Posted to Shop Management Forum on 11/21/2010
Evil Parts Stores Who Ruin Our Business
There is sure a lot of talk about this subject. I hope this
helps give you a strategy to deal with "the competition".
I am surprised and disappointed that so few of us truly
understand the business we are in and who our target market
I hope that none of you really believe that those people
laying on their backs in the parts store parking lots all
across this great country of ours are really any kind of
prospect for our repair businesses. Good Heavens.
I'm equally disappointed that you have not mastered the
basics of selling diagnostic time to your own customers.
Here's the deal: The ideal prospect for a "Do-it-for-me"
(DIFM) business is someone who won't put in their own tail
light bulb. There are lots of those people and I hope lots
of them are coming to your shops right now.
The WORST prospect for a DIFM is a "Do-it-yourselfer" (DIY).
They'd rather spend $800 replacing every sensor under the
hood to turn off a check engine light than to spend $100 on
a professional to locate and hook up that vacuum line that
fell off under the hood that no one has seen yet... The
DIYer will feel good that he has prevented "all those future
problems" with new parts, despite the fact that the car is
Of course, once that is done, that same DIYer will come to
us, complain about our prices and beg us to fix it free or
super cheap (many times they want to lay the blame on us
that they've already "spent all their money and have none
We need to understand that, just because someone comes into
our office doesn't make them a prospect for our business.
There are some people out there whose business we can't
afford to have and a great many of them are standing in line
at parts counters all over town.
So, *WE* get all ticked off, mad, wound up, "how dare they?"
and generally angry when these people call or come in. The
result of this is that we're now in a poor state of mind to
greet our true potential customers with a warm smile and
Does anyone else find it odd that we are now shooting at our
own feet over this situation and doing so with apparent
deadly accuracy? VBG
Your correct response to these people is, "here's what we
do, here's what it costs. Would you like to schedule a time
to have this done?" The answer will be yes, no or maybe. You
might try one more selling point, seek agreement and see
what happens. Take the appropriate action depending on the
potential buyer's response.
Do not let their response or attitude bother you. If they
don't want to buy from you, it's simply because you either
don't sell what they want to buy or you lack the selling
skills to convince them that you do. End of story, no
problem. They need to seek the next potential seller,
because it's apparently not you.
Finally, use your mental energy and positive thoughts on
your own best (and prospective) customers. If you sell
investments or insurance, you'll soon find out that the
selling process is less about the sales pitch itself than it
is about simply sifting through hundreds of prospects to
find the one that is needing what you offer. When that
happens, the sale is automatic. It's easy once you
understand the process.
Anyone can sell a good prospect, one who really wants what
you have to sell and *NO ONE* can sell a bad prospect, one
who doesn't want what you have to sell.
So, stop prospecting for new business among those who
populate any auto parts store, anywhere. And, please stop
making villains of those honest parts stores who are seeking
to sell to people who just want parts. The store is not evil
for selling stupid people a bunch of stuff they don't need
if those people really want to buy that stuff. The stores
are only filling a need for a group they have identified as
their own "target market".
Focus on your own target market and work it to the best of
your ability and, to some extent, that means ignoring those
who stumble mistakenly in your door. Don't use up a good
attitude. Save it for those who might give you money. Oh,
and it might not hurt to see if there's some good sales
George from Nebraska
60 Replies Received
60 Replies Received