Wednesday, 31 October 2007 17:00

Clever Strategies for Drawing in New Customers

Written by Tom Franklin
After more than forty years in marketing and sales, I’ve concluded that most ineffective marketing comes down to a failure to do three things:
Sunday, 30 September 2007 17:00

Closest Sources of New Business

Written by Tom Franklin

Quality shop owners would generally prefer to replace a damaged part with an OEM part rather than a used part or an aftermarket part. They know that the part from the original manufacturer will be most likely to fit well and thus save them time and trouble. If they can find a used OEM part in reasonably good condition, this would probably be their second choice. The last choice would be the aftermarket part, possibly manufactured in Taiwan, and often lacking in correct dimensions and useablility.

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

Betting on More Business

Written by Tom Franklin

 

“When I go into any business deal, my chief thoughts are on how I’m going to save myself if things go wrong.” – J. Paul Getty
 

Quite a few shop owners oppose DRPs and don’t wish to participate. But I have observed that all of the most prosperous shops I have visited (and those are many) have several DRPs. I’ve also noted that most requests for marketing assistance start with a request to obtain DRP status for the shop.
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 17:00

Riding the winds of change: making new technology work for your shop

Written by Tom Franklin

“Fly upon the wings of the wind.” Psalms 18:10

In the early 1990s I went to work selling software for CCC Information Systems. I had been in marketing and sales most of my life, but I had never seen a product sell like CCC’s computerized estimating software. Shop owners practically lined up to buy CCC’s “Ezest” product. Mitchell and ADP also got in the game and enjoyed bountiful sales. What was the secret to their success?

Monday, 02 July 2007 14:22

Patience plays the biggest role in marketing and advertising returns

Written by Tom Franklin
Definition: impatience -- (1) The inability to wait patiently; (2) Annoyed because of a delay; uneasy, restless.
    John decided to spend some money on advertising and marketing for his shop. He ran ads in local publications and hired a marketing representative to distribute flyers and to offer donuts, flowers, pens and pads to agents, dealership principals, and other collision repair prospects. After three months he dropped the ads. He was annoyed. “They aren’t working,” he said. “We haven’t had a single call.” Six months later he fired the marketing representative. He hadn’t seen a single job from his investments.
    Recently a shop owner in my area was promoting his shop to several different types of prospects. They included some dealership principals, some insurance executives, and some local business owners. He knew he would have to invite each of these prospects to visit his shop at some point — not an easy task in the course of a busy week. Nearly complete vehicles had not been delivered yet and many new jobs were just being disassembled for repairs and refinishing. Ideally, he would like to have the shop in pristine shape to take even one of these prospects through.
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 10:56

Tapping into the referral source inherent in each new customer

Written by Tom Franklin
    Suppose every customer that brought a vehicle to your shop for repair brought along 10 more customers for you. As one customer became 10 and 10 customers became 100 and 100 became 1,000, you would soon be maxed out. Yes, this is a fantasy because every customer will not bring in 10 referrals. But even so, every customer is capable of many more potential referrals than 10 and it’s up to you to draw out those referrals.
Thursday, 05 April 2007 14:03

Inattention is the root cause of lost customers and profits

Written by Tom Franklin

Recently a local shop hired a very experienced estimator. Not only had she worked in many shops, but she had also worked as an independent appraiser and an appraiser for a major insurance company. One of her tasks was to check on the shop’s relationship with DRP directors and a local dealership, She was startled to discover relationships with a couple of the DRPs had soured a bit and the relationship with the dealership was all but lost.

 
"Begin with the end in mind."
        -- Stephen R. Covey