Always Be Selling

Always Be Selling
Competition in the service repair sector will continue to increase in the future. (Photo: Huw Evans)

The growing number of competitors should have you wondering how you’ll hold onto your customers and attract new ones.

Competition for your customer is going to escalate dramatically in the future! Let me explain with a little background info: as I’m aging, I’m spending more time in Florida as a semi-retiree. Living in the U.S. you’re subject to a myriad of different laws regarding privacy, versus the laws we are used to here in Canada.

Since we purchased a condo in Florida, we also needed a car. Through my connection with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, I purchased a 2014 Mustang about three years ago, and it has been a great car. What surprises me, however, is the amount of mail I get for various auto services.

Do I want a great deal on a new Hyundai? Did I know that the vehicle was under recall (which was completed well before the mail arrived)? How about a better deal on insurance?

Always on a list

So how did all these mails and emails get adressed to me? Well, the simple answer is “lists”.

Americans tend to be capitalists, and as such they’re frequently out there selling. They’re aggressive. I’m sure Ford has offered my name to other Ford dealers in the area to take a shot at me to buy a new car.

I’m also convinced, although I’ve yet to find proof, that the insurance company must be tossing my email address around to its partners to take a shot at me as well. In addition, I am sure many of the sites I visit also share this data.

In Canada, we have an anti-spam legislation in place and require consumers to opt in to receive mail from lists. Things are different in the U.S.; the strategy is to opt out of the lists. I’m also not convinced they are as diligent in the U.S. when it comes to data protection.

Competition is fierce

The point I’m making is that everyone out there is after your service customer, and they’re going to ramp up the pressure. We are all aware of the fact that since the Great Recession of 2008-09, dealerships have discovered the real profit potential of their service departments. The cherry pickers are always pushing.

With the rising costs you can expect during the coming year, plus the need for more sophisticated equipment, combined with greater labour expenses and a need to find and retain talent, there’s no question that competition in our industry is going to ramp up.

Maybe it’s time to take a moment and reassess your business, its profitability and ability to survive, both this year and into the future.

If in doubt, just ask an old mechanic!

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