Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How To Crush Your Competition And Grow Your Car Count

How To Crush Your Competition And Grow Your Car Count


Eric M. Twiggs

“Having no competition is a bad thing. Competition makes you try to improve yourself all the time. Shu Qi

Your competition doesn’t want you to read this post.  Stay with me and you’ll understand why.   I recently called three automotive repair shops at random expressing the following concern:  

“I’m new to the area and looking for a good shop.  I want to do business with you, but my wife wants to use your competitor.  So, what makes your shop better?

I called the first shop located in the New York area and “Michelle” answered.  Here was her response: “Uhmm, uhhh, can you please hold?” Before I could respond, I was patched through to a voice mail where I couldn’t leave a message because the mail box was full!

The second shop was in California. “Jack” answered the phone.  Jack replied with a deep confident voice: “We’ve been in business for 20 years, have ASE Certified technicians, and we have state of the art technology!”

This was brilliant compared to my last call, so I felt better as I called the third shop located in Ohio and Brian answered. 

Without any hesitation, Brian said:

 “We provide a vehicle pick-up and drop off service that allows you to keep working while we work on your car.  We perform a FREE 65 point courtesy check and will email you pictures of what we find that’s good and of what needs to be addressed.  We also offer a 3 year 36,000-mile parts and labor warranty.  This is the best warranty in the business, so you’ll be worry free with our guarantee!

Which shop would you have picked? If you chose Michelle’s shop, you probably won’t be crushing your competition any time soon!    My guess is that you chose Brian’s shop ahead of Jack’s.  What gave Brian the edge?

Unlike Michelle and Jack, Brian was listening to the same radio station that all of your customers listen to.  Its WIIFM on your radio dial:  What’s In It For Me? 

I have some bad news.  Your customers don’t care about YOU, your 20 years in business, your state of the art technology, or your ASE certified technicians.  They DO care about the specific BENEFITS that will solve their problem.   

The good news is that even if your competition has the same offerings, you can sell your benefits and get the business.    So how can you use these specifics to crush your competition and grow your car count?   Read on to get the answers.

Define Your Brand

When I mention the name McDonald’s, what are the first words that come to mind? Words like consistency, convenience, are the typical answers.  So if you’re traveling late at night in an unfamiliar area and have to choose between McDonald’s and “Eric’s Burger Joint”, which would you choose?  

Even though I make a great burger, have ASE certified cooks, and have been in business for 20 years, McDonald’s would be the safe choice because they have defined their brand.  You know you will get a consistent convenient experience from McDonald’s. 

What words come to mind when I mention the name of your shop?  Answering this question is important because customers are looking for the safe choice when searching for a shop.

To help define your brand I recommend studying your 5-star internet reviews and looking for the common words that are used.  For example, you may notice that multiple customers describe you as honest, fair, convenient, and friendly.

These are the first words that come to mind when they think of you.   Your brand communicates the specific experience they will get and will make you the safe choice. 

Dare To Be Different

I know what you’re thinking: “But Eric, we have a clean shop, offer a courtesy shuttle, and have great reviews.   Why should I dare to be different?”  Well, your customers expect these things and aren’t wowed by what they expect.  As mentioned in a previous post, the “wowed” customer is twice as likely to come back, and three times more likely to refer you than one who is merely satisfied, so daring to be different can improve your car count.   

Since the extra mile is a lonely road, you will stand out from your competition by creating the wow experience.   For example, most shops offer a shuttle service.  Brian’s shop that was mentioned earlier, provides pick-up and drop of service at the customer’s workplace.

Most shops offer a 1 year 12,000-mile warranty.  Brian’s shop offers the 3 year 36,000-mile warranty.  If you had a relative traveling in the Ohio area in need of auto repair, would you refer them to “most shops” or Brian’s shop? 

I challenge you to schedule a meeting with your team.  Ask them to name the specific aspects of your service that wows the customer, and makes you different in your market.  If the response you hear is the sound of crickets, take it as an opportunity to brainstorm specific offerings that can separate you from the competition. 

After creating your list of wow experiences, be sure to revisit what you came up with at your future meetings.  This regular review will keep these benefits top of mind and easier to communicate to your customer.


So, there you have it.  Defining your brand and daring to be different can help you crush your competition and grow your car count.  When I call your shop and ask what makes you different, will I hear from you or the crickets? 


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

Looking to create a wow experience, but don’t know where to start?  Email and I will send you a list of 7 Ideas That Can Differentiate You From Your Competition.