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JustTheBest last won the day on June 8

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  1. The $19.95 Oil Change Offer

    Hello Everyone - I kept getting those notices too and when I read the above, I wanted to "chime in" again. With all due respect - I don't think it's a matter of right or wrong. I think it's a matter of which business model do you want to run. Using the math and numbers from what I quoted above, the difference is this: 160 cars/month x $600 ARO = $96,000 500 cars/month x $425 ARO = $212,500. Of course if the 96K is returning a 10% profit, it's still better than 212K at 5%. Now, I'm not saying those profit numbers are correct- I am just making a point that it's not all about gross sales - it's about "what sticks". I get it. But I'm thinking that with the tracking and work you've put into your business, the 212K is doing better than 5%. But the issue I always struggled with is that when you're smaller - fewer people - and fewer customers - there just seems to be more room for the bottom to fall out. In other words, if half of the 160 customers left - it would a much bigger problem than if 1/2 of the 500 customers left. See what I'm talking about. Now, with that said, of course, nobody wants to (or likes to) lose customers. I'm just looking at extremes. A loss of 1/2 of the customers a year is rather surprising... and this is what I talk about with my clients. When it costs between $75-$150 to get a new customer, would you spend $15/year to keep your old customers?? I have to think the answer is a "yes". That's why I've always instituted a real, printed and mailed newsletter with my clients. Okay, I can see you rolling your eyes now - so STOP that! ;)) But really, it's another channel to market, and when you can turn postage stamps into dollars - can you lose? The nice thing about the newsletter is (shhhh... don't tell anyone, okay?) is that all the Customer Only offers are done WITHOUT A DISCOUNT. That's because we use a strategy of "stacking value". As an example, let's say your oil change is (regular price) $40. Just using round numbers for the example. Then you add things that you probably do anyway... like Unlimited Fluid Top Up, Check all External Lights, and stuff like that... AND ASSIGN A VALUE TO THOSE (like $22 or fluid top up and $15 for external inspection of all lights) you get a TOTAL VALUE of $77. Sell that at $40 (your regular price) and you can promote a CUSTOMER ONLY OFFER that will list "SAVE 48% or $37". Go ahead - laugh. But it's like taking candy from a baby. Got stacks and stacks of records to prove it. Now, there's a little more to it than that - but understand that's the math behind it. On top of that, my clients get tons of great reviews (because we know how to get them), clients do contests, give-a-ways and all that stuff - and some even have "fresh hot popcorn" in the waiting room. Go ahead - laugh. But when I work with clients that are serious - I'm serious about building solid TWO COMMA shops that are profitable. One last comment - if you think this is too much work, then picture this. Picture a person trying to start a fire rubbing two sticks together. Got it? Now, picture him doing that s-l-o-w-l-y. Not the same, is it? Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed! Get on the Early Bird List for my new book! See this post!
  2. The $19.95 Oil Change Offer

    Hello everybody! I felt compelled to "chime" in on this topic again because of some interesting details. I read this topic from the start - wanted to get familiar with where it was going. And on top of that - I understand that it's somewhat of a touchy subject - I get it. But after reading everything, here's what I found: In an earlier post, AndersonAuto said: "One of my advisors who has been with me for almost 10 years used to complain non-stop about the coupon oil changes. He's on a 100% commission pay plan as are all my advisors and wanted to not include the coupon oil changes in his pay plan. He was absolutely sure they were killing his ARO and GP%. I just pulled out the tracking and offered to remove all the repair orders with mailer coupons for him. All $35,000 worth. He declined. " Hmmm.... so if you're following, it's NOT about the cheap oil change - it's about what comes AFTER the cheap oil change. Later in this thread, AndersonAuto advised: "I looked up where we ended the month for June. $218,789 with a $447 ARO on 489 repair orders." First of all, nice numbers. But can you see where the truth comes out?? With an ARO of $447, I'm pretty sure it's not 20 oil changes on each car, right? I think (actually... have come to understand) is that most shop owners overlook the fact that from the time most people got their first car, the ONLY service they were told they need was that "oil change". In fact, it was probably "dad" that told them that - something like "be sure to keep your oil changed on a regular basis". Amy I right? So that's why the oil change works as an INTRODUCTION to your shop. Besides, I don't care how good you are - how many tools or scanners you've got - I don't care if you're the most honest shop in your market - Try to fix a car as it's rolling by your door. That's impossible. Also, I wanted to mention to "AndersonAuto" that it's nice to see that you're tracking your offers. I always say; "If you can't track it - don't do it." I'm not suggesting you've got to look at it every day - but it's nice to have something to reference... and that's why most shop owners don't "get it". If you follow this model - get the customer in the door with an attractive offer on the ONLY SERVICE THEY KNOW THEY NEED - you too can turn your shop into one that produces similar ARO's. Nice work! Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Ooops... Almost forgot. Got an hour? Join me on this Training Webinar while I'm still doing them. You can register here! Also, I have a new book coming out. You can get on the Early Bird list and get notice of this FREE BOOK before everyone else. Get on the Early Bird List here. Matthew
  3. Matthew Lee “The Car Count Fixer” here I wanted to share these comments with you about what shop owners are saying. It’s a short video, but stick around for a real simple strategy that is virtually guaranteed to make customers happy! You can see it here. And don’t forget, I’m hosting a training webinar. Got an hour to discover how to eliminate the stress and frustration of trying to keep your shop busy?? You'll discover... The Only Way to Effectively Market Your Repair Shop The 22 Word "Magic Phrase" that virtually guarantees car count before the end of the week! The Ugly Truth About Your Customers and Why They Don't Respond to Your Marketing, No Matter How Much You Spend or How Often You Market to Them. Give me an hour of your time – I promise – and you’ll be surprised! Click here and I'll see you on the webinar! (But hurry, because it’s filling fast and I limit registration! Oops! Almost forgot - if you didn't see this - you can get the "Early Bird" list for my new book! Read about it here! Talk soon! Matthew Lee “The Car Count Fixer” Author – Auto Service Marketing Specialist Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed!
  4. ENGINEERED PREDICTABILITY Arranging an event to occur creating consistent behavior and making it possible to know what to expect in advance I’ve just completed a new book, “Engineered Predictability” and I’m making a limited number (very limited number) of copies available for free. You can get on the “early bird list” now and you’ll be notified first when the book is available. You’ll even get notice before my list of 1,000’s of subscribers get notice! But there’s one catch – when these free copies are gone – they’re gone! There’s only two ways to get this information. 1) Apply to become a private client and join my mastermind group – (there’s currently a waiting list and $5,000 deposit required). 2) Get this book as soon as it’s released – $29.95 value – yours FREE! In the book, you’ll discover… The simple 3 step, 11 word formula that’s virtually guarantees car count before the end of the week The 6 Ugly Truths about your customers and why they don’t respond to your marketing The reality of your biggest asset (Caution: Some accountants have told me I’m crazy – read the book and you tell me!) Myths debunked: Discover the one misconception that keeps over 98% of repair shop owners from reaching the success, dreams and goals they went into business for originally. The advanced strategies, methods and tactics used by insiders of my mastermind groups to eliminate the stress and frustration of keeping service bays full and technicians busy. Disturbing industry statistics from the US Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics – this is not only disturbing – it’s startling and stunning! The number one reason why shop owners fail – and it’s probably not what you’re thinking When you get on the “Early Bird” List, please understand that you’re: NOT guaranteed a copy of the book – you’ll be on the “Early Bird” list and get advanced notice – even before my list of 1,000’s of subscribers and followers. In other words, you’ll be the first to know – before anyone else NOT going to be added to any mailing list. No sales force is going to “hound” you. In other words – no salesman will call. You will get notice form my private email. NOT going to opt-in to anything. This is just a list for advance notice only. That’s all. No tricks; No gimmicks; No strings attached (The last time I did anything like this – it was gone in a week! – You decide!) Get on the "Early Bird" List Now! Questions? Please post here - I will respond! Thanks! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" ENGINEERED PREDICTABILITY - Get on the "Early Bird" List Now!
  5. AndersonAuto, you nailed it! Couldn't have said it better myself! Want better customers?? Educate them. How? Create downloadable reports and include a simple coupon. What kind of reports? The title is everything... and these are just off the top of my head but stuff like: How to Save Money on Auto Repairs 7 Things No Other Mechanic Will Tell You How to Keep Your Car Running Smother and Lasting Longer Without Spending a Fortune on Useless Services I could go on and on - but this type of information doesn't have to be long - just to the point. If you're smart, you make them actual PRINTED REPORTS. I know, I know, I can see the eyeballs rolling now - but when you have a printed report, you'll get full contact information - mailing address and all that. Then, you can justify it by adding something like "I can't post this because my competition is already trying to get me to take this website down - so complete the form (sign up form) and I'll mail it directly to you!" Now, you're looked upon as an expert - you're giving them information. You start to build trust. You eliminate that barrier so people will pick up the phone and call you when they need help. Getting new customers isn't STEP ONE: Send postcard; STEP TWO: Make up bank deposit slip. Has never been that way - will never be that way. The only thing you can bank on is, if you don't have a system to get more new customers, you won't have to worry about your shop in a few years because the big box stores and new car dealers will eat your lunch. (Sorry if this is a little blunt - but really, it's the truth!) Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Got an hour? Join me on this Training Webinar and Fix Your Car Count The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access

    Typically, from all the research and testing I've been involved with (with private clients, etc.) it's between $75 - $150 dollars - and that depends on how you try to do it. Think about it this way. A popular thing shop owners try is to send out postcards. (Probably the worse way to get new customers). Send 1,000 post cards. If you're buying right, that's a $500 investment. Right? Maybe even more Using the $500 cost - and you get 5 customers (which is about 1/2 of 1 percent - about average) each one cost you $100. Then there's the dumb moves where third party marketing companies convince you to send out 5,000 postcards to every house around your shop. Makes sense, right? Well you would think it does. But the fact is, those people don't know you and you're already trying to sell them something. What do YOU do when you get those kind of postcards in YOUR mail? Let me guess... you rush out to buy whatever they're selling, right? I don't think so. The trick to marketing is working with your list - your customers. They know, trust and like you. Then put a customer referral program in place. Get them to send you their friends and co-workers. And no, a customer referral program isn't some lame offer of "I'll give you 10% off your next service if you send me a referral". Doesn't work - won't work - ever, ever! You've got to have a program. I have a client that regularly adds 20-30 new customers every month. Yes, every month. (He giggles when we talk about it) There's more to a customer referral program than some lame offer that never works, but it's a little more than you'll probably want to read here. Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Got an hour? Join me on this Training Webinar and Fix Your Car Count The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  7. Hi JBach151! Yes, you've got a great opportunity. Here's the best 3 things I can tell you from what you've said: 1) I understand you're a good tech - no question. But that alone will NOT get you more business (car count). Your biggest job - no matter how busy (or not) - is to get business. Get people into your shop. You'll quickly realize that no matter what any account tells you about assets and all that - your shop will become nothing more than a collection of customers. That's it. Because without customers, all the assets aren't worth a damn. Sorry, but that's the truth 2) Start out with every customer - every time - getting full contact information. That means first and last name, mailing address (complete), phone, mobile, email - EVERYTHING. Look at it this way - you can't go to a big box auto repair to get a flat tire fixed without all that information - you can't either. Trust me- this will be of extreme value when you want to grow. 3) Make plans to stay in touch with customers. The reason is that 68% of customers leave a business because the feel the owner is "indifferent". That means - "they think you don't care!" Your customers are NEVER yours. You don't own them. They're busy - you know, work, social life, kids, football practice and piano lessons - and IT'S NOT THEIR JOB TO REMEMBER YOU! They (as consumers - we all do) see over 3,000 messages a day. Knowing that - tell me - how can you cut through the clutter? How can you get their attention? Above those things - I caution you about those used car guys that want you to do their work. Sure - great source - but at what cost?? Now, there's nothing wrong with a 'deal' for the volume - but you've got to get to that BEFORE you count on it for income. Follow those three step and I can guaranteed you this. You'll be able to turn simple postage stamps into dollars. With a good, solid customer list - you'll be "winking at the girls in the dark". You'll know what you're doing, but they won't! Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Got an hour? Join me on this Training Webinar The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  8. Join me on this Training Webinar Have you noticed that the auto service market has changed over the last few years? More competition? Car Dealers 'eating your lunch'? Frustrated because customers don't respond to your marketing - no matter how much you spend or how often you market to them? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, join me on this Limited Access webinar. You'll discover.... How to eliminate the stress and frustration from trying to keep your shop busy! The Ugly Truth About Your Customers and Why They Don't Respond to Your Marketing, No Matter How Much You Spend or How Often You Market to Them. Discover the 22 Word "Magic Phrase" that virtually guarantees car count - immediately! The Only Way to Effectively Market Your Repair Shop in Today's New Economy Attendance is limited so get your spot now while you can. Visit FixYourCarCount.com while it's still available! Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Author - Auto Service Marketing Specialist! Get my book FREE! "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" - 44 No Cost or Low Cost Marketing Strategies for Your Repair Shop
  9. Yelp!

    Wow! $5k? Imagine if you used that money to buy postage stamps - and then converted those postage stamps to dollars$ - it could have been something special. The problem (really) isn't just yelp. The "root" of the problem is that you are relying on platforms that you have no control over. They're pretty much all the same - Angie's List, Yelp, any review site - and even Google! That's right - you don't have any control over the platform. How do you fix it? CAUTION - This may mean a little work! - So you develop a "system" to get reviews and put them on YOUR website. Add to that a REAL customer referral system (not just some lame offer of 10% off your next visit if you send me a customer) and then apply the original "review system" you develop and get more reviews. It works because (sooner or later) one system feeds the other - and it's just that 'ole "Rinse & Repeat". That lets you concentrate on getting the Car Count that you need - and you live happily ever after! Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed! The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  10. Good point Joe! It's the old "what's-in-it-for-me" thinking. People love to talk about themselves... but if you LISTEN, you will learn too! I remember years ago, I could never figure out why job applications asked questions about hobbies and other interests. Today, when I talk with shop owners, I tell them that this type of question (and ongoing conversation) is well worth your time and effort. When people talk about the things they like to do - you can quickly see if they're "leaders" or "followers". The leader will tell you about how he/she went out of their way to organize - do - or put together some sort of activity. The follow usually tells you about how much fun it was to participate. Now, there's nothing wrong with participation. The big question is "what for?" When people participate to help a cause - it tells you a lot about them. They are not just focused on themselves. Overall - good idea you're talking about Joe! Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  11. I got my own branded flashlight

    Nice stuff! Who doesn't need a "High Quality Aluminum Alloy Super Bright CREE LED BULB" flashlight! Honestly... not picking on you - I promise. Strictly from a "business" point of view, the problem I have with all that stuff (typically referred to as specialty advertising - stuff with your name on it) is that you can't track any type of ROI. One of the things I constantly reminder shop owners of is that "if you can't track it - don't do it" So what would have happened if you purchased $10k in postage stamps - and turned each postage stamp into a 10x return? Again - I am not here to pick on you - but when I can take a postage stamp, a well crafted direct response letter - send out a few hundred and turn that one mailing into thousands... I can't get excited about a flash light that will do... uh... well... nothing - but maybe light up your bank account when it's empty! Again - not trying to p*** you off - and value is ALWAYS in the eyes of the beholder... but I would have stopped long before the 10K mark Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  12. Hi Bruno Tabbi! From what I am reading into your question (and I may be wrong) is that you're looking for the one best way. The truth is - there isn't "one best way". I say that because I often get calls and emails from shop owners looking for the silver bullet that will get them 30-40 new customers a month. The truth is - I don't have that bullet. But neither does anyone else. With that said, I DO HAVE 30-40 ways to get 1 new customer a month. I know - it sounds like work; but with a little automation and simple systems - it's all easy. You said That is the truth! But what "system" do you have to generate that "word-of-mouth" advertising? (Good things never happen on their own) You don't just rely on customers saying things like "Oh sure, I'll recommend you!", do you?? Because it almost never happens. But that's because you're not giving them the right tools. Customer's don't walk around talking about your shop. And without the tools... you're the furthest thing from their mind! So how can you make it happen? It's done by implementing a customer referral program. Oh... sorry, that sounds like work, right? Well, it is. A little work and effort now - a system that works for ever and ever. Got it working right now with clients of mine. I don't know if consistent 25-30 new customers a month is good or not - but he's giggling! If I were you, I would start by implementing a customer referral program that works. No, it's not just offering your customer something lame like 10% off your next service - because that doesn't work. You've got to turn that into a system - and that means it's done regularly - all the time - every time. And then you remind them a few times in between. But when you look at the cost of getting new customers (like anywhere between $75-$150 each!) it's cheap! I don't want to bore you with details and all that here, but I would be welcome to share them with you if you're interested. You can PM me through the forum or email me direct. Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  13. Shop Advertising Ideas

    Hi tirengolf! I find your comments pretty much the same as what I hear from countless other repair shops. Not your fault - because nobody ever think's that "the well will run dry", right? But it's time to face a few facts. Those are: 1) Your list is probably about 1/2 of what you have. By that I mean, it's fact that about 10% of America moves every month. So of those 3,500 contacts there's going to be a lot of "dead wood". 2) You don't own the customer. I know it's pretty harsh - but I don't often candy coat things. The fact is - people shop. They don't tell you that - but they do. Even though YOUR SHOP can do everything (I am assuming you're full service) people get dragged away for a number of different reasons. One of the biggest is that they don't think you care. Again... it's not your fault...but you're not staying in touch. What would you want them to think? So where do you start? 1) Do the cheapest mailing to your list that you can do. That is a 4x6 postcard. Nothing fancy - just black on one color paper stock. You can get those mailed for about 50 cents each - including USPS first class postcard postage. That means you're going to get the return mail - or "dead addresses" 2) Keep track of this mail and returns in a mailing list program. At least you will have (what will turn out to be) a "master list" of good addresses. 3) Do a sort to get everyone who has been in your shop from about 3 month ago to about 6 months ago. That's your short list. Probably better information (more accurate mailing addresses) and they still remember being in your shop. In other words, they know and trust you. Use this list to send out immediate reminders. They are in need of some service - oil change - whatever. I just responded to Joe's Article here. And with that, you have the start of a marketing campaign that will generate results. I am am NOT talking about Facebook likes or Youtube Views - I am talking about +ROI and money in the bank. Please understand, the shorter mailing - cost less - but will have a better ROI. The entire list - just a postcard - is more about cleaning up the list and getting it right. I know it's a lot of work - but that's what America was built on, WORK. If you're looking for a silver bullet - there isn't one. Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  14. Excellent points made Joe! I agree 100%. But I think there's a lot of confusion in conversations I read and follow on this forum - and what I hear when I talk with shop owners. The problem is that NOBODY wants to do the standard, run-of-the-mill-can't-make-money oil change. I get it. But that's NOT what it's all about. Now, I don't want to come off sounding like one of those "up-sell" rip-off types. But face it. Ask your customers this: "When it comes to auto service and maintenance, what service do you know you need?" The answer - OIL CHANGE. That's it. Nobody gets out of bed thinking about alignments, timing belts or brake calipers. The second point is pretty simple... but not at first. No matter how good you are; no matter what scanners or tools or equipment you have; no matter how honest or good a mechanic you are - you still can't service the car as it's driving down the road PAST your door! Am I right? But I don't blame the shop owner. If they look at profits - oil changes suck. But the truth is, what does that oil change lead to? Can you book that "next appointment for brake service" or whatever. You can't do that as the customer drives by your door, can you? Joe, I think your last sentence really does say a lot. From years of working with shop owners, I've found there's really two types; Those that make it happen; and those that wait and watch it happen. Only problem is... those who wait and watch it happen end up asking "What the %^%$> happened?" Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing" The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access
  15. Some People Are Cut Out For This

    Hi CMillet86! I have to agree with most of the other posts. The shop rate has to change... for starters. Look, I started working with a private client and pushed him to raise his door rate (by about $7-$8 an hour - sorry, can't remember the specifics). At the end of the year, he made an extra $22,000 and didn't work harder, start earlier or stay later. Best of all - NOT ONE SINGLE CUSTOMER complained - never mind made comments. In addition to that, do you have a customer list? I mean full contact - like address and ZIP code?? (I hope you say yes!) How many customers on that list?? I realize you may not want to share details here, and that's fine. But a small, targeted mailing to those customers will get things started. Now, I know the next thing I am going to say is going to sound like a "hook" or something - but here's the deal. Contact me when you want. I'll call you and give you as much help as you want - because you will have to do a couple of things. I don't want anything from you. This isn't a sneaky sales pitch or anything like that. All you have to do is click this link and send me a message. We'll spend about 15 minutes on the phone - and should be able to come up with an action plan for you. (I've done this before, okay! ;)) Be sure to include your phone number and we'll be in touch. Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing"