Auto Repair Sales – How to Sell $1,000,000 in Service

An auto repair sale is a popular topic with most shop owners. One million dollars seems like a magic number for a lot of shop owners. They’re either struggling to hit it, or they’ve made it and now they want two million or three million. Whatever the goal, fantastic auto repair sales performance is really quite simple (not always easy, but simple). To achieve outstanding auto repair sales performance you have to consistently do four things.

1. Listen carefully to the customer and quickly build rapport and relationship.

2. Ask for the largest possible sale while offering the greatest perceived value.

3. Get the work done. Quickly and correctly.

4. Lock the customer into a long-term relationship with your shop; repeating steps one, two and three at least three times per year.

In step one the key is quickly. To sell one million dollars (or more) in a year, everything is going to have to happen FAST! The rapport building process doesn’t have to take a long time. You can build a strong connection with a new client very quickly just by getting them talking about themselves.

Question: So, how long have you lived here?-What kind of work do you do?-How long have you owned the car?-Where’s your favorite place to go on vacation?-Tell me about your kids/pets… All these questions get the customer talking about themselves and give you plenty of opportunity to identify and comment on common points of interest or experience. None of this takes more than a few minutes, but during this process the vital process of trust building is occurring.

In step two, the key is asking for the LARGEST possible sale. Fear stops most salespeople from asking for the large sale. Instead they convince themselves that the customer will only accept a much lower figure; a figure that they (the salesperson) are comfortable with. This is why I spend so much time in the Advanced Service Writer Sales Training Class working on the closing question. The closing question is the key to overcoming the fear. With it memorized and practiced the fear subsides and the service writer is able to ask for much bigger sales than ever before. I’ve seen this tool add more than $300 per RO to a shops RO average. It is that POWERFUL!

The first two steps are pure auto repair sales step. Step three is a management step. The first two steps are all about the service writer controlling their actions. Step three requires them to motivate and lead someone else to action. The best way to do this is MBA “Management By walking Around”. It simply means you can’t forget about a ticket once it’s in the hands of the tech. You have to get out in the shop regularly (usually every 5-10 minutes on a busy day) and make sure that the work is moving forward. You have to quickly remove any obstacles to success such as parts problems, bad attitudes, or unexpected difficulties with the repair. This is a vital and often overlooked part of auto repair sales.

In step four we’re back to sales. The biggest missed opportunity in most shops is the opportunity to commit the customer to their next visit while they are checking out from this visit. All you have to do is tell them when their next visit is and most people will say ok. Notice I didn’t say ask them when they could make their next visit; I said tell them when their next appointment is. The key is assuming that they are going to return and doing them the favor of scheduling this. I teach several simple techniques in the Advanced Service Writer Sales Training Class that make getting this commitment very easy, simple and natural.

So, there you have it, the four simple (not necessarily easy) steps to selling one million dollars (or more) in service. If you consistently follow these steps the million bucks is yours! An auto repair sale isn’t difficult if you know the steps and have the tools.

Paintless Dent Repair: Myths and Facts About Car Dent Repair and Insurance

The long arm of car repair insurance doesn’t stop at extended warranties or tire road hazard insurance. Marketing gurus have found all sorts of knick knacks to insure. Among the top are ding and dent protection plans. Ding and dent insurance is growing steadily, and addresses those unsightly shopping cart and parking lot dings.

Dings and dents are fairly synonymous terms, although a ding is smaller than a dent. You’ll notice a dent. You’ll need to squint, or catch the vehicle in the right angle or sunlight to see a ding. Some dings are smaller than eraser heads.

Like extended warranties or tire insurance, dent and ding protection plans promise to pay for damages in part or in full for a specific period of time. These plans are primarily sold by new car dealerships and cost a few hundred dollars.

Ding and Dent Repair: Paintless Dent Repair

Ding and dent repair is called PDR, short for Paintless Dent Repair. There are many companies that perform this service: Ding Doctor, Ding King, No Dents, Dent Wizard…the list goes on. Some are better then others, although ultimately it’s up to the skill of the PDR technician. Prices are similar.

How is it done?

Most PDR techniques are non-intrusive. The PDR technicians use specially designed tools and gadgets to slip behind the damaged panels and manipulate and massage the damaged metal back to its original form.

Does it work?

Actually, it’s incredible! It works so well that in the majority of cases the dings and dents are completely removed. They’re invisible, gone, can’t-believe-your-eyes fixed.

I saw a soccer-ball-sized dent removed from the rear fender of a $120,000 car. The dent also had a large crease, which makes repairs even harder. After thirty minutes there was no visible detection that a dent was ever there. The repair cost the client $400. Traditional body shop estimates were hovering at $2700.

PDR positives

  • Very low cost compared to traditional body shops
  • Same day repairs–even while-you-wait service
  • No paint work, sanding, or traditional bodywork required
  • Original paint remains–helps retain vehicles looks and value
  • Body panels remain intact–maintaining structural integrity

PDR negatives

  • PDR does not address scratches or paint chips that are often associated with dings (Many PDR companies will address chips and scratches, but it’s not PDR technology)
  • Many areas of body panels are not accessible, so PDR is not an option
  • Plastic bumpers or any plastic components can’t be fixed with PDR techniques. Since the bumper is the most common area to get damaged, this is a significant downside of PDR technology.
  • Some damage can occur to door panels, paint, interiors, window glass and hardware, although damage of any kind is rare.

Do you need PDR insurance?

God, no!

Should you get your dings fixed using PDR techniques?

Hell, yes!

Let me explain…

Insuring against dings and dents does not make economic sense. Ding repairs average around $50 per ding. Some dings cost $99 to $149 to repair. Two to four dings can run $100 to $450, depending on the size of the dent. Insurance at this level is just not necessary. Moreover, it’s a gamble you will lose.

To benefit from a $300, two-year plan, your vehicle would need to sustain multiple “PDR repairable” dings or dents. Despite your coverage, you may not even notice the dings, making a claim impossible. Also, despite the amazing PDR techniques, they can’t fix everything, especially the chips and scratches that so frequently accompany a ding–should dings even occur.

Yes, get your dings fixed with PDR (if they’re bothering you), but don’t buy an insurance plan.

Protection plan economics 101

An article by Terence O’Hara in the Washington Post is a wonderful piece on the insanity of protection plans, and is applicable here. He writes:

The decision to buy an extended warranty…defies the recommendations of economists, consumer advocates and product quality experts, who all warn that the plans rarely benefit consumers and are nearly always a waste of money.

‘[Extended warranties and protection plans] make no rational sense,’ Harvard economist David Cutler said. ‘The implied probability [of an issue] has to be substantially greater than the risk that you can’t afford to fix it or replace it. If you’re buying a $400 item, for the overwhelming number of consumers that level of spending is not a risk you need to insure under any circumstances.’

…extended warranties play upon a basic human trait to avoid loss, even if it means sacrificing a possible future gain. In this case, the gain is all the other things of value that a consumer could buy with the money that was spent on a warranty

Fix your dings

Fix your dings and dents (if you want) as they come–maybe every spring. Fixing dings keeps your car looking pristine, and increases its value. But don’t bother with a protection plan. Save your money.

Hold off on that paint job

Quality paintless dent repair is often a great substitute for those considering full paint jobs. Whenever possible, it’s best to keep the original paint. Good PDR combined with a professional detail can restore vehicles to show room condition for less than $500.

Go with the best

Since 1983 Dent Wizard has been pioneering PDR technology. Their PDR technicians undergo extensive and ongoing training. The rates are reasonable and the quality is excellent. Always request a master PDR technician, as there are various levels of abilities.

Check with local dealers

Dealerships in your area may offer Dent Wizard. Your vehicle does not have to be of the same make as the dealership. In other words, you can bring your Chevy to a Ford dealer for PDR work.

Myths

Do it yourself paintless dent repair is easy.

No it ‘s not. It requires training, skill, and experience. There are many who practice PDR techniques who crack or flake the paint, or who create ripples in the metal.

The PDR products sold on TV do the same thing.

No! Not even close. There’s no good substitute for the art of PDR.

Scratch and dent repair are the same thing.

No. A ding is a small dent, which can often be repaired via paintless dent repair procedures. A scratch is an actual break in the surface of the clear coat or paint, requiring traditional body shop techniques, or touch up paint.

It’s easy to learn how to repair dents on cars.

Maybe for some, but it’s a skill that few master. Dent Wizard offers a great training program. The management and staff are top notch.

What’s the best car dent removing protection plan?

Money in your bank account!

How Do You Choose The Best Auto Glass Repair Company?

The windscreen provides structural strength to the body of the car and helps keep passengers inside the car when an accident occurs. This is also what supports the performance and inflation of passenger side airbags. It therefore needs to be top quality and should be installed properly to serve its function. Specially formulated adhesives are used on the auto glass to meet safety standards. When you have a damaged glass, the next step is to find a reliable repair company that can repair it back to functionality.

Because the auto glass does so much more than just keeping you protected from the elements, you want to make sure that it is accorded the best services. There are so many repair companies offering the auto glass services, but only the best can deliver quality results with yours. You can find the best for the repairs by being attentive to factors that matter most.

Ask for certification. Your auto glass repair company ought to be certified by the auto glass replacement safety standard body relevant in your area. The organizations have developed standards that need to be met when doing the replacements and only certified company will give you that kind of reassurance for your industry requirements. Visit the company if you can and ensure that proper licensing is in place.

Check the technicians. The company may be certified, but remember that an individual technician will be responsible for the repair works. Ensure therefore that you get a technician who is also qualified and certified to get the kind of results you expect with the repair works. A good technician should take you through the repair process and help you make the right decisions with the glass and adhesive to use.

Ask the company about safe drive away time. This is the length of time you will need to allow for the adhesive to cure to safe levels before you are allowed to drive the car again. Usually the type of adhesive used will determine how long the car will need to be out of service. Some adhesives will take only an hour to cure to safe levels, whereas for others it may be three hours or more. Incline more in getting quality repair works done but also ensure that you can also do with the off-time.

Consider OEM glass for the replacement. OEM parts are originals from manufacturers and they are always superior in quality. Find out whether the auto glass repair company uses the original products or aftermarket ones so you can make an informed decision. It is always a much better choice to use OEM glass that matches your vehicle perfectly.

Ask about insurance claim acceptance. Most repair shops will accept billing the replacement costs to your insurance company when you are thinking of filing a claim. Take care of the deductible and enjoy the repairs works affordably.

Think about warranty. A reliable repair company for your auto glass should be able to provide you with a written warranty and even a record for the completed work. It goes to show confidence in services offered as far as quality goes.

Auto Repair Services in Okinawa, Japan: Mechanics That Speak English

I recently visited Okinawa, Japan and found the people there are very friendly and kind. One problem, however, is that most of them do not speak English. On my first morning there, I spent the entire time looking for a person who could tell me in English where I could find a bank. I needed to exchange my U.S. dollars for Japanese yen.

In the neighborhood where I was staying I visited a grocery store, walked the streets, and finally found a small police station outside Kadena Air Base. They did not understand English, but they had a map. I said I was looking for a bank and they said “ginkou.” I thought they said “banko.” So I said “yes, yes!” They did direct me to a bank thankfully.

Now if it is that hard to discuss the location of a bank, imagine how difficult it is for a U.S. serviceman or woman to talk to an automotive mechanic about repairing their vehicle. Fortunately, I know of 2 American mechanics that are retired military who live and work in Okinawa near the Kadena Air Base. I saw firsthand the relief on the faces of customers who came in to drop off or pick up their cars.

Bill Siekert is the owner and head mechanic at B&M Okinawa. Bill explained that some of the automotive services provided on bases nearby are priced a little high because they are run under contract and frankly, they have a bit of a monopoly.

In Okinawa, some auto parts can be a difficult to find. Bill grinned as he said, “One way we have been able to help our customers is to go to the local junk yards in the area and find the parts we need.” It pays to have local connections. Bill speaks Japanese and has connections with local auto body specialists. Bill can arrange for any kind of automotive work that needs to be done.

If you are stationed in Okinawa, Japan you can contact Bill Siekert about his auto repair services or you can use this map with directions to his automotive repair shop.

Characteristics of a Good Automotive Repair Mechanic

Knowledgeable on various auto parts.

This is perhaps the most basic characteristic that any auto mechanic should have. Lots of different auto parts are out in the market today. And because we, as car owners, do not necessarily possess the sufficient knowledge when it comes to vehicle parts, we will inevitably depend on the expertise of our mechanic. A simple trick to determine if your chosen car specialist really knows his business is to ask him to differentiate a few parts and gauge whether he is confidently answering your question or is just making his way around.

Diverse background on automotive repair experiences.

Years ago when the makes of our vehicles were much simpler, any mechanic would have been okay. But with today’s high-tech and complex vehicles including family sedans, sports and luxury cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks, we need someone who has a diverse background in automotive repair services. Mistakes have no room when it comes to automotive repair as these will only make things even more costly. Choose a mechanic who has certifications of training programs and classes that he has attended. The mechanic’s time spent in studying as well as in the actual practice of automotive repair is very advantageous for us car owners.

ASE certified to be an automotive repair professional.

Speaking of certifications, perhaps the most famous and widely recognized one, when it comes to professionals in the automotive industry is the ASE certification. Annually, an estimated 100,000 automotive technicians take ASE certification exams each May and November at over 750 locations.

With an ASE certification, we are assured that our mechanic has good background in all automotive services because an ASE certification requires a minimum of two years work experience in addition to passing a series of examinations that include Engine Repair, Engine Performance, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Brakes, Heating and Air Conditioning, Suspension and Steering, Manual Drive Train and Axles, and Automatic Transmissions for auto technicians alone. There are separate tests for those who want to be collision repair technicians, engine machinists, parts specialists, and others.

Furthermore, all ASE certifications have expiration dates which requires technicians to re-test every five years to keep up with technology and to remain certified.

Works in a reputable auto center.

Unfortunately, ASE certifications apply only to individuals and not to auto centers. However, an auto center with at least one ASE certified mechanic is allowed to display the ASE sign. Furthermore, an auto center that has 75% ASE certified mechanics among its employees are given the Blue Seal of Excellence from the ASE.

Aside from the ASE recognition, other signs that we should look for an auto center include neat and well-organized facility complete with modern equipment, courteous staff, and good policies (regarding labor rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, etc.)

Highly recommended by family and friends.

Nothing can attest to the quality service that any auto center and mechanic can give than testimonials of our family members, relatives, and friends. Ask for referrals and recommendations. Local community organizations and business listings are also good sources of information.

Get The Best Auto Repair Services: Important Features To Consider

DIY Car Repairs: Are You Prepared For It?

A DIY approach for car repairs can definitely save your money, but only if you have the essential skills and tools to do the repairs on your own. If you don’t have any idea about vehicle repair and maintenance then you can end up costing a lot of money. It’s advisable to look for certified mechanics who can fix the problems on your car quickly.

When dealing with vehicle repairs, it’s very essential to get the repair and servicing done by an experienced professional. It’s very hard to trust any mechanic or repair shop with your car. If you have a classy and luxurious car, you should always look for a specialist who can assure quality services.

How To Find The Best Auto Body Shop?

Check The Online Review Websites

Before you decide to take your car to the nearest auto shop, you should first check the online review of the body shops in your area. There are many review websites where you can check the feedback from the old or existing customers about the repair station. It will help you to make the right choice.

Get The Opinion Of Your Co-Workers

The very first thing is to make a list of the top five garages or repair stations in your area. The best way to find the car garage is through referrals or recommendations from your friends or family. You may also check online to find the local repair shops or garages operating in your area.

Make A List Of The Top Five Auto Shops

Once you have made a list of the top five repair stations in your area, you should check their ratings and reviews online. There are many good review websites which offer genuine reviews of the garages or auto body shops.

It’s very important to speak with the old customers before choosing the garage. If the old customers are not happy with the services of the auto shop, you should look for some other option.

The Final Tip

When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, these auto repair shops can do the best job. You can also hire them for your expensive car models. They have certified mechanics who can do all the necessary repairs for your car.

Make sure that the mechanics are ASE certified. Keep your eyes and ears open to choose the best auto repair shop

Finding Your Auto Repair Shop

Every household in urban and suburban cities own at least one automobile. They are an important part of the family. With time, automobiles have become advanced and complex technological beings. It is not as easy to maintain them at home as it used to be. With the advancement in computers and engine systems, it is critical that an expert with ample experience and training get involved. This is also because the consumers lead a very fast life. Therefore, it is important to identify a trusted and reliable auto repair shop for your vehicle needs.

Before looking at how to find a resourceful auto shop for vehicle repairs and maintenance, let us understand the difference between these two terms. Maintenance items are shared with the owner at the time of purchase. These are to be checked as part of preventive maintenance at regular intervals. Repairs deal more with a problem that has to be fixed. Both go hand in hand. If you have a good auto repair shop who can do the maintenance check well, then the need for car repairs will reduce. Scheduled maintenance can also be done at your dealership.

A key thing to remember is to find a suitable auto repair shop as soon as you get a car. Do not wait for the need to arise. This will give you less time to choose a shop. If you already have a trusted mechanic, then stick to that shop. An internet hunt can let you know the auto repair shops in your area with reviews and customer responses. Try to avoid choosing a place that is too far away and becomes inconvenient during emergencies. Another option is to do this old style. Talk to friends, family and even directly to different mechanics.

Look for an auto repair shop that suits your car brand. Many shops today have a brand or model of vehicle they specialize in. Use this information to narrow down the shops that will work for you. Once you decide on a shop, ask for two important things –

  1. Ask them about guarantees and warranties they offer. See if the options are making sense to you as a consumer.
  2. This is important, ask for the shop’s certification. The auto repair shop should be certified and have relevant authorization.

The final thing that you can do is to try out two to three auto repair shops for maintenance. A car is a long-term asset. Therefore, invest time in finding the best auto repair shop for your car.

Finding the Ideal Repair Facility for Your Vehicle

No matter what kind of car you drive, chances are, you will eventually need to have it repaired. Some cars are a little more difficult to repair, due to the complexity and the equipment needed to properly service them. Unfortunately, not all repair shops are created equal. It used to be, most garages could perform most repairs, on most cars. Now that electronics are found on almost every square inch of the car, only the shops that specialize in particular brands can truly offer the same level of expertise as the dealer.

Finding the right shop for you and your car is important, not only for your regular service intervals, but also to have a trusted place to go, should an actual problem arise. Having an established relationship with a shop can help facilitate the repair process and put your mind at ease. Returning to the same shop for repair, that also services your vehicle, means the techs are familiar with your car and usually know your wants and expectations.

So where do you find such a shop, that's local to you? There are many locator services on the internet, that can help you find those "specialty" shops you seek. Here are a few that I know of:

1) Extremewrench.com You can search for shops in general in a given zip code or you can narrow it down by vehicle brand, such as BMW or Mercedes. This site gives ratings, lets you see what conveniences they offer was well as any affiliations (like BIMRS, a trusted BMW community).

2) Saabshops.com A listing of Saab specialty shops by state.

3) Bimmershops.com A listing of BMW shops by state.

4) FourRingsRepair.com This is a listing of independent Audi repair shops by state.

5) Lexusshops.com This is a listing of independent Lexus repair shops.

These are just a few, you can typically GOOGLE keywords like "Mercedes shop locator" and similar sites will show up.

Once you find a shop near you, make sure you look at pictures. See what the shop looks like, what other kinds of cars they have there, read any reviews or comments and definitely, if they have a website, check it out! Here is an example of a BMW shop's website: BMW Repair There are a few key things you will want to look for. First, looking through the pictures, are there other BMW's in the shop? Just because somebody says they work on them, does not mean they really do. Its good to see other cars like yours in the shop. Also, see if there is any mention of what kind of tools they use. For a BMW, either a GT1, ISTA or Autologic is a must. If the shop does not use one of these three, they are not fixing BMWs. Shops that don't have the proper tooling usually do the "easy" and "money making" repairs and then refer you to the dealer for everything else. A properly equipped shop can handle all aspects of your repair, preventing you from having to make a trip to the dealer, which can cost you more money and eat up more of your time.