Car Count Daily
Welcome to another edition of Car Count Daily. My name is Ron Ipach, but you can call me Captain Car Count because that’s all I’ve done over the past 20 years, is help auto repair shop owners, just like all of you, get and then keep all of the top quality customers that their shops can handle – this time, through your auto repair marketing pipeline.
The other day, somebody asked me:
“Ron, you keep talking about all these other subjects other than marketing on these videos. What gives?”
Well, that’s because I think everything you do has to do with your car count. Everything you do is marketing. Now let me explain something, it’s something that I call a “Money pipeline”. It’s the way that you get money to flow into your shop.
The job is to get somebody to come to the shop, so what are you going to do? Well of course, you’re going to advertise. So, that’s what everybody thinks Car Count and marketing is all about: It’s the message you get out there that gets somebody interested to come to you shop. So, that’s one way of marketing.
The other thing is, how does do your shop’s building look? Because if you’re going to be in an area where people are going to drive by and see your shop, is it going to be something that’s going to attract them? Again, that’s marketing. It’s simply how you’re business looks.
So, in a way, that’s the very beginning of the pipeline. It’s the very first contact that they have with you that’s going to determine whether they’re going to do business with you or not. Just continue driving down the street or decide to pull over, and pull right into your shop. So, those things have a lot to do with marketing.
The same is your location. You always hear location, location, location. So, if you’re going to rely on a lot of drive-by business, or attract people that are driving by, you got to have a really good location so they can even find you. So, the way I look at it is: the shops that have a more expensive location, in other words, a better drive-by traffic, are the ones that are really a marketing expense, because that’s the reason why you’re there, so you can attract more people that way. So, that’s marketing as well.
But it doesn’t stop there because your money pipeline, the way the money flows into your shop can get pinched off at any point and prevents somebody from actually spending money in your shop. So, if they’re turned off by your advertising, or are not interested in your advertising, of course, you’ve pinched them off right at the very beginning. If they drive up to your shop after seeing your advertising, and are turned off by the way your shop looks, in other words it’s not the kind of place they want to bring their car to, well you’ve now pinched it off again. So, that’s why you’ll at this as marketing because it’s a potential sticking point to getting the transaction done, but it keeps going from there.
So, once they get out of the car, they now walk into your shop. What’s the inside of your shop looking like, okay? I know there are probably had been times where people stopped in, and if your shop was a mess, they may have looked around and said, “I don’t know whether I want to do business with these people.” And maybe just asked a couple of questions and left already. Again, you’ve pinched off your money pipeline because the inside of your shop isn’t a place that they’d want to take their car to.
Again, the person that then greets them when they walk in the door, do they still feel that warm and fuzzy, that this is the right place that they want to bring their car to? If the person doesn’t look presentable, these guys have greasy t-shirts on, there’s nothing presentable about it, then that’s going to be another problem.
Let’s not forget, when they see your auto repair advertising, and then they call you on the phone because most people are walking around with their cellphones, and when they see advertising from you, chances are they’re going to call your shop. Well, how are you answering the phone? Is it an inviting person answering the phone? Or is it the sales prevention department answering the phone and just blurting out something that nobody could really understand. They sound rushed, they sound impatient, they don’t want to deal with the person on the phone. Again, that’s another pinch point where it’s going to cut your money flow off. You’re just not going to be able to do business with those people because you’re turning them off before you even have a chance.
Then let’s look at your sales process. So, you come in, you write up the order, and then you attempt some upsells, try to sell them more services, and if they don’t like the way that you present your sales, or you’re using terminology that they don’t understand, or they just don’t feel comfortable with you for some reason. It could be any of these reasons I’ve talked about in the past that are going to inhibit your ability to make a sale, and again, you’re squeezing your money pipeline again.
After you’ve done the repair, did you do a good job on the check out process? Did you do good follow up with them? Again, all of these things that you’re doing, other than actually fixing the car, well actually to come to think of it, even fixing the car right the first time has to do with auto repair marketing because chances are you’re going to lose them, or you have a better chance of them talking bad about you if you don’t do the job correctly, or if you return their car dirtier than it was.
All of those things, I look at it as auto repair marketing because anything that you do wrong is going to prevent the next sale or even the current sale that you’re working on. So, that’s why on these videos, I talked about a lot of different things because to me, auto repair marketing is everything. Every time you’re coming into contact with a prospective customer, it’s marketing. You can turn them off in an instant, and you’re going to lose that person, or lose the ability to bring that money into your shop.
Think of it as marketing, and you’re going to really enjoy these videos and auto repair marketing blogs because I’m going to be talking about all of those things coming up, and how to improve every step of the way. So, you make sure that you have a totally free auto repair marketing pipeline to bring money into your shop.