How to Adapt to the Changing Recon Industry

  • Discover and remove bottlenecks in your operation
  • Fight the blindness of habit
  • Even small improvements are progress
  • Management Software can solve many problems

 

Regardless of the size of your shop, if you’ve been in the repair industry long enough, you probably enjoy a decent amount of business. However, even with all the jobs coming through and the money being made, you’ve likely run into a few problems here and there. You know how customers can be. They need their cars back by a specific day or simply demand quick action. To keep up with the customers and receive their continued business, you’ll want to reduce your cycle times and increase throughput.

On days that are especially busy for you, bottlenecks will become more apparent. You have time commitments you’ve made to the customers, but if one thing goes wrong, it sets all the other jobs back. It can be stressful and makes some days tougher than they need to be. You know something needs to be done, but you’re not quite sure where to start.

 

Shop Layout, Workflow, And Adaptability

Chances are if there’s a bottleneck at one station, there are bottlenecks in other places as well. Something as simple as the way vehicles move throughout your shop can greatly impact cycle time and throughput.

For example, in an article by Fender Bender’s, Tom Franklin, a small shop owner named Pete had an operation near a police station. Over time, the local police became his biggest customers since their vehicles often required repairs. However, because of the nature of their job, they needed their vehicles repaired as quickly as possible. They couldn’t afford to not have their patrol cars ready.

Pete struggled on some days to keep up with the demand and knew things needed to change. Eventually, he realized a lot of his problems revolved around the workflow in his shop. Originally, the vehicles would move around a central point in the shop in a circular fashion– but it had its issues. Once he removed the central wall that everything revolved around, he created a parallel workflow pattern that eliminated some of the bottlenecks he had been experiencing. It was such a simple fix, but it completely changed the efficiency of his shop.

“Old habits die hard and are often not recognized for what they are. What worked well in bygone days may actually be time-consuming and a bottleneck now” Pete said in a conversation with Franklin. According to Pete, one of the biggest things lowering shop efficiency are habits and a lack of change. In his statement, he suggests that shops tend to get comfortable with doing things a certain way. However, as the recon world evolves, the processes have to as well.

You can apply this logic to just about anything your shop does. Ask yourself a few questions: Do you still record invoices and jobs on paper? How about employee payments? Do you leave notes for important information around the shop that could easily get lost? Do you spend a lot of your day working on back-office operations?

Those are just a few questions you should ask yourself, but if you answer yes to even one of them, you’re likely spending more time than you need to on stuff that doesn’t involve actual repairs coming through.

The repair industry today isn’t the same as your father’s or grandfather’s. It’s constantly changing and there’s new technology released every year to make your life a little easier. There is some excellent workflow software out there that can streamline cycle times and throughput for you. They can track customer accounts and jobs in real-time both on your mobile device and desktop. Over the last few years, management software has become a staple for successful shops, so looking into the options is a good place to start.

In another example, Alex Osborn, from the Creative Education Foundation in Buffalo, New York presented the idea of “habitual blindness” when it comes to adaptation and change. In Franklin’s article, he looked at Osborn’s favorite analogy where a chicken is fed some grain on the ground. Of course, the chicken eats it the first time. However, the grain is then dropped on the ground again with a glass barrier between it and the chicken. The chicken continues to peck at the glass to get the grain in the way it had previously, but ultimately never succeeds.

According to Osborn, this is what he means by habitual blindness. Instead of going over, under, or around to get the seed, the chicken continued the same method that had worked previously. Not all situations can be solved with the same solution, and when things are constantly changing in the recon industry, you have to adapt to it.

In the instance of Pete in Franklin’s Fender Bender article, Osborn would refer to the rearrangement of his shop as “transformation” thinking. However, it’s only one part of a whole when it comes to bottlenecks in your shop’s cycle times. Fixing the individual bottlenecks are necessary, but they’re also only symptoms of a larger issue. To tackle it all as efficiently as possible, you may need to completely rethink all of your processes from the top down. Once you do that, you’ll often find ones that can be eliminated from your cycle.

 

Changes In Back-Office Operations

As we talked about above, the most successful recon businesses out there are constantly adapting to the latest technology. Nathane Vanhoose, Owner of SkratchHouse in Columbus, Ohio, said one the biggest constraints for his business was the back-office operations. He’d spend hours every night after work going through invoices, accounts, estimations, and so on. Eventually, he restructured his entire process with management software. Paperwork, billing, and employee payments that took hours were cut down to minutes once he adapted to the problems his shop faced.

For a lot of shops, estimations have become pivotal for moving things along. Before, you’d have to research all of the potential factors and information that could impact the labor cost of the jobs. Nowadays, management software has advanced to the point where they have databases to pull the most up-to-date information from. Things that used to take a bit of math on your end can now be solved for you at a click of a button. This helps just one bottleneck that can occur in back-office operations, but management software can do much more than that. Using up-to-date technology can help you avoid delays or quickly react to a situation and resolve it instantly with real-time updates.

For a lot of shop owners, a complete reorganization of processes and machinery may seem costly. Fortunately, even if you can’t make the most drastic changes, management software can organize it all for you with little cost or change on your part outside of putting the information into the apps. When looking back at Osborn’s transformational concepts, he also suggests you combine, modify, and divide processes into different parts for efficiency. Of course, management software can help you set that up, too.

Though management software can automate more-or-less all of your processes, it’s still important to have the right employees. Every shop has their own way of ordering parts, but the most successful ones tend to have a specialist who can anticipate issues and find and order the best parts to avoid any delays. When it comes down to it, a lot of delays happen because the right parts aren’t there or they need to be ordered– but don’t get there in time. It’s good to have someone who can decide what is needed quickly and can play a major role in eliminating bottlenecks with jobs.

Beyond that, one of the biggest problems in shops has to do with employee communication. What the front desk says could be completely different than what the estimator tells the customer. To put it simply, mistakes can happen and things can break down pretty easily if there’s a lapse in communication within the shop. With management software, all employees can update, share, and provide all information for everyone to get updated on in real-time. So mistakes that could become costly and time-consuming can be completely eliminated.

Even with management software, mobile devices, and computers, many shops still rely on scraps of paper or sticky note reminders to communicate information. We live in a time where we have the internet and electronic communication at our fingertips. We can send and receive information simply, quickly, and accurately within a few seconds, so why not use it? With management software, you can create email templates, customer forms, and more within minutes and send it instantly.

In Franklin’s conversation with Pete, the removal of the wall was a pretty straightforward and simple fix. However, most shops have much more difficult constraints to remove. Like Pete said,

“Old habits die hard and are often not recognized for what they are. What worked well in bygone days may actually be time-consuming and a bottleneck now.”

The days where you could stop, talk, and relax are slowly disappearing in the recon industry. It’s a business that requires adaptability. You no longer have the time to sort through paperwork like you may have been able to even just 10 – 20 years ago. So you have to break out of your comfort zone and revise your processes with the latest technology.

 

AutoMobile Technologies Can Help

AMT offers affordable software solutions designed to make your reconditioning process better, provide you with better visibility and control, and get your cars completed efficiently. If you are a dealership looking to move vehicles to the frontline faster, or a recon operator wanting better control and time management for your clients, AMT works to provide the right solutions for your business.

Smart Vehicle Repair

Two Tools to Improve your S.M.A.R.T. Repair Business in the USA

The term “SMART Repair” has become a popular way of representing the mobile repair industry in the UK and is slowly catching on here in the United States. SMART repair, Small to Medium Area Repair Technique, offers services like wheel repair, bumper repair, paint correction, and glass repair in addition to the numerous PDR companies we see popping up everywhere in America. An assortment of cosmetic, cost-effective and quick repair techniques, SMART repair offers U.S. mobile repair companies and fixed operations a way of offering more services for more revenue.

Starting out in the SMART repair business can be tough. There are many obstacles to cross in building your independent mobile repair company. SMART repair professionals often face common issues such as:

  • Managing Finances
  • Creating Estimates
  • Monitoring/Managing Employees
  • Invoice Accuracy
  • Finding Equipment
  • Training
  • Matching Paint Codes
  • Outfitting Company Vehicles

AMT is here to provide help. Repair360 and ReconPro help the mobile repair professional get organized and get busy. Repair360 is perfect for the newcomer – the rogue technician with nothing but his tools and his truck. It’s a software ideal for managing client paperwork, billing, estimates, and tasks. Perform inspections tied to VIN or Stock Number, and add notes and photographs to create a complete estimate to submit to the customer via email or printed form. You can receive work approvals electronically through email, quick-link, or direct signature right on your device. Approved estimates become work orders, and the app creates and sends your invoice when work is completed. The best part? It’s totally free for a single user!  And, as you grow your business, the low-cost full version of Repair360 will even help you manage multiple technicians.

ReconPro is a mobile estimate and invoicing software developed for the established SMART repair business or franchise looking for some extra help. It takes over in the management of damage documentation paperwork, helps easily create AR invoices, and streamlines office administrative duties like managing schedules, customer pricing, and accounting. Like Repair360, ReconPro helps manage workflows to make the most of your time and efforts spent with clients repairing their vehicles, but also offers a full suite of productivity features, including commission calculations, service requests and dispatch, time and attendance management, role-based access, customer-specific pricing and much, much more.

Both software applications are available for iOS or Android devices, and completely self-contained, meaning you can take them anywhere and complete your work without needing to connect to Wi-Fi. When you do connect, all your work is stored in your back office for complete record-keeping and secure access from any computer. Are you an auto industry professional looking to break or expand into the SMART repair scene? Does your current SMART repair business need the extra assistance? AMT has the solutions and we’d love to help you. Reach out to us today!

Press Release: EchoPark Automotive

EchoPark Automotive Selects AMT Software to Manage Its Massive Reconditioning Operations

ReconMonitor’s workflow and process management helps maintain efficiencies for high-volume reconditioning

AMT-EchoPark Logo

AutoMobile Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in auto reconditioning software, has been engaged to provide workflow automation software to EchoPark Automotive, pioneers in the evolution of used car buying. AMT’s ReconPro and ReconMonitor software has been implemented in EchoPark’s reconditioning facilities including Dallas, Denver, and Charlotte, to improve visibility and efficiency in bringing cars through their extensive and meticulous process.

“AMT software provides EchoPark Automotive a scalable tool with a common language platform,” said Tim Keen, Executive Vice President of Operations. “It increases our efficiency, saves costs and cycle times so we can deliver consistent high-quality vehicles to our customers.”

AMT’s ReconMonitor provides end-to-end visibility of the vehicle reconditioning process from acquisition through all steps of the recon process, and helps identify process or vendor inefficiencies that increase cycle time. The software includes both mobile and back-office modules to ensure everyone in the reconditioning cycle is informed about where and when work is required. This keeps cars moving at optimal speed and results in fewer days to frontline status.

The adoption of ReconMonitor will allow EchoPark better command and control of the recon process with full visibility as each vehicle progresses toward frontline readiness, enabling them to measure and reduce cycle time for optimal results.

Other notable dealer benefits of ReconMonitor include:

  • Mechanical and Cosmetic Inspections – Multiple inspections per vehicle, including EchoPark’s signature 190-point Inspection and Vehicle Condition Reports.
  • Parts and Labor Hours Management – The system provides access to OEM part numbers, mechanical labor hours, and a parts ordering feature will soon be added.
  • Vendor Management and Payment – The system manages all employee and vendor workloads, and administers hours and pay for each repair.
  • Real-time Reporting – EchoPark knows the status and stage of every vehicle in process, and can quickly identify bottlenecks.

“EchoPark has one of the most robust reconditioning operations we’ve ever seen, providing great value to customers across their inventory of nearly-new vehicles. We are proud to enhance that value with ReconMonitor’s efficient workflow management capabilities in vehicle recon,” said Eric Meahan, EVP of Operations for AutoMobile Technologies, Inc. He added, “Dealers lose an average of $35-50 per day that cars spend undergoing reconditioning. Our partnership will allow EchoPark to reduce costly delays and make better vehicle recon decisions early in the cycle. That results in better inventory availability for their customers and ultimately, increased margins on vehicles sold.”

AutoMobile Technologies provides software applications to solve workflow and back-office problems for dealers and reconditioning operations across North America.

For more information, please visit: https://amt.company/dealership-software-and-operations.

About AutoMobile Technologies

Since 2006, AMT has been building software applications to help companies in the automotive industry replace paperwork, enforce processes, and gain instant visibility to business operations, regardless of team size and geographic distribution. Our mission is to distribute easy to use, affordable solutions to help dealerships, PDR and SMART Repair technicians, detailers, and reconditioning companies improve customer service, make more money, and eliminate back-office inefficiencies.

About EchoPark Automotive

Launched in the fall of 2014, EchoPark Automotive has been well-received for a revolutionary used car customer experience in Denver, Colorado, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina. Each retail space mirrors a welcoming, enjoyable atmosphere with an open concept space and functional zones tailored to specific activities. Interactive research areas, comfortable lounge spaces and personalized vehicle delivery empower guests of EchoPark to shop the way they want and at their desired pace. The full sensory environment ties the brand’s digital and physical assets into a seamless, flexible and compelling shopping experience. Even the internal mechanic shop is fully visible to guests showcasing the care that is taken to recondition vehicles. In short, EchoPark Automotive is about building long-term relationships with our guests and the community.

Please visit EchoPark.com to learn more.

Media Contacts:

Marti Eulberg
EchoPark Automotive
980-875-0964
marti.eulberg@sonicautomotive.com

Ted Gaines
AutoMobile Technologies, Inc.
949-614-0799 x708
gaines@automobiletechnologies.com

Blue Wireless Signal

Print From Anywhere with Your Apple or Android Mobile Device

  • Wireless printing is widely available
  • Print directly from a mobile device even without an internet connection
  • Works on most wi-fi enabled printers

Back in 2012, Apple added a software update known as AirPrint for their MacOS and iOS devices. The update made it so Apple products could print wirelessly through Wi-Fi with compatible printers. However, when it was first released, the number of printers were few and far between.

In the six years since its release, AirPrint has come a long way through quality-of-life updates and the addition of compatible printers. While it was originally only capable of working with a few specific HPs, it now operates within a large library of printers from brands such as HP, Canon, Brother, Dell, Samsung and more– resulting in over 1,100 compatible printers as of 2014.

It’s safe to say a great deal has changed in that time. For Apple users, AirPrint has become a staple for everyday life. With AirPrint, you can use your iPhone, iPad, and Macbook to easily print any documents you may need on the fly.

The technology behind AirPrint is reliant on Apple Bonjour. According to Tech Target’s, Margaret Rouse, Apple Bonjour is a group of networking technologies designed to help devices and applications discover each other on the same network. Bonjour is typically found on MacOS and iOS devices such as iPhone and Macbook; however, if a user downloads Apple software, like Safari or iTunes, they can have it on their Windows machines.

Android device users shouldn’t feel left out. Wireless mobile printing apps offered by many printer and mobile device manufacturers will allow most phones and tablets to print via wi-fi. HP’s multifunction printers can even allow documents to be emailed directly to the printer. Google and Samsung both have wireless print solutions for Android phones, so there’s no need to use the Apple solution if you don’t wish to.

Since the introduction of AirPrint, many third-party applications have begun to take advantage of the feature and technology as well. While companies such as HP, have created applications that let users print from their mobile devices, there are also companies in the reconditioning business that let you print wirelessly.

With companies like AMT taking advantage of the technology behind wireless printing, reconditioning businesses’ lives have gotten a lot easier. While AirPrint became the benchmark for wireless printing, AMT’s native applications like ReconPro and Repair360 provide a way for you to print anything from orders to estimates, invoices, and more– in-app, and at the click of a button.

Management software that lets you print wirelessly from your computer or mobile device minimizes the amount of time you spend on the little stuff when running your business. It’s excellent for printing invoices and receipts, managing technicians and vendors, tracking vehicle processes, and alerting you to bottlenecks and problem areas on both your desktop and mobile devices– all while being able to print and manage information in-app, even without an internet connection. That’s right, no need to rely on Internet or mobile data connections. As long as the printer is wi-fi enabled, your device can connect and print whatever you need,

Man in auto repair shop using tablet computer

How to Manage Your Inspections Without the Paper Chase

Knowledge is power, and complete and thorough inspections are your best source of knowledge for damage assessment and reconditioning operations. But did you know how else you can use inspections to boost your sales and profits? Click to watch how InspectionNotes gives you what you need without all the paper.

Chasing Hail? Don’t leave town without these must-have PDR tools

Business Management Software for This Season and Beyond

For technicians fixing hail damage on the road, the season is in full swing. The season has shaped up to be an epic year for hail in many regions. This could be a big year even for retail PDR and SMART repair shops who don’t hit the road.

Whether you are on the road or not, take a few moments to consider a few tools you may have heard about but haven’t put into practice yet in your business. I’m talking about mobile estimating and invoicing tools such as our two mobile apps, Repair360 and ReconPro.

 

Repair360 – Mobile Estimate and Invoicing Software

Designed to get any auto reconditioning company or PDR technician up and running with basic

mobile estimates, work orders, and invoicing designed to put an end to wasted time spent on administrative paperwork tasks that are required in running your business. Best of all, this product is completely free for single users and available on iOS from the Apple app store or Android from the Google Play store.

What is Repair360 and what does it do?

An easy-to-use phone app, with Repair360, you can log in cars as you work on them, take pre-inspection notes and photos, create and email estimates, work orders, invoices and more all from your preferred mobile device.

Have more than one technician working for you? An easy upgrade to our paid version Repair360, which grants you the ability to manage multiple technicians and integrate with your accounting system, too.

Repair360 Product Features:

  • VIN Scanning and Decoding
  • Customer Record Management
  • Photo and Video Inspections that attach to work orders at the line-item level, on-device Approvals
  • Invoicing, and Back Office systems
  • Customer records, Invoicing, and payments all accessed from the software.
  • Software integration with the popular QuickBooks Online accounting package available
  • Payment Processing integration

Note: Integrations with additional accounting systems from QuickBooks, Sage, etc., as well as Dealer and Bodyshop Management Systems are available with ReconPro.

The app is self-contained, so it works with or without Internet access and can print to most printers, even without an Internet connection.

 

ReconPro – Advanced Business Software for Recon Professionals

Are you running a larger operation than Repair360 can handle? Step up to ReconPro, our mobile management tool purpose-built for Auto Recon Professionals.

With a few clicks from any handheld device, you can document prior damage, create invoices, get PO’s, and streamline back-office operations like payroll and accounting, allowing you to spend less time on managing the business, and more time working on the business.

ReconPro Product Features

  • Vin Decoder – Includes trim, paint code lookup, vehicle recalls
  • R&I Labor Times for fully informed estimates
  • Advanced Commissions – Calculate Flat Rate, % Gross / Net, Tired Commissions, Splits
  • Duplicate Vin Detection to avoid duplicate records
  • Full Service Menu Control -Create a service menu specific to each account
  • Customer Specific Pricing – Set, adjust, and control even the most complex pricing models
  • Service Requests – Dispatch & Scheduling
  • Estimate Approvals – On device, via web or quick link
  • Integrations – Connect directly to many popular dealer and shop management systems, including CDK,  Mitchell, Audatex, and CCC
  • Team Collaboration – Share Inspections, Work orders, or Invoices across teams
  • Configurable Print Templates – Your custom business identity and layouts in hard copy
  • Configurable Email Templates – Your custom branding and layouts in emails
  • Real-time Reporting – Data at your fingertips lets you know your numbers anytime
  • Full visibility and control
  • Fully mobile – on your iOS or Android devices
  • Step-by-step automation
  • The most detailed reports on the market
  • Easy integration with QuickBooks
  • No need for IT staff to install or maintain

Regardless of whether you are a one-man operation, or responsible for teams of PDR techs, isn’t it time you stepped into the world of mobile management and invoicing? Schedule a demo with AutoMobile Technologies today!

Top Auto Dealer Management Software Picks for 2018

Automobile Dealership Management Software

Automobile Dealership Management Software in 2018

Running a successful car dealership involves countless moving parts, and within all these revolving pieces, productivity shortfalls are inevitable. Successful dealerships know it’s due to human error– because constant communication between individuals eventually leads to confusion and potential misinformation. So while most dealerships acknowledge these shortcomings and use management software such as ADP or Reynolds & Reynolds and other DMS software, these systems can leave gaps in efficiency when maintaining sales, inventory, and F&I information.

Despite our limitations as individuals and the shortcomings of the automotive management software above, we’re fortunate enough to live in an era where we have several software solutions to fully digitize inventory acquisition, marketing, and even inventory management– filling the gaps along the way.

To help reduce your time researching possible software solutions, we have compiled a top-5 list of management tools every dealership should consider adding.

Sales & Marketing

Hubspot

HubSpot offers various marketing, sales, and customer relationship management software to fit whatever business needs you may have– and while the individual options are powerful, they’re even better when used together.

Obtaining prospects and making sales on new or used vehicles relies on you meeting a customer’s needs and working with their budget.

In today’s world, almost every single car purchase begins with an “internet search.” These searches could yield potential new customers if your dealership provides the “right answers.” This inbound marketing, where you draw in customers through social media, branding, and search engine optimization, revolves around creating and publishing content which attracts visitors and converts them into leads as they travel the sales funnel from awareness to consideration.

HubSpot assists in creating and publishing lead generation content– allowing you to track, measure and target your leads.

Reconditioning & Supply Chain Management

AutoMobile Technologies – ReconMonitor

ReconMonitor software helps dealerships monitor and manage the process of reconditioning pre-owned inventory and auction purchases from Acquisition to Front Line Ready. It can track each individual vehicle, the progress made during all reconditioning phases, help get vehicles ready in a quick and efficient manner, and save dealerships both time and money.

ReconMonitor is web-based dealership supply chain management software that picks up where your DMS leaves off, and gives any dealership stakeholder access to all in-process vehicles, the current repair stages, and deadlines from any device, at any time.

It establishes an early warning system in order to keep repair momentum from the initial acquisition to frontline readiness– tracking each vendor, employee, and repair phase to manage performance while identifying bottlenecks in the reconditioning process.

Social Media

Sprout Social

For dealership marketing teams, the primary goal is to advertise the business in the best and most efficient channels– and social media is the largest avenue to get the word out. Sprout Social allows you to track likes, shares, conversations, new contacts, and more with an incredibly clean and easy design.

Data is the driving force when it comes to marketing and understanding which posts drive the most engagement, and Sprout Social offers various monthly subscriptions to monitor your social media marketing campaign.

Sprout Social’s management screen has tabs for messages, tasks, feeds, publishing, and reports. Messages allow you to read and respond to comments left on various social media platforms all in one inbox. While publishing and feeds allow you to analyze the most viewed content and make postings on a timed schedule.

Reports are manageable both on a macro and micro scale– meaning you can view the analytics for all social media in one location or view them all individually.

If your dealership has a team using social media for customer communication, Sprout Social allows you to track tasks and measure post-performance.

Sprout Social offers in-depth data analysis for all your social media marketing on a simple and sleek platform ready to improve your business’ content.

Dealership Accounting & Sales

NetSuite ERP

NetSuite ERP sells itself as a tool to assist any size business to expand. Its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software provides planning and management tools to help automate and simplify business processes in real time.

Netsuite lets individuals at the dealership automate various tasks, enabling data collection, viewing, and sharing without interrupting other functions.

Since NetSuite is cloud-based (meaning all information is saved online in a cloud server), updates, maintenance, support, and customization are all available and automatic across all devices using the software. To elaborate on customization, the package offers the ability to fully edit processes to work as efficiently as possible for your dealership.

NetSuite provides financial reporting, financial planning, revenue recognition (for compliance with accounting standards), global accounting and consolidation (for transparency), billing (to improve accuracy and remove errors), and real-time financial monitoring to drive success.

For Smaller Dealerships: Dealer DMS alternative

Everlogic

Everlogic is a Gold Certified Partner for Quickbooks with a complete management system designed with small dealerships and businesses in mind. Everlogic has several integrated modules which show sales, F&I, parts, services, and administration departments all under one roof. It’s known for its excellence in customer service, and much like the other options above, it’s easy to use, understand, and update all current business processes.

Summary

If recent reports are correct, the two or three-year new car sales tidal wave has begun to slow down. Dealerships will scramble in order to find solutions to boost sales and bolster profitability. The competent and savvy dealer will stay one step ahead, see the trends, and use the best and latest software available. These are our top picks for 2018, and we hope they assist your dealership to increase productivity and profitability this year and beyond.

Salesmanship Tips for the Mobile Repair Professional: How to Land More Deals

> Find and Secure New Accounts

> Stand Out From Competitors

> Maintain and Grow Current Customers

Continuing our series of articles focusing on the “year of growth”, today we are turning our attention to sales tips. All businesses need sales in order to survive and grow. Many rightly consider sales the foundation of a company. The truth is, some are born salespeople and some are not. Sometimes even the most seasoned sales pro could use some fresh sales tips now and again (we’ve found that the most successful salespeople are also the most active seekers of new ideas and methods).

Our salesmanship tips presented below are geared towards helping you increase customers or land a new shop or two, depending on your specific business needs. These range from basic sales tips to learning how to find and secure new account leads, standing out from competitors, and maintaining existing clients.

Salesmanship Quick-Tips:

1. Knowledge is Power

One of the best tools mobile repair professionals have in their arsenal is an intimate knowledge of the services they are offering to current and prospective clients. They know what sets them apart from others trying to sell in the same industry. Having this subject matter expertise provides a level of credibility dealerships are looking for when being presented with new opportunities. When a customer realizes you know what you are talking about, it builds a level of trust. They can then put faith in the idea that everyone in your company knows what they are talking about. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your expertise. For the dealership or body shop prospects, consider sending  a monthly or quarterly newsletter with information from your industry that could impact their industry. Another effective tactic is to offer a “lunch and learn” where you head out to a prospect’s shop, bring a few pizza’s and do a live demo during lunch. These are minimally invasive to a shop’s day and few people will turn down the opportunity for a free slice of pizza.

2. Know Your Competition And How To Outsell Them

One of the biggest objections salespeople will hear on a call is with a prospect who is happy with a competitor. What can you do in this case? Sometimes, it can be impossible to overcome this. Effective salespeople can still benefit in this situation where lesser folks would just take the “no” and move on. Learn what the prospect likes most about the competitor. What are they providing that makes the prospect loyal? This kind of inquiry can improve the way you sell your own services, and sometimes even expose areas where your prospect might be underserved.  Sometimes perseverance pays off. You never know when you might catch your prospect having an issue with your competitor and you reach them at just the right time. Sometimes it can help to offer a service, or multiple services, for free as a test run. This allows prospective clients to see what they can get that is perhaps different from what they currently have with someone else. In some instances, it might be worthwhile to try to hire the technician away from your competitor onto your team in order to get and keep that new business.

3. The More Services, the Better

Mobile repair pros have an opportunity to be better than competitors at selling services if they can offer a wider range. For example, if the primary service a mobile technician is hired for is paintless dent repair, but you have technicians who can also perform wheel repair or paint touch-ups, consider offering package deals. When you can offer a bundle of services, dealerships will be more inclined to hire your business. They do not want to search for different people who do different things with different companies; one vendor who can do it all is more appealing and cost-effective.

4. Listen, Don’t Assume

One of the best qualities a mobile repair salesman can have is great ears. It can be difficult approaching a dealership not knowing what their exact needs might be, but never assume what they do or do not need. Mobile repair professionals need to make themselves available to dealerships in any way they can. When a dealership calls asking for help, a technician should always be sent as soon as possible. While it may feel good to ignore a call from a dealership that initially turned business away, being there in a time of need will only set your business apart from competitors. If a technician can show up and fix a damaged wheel to help close a sale, your business will be represented as reliable and efficient.

5. Tell a Story

According to HubSpot, 60 percent of people find a generic sales pitch irritating. However, telling a story draws prospects in with memorable accounts of similar clients you’ve helped. Humans have a unique ability to empathize with stories they hear about other people. That is why storytelling is so powerful, especially when it comes to landing a sale. During a pitch, a mobile repairer pushing PDR can throw out a plethora of statistics about their success rate. But at the end of the day, 63 percent of people recall stories because of similarities the characters share with their needs and wants. Craft your pitch to include a mini case study about your prior work. Describe how the services you provided to a client ultimately led to their success – higher sale price, faster turn-around, disaster avoidance, etc.

6. Ask for a Referral

Whether you are new to being a mobile repair tech or have been working at it for years, it can be difficult to find more work once you have established yourself with one primary dealership. But don’t be afraid to take on more responsibility. Chances are, if a mobile repair technician has been asked back to the same dealership multiple times because of their skills, that same dealership won’t mind referring them to the shop down the block. Never be afraid to ask for help; knowing your worth and demonstrating confidence in your trade will only help you outperform other mobile repair technicians fighting for the same opportunities.

7. Help Clients, Don’t Sell

Truly connect with your client. While you ultimately engage with a client to help with repairs, you are also selling a connection. No one should be sitting through a cut-and-dry sales pitch they’ve heard a million times. Not only appearing helpful but actually being helpful is the best way to land a sale and maintain a working relationship with the desired customer. Whether it is the first phone call or email, or you are meeting in person, here are a few guidelines to assist you with helping, not selling:

  • Personalization – Always reference the specific problem plaguing the dealership in need and provide the correct solution.
  • Deliver – If you’re promising the best paintless dent repair in the city, you better deliver the best paintless repair in the city. Stay up-to-date on industry trends and research new ways of upgrading a service.
  • Be timely – Always be on time. First impressions are everything, but lasting impressions are made over time. Always answer repair calls as quickly as possible.
  • Be Human – Go ahead and wish someone a happy holiday or a nice weekend. Also, commend the customer on their current successes; the more you can connect on a deeper level, the better.
  • Customer Service – Start small and work on building great customer service. Call clients once a week to follow up, ask about work, and see how you can improve. Focusing on the quality of your accounts is better than scrambling to service multiple accounts.
  • Stay Casual – At the end of the day, a mobile repair provider is having a conversation with a client, so use natural verbal and body language. Being yourself will allow you to connect with your client as a person.

8. Streamline Your Operations for a Quicker Transaction

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention how a software such as AMT’s Repair 360 and ReconPro can help you streamline your operations and make the transaction quicker and easier for your customers. This can be used as a sales tool for your business and you can demonstrate how quickly you can go from estimate to approval, then from repair to invoice. If you can make the case that using your services will be easy and streamlined, it can be a major competitive advantage.

The sales journey for mobile repair professionals doesn’t have to be rough. The best way for these technicians to help the company sell any type of product is simple – be honest. Stay up-to-date on all updates to reconditioning software and industry news to be able to confidently talk about them with clients. Know what your competitors are doing and work with your audience to find out ways to be better. Form lasting connections with dealerships and auto shops that focus on the needs of the clients, not selling the capabilities of your business. Relationships built through natural connections are a surefire way for mobile repairers to become the salespeople they never knew they could be.

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Press Release: DMS Integration with Frazer Computing

AutoMobile Technologies Integrates With Frazer Dealer Management Software


ReconMonitor’s certified integration helps dealerships seamlessly manage reconditioning workflows.


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.May 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — AutoMobile Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in auto reconditioning software, today announced that it has partnered with Frazer Computing, Inc. to provide integrated vehicle reconditioning management capabilities to users of Frazer Dealer Management Software.

“Frazer is thrilled to be working with AutoMobile Technologies,” said Michael Frazer, president of Frazer Computing. “Making it simple for our 19,000 dealers to work with the partners that best suit their needs, and making the process easy is an important part of what we do!”

AMT’s ReconMonitor provides end-to-end visibility of the vehicle reconditioning process from acquisition through all phases of the recon process and helps identify, process, or vendor inefficiencies that increase cycle time. The software includes both mobile and back-office modules to ensure everyone in the reconditioning cycle is informed about where and when work is required. This keeps cars moving at optimal speed and results in fewer days to frontline status.

The certified integration of ReconMonitor with the Frazer DMS will allow dealerships better command and control of the recon process with full visibility as each vehicle progresses toward frontline readiness. Other notable dealer benefits of ReconMonitor include:

  • Mechanical and Cosmetic Inspections – Multiple inspections per vehicle, including OEM Certified Pre-Owned Inspections, Cosmetic Inspections, and Vehicle Condition Reports.
  • Parts and Labor Hours Management – The system provides access to OEM parts & numbers, mechanical labor hours, and parts ordering.
  • Vehicle ROI – Know the estimated and actual cost of repairs and keep all vehicles in your targeted ROI.
  • Vendor Management and Payment – The system manages all of your vendors and their workloads and shows you how much to pay each vendor per repair.
  • Real-time Reporting – You and your team know the status and stage of every vehicle in process, and can quickly identify bottlenecks.

“Frazer Computing understands the needs of its customers and has built its reputation by providing software to help their dealers better understand their own operations. We are proud to enhance that value with ReconMonitor’s efficient workflow management capabilities in vehicle recon,” said Paul Maximov, CEO of AutoMobile Technologies, Inc. He added, “Dealers lose an average of $35-50 per day that cars spend undergoing reconditioning. Our partnership with Frazer will allow dealers to reduce costly delays and make better vehicle recon decisions early in the cycle. That results in better inventory availability and ultimately, increased margins on vehicles sold.”

AutoMobile Technologies joins a diverse group of Frazer integration partners. To date,  Frazer works with more than 200 third-party vendors whose services are optimized and integrated with the Frazer DMS.

For more information, please visit https://amt.company/dealership-software-and-operations.

About AutoMobile Technologies

Since 2006, AMT has been building software applications to help companies in the automotive industry replace paperwork, enforce processes, and gain instant visibility to business operations, regardless of team size and geographic distribution. Our mission is to distribute easy to use, affordable solutions to help dealerships, PDR and SMART Repair technicians, detailers, and reconditioning companies improve customer service, make more money, and eliminate back-office inefficiencies.

About Frazer Computing, Inc.

Frazer provides full-featured dealer management software to over 19,000 independent used car dealers. The Frazer DMS includes unlimited contract printing and form customization, a full accounting suite, numerous sales, inventory and customer reports, unlimited technical support, and over 200 integrations with companies that help used car dealers grow their businesses. www.frazer.com

Media Contacts

Ted Gaines, AutoMobile Technologies, Inc.
Phone: 949.614.0799 ext.708
Email: info@automobiletechnologies.com

 

Press Release: CDK Global Integration

AutoMobile Technologies, Inc. Joins CDK Global Partner Program

AMT-CDK Logos

AutoMobile Technologies, Inc., an industry leader in automotive reconditioning software, today announced that it has become a participant in the CDK Global Partner Program. As a member of the largest third-party partner program in the industry, AutoMobile Technologies is now part of a marketplace of applications and integration choices developed to help automotive dealers succeed.

“CDK Global understands the value of efficient supply chain management in vehicle reconditioning,” said Paul Maximov, CEO, AutoMobile Technologies, Inc. “Dealers lose an average of $35-$50 per day that cars spend undergoing reconditioning. Our solutions work to reduce costly delays and make better vehicle recon decisions early in the cycle, resulting in better inventory availability and ultimately, increased margins on vehicles sold.”

The CDK Global Partner Program provides its partners with the ability to integrate with a range of CDK applications, as well as with CDK dealer websites. AMT’s ReconMonitor software provides end-to-end visibility from vehicle acquisition through the reconditioning process and helps identify vendor inefficiencies that increase the cycle time. The software includes both mobile and back-office modules to help ensure everyone in the reconditioning cycle is informed about where and when work is required. This software keeps cars moving with optimal speed and results.

“We’re very pleased to welcome AutoMobile Technologies, Inc. as the newest member of the CDK Global Partner Program,” said Howard Gardner, vice president and general manager, CDK Data Services. “In joining our vibrant program, AutoMobile Technologies, Inc. will bring new skills, solutions, and choices for our dealers to choose from, which will seamlessly integrate with our applications.”

The approved integration of AMT’s ReconMonitor solution with the CDK Drive DMS will allow customers to better command and control the reconditioning process with full visibility of each vehicle as it moves through to frontline readiness. Other notable features include mechanical and cosmetic inspections, parts and labor-hours management, vehicle ROI, vendor management and payment, and real-time reporting. Additional details about these features can be found at link.

About the CDK Global Partner Program

The CDK Partner Program now numbers more than 360 partner companies and 475 unique applications auto dealers can use to run their businesses. As part of the CDK ecosystem, the CDK Partner Program provides data and workflow integration to a wide range of third parties, OEMs, and dealers. For a full list of partners and applications available through the program, visit cdkglobal.com/partners.

About CDK Global

With more than $2 billion in revenues, CDK Global (Nasdaq: CDK) is a leading global provider of integrated information technology and digital marketing solutions to the automotive retail and adjacent industries. Focused on enabling end-to-end automotive commerce, CDK Global provides solutions to dealers in more than 100 countries around the world, serving approximately 28,000 retail locations and most automotive manufacturers. CDK solutions automate and integrate all parts of the dealership and buying process from targeted digital advertising and marketing campaigns to the sale, financing, insuring, parts supply, repair, and maintenance of vehicles. Visit cdkglobal.com.

About AutoMobile Technologies

Since 2006, AMT has been building software applications to help companies in the automotive industry replace paperwork, enforce processes, and gain instant visibility to business operations, regardless of team size and geographic distribution. Our mission is to distribute easy-to-use, affordable solutions to help dealerships, PDR and SMART Repair technicians, detailers, and reconditioning companies improve customer service, make more money, and eliminate back-office inefficiencies.

Media Contacts:

Roxanne Pipitone
CDK Global
roxanne.pipitone@cdk.com

Rob Duda
Peppercomm
cdk@peppercomm.com

Ted Gaines
AutoMobile Technologies, Inc
gaines@automobiletechnologies.com

Product Updates