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Best Advice No One Ever Gave You?

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Probably the first thing I learned as an ESO is not as prophetic as Joe and certainly not very fun, but here goes, If it is not in writing, it was NEVER said. Sad but if you want to rely on someone's word next month, 3 months or five years from now, get it in writing. Not flashy,not fun, but anytime I fail to live by this advice I come to regret it. Nothing serious (yet) but regret it still.

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Hi CARMandP,


Joe's advise is 'bang on' the money. "We need to understand what the customer thinks" I am new to this forum, but certainly not to the automotive service market. It' s been just over 30 years for me (so I can't tell you that I'm only 29 ;).


I help auto repair shops with their marketing. The biggest issue that I see is, like Joe said, you've got the know how, tools, equipment and talent. No doubt. Then when you advertise... you tell everybody about that.


Problem is, it's not about fixing cars. Nobody wants to spend money on doing that. (I don't have to tell you that, do I). It's about making an 'emotional connection'. The best example I can give you is this. Designer blue jeans sell for hundreds. Big box stores sell the blue jeans for $20, $30 or $40. The difference is.. the emotional connection to the label. People buy on emotion and justify it with logic AFTER.


The best advise I can give you is to not 'beat your chest' telling everyone how good you are. Make your first job marketing your shop. Getting more customers and more customer referrals. It does NOT have to be expensive.


To start, you should be using:

1- Bounce back coupons - Instead of giving discounts to people you DON'T know, give them to people who already know, trust and like you. Your CUSTOMERS!


2- Create a Customer Referral program. You don't get referrals by chance. You have to work at them. And DON'T Ask for them at the end of the job when you're collecting the money. That's like telling the person you're looking for new friends and would appreciate if he could help you. You know, introduce you to them. And oh, by the way... yeah... I'm going to try to sell them something. Don't work!


3- Continuity Program/ Loyalty Program - This is good because you can sell your services in advance and collect money today. Think of all the big box shopping type stores that charge a 'membership' fee for the promise of better prices in the future. You set up a card that you create a bunch of offers... and discount them. Keeps your customer coming back.


4- Not sure if you've been in business long enough... but you should be watching for lost customers. Haven't seen the person in 6 months - that's 2 oil change intervals - then they're going somewhere else.


There's a ton of real cheap things you can do. But you have to do them.


Listen, I am new on the forum here and I do not want to push my luck or bend (break) the rules. I wrote a book, "THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO AUTO SERVICE MARKETING" that gives you 44 No Cost or Low Cost marketing strategies that work. Right now, I still have copies available.


I don't know if I can post a link... sorry, didn't get to read the rules yet. I had a login problem and the boys here fixed me up real quick.. so I will get to the rules... I promise. In the mean time, if you want a copy, drop me a message and I will help you.



Author - Auto Service Marketing Specialis

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      A recent study, done by Harvard Business School, concluded that the real problem with attracting and retaining employees has more to do with the workplace environment, not pay or benefits. While the study did find that an adequate pay plan and offering an attractive benefits package did help with recruiting and retention, it’s not enough to satisfy the needs of employees, especially those of front-line workers.
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      Essentially, it all comes down to the culture of your company.  Management: do all it can to consider the individual needs of your employees. Your employees want to feel that they have a voice, that their opinion counts, and that their role in your company is both respected and recognized. Yes, pay and a great benefits package will go a long way toward making your employees feel secure, but that’s only financial security. People want more than money.
      To attract and keep top talent requires creating a company that people feel proud to work for. You need to reach the hearts and minds of your employees. Become a leader that people are enthusiastic about working for. You want your employees bragging to their friends and family that your shop is a great place to work!
      Step one to attracting and retaining quality employees: Create an amazing workplace environment for your employees!  Trust me, happy employees make happy shop owners too!
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