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What are your 4th Quarter Automotive Plans?

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What are your 4th Quarter Automotive Plans?


What are you doing in your shop to secure a strong 4th quarter of business? Any winterization special, flyers, mailers, events, etc..


Do you do anyting special toward the end of the year to draw in business to your shop?


We can all learn from each other, I for one have no plan as of yet.

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Flash Sale + Social Proof

Flash Sale + Social Proof

Flash Sale + Social Proof

I promote my business all year long with seasonal promotions. For the fall and winter we do have a promotion which includes: Oil change, tire rotation, multipoint inspection, BG MOA & CF5 for $69.95. I have been doing this for years. We call it: “Seasonal Maintenance Package”. It is very successful, plus it gives us a chance to sell batteries, tires, brakes, antifreeze services, etc.


I do think the key to advertising and marketing is to have a constant and continuing program throughout the year with reminders, newsletters, and email newsletters.


Also, the past few years we have cut out all paper ads and yellow page ads and put our ad dollars in TV and radio. Radio is great because you can do 10 second spots that directs your marketing to the season, holiday specials or whatever.

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First, great point...if you not on the first or last page you will probably not be noticed. And I agree about the bait and switch ads. We have this in my area and I will not go down the road...ever.

As far as picking a radio station. We took note of what radio stations our customer’s listened to by seeing what our customers had pre-programmed on the car radios. We also asked customer what they listened to the most. Then I called those radio stations and asked for their demographics reports. You need to match the radio listening audience to your “ideal” customer. For us we are looking for family people or women, home owners, with kids, 2 car families, and 35-60 years old with incomes above 65k.

In other words, my audience is not the hip-hop culture or teen culture so I would not want to buy time on those stations. It’s also important to pick a local radio station; if possible, that does a lot for the local community.

Once I picked the radio station I focused on drive time traffic reports and weather reports. People tend to listen to the traffic and weather and not switch to another station when an ad comes on.

Hope this helps.

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To a large degree, consistent and relentless advertising works. We have a large tire chain right around the corner from us and they too are always busy. They put a lot of money into advertising and you don't need an appointment. The quality of their work is questionable, at best! But they are always busy.


Independents spend a lot of time and money being ASE certified, buying the best tools, the best equipment and becoming the best techs. We pride ourselves on being able to solve the toughest problems. In the end, the public may not know the difference.


I am not saying that we should be more like these other shops, but we need to understand what the consumer perceives, because their perception is their reality.


When expanding my business I studied the businesses that always seemed busy and I took a different approach. I learned what the customer sees as mportant, and it was not my Hunter Alignment Machine or my Snap On Scanner. And it was not even the fact that we are an ASE Blue Seal Shop!


What matters to them are convenience, a friendly face, speedy service and a fair price.


We now advertise more (TV and Radio). We offer while you wait service and you don’t need and appointment, and it works. Our business has increased.


The world has changed from the days when I started in a 2 bay gas station in the 70’s.

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3 to 5% of total sales. But I have to tell you that I stopped ads in the local penny saver, news papers and the yellow pages. I primarily concentrate on TV, Radio and I buy mailing lists of people in a 5 mile radius of my shop.


I also heavliy concentrate on marketing to our exsiting customer base with email newsletters, service reminders, seasonal promotions, etc.


And another thing that has helped is getting invloved with local ograinizations like the Chamber of Commerce. Networking with other local businesses is key today.


There are things you can do that won't break the bank. Remeber your target audience is a lot smaller than a Pep boys.

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