HFE Signs MD, Karl Hunter, has spoken to PMM to share some industry insight on what garages should be doing to drive business and how the right signs can help this.
Straight to the point with this one – what is the best way to get customers through the door?
Karl: That is a broad question! First you need to look at your preferred product, maybe something that is in high demand or something you make good profit on – you then advertise, preferably with a deal or discount to grab attention. For example, lets say we sell tyres, brakes, servicing and MOT’s – we could do something along the lines of MOT Free re-test or Free tracking when buying four tyres. This might sound simple and no doubt many garages offer this already BUT do their customers know this before you tell them? A printed banner in a good position could transform a quiet garage into a busy one, it really is that simple.
Customers all seem to shop around and want the cheapest, what can garages do?
Karl: Everyone works so hard for their money, it is understandable that people want to save where they can – as a manager or salesperson, it is your job to instil confidence in the buyer – yes, price is important and if you are slightly more expensive but you offer a better part or a faster service or something extra for free, you still stand a good chance of closing a deal. Explain to customers (at enquiry stage) some of the advantages of coming to you – without being too pushy.
Should up selling be used?
Karl: There is nothing wrong with upselling as long as its truthful and you explain it to the customer in a way they don’t feel pressured. For example – if a customer comes in wanting two tyres on the front and the rear two are legal but are coming to the end of their life – be honest and offer an incentive to do all four, maybe a discount. Your aim is for the customer to go away feeling happy with what they have brought and the price they’ve paid.
How can you get the most out of a sign?
Karl: It is important to change your message or your offer every few weeks – banners work best when they first go up, once people get used to seeing them the advert goes stale and the impact is dramatically reduced. HFE offer buy two get third free with printed banners, you can mix artworks and the design service is free, it would be advisable to take advantage of this offer and rotate offers every 3-4 weeks for maximum impact.