance expectations and style preferences, you can help navigate [the customer] through the process and recommend the best products for their vehicle and lifestyle.”

MORE: UHP Tire & Wheel Eye Candy

The Palanjian family offers a unique retail experience. Not only does Grand Prix Performance make sure their customers get in the right setup — tires, brakes, upgrades and all — but it also allows them to create one-of-a-kind tire and wheel combinations. Through Formula Wheels, Jessica’s brother, Alex Palanjian, and his team design and manufacture customers’ custom wheels just 10 minutes down the road in Costa Mesa. 

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“We are in a unique position because we are wheel manufacturers but also have our own retail tire and wheel operation in one of the biggest car cultures in the world,” Palanjian Rankin says. “Being in Southern California, where supercars are some people’s daily drivers, we see the latest vehicles and trends before most of the country does. We like to think we can offer our wholesale and retail customers our made-to-order wheels in the most relevant styles, fitments and finishes because of our front line UHP retail experience.”

Supercars: Tire Considerations for High-Performance Vehicles

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Customers may already have an idea of what they’re looking for — after all, we’re talking about the discerning drivers of high-performance vehicles. But they rely on dealers to be the experts and help take the pain out of sorting through seemingly endless options of tires, wheels and other aftermarket products, Palanjian Rankin adds.

“The most important thing is making sure that they can trust us to recommend the right products for their vehicle, whether it’s wheels and tires or brake upgrades or a full wrap of their vehicle,” she says. “That’s why it’s important to know your vendors and what products you’re carrying because you have to believe in what you’re selling. It makes it more of a recommendation — something you can offer wholeheartedly and confidently.”

For more on this topic, see With More Options Than Ever Before, a Booming UHP Segment Emerges.

Check out the rest of the September digital edition of Tire Review here.

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