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Let's say you're looking at your shop's appointment book, and you could stand to use a few more cars in the shop today. You need to know how to get cars in the shop right away.

I'm going to give you three very quick, easy, and cheap ways to get the phone ringing, and get that appointment book filled:

Idea Number One

It's not earth shattering. It's using email marketing. If you've collected and have current email addresses for your clients, all you have to do is just come up with a terrific offer. Now, remember, we're trying to get them in your shop today. So, we want to give them a great offer, to show up today. Let them know that they're getting this special offer, because you need more cars in the shop today, you need them to respond right away, and you need them to bring their car into your shop today. So, the offer is very, very important. A wishy-washy offer isn't going to get somebody to respond. Come up with a kick-butt offer, and email it to them.

Now, the problem with email is, not everybody looks at their emails every single day, and you don't have emails for everybody in your database. But, hey, it's easy, it's simple, it's cheap, so go ahead and do it. And hopefully, some people are going to see it, and they're going to respond today. For idea number one, if you've sent emails before, then marketing via email shouldn't be a difficult thing to do.

Idea Number Two

This is the way that I love more than anything else, is using a mobile phone and text message marketing your offer to them. So, if you've been collecting and getting permission to send them texts (which you should be doing), you can just simply send a kick-butt offer to them, and get them to respond immediately via text. Now, you can do them one by one, just grab your phone and start texting people individually, or there are some services out there that you can group text everybody, and get them all done in one sweep at a time.

But the important thing to know about text message marketing is, it's a brilliant way to contact people, because 99% of texts get opened. And even more importantly, 95% get opened within the first three minutes [Forbes]. So, you send out a text, people are going to look at it, and they're going to respond within five minutes. Now, if you put together a kick-butt offer, you will get your ringing right away. I love that idea, and on a separate video we'll kind of go into detail on exactly how to do your texting and everything. That's a much larger subject to cover. Certainly not one I'm going to be able to cover here.

Idea Number Three

You're going to hate this idea. I know you're going to hate it, but it's a tool you already have, and most people under-utilize the tool. And that is using one of these. A phone, okay? Just a regular, old-fashioned, home phone, and you start dialing for dollars. I mean, think about this. How many people have been in a shop that declines services? Well, wouldn't it be a great idea to call them up, and just kind of look at all the people that decline services, and come up with a kick-butt offer to get them in the shop today. Let them know:

"Hey, we have a few slots open, I'd like to fill it."

"This is once in a lifetime offer."

"I'm going to give you an offer you can't refuse."

Dial for dollars, and that will get people in shop.

Now, I know you hate it. Let's face it nobody, especially an auto repair shop owner, wants to get on the phone and start cold-calling people. But, hey, you want to put people in your shop today? You've got their phone numbers, you've got their buying history, you've got their unsold service history. Dial for dollars, and people will come to the shop./

Now, those are three quick and easy, down and dirty, inexpensive, almost free ways, to get people into your auto repair shop. Pick the one you want, and do it.

--> 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.
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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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