Anyone who’s ever taken on a large home remodel knows the time, stress, money, unforeseen challenges and people management that comes with the new look. The amount of time spent planning, strategizing and anticipating simply cannot account for the mold that it turns out was under the floor or the delayed shipping on that tile you picked out, or the endless humidity that prevents the wallpaper from sticking.
Jennifer Porter asks: Who’s telling your brand story? You can’t control what is being said, you can lead it.
How can your company incorporate and take advantage of earned media?
Community events and trade shows: Getting out and interacting with the community is a great way for people to learn more about your company, employees, and overall brand. Give them a good experience worth telling someone else about – or posting on social media.
Transmission shop owners throw away thousands of dollars every year on advertising that does not work. Why ? I have been a shop owner and visited with a lot of transmission shop owners over the years and I am convinced that they just don’t have time (or haven’t taken the time) to figure out exactly how they should be spending their marketing dollars.
Many factors have reduced the number of vehicles we have to work on, resulting in a two-thirds reduction in the number of dedicated transmission shops nationally. The automakers have created lower leasing costs and longer vehicle warranties, which keep a large number of vehicles from needing our services. Government programs such as “Cash for Clunkers,” which was basically a gift to the automakers, removed about 750,000 vehicles from the market that we deal with. The improvements in manufacturing quality and design have produced vehicles across the spectrum that last longer and require less service.
We may need to market our goods and services differently, but we should never change our morality and basic philosophy. We came this far by providing honesty and customer service at profitable prices; to change any of that would prove disastrous. I understand that the fear of charging too much during hard economic times can scare shop owners into lowering prices and not trying as hard to sell everything the customer may need, but the reality is that you need a good price or you won’t be around to sell the customer anything in the not-too-distant future, and it is a disservice not to report everything that’s needed.
Although you may want to keep doing every bit of promotion, you really need to question the generation of profit vs. the cost. If you are investing in forms of advertising just because you always did, you need to know whether they are still viable. Every ad you run needs to bring a good return on investment. If the results of any initiative can’t be measured, should you continue it?
I’ve fielded way too many phone calls lately from shop owners who tell me that their wholesale and fleet business is off.
As Bob Cherrnay always said, “You don’t have to be an Indian to read signs.” The reasons should be obvious. The problem is that too many owners have had their heads in the sand for too long.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I had just one or two more majors a week? Boy, if I did I could really make some money in this shop.” The question is, after all these years in business why don’t you have them? As a matter of fact, some shops are finding that they don’t even have enough business to maintain the level of income they once enjoyed. They come up one or two majors short of making a living most weeks.
For those whose business increased, it was all about an attitude adjustment and application of the techniques they had learned. One multi-shop owner reported that one of his locations that had averaged $10,000 a week in sales pretty much forever did $10,000 in the first two days after the manager got back from the seminar. He attributed the striking increase to his manager’s new attitude toward the customers and the business. It was like all of a sudden the light bulb went on and he realized that you can be nice to the customers and aggressive about marketing your products and services to them at the same time, that selling them what they need isn’t a turn-off to them, but not giving them the opportunity to buy is.
We all know the difference between a recession and a depression. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose yours. But a recession makes people crawl into a foxhole to wait for the war to pass by. The cycle generally lasts for a year or more. It usually takes about that long for Joe Average to figure out he isn’t going to lose his job. During the time he’s in fear and not buying anything, a strange phenomenon is taking place. He’s actually paying down his credit card and other debt. As soon as he again feels confident that his job is OK, he opens the floodgates and begins to spend, and pretty heavily at that. After all, he has to catch up on all those things he wanted to buy.