You’re working long hours, handling all the “fires” and customers, paying your techs and salespeople well, yet there’s not as much cash in the bank as you’d like. From my 20+ years in building small businesses and working with Auto Repair Shops, here are 4 reasons why this is happening:
#1 Print, coupons and direct mail are your main advertising.
Advertising in magazines is expensive with little return on your investment. Cut it out of your budget.
Direct mail still works but is expensive. If you’re getting only 1% of 15000 mailers sent coming back in. Yes, that’s 150 sales, but what if you could double that to just 2%? 300 sales!
I’ve seen minor changes in what you put on your mailer double the response. A color, a picture, a tagline a link to a Facebook page, or a testimonial. Sometimes it’s the simple things that can improve your response by just 1% – but bring in tens of thousands of more dollars.
#2 You discount way too much
One of my auto repair shop customers figured out his main salesperson (he was paying $100k in commissions to a year) was offering discounts to some customers BEFORE they even asked for one!
This does nothing but kill your margins and profits. Give a fair price and do good work and at least wait until the customer asks “if there’s anything you can do on the price.”
Even then, I’m a big fan of ADDING VALUE instead of discounting your price. Give them free wipers or some other low-cost high-margin service you can throw in as a sweetener to earn their business. This keeps the customer and your bank account happier.
#3 You’re not using Facebook Ads
Your customers use Facebook. The young ones, the old ones, they all use it.
If you’re not utilizing Facebook ads to reach thousands of new prospective customers – your missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your revenues.
I’ve seen $25 ads on Facebook bring in thousands in new sales. You can run ads just within 10 miles of your shop and saturate your area.
It also helps that people are “seeing you everywhere”. Online, in print in a mailer. A busy-looking shop that spends money on getting people in the door MUST do good work right? That’s the perception you crave.
#4 You don’t build email lists of customers
Email list building = FREE MARKETING. Plus getting your social media connections and followers off of those platforms and into your email list is critical.
Facebook can shut your account down ANYTIME THEY PLEASE – and there go your 5000 followers. If you have those people on an email list – no one can take that away from you.
Email marketing works and as mentioned it’s your list forever. Grow it. Nurture it regularly and you will keep a stream of customers coming into your shop.
A quick thank you from Steven Placey, Founder of Rock Your Business, Inc.
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