How does a mechanic who has no website, doesn’t advertise, network, use social media or any other regular form of marketing manage to grow his business to the point where he always has a long waiting list?
Being as curious as I am when it comes to people and their businesses, I couldn’t help but ask.
This is what he does to grow his business.
- He ONLY repairs German cars. He is the German car specialist in the area. Bring him any German car with any problem and he can solve it – in fact he has probably seen that same problem before. Off course he’ll repair other car models but he is known as the go-to man for German cars in the area. This is working really well for him as he has identified a very clear niche of people who have already spent quite a bit on their cars and don’t mind paying that little bit more to maintain it. What are you the go-to expert for?
- He has key relationships with the drivers at the breakdown cover and roadside assistance companies. This is not a formal arrangement but over the years he has built relationships with the drivers so they are happy to refer business to him. Even when they move from one company to the other, they take his details with them. This works because he keeps investing in those relationships. You could ask, what if the companies decide to formally contract a garage. There is always a risk that the companies might contract other garages but he’ll still be in poll position for any contracts as his loyal and trusted referral partners will recommend his business if needed. Do you have a strong core group of loyal referral partners?
- He is very friendly and takes the time to get to know his customers, even rescheduling urgent jobs to fit in with your travel plans etc.That is really going the extra mile in my book. What would your clients and customers say about your customer service?
- He is also very transparent (at least thats is how he comes across to us). We tells us exactly what he is buying and how much he paid for it and how much he charges for his services. He charges quite a bit, but its still cheaper than the authorised dealer so again going to him is a no brainer for us. Do your customers trust you or do they secretly think you are ripping them off?
- He is cheaper than the authorised dealers in town so he tells you exactly how much he is saving you. Do your customers clearly see the benefits you are giving them?
- He invested in latest diagnostic equipment used by the authorised dealers so that we his customers are assured that he was spotting all issues with the car and not just guessing like other mechanics do. Is your business equipment up to the mark?
- Because he goes the extra mile, guess what? We now send all our friends his way. Do your customers constantly refer their friends and colleagues your way? This is a sign that they are happy with what you do.
Could elements of this strategy work for you? I bet it would.
Although, this strategy is very one dimensional and won’t work for everyone, there is still a lot you can take away from his approach.
Don’t be bamboozled by the trends
These days we are so bamboozled by the internet and all the other ways of generating business that we’ve forgotten some of the fundamentals of building a sustainable business through building strong referral partners and delivering great customer service. This approach would compliment any thing you are already doing in your business.
My mechanic is not looking to open other garages. He is just happy to be in business so he can afford a nice lifestyle and spend time with his son. I suspect that if he ever decided to expand, he won’t have to struggle very much because his approach works really well for him. A tweak here and there and he’ll be good to go.
Do you know any one using a similar traditional approach that is working really well for them?
Are some of your most effective strategies online or offline?
I’d love to hear from you.