Any Ideas on How to Market for a Mechanic?

by im1217 28 replies
HI Guys,


I recently found a mechanic through a social media site. He is a 20+ year mechanic at a local Honda dealer. He has a auto shop setup in his backyard (lift and almost all tools needed for most repairs). I went to him in December to get my Honda van fixed (timing belt [all belts and spark plugs], front brakes/axle, power steering pump). He did an excellent job and all in one day. He only gets referrals by word of mouth. I wanted to help him market his services to where we can both benefit. He said he would "hook me up" if I get him referrals. But, I'd rather get paid for my services and get him steady business. My main selling points:


*parts are genuine Honda and below cost of dealer
*can work on all Japanese cars and will look at other makes as well
*labor is HALF
*amazingly nice guy to deal with (the type that will pick you up if you get stuck on the road)
*can get job done much faster
*additional discount if multiple repairs done
*it's done at his home, so you can even watch and ask questions if you like




My question is:


What kind of marketing would you use, how much would you charge, would it be per lead, etc.? I would think most customers would be lifetime or do multiple repairs.


Thanks.
#offline marketing #ideas #local #market #mechanic #offline
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  • Profile picture of the author yottabyte
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by im1217 View Post

    HI Guys,


    I recently found a mechanic through a social media site. He is a 20+ year mechanic at a local Honda dealer. He has a auto shop setup in his backyard (lift and almost all tools needed for most repairs). I went to him in December to get my Honda van fixed (timing belt [all belts and spark plugs], front brakes/axle, power steering pump). He did an excellent job and all in one day. He only gets referrals by word of mouth. I wanted to help him market his services to where we can both benefit. He said he would "hook me up" if I get him referrals. But, I'd rather get paid for my services and get him steady business. My main selling points:


    *parts are genuine Honda and below cost of dealer
    *can work on all Japanese cars and will look at other makes as well
    *labor is HALF
    *amazingly nice guy to deal with (the type that will pick you up if you get stuck on the road)
    *can get job done much faster
    *additional discount if multiple repairs done
    *it's done at his home, so you can even watch and ask questions if you like




    My question is:


    What kind of marketing would you use, how much would you charge, would it be per lead, etc.? I would think most customers would be lifetime or do multiple repairs.


    Thanks.
    Joe had a very busy (and ultra clean) auto repair biz, did a syndicated
    TV show called The Auto Doctor and wrote one of best manuals on how to set up a profitable service business. Suggest you Google Joe Hammer, thatsmallbusinessguy and see if he has his course still available or search eBay or Amazon for used copies.

    Your guy needs to learn to get referrals. A good referral system will keep his biz motor humming along.

    Joe Hammer built his on SUPERIOR SERVICE. Hard to beat a good job/experience for the referral.

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      Joe had a very busy (and ultra clean) auto repair biz, did a syndicated
      TV show called The Auto Doctor and wrote one of best manuals on how to set up a profitable service business. Suggest you Google Joe Hammer, thatsmallbusinessguy and see if he has his course still available or search eBay or Amazon for used copies.

      Your guy needs to learn to get referrals. A good referral system will keep his biz motor humming along.

      Joe Hammer built his on SUPERIOR SERVICE. Hard to beat a good job/experience for the referral.

      GordonJ
      My concern, based on what I've witnessed firsthand, is that the "backyard mechanic" can get overwhelmed. If he can't get through the repairs in a timely manner, people get annoyed.

      They won't come back and they'll tell everyone they meet about their experience.

      Weather can affect performance. A warm, dry place, with room to work is critical.

      This can be a good "fly low" operation, with spin-offs like towing, body, paint, glass repair
      and even hustle a craigslist sale here and there.

      Ron
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      • Profile picture of the author im1217
        Good points. I will see how much he can handle and start off slow. Weather is not a problem (San Antonio, TX - 72 and sunny right now!).




        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        My concern, based on what I've witnessed firsthand, is that the "backyard mechanic" can get overwhelmed. If he can't get through the repairs in a timely manner, people get annoyed.

        They won't come back and they'll tell everyone they meet about their experience.

        Weather can affect performance. A warm, dry place, with room to work is critical.

        This can be a good "fly low" operation, with spin-offs like towing, body, paint, glass repair
        and even hustle a craigslist sale here and there.

        Ron
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11016186].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author im1217
        Would you suggest a cost per lead service OR a monthly recurring service fee for leads?




        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        My concern, based on what I've witnessed firsthand, is that the "backyard mechanic" can get overwhelmed. If he can't get through the repairs in a timely manner, people get annoyed.

        They won't come back and they'll tell everyone they meet about their experience.

        Weather can affect performance. A warm, dry place, with room to work is critical.

        This can be a good "fly low" operation, with spin-offs like towing, body, paint, glass repair
        and even hustle a craigslist sale here and there.

        Ron
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
          Originally Posted by im1217 View Post

          Would you suggest a cost per lead service OR a monthly recurring service fee for leads?
          No. Either one puts you in the position of being a commodity seller.

          Why compete with the herd, racing to the bottom of the pay scale?

          Ron
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          • Profile picture of the author im1217
            Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

            No. Either one puts you in the position of being a commodity seller.

            Why compete with the herd, racing to the bottom of the pay scale?

            Ron

            So, what do you suggest?
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            • Profile picture of the author SARubin
              Originally Posted by im1217 View Post

              So, what do you suggest?
              Yes, instead of just giving a soundbite from a marketing manual, maybe you could give the OP a more specific answer? (hopefully more than just a vague "add value to your proposition" type of answer)

              I've read some of your other posts, Ron. You sound like you have some good ideas, but this one was a little vague.
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              "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
              SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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              • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                Originally Posted by im1217 View Post

                So, what do you suggest?
                Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

                Yes, instead of just giving a soundbite from a marketing manual, maybe you could give the OP a more specific answer? (hopefully more than just a vague "add value to your proposition" type of answer)

                I've read some of your other posts, Ron. You sound like you have some good ideas, but this one was a little vague.
                Wrong question, professor.

                Post #19 is the question that I responded to and answered.

                If my answer was copied from a marketing manual, please provide evidence.

                Ron
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                • Profile picture of the author SARubin
                  Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                  Wrong question, professor.

                  Post #19 is the question that I responded to and answered.

                  If my answer was copied from a marketing manual, please provide evidence.

                  Ron
                  I may be mistaken (it does happen some times), but it read to me like the OP was asking "which" of his options would be better? ( #1 - OR - #2) - If your answer is neither one, then it looks like he's asking if you could clarify, or provide an alternative suggestion.
                  Hence his quote "So, what do you suggest?"

                  I'm not here to get into a pissing contest, professor. I only come here for 3 reasons (in no particular order)...

                  1 - To exchange ideas, with like minded people. Such as yourself

                  2 - To learn from the wisdom of those with more experience than me.

                  3 - To share my knowledge with those who have less experience than myself.

                  Sorry if my comment sounded a bit rude to you, it wasn't meant to be. It's just the answer you gave about "not being a commodity seller. not competing with the herd, and not racing to the bottom of the pay scale?" is really more of a non answer, that didn't offer any real solutions. (like a lot of potatoes, but no meat.)
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                  "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
                  SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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                  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                    Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

                    I may be mistaken (it does happen some times), but it read to me like the OP was asking "which" of his options would be better? ( #1 - OR - #2) - If your answer is neither one, then it looks like he's asking if you could clarify, or provide an alternative suggestion.
                    Hence his quote "So, what do you suggest?"

                    I'm not here to get into a pissing contest, professor. I only come here for 3 reasons (in no particular order)...

                    1 - To exchange ideas, with like minded people. Such as yourself

                    2 - To learn from the wisdom of those with more experience than me.

                    3 - To share my knowledge with those who have less experience than myself.

                    Sorry if my comment sounded a bit rude to you, it wasn't meant to be. It's just the answer you gave about "not being a commodity seller. not competing with the herd, and not racing to the bottom of the pay scale?" is really more of a non answer, that didn't offer any real solutions. (like a lot of potatoes, but no meat.)
                    Hey professor, you seem to have some issues, but it's alright.

                    The OP asked me a question and I answered it.

                    You don't like my answer, professor?
                    That's fine. Feel free to ignore it. After all, it wasn't directed at you, was it?

                    Now professor, you accused me of "giving a soundbite from a marketing manual".

                    I'm still waiting for some evidence to back up your accusation.

                    Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author NateOlsen
    Google My Business would be a great way to capture local customer searching for mechanic in his city.
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    Nathan Olsen
    http://www.ndoseo.com

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  • Profile picture of the author im1217
    Would a cost per lead be the best business model for me? OR a recurring fee lead generation system?
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by im1217 View Post

      Would a cost per lead be the best business model for me? OR a recurring fee lead generation system?
      I would think a cost per lead is going to be your best option here.

      You mentioned your friend was willing to "hook you up" if you get him referrals. That doesn't sound like a guy who's interested in adding another monthly bill to his expenses.

      So, telling him he only pays when you bring him an actual customer, just seems like an offer he'd be more willing to accept..
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      "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
      SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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  • Profile picture of the author Jim Blake
    I have had success using Facebook Ads and landing pages to get customers for tire dealers. Sounds like this would be the same for your client.

    Have him agree to offer a discounted service...
    i.e. Free oil change, $20 gift certificate, etc...

    Run a Facebook Ad to the offer.
    Have a landing page set up to capture name/phone/email.

    Email them a voucher for the offer.

    Give your lead list to your mechanic for him to follow up with (the most important part).

    Literally this will give you an unlimited supply of customers.

    Start targeting people that live in his zip code that own cars that are at least 3 years old an no older than 20 years old.

    Hope this helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by Jim Blake View Post


      Start targeting people that live in his zip code that own cars that are at least 3 years old an no older than 20 years old.
      Hi Jim,

      I'm pretty good at finding my around Facebook targeting,
      for some reason I can't find age of cars, can you point me to that option, please?

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Hi Jim,

        I'm pretty good at finding my around Facebook targeting,
        for some reason I can't find age of cars, can you point me to that option, please?

        Best,
        Ewen
        Yes Yes YES
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Hi Jim,

        I'm pretty good at finding my around Facebook targeting,
        for some reason I can't find age of cars, can you point me to that option, please?

        Best,
        Ewen
        This can be done with the browse behaviors section. you will want to select the automotive section, and then you have if I recall 2 subsections owners and purchased.. you want to select Purchased, and from there you then can select the time frame

        Just a note I didn't go look to see if the option was still there.. its been a year or so since I have used it last.. but I think its there.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    If the guy is working out of his backyard then I wouldn't do any advertising for him.

    It's not a serious business. Nothing wrong with that but it isn't.

    Unless he is wanting to grow and get a commercial location then he needs to up his referral game and forget it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fras
    Try in Google.......
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  • Profile picture of the author bhawnaa660
    post a add at facebook or google but with a customer attraction offer like tell customers to become a member for one year.. one time amount submission and get repair for one year whenever ur vehicle have problem..
    through this type of offer he can attract more no. of customers and also can make more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Affportal
    I'd take a good hard look at Craigslist.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by Affportal View Post

      I'd take a good hard look at Craigslist.

      Yep, and the way the mechanic avoids customers complaining a job took too long is to not sell mechanic services but instead buy used cars that need work and flip the cars for double the purchase price.

      Do a search on craigslist for head gasket, won't start, etc..., those cars are cheap, plenty for less than $1,500.
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    Hey Ron man, I think his remark about the marketing manual was just a reference to the "commodity seller", "race to the bottom", etc. remarks. Those are more centered on good marketing philosophies and principles (like you might find in a manual or book), but the OP was asking you for a specific more than philosophical answer. He asked for a cost per lead OR recurring service answer and you gave a sound philosophy, but I have to admit that I'm not sure how to apply that philosophy that you provided.

    I struggle with riddles and trying to figure out where another person is coming from in general and sometimes need things spelled out. Are you saying that selling leads in general is a race to the bottom and that he should try something else entirely with this guy? Or are you telling him that he shouldn't even fool with this discount mechanic and that he should go after bigger fish? Or something else entirely and I'm missing the boat?

    I understood your philosophy, I just couldn't figure out how you were trying to apply it here. True, I'm not the guy you were replying to either but I'm here to learn from guys like you and others. I'm interested because I too know of people like the OP is referencing and my suggestion would be that he's got a discount fish on the line and that he needs to throw it back, lol. I just don't see this guy as being a good customer. But maybe you are seeing something else entirely, like a different service other than the lead generation that he could offer and turn into something here.
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Thank you UMC,

      You explained my inquiry far better than I did. Your diplomacy is an inspiration, and something that I shall try to emulate in the future.

      All the best,
      SARubin

      Originally Posted by umc View Post

      Hey Ron man, I think his remark about the marketing manual was just a reference to the "commodity seller", "race to the bottom", etc. remarks. Those are more centered on good marketing philosophies and principles (like you might find in a manual or book), but the OP was asking you for a specific more than philosophical answer. He asked for a cost per lead OR recurring service answer and you gave a sound philosophy, but I have to admit that I'm not sure how to apply that philosophy that you provided.

      I struggle with riddles and trying to figure out where another person is coming from in general and sometimes need things spelled out. Are you saying that selling leads in general is a race to the bottom and that he should try something else entirely with this guy? Or are you telling him that he shouldn't even fool with this discount mechanic and that he should go after bigger fish? Or something else entirely and I'm missing the boat?

      I understood your philosophy, I just couldn't figure out how you were trying to apply it here. True, I'm not the guy you were replying to either but I'm here to learn from guys like you and others. I'm interested because I too know of people like the OP is referencing and my suggestion would be that he's got a discount fish on the line and that he needs to throw it back, lol. I just don't see this guy as being a good customer. But maybe you are seeing something else entirely, like a different service other than the lead generation that he could offer and turn into something here.
      Signature
      "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
      SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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  • Profile picture of the author juniorlos
    Being an Offline Business owner my self. I would do Facebook Ads to a Certain Zip code or Small City. I would do a percentage of the job as a fee. if you land him a $3,000 client that needs a new engine you should get more then if you landed him a $150 new brake job etc.... Also i would create my own website and create a Google Plus business with a Forwarding number. That way you can track the leads and you own the site and the number. I use Callfire for that Service. Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
    I would suggest the use of Craigslist, social media, forums for Honda and any other brands he works for, news paper, Letgo, OfferUp, Back page.
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  • Profile picture of the author usmantemuri
    Its hard to explain but google is your best friend you can do deep search on it
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua Young
    I wouldn't necessarily try to do per lead. I would offer a monthly advertising service to him that included local SEO, Facebook, and getting him listed in some directories. It's not going to take much to overwhelm him with business.
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