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Thanks for stopping by. There’s a lot of recent discussion about oil changes; who’s doing Your Customer’s Oil Change; And other topics related to getting more “car count”.
My question is, “What are you doing for your shop to increase car count? Is it working? If not, what’s your struggle?
Thought it would be a good place to “compare notes” and see what’s working for those that want to share.
Looking forward to your comments, likes, dislikes and anything you want to share.
“The Car Count Fixer”
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By Ron Ipach
Maybe this has happened to a number of you auto repair shop owners out there… you put together an offer to send to your prospects and clients. Not just any offer, I mean a really, really killer, can’t-miss deal like "$50 off any service that you perform." Now you know that there will be skeptics out there looking for the hidden strings, so you announce that there is no minimum purchase required and no restrictions on what they can buy. And to prove that you won’t jack up the price first and then take the $50 off the total later, you tell them not to produce the coupon until after they’ve been presented with the bill. Oh, and for the icing on the cake, you offer a 100% refund if they aren’t totally thrilled with their experience with your auto repair shop.
The timing is right. Folks are always looking for the good deal. They need what you are offering. You send your no-fail offer to the right list of folks, and then you get ready for the bundles of people beating a path to your door… but they never come. What the heck happened? Did you miss something? Was the offer too good to be true? Wouldn’t you just love to ask every one of them why they didn’t take you up on your offer?
Even the most experienced of marketers aren’t immune to this phenomenon to a certain degree. A couple years ago, I offered to give away copies of a brand-new marketing course to the first 200 shop owners that wanted them. The offer was (I thought?) brain-dead simple. Invest $197 to get the course. Take 60 days to go through the course then call my office and get all of your money back. (WOW!) I also added a 30-day, no-excuses needed, 100% money back guarantee too. And to cover what I thought was the final hurdle, I assured everyone that there were no more payments and nothing else to buy.
While I still ended up doing very well with this campaign, even though I was a bit short of my goal of 200. What went wrong? Was the offer too good to be true? Was it too complicated? Did I miss something?
The point of today’s message isn’t to commiserate about the lack of response to our advertising efforts. Nope, it’s to tell you about a free online site called Survey Monkey that we can use to help us find out where we went wrong with our offers. With Survey Monkey we can set up a quick 2-minute survey and ask our prospects why they didn’t respond. And then, based on their answers, hopefully we’ll be able to craft or edit existing offers that will get a much better response the next time.
Because I was able to survey clients who the deal was offered to, I was able to improve upon my course offer and fill the last few spots to hit my 200 goal.
Hopefully if your shop can start surveying clients and prospects more often, you'll have a better handle on what they want and what offers will get them more excited.
- Ron Ipach (a.k.a. Captain Car Count)
President/Founder of Repair Shop Coach More articles and content like this and originated through Ron Ipach's Car Count Daily campaign Auto Repair Shop Owners, Managers, and Automotive Industry Professionals are invited to join 'Car Count Daily Boosters' LinkedIn group to provide resources and gain insight on boosting car count DAILY and filling up the bays in their shops.
By Ron Ipach
Somebody recently sent an email to me asking the same question that I get dozens of times every single month. Basically, it says, "Ron, how much should I budget for my marketing?"
I have a very simple answer to that. One that actually a lot of people are gonna totally disagree with me...
My answer is, throw out the marketing budget. You do not need a marketing budget, and here's the reason why: A lot of times, I've heard five, six, or even three percent of your growth sales should be used towards advertising.
Now, that might be a good number for some months, but it's a horrible number for other months. But if you're budgeting and you're only gonna have a certain amount of money for marketing every single month, your business is gonna be going to be heading on a downward slope.
For a lot of our clients, the summer months tend to be their busiest month. They don't need to be spending a lot of money on marketing at all during those months because they're just naturally busy. But then when the kids go back to school in August and September, everything screeches to a halt.
So I'm gonna say throw out the marketing budget and spend it where and if you need it. You don't need to spend a lot of money on marketing if you're naturally busy. You do need to spend a lot of money on marketing if you're gonna be slow.
Now, this goes to ... I guess I should mention, it's not a matter of just throwing a bunch of money out there on marketing. You have to do good quality marketing. You have to have the right message sent to the right market at the right time using the right media. In other words, a way that they're actually gonna see your marketing. You have to get all of those things straight.
So I'm going to probably guess that if you follow me and participate in my Car Count Daily campaign by watching my videos, you're getting a good idea, a good sense of what good quality marketing is. I'll assume that you're doing good quality marketing.
Now, if you're spending money on good quality marketing, you're gonna get good results. If you don't need it during the summer months, slow it down. If you're gonna need it in the fall, you need to raise it up. I don't like marketing budgets for that reason, because everybody gets used to spending the same amount of money every single month, whether they need to or not.
Pay attention to your numbers. Pay attention to what your shop is telling you. Pay attention to what your car count's telling you and spend the money when needed.
Also, if you're running short of your numbers, you may need to spend a lot more money and put in a lot more effort on your marketing for those specific months. Don't look at marketing as an expense. Look at it as an investment. A marketing budget is something to be spent. Marketing investment, your marketing dollars if it's done right, is actually an investment. It's not taking money, it's actually attracting more money to your shop.
By Ron Ipach
I want to talk about collecting the right information from every one of your customers while they’re in your shop. What do I mean by that? When we’re talking about marketing, it’s important that we collect all the current information that we have on our customers so that we can continue to market to them. Marketing to your current customers, it’s like picking the low-hanging fruit. It’s the easiest group of people to get back into your shop, so we want to make sure that we collect all the data that we can from our customers while they’re sitting right there in our shop.
Obviously, what you want to do it get their correct name. Make sure their name is spelled correctly. Have that in you database.
Then, also, we want their mailing address. Everybody’s got a place they’re living. They’re not living in their car, chances are. So we want to make sure that we get their home address so that we can mail something to them.
The next thing on the list is we want to make sure we get their e-mail address. We want to make sure that we’re getting the right e-mail address. Not the e-mail address the junk e-mail that a lot of people, including me, I have a junk e-mail address that I give to everybody because I don’t want them to contact me. We want to make sure that we get their actual e-mail address. The one that they actually do check. It’s very important you do that.
You May Also Like: Putting An Auto Repair Ad In The Yellow Pages Then, the next thing that I want to make sure that you get is the two phone numbers that they have. One is their home phone number. Some people don’t have home phones anymore. I happen to still have a home phone number. If they don’t have their home phone number, certainly, they have a cell phone. You want to make sure that you’re collecting that data as well.
What you’re going to be able to do with all this, if you have a home address, you can send them a piece of mail. If you have an e-mail address, the good e-mail address, you can send them an e-mail. If you have their home phone number, not only can you pick up the phone to call them, I call it dialing for dollars when you’re on your slow days to see if you can get some of them to your shop, but you can also do something. It’s a technology called the voice broadcast where you record a message, and it blasts it out to everybody’s home phone number and leaves a message just like you would’ve left a message on their voicemail by calling their home if you called them one by one. This is different, where you just record it one time and it blasts it out to everybody. Then, if you get their cell phone number, you can send them a text message, and 99% of text messages get read, and 95% of them get read within the first five minutes. So it’s a very valuable way to be able to market to them.
You May Also Like: What's New In The Automotive Repair Industry? But none of this is going to work for you if you don’t have the accurate data in your database. So here’s a suggestion that you start right now, today, with the very next customer that walks through the door and you start collecting that data. Think of it like when you went to the doctor’s office the last time. What they did is they handed you that clipboard and said, “We’re updating our records. Please fill all this out.” You can protest all you want, but they’re going to make you fill those forms out every single time you go in. Why? They have insurance forms that they need to fill out, and they got to make sure everything’s accurate. You, you need to market to them. You got to run your business off of this data. So require that they fill out each and every one of those lines. Their name, their e-mail address, their phone number, their cell phone number. You want to make sure that you collect all that data so that you can market to them.
Just assume that they’re going to give you that data and no questions asked. If you just ask for an e-mail address, now there’s a dialogue that kind of goes back and forth. If you simply hand them a form that says “We need all this information for our database, for our records,” they will go ahead and fill that out. Make sure that you get that done.
You also, at the bottom of that form, you want to have like a little disclaimer that by singing below, and you want to make sure they sign it, by signing below, you are allowing Ron’s Auto Repair to contact them by mail, by phone, or any other electronic means necessary. You want to have that little catch-all, cover-your-butt legalese on there so that when they sign it, they literally have given you permission to market to them using all of those means.It all starts with good information if you want to be able to market to your current customers. Your current customers are your best source of income, and we’ll cover that on other videos like this. You got to make sure that you have the data first so that you can market to them in the future.
note: Be sure to join me on my Live Webinar Tonight at 8pm EST! Click HERE or the link below to register (spots are limited)
By Ron Ipach
Hi Shop Owners!
I wanted to come over shop owner forum and offer you an exclusive invitation to join me TOMORROW NIGHT on my Free Webinar -
Registration is now open for my free Auto Repair Webinar -
I'm going to be talking about what it takes to go from just being an ordinary shop to an EXTRAORDINARY shop.
What do I mean by ordinary?
It's where 95% of shop owners lie. Car Count numbers aren't nearly where they should be The shop is not meeting their financial goals. Their time is being sucked up. They're working entirely too many hours. They're not getting a chance to spend time with their family. In other words, the shop isn't exactly what they thought it was going to be when they started it.
What I'm going to be talking about is what it takes to be in the top 5%, where it's making money hand over fist, where you're being able to take time off. You're going to be able to spend time with your family, go do what you want to do with whoever you want, whenever you want to do it.
Those things that if you roll back to the day that you started your business, you thought you would be able to do.
If this sounds like you, click here to learn more and register now...
(** WARNING: Spots are filling up FAST, Click here to Reserve NOW **)