A women came to the shop a few weeks ago asking for a donation for her son’s baseball team. The woman has come to us for minor service work a few times, but she’s not one of our loyal regulars. After we gave her the donation, she thanked us and made an appointment for her car.
One of the most common questions our coaches are asked is, “How do I find the superstar technicians and service advisors?” Interestingly, what most shop owners do is wait until they need a tech or advisor before they start their search. Unfortunately, when they use this technique they inevitably end up hiring the best of whomever happens to be available at the time, rather than the best of the best.
We all can agree that competition among employees is good, but there is a right way, and there’s a wrong way. The wrong way is to tell your techs that you’re going to post the hours they each flag, and at the end of the pay period the winner will receive a reward. Although that sounds good, you’ll inevitably end up with one winner, and no matter how you cut it, the rest of your techs are going to be losers.
Competition continues to heat up in this industry. New car dealer operations continue to close, franchise operations are consolidating, and, sadly, some independent shops are going away. What can you do? I’ve worked with a few very bright shop owners who do a great job of keeping their fingers on the pulse of the industry.
Far too many shop owners hire service advisors who they feel are good at what they do, and then prefer to “get out of their way and let them do their thing.” Unfortunately, that’s a mistake. Here are some tips that you can use as a guide to help you turn your service advisors into superstars.
With today’s uncertainty, and with all the restraints that lenders have put into place, this still may be the best time for you to expand your business. It’s during these times that many of your competitors will struggle, hunt for a way out, and find that there are no buyers.
In order for people to buy from you, three things need to occur: they need to like you, trust you and view you as a credible expert. Accordingly, the first thing you need to sell to any caller is you; not your shop, or any repair. The best way to accomplish this goal is by smiling, answering the phone with a salutation, providing the caller with your name and the name of your company, and then ending with a question that invites a response.
I am a believer in “guerrilla marketing,” which is a strategy that allows us to compete with the big guys, without going head to head with them. Most of us cannot compete on the same level as a large dealership or national account, and we shouldn’t. It’s actually more important to find out what the competition is doing and do the opposite.
If you haven’t heard from a customer for a longer than usual period of time, pick up the phone and give them a call! Years ago I developed a really easy way to start the conversation without sounding awkward or as though we were just looking for additional sales.
Comebacks kill. There’s no denying it. While we can never eliminate all comebacks, we can work to reduce them. The more you reduce comebacks, the more money you put to your bottom line. I want to share with you six tips that I use in my shop.
What do you get when three guys who also happen to be technicians become friends? A highly successful Santa Barbara, CA-based repair shop.
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many of the top shop owners in America. I have met thousands of owners who simply go about business as usual and then, unfortunately, and unexpectedly, fail. I have made quite a few discoveries along the way, so I would like to use this article to share what I feel to be the top 7 reasons most shops fail.