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newport5 last won the day on October 10

newport5 had the most liked content!

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About newport5

  • Rank
    Posting Member

Business Information

  • Business Address
    2991 Grace Lane, Costa Mesa, California, 92626
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Service Advisor
  • Automotive Franchise
  • Website
  • Banner Program
  • Certifications
    Bosch Service Center

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  1. newport5

    Customer's buying their own parts

    You’ve made me rethink this. I used to think I would take 5 minutes and hope to change their mind to the regular way to repair their car (versus them supplying the part) and get a new customer. As I look back, my success rate is very low. And I’d get a very frugal/cheap customer. Darn. And they probably just call shops until they find one who’ll put on their part. Maybe I’ll aim for 2 minutes next time. 😉 I recall one caller who bought his parts at the Porsche dealer !
  2. newport5

    Customer's buying their own parts

    This is a touchy and delicate situation. When I get that call asking how much to put on their part, I groan a bit and say, “You know, most shops don’t like putting on customer’s parts. We have to guarantee the part even if we didn’t sell it to you. And the markup on that part is part of the normal profit margin.” Notice I haven’t said no yet. I made it sound like an industry standard, not just me. Then I ask how they know it needs that part. Is it their diagnosis, the car-guy in the neighborhood or another shop? And then the infamous: “Do you want me to just put that part on or fix your car?” (They hate that!). The truly cheap car owners don’t want to hear any more so the call ends soon. But I haven’t been an arrogant jerk and probably won’t get a bad review. If they are still with me, they will ask for a quote. I think you have to quote a price. Here’s why: if they call 5 shops and 3 give a quote, now they have something to work with. Why would they go to a shop where you have no idea how much it will cost? Now we get to the part where you recommend determining the actual problem, where you diagnose it. The delicate part is when you come up with the same diagnosis. How can you charge them for something they think they already knew? You MAY have to eat that to get the job and the new customer – who has car-owner friends. Luckily we don’t get those calls too often.
  3. I see two sides to the trust issue and video. If you show a video of the problem (part) to the customer, they now trust that it (really) needs it. My thinking is that if they REALLY trusted you , they wouldn’t need the video! I only occasionally use pictures and seldom use video. I think trust is huge ! Victor
  4. newport5

    Opinions on my work hours

    You are getting some great information. Start encouraging online reviews. Even referral customers check your online reviews. In CA it's Yelp, which is free. I say, "Hey, if you liked my service, please go online and leave me a review." I'd heard that the simply satisfied customer doesn't refer you. it's after you do something special for them. Victor
  5. newport5

    Workshop for service writer training?

    My service writer article on getting easier approvals through trust versus the current selling on safety and value. http://www.shopownermag.com/magazine/ Page 8 of the July/August issue, at left, with the hourglass.\ Comments?
  6. newport5

    Workshop for service writer training?

    Re service writer training: I just had an article published in an auto trade magazine on getting customer approval through trust and not the typical "selling" via safety and value, but I don't want to break any Forum rules by putting in link, since I'm a free member. Moderators: can I post the online link to the magazine article? And I have a few more short articles on the auto part of my personal website. Victor
  7. newport5

    Auto shop owner new forum topics

    Scott, Here's what I meant about the forum making money off the guy posting the webinars about webinars. He's a paid member, you and I are free, Victor
  8. newport5

    Auto shop owner new forum topics

    I imagine the marketing ads help pay for maintaining the forum, so I don't mind too much. What I don't like is the catchy title that links to a 3 minute pitch for a link to a "GREAT" webinar that ends up to be a 20 minute pitch (with no content) for a live seminar.
  9. Actually, he'll be plugging HIS business, not a business that we don't know is his. Subtle difference.
  10. newport5

    Tire prices

    Re "My customers expect me to match prices so I guess this week it was just the cost of doing buisness." I HOPE you meant your customers would like you to match prices. I tell my customers I can't match Walmart's buying power. I say it with a finality and move on to something else. Everybody knows you have to make a profit. If they still want/hope you to do it for free, do you really want that type of customer? Or, are you being too nice and helpful, at your expense?
  11. newport5


    I agree with "editing" the contract. If they don't like it, tell them you will wait a week for the next uniform company to stop buy with a better quote. We have a great Unifirst driver !!! Tim from So Cal takes care of us.
  12. newport5


    I agree that you DO have to give your networking group some wording to help them promote you. But an old school elevator pitch makes you sound like you’re new in business and need customers. Such as: “I repair import cars. We do it right the first time, at fair prices … blah, blah blah.” It’s more of a story these days. “I’ve been fixing cars for ___ years and love it. It is very satisfying to figure out a problem and take care of a customer at the same time. We specialize in import cars, but customers like us so we work on their American cars as well.” To help them sell you, what do you specialize in? What do you like working on? “I’m known for my _______ (brake jobs) because I’ve found some quality parts at good prices.” “I get cars from other shops.” Which says you are respected by other shops in your area. “I have technicians who’ve been with me for ____ years.” “We’ve been in business for ___ years so we must be doing something right.” A “tag line” was mentioned. Put that on the back of your business card. Hand it to someone with that side up so they HAVE to read it, then they turn it over. At a networking-ish event, put something interesting on your name tag. Draw a wrench, draw a spark plug. Bring some small pictures of the type of cars you like to work on and a glue stick to put on your name tag. It will make for a conversation starter, ice-breaker. I suggest you talk about other things before what you do or they do. That will surely come up, especially if you can’t quite find something in common to talk about.
  13. Re closing ratio, I agree. If you do a THOROUGH inspection, results would show an approximate 1/3 needs to be done now, 1/3 to do within 3 months (or now), and the last 1/3 after 6 months. So while you are thorough and honest, the last third affects your closing ratio, meaning you are instantly at 66%. Conversely, if you don’t report the last third, the 6-months-out ones, to improve your closing ratio, you short-change the customer. Additionally, I believe if you are trying to sell the last third, the “6 month” third, to increase your closing ratio, you are doing the customer a disservice, potentially losing trust and adding to our bad reputation. That is, in this case, charging for work they don’t need now. When you present the “third-third-third” approach, you build trust, so that in the future when you say, “Do this now,” they say yes without any convincing or selling “safety and value.” My 2 cents to your 2 cents
  14. While I agree that SA numbers are important, there’s more to being a good service writer than hard numbers, without the interpretation that goes with them. How are they on the phone with prospective customers? Can they convert a “price shopper” to a valued customer? Can they sell additional work on trust versus the drawn-out, value, safety, etc., pitch? Can they look out for the customer’s pocketbook, the technicians, as well as the shop's bottom line? How are his/her online reviews? Can he/she negotiate any customer/supplier issues? Or make sure they don’t happen in the first place. Do they answer the phone in a cheerful manner? Do they make the customer’s day better or worse? Having said all that, I especially like Closing Ratio, because, “Nothing happens until the customer says, “Yes”.” Is your SA fast enough getting the OK (or get’s pre-approval) so that the technician will point out additional work, versus wasting time on the rack, waiting for approval? Does your SA convey to the customer that you are the good guys in this transaction, not the bad guys finding extra work? Are your customers satisfied enough to refer people? Is your SA helpful beyond simply car repair? I hope that helps. Victor
  15. SKM, This is BEAUTIFUL ! A code you pull from the computer is like a number on a door, you open that door then there is a huge hallway lined with doors all with numbers say 50 doors per side, now behind one of those doors is the problem, we can open each door one by one say for 50 bucks each or you can let me diagnose where the problem lies and open just that one door. Which would you like me to do?I I'll trade you. I tell the customer that my guy "interprets" the codes. If he gets 7 codes, for example, many times he notes that this code caused this one and this code caused this one, therefore you only have 3 codes. He just saved you an oxygen sensor. Your free code reader guy would have sold you an oxygen sensor and then had an excuse ready why that didn't fix it. You ALSO need a ... and maybe a ...