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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Winning Local Search – Control Your Google My Business

Last week, we taught you how to dominate the Google My Business local pack or “three pack”. But that advice only works for people who have control of their Google My Business (GMB) listing. If you don’t have access to the listing, don’t worry. We are going to walk you through it with easy to follow visuals.

Your first step is to see if your listing has already been claimed.

Here is how you do that: Search Google for “Paintless dent repair near ____” and add your city. You will get a list of three businesses in your area.  If you do not see your business there, then click “more places” at the bottom of the three.

After you click the “more places” link, you will get an expanded list of businesses in your area, and yours should be listed, even if you have not yet claimed your listing.

If you begin clicking on any of these listings you will start to see expanded results for each listing, that will look something like this:

If you look closely just under the phone number, you will see an option or two to interact with Google on this listing. If you only see the words “Suggest an edit” then the listing has already been claimed by somebody who once worked for the business and had the ability to verify the listing.

Last week, we discussed how to dominate the Local stack or “three-stack” on a Google local result.  The article assumed that you had already taken the steps necessary to claim your own Google My Business Listing.

If you see the words “Suggest and edit – Own this business?” then that means your listing has not yet been claimed.

Whether or not your listing is claimed, this article will help you claim or reclaim your listing.

Let’s start with claiming the listing.

Click on “own this business?”  and you will be taken to a screen that shows you the business and the address and asks you to confirm that you have the authority to claim the business.

Click Continue and you will be taken to this screen:

At this point, you have a couple of options. You can click the “Call” button and Google will automatically call the phone listed to confirm.

Note: this ONLY works if that number goes straight through to you and you are standing by the phone. If you have a call assist service where the caller has to make selections from a menu to reach you, this option will not work.

The second option is to receive a text but this only works if you have a cell phone listed and not a landline.

The next best option is to request an email or a postcard mailer. The postcard will take up to five business days and will have a code on it. Once you press the button to receive a postcard, you cannot proceed until you have that code. The same thing goes for the email.

Once you have verified your listing, you are free to make edits to it. You can add logos, change the cover photo, add photos, hours, website addresses and more.

 

What to do if you are a business owner with a claimed listing but you do not have access to it?

This second set of instructions happens all the time, especially if you have been in business a while or had several employees over the years. As Google became more sophisticated with its local maps and local search capabilities, its products have evolved over time. There used to be options like Google Places, Google Places for Business, and others. Now everything is under the banner of Google My Business. It is possible that you or a former employee claimed this listing under a different Google product and you don’t know your logins. What makes matters even more frustrating is that Google has no number that you can call to fix it. Instead, you have to jump through a few hoops to reclaim your listing. But don’t worry, we are going to walk you through it.

Step One- go to https://business.google.com/create

You will see a screen like this one:

Since you have an existing listing, as you start typing your name it will begin to pull up listings. Click on the listing you want to change and click next.

Next, you will be asked to verify the address.

For a  mobile PDR shop, you’ll want to make sure you check “I deliver goods and services to my customers”.

Next, you will be asked to verify the business type.

Verify the info and click next. You will be asked to verify the contact information.

Finally, you will be taken to this screen:

This screen will tell you the name of the person who claimed the page and will give you enough of an idea to see if you recognize the email address of the person. If you do, all you need to do now is contact that person and ask them to add you as an admin.

If you do not recognize this person, or if it was a former employee that you no longer have contact info for, you can click to request access.

What happens next is Google sends an email to that person and informs them that you are requesting access to this account. If that person grants you access, you will be notified.

If they ignore it after 5 days, Google will email you again and allow you to have a verification postcard sent to the business address listed. It is very important that somebody at that address that you can contact will be on the lookout for that card. If this is your current address then all you need to do is wait. If you have moved your location, you need to contact your old location and let them now to be on the lookout for the postcard from Google.

Once you receive your code, log back in, enter your code and you will have full access to your Google My Business listing.


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Twenty Tips to Help Rank Your PDR Business in Local Search

In the paintless dent repair world there are two kinds of businesses, fully mobile shops who move around from town to town chasing hail storms, and then there are local shops who service a local base of customers. If you are in this second group, this post, the first in a two-part series, is for you.

It seems almost silly these days to explain to business owners why they need a website for their business. We see so many companies who do all their digital marketing through one social media channel such as Facebook or Instagram. We have even seen really big body shops that only have a profile on a social media page but no website of their own.

The problem with a social-only digital marketing strategy is that you are at the mercy of the ever-changing rules and whims of that platform. Take for example Facebook’s big change announced in January of this year. Facebook’s goal is to keep its users on the platform and has to continually strike a balance between what keeps people on the website and what pays Facebook’s bills. Facebook’s big announcement in January is a reaction to people who have long said they felt the site had shifted too far away from friends and family-related content, especially after a rise of outside posts from brands, publishers, and media companies.

“This big wave of public content has really made us reflect: What are we really here to do?” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “If what we’re here to do is help people build relationships, then we need to adjust.”

With even a basic website, you are the captain of the ship, and you are in control. You are not under the control (or at the mercy) of the owners of the social media platform with which you market.

Having briefly demonstrated why you need a website for your business, let’s turn now to the instructive portion of this post: how to dominate local search for your Recon business.

No matter what your business is, if you serve customers within a set territory, you are a local business and your website needs to perform that way. You have probably heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and you have likely been inundated with offshore SEO companies who claim they can get you ranked #1 for just $50 per month.

With local search, most small businesses are only concerned with one thing, and that is getting to the three slots in the so-called “three stack” or “Three Pack” of search engine results.

The good news for local marketers is that Google has gotten really good at managing local search for businesses. Even just a year ago, it may have been difficult to find yourself on the first page of Google for your service. But with the development and enhancements to Google My business and its prominence in the search results, small businesses can rank well without having to spend their way to the top.

 

Main Takeaway

The one thing you must understand is that a Local search result is the result of the following formula:

Prominence + Proximity + Relevance= Search Result.

Prominence– is how well you show up on the internet. This includes things like your website, but it also takes into account backlinks, reviews, mentions on other websites, and directory submissions, (although directory submissions are becoming less of a factor).

Proximity- This is how close you are to the person doing the search and unfortunately is not something you can work on or fix aside from opening up office locations all around town.

Relevance- This is how relevant your service is to what the search has asked for. As an example, you will have a harder time ranking for Auto Body Repair near me, than you would for dent repair near me, even though we both know they could often be one in the same. Your reviews also help with relevance as long as the people leaving reviews are using your keywords in their reviews. We’ll cover that more below in the tips.

You could almost write a short book on how to rank high for local search, or even to place in the local pack, but to keep things manageable in this post, we are going to bullet list some key points.

Key Points

  1. Your rankings are relative to those of your competitors. You might be able to do something in one market and rank number one, that wouldn’t get you anywhere in another market.
  2. The ranking factor of proximity to the searcher has increased to be the number one factor.
  3. If you have a strong website and you’re doing a good job with normal SEO, the odds are higher that you’ll show up in the local pack.
  4. You have to be in the proximity radius to have a chance to rank, but you have to have the other factors (prominence and relevance) to really be able to beat the competition.
  5. You can use AdWords and Local Pack ads to broaden your scope and attract business through local search from other cities.
  6. If you’re a service area business located in a suburb, and you want to get rankings in the big city, you should create a page on your site and optimize it for that particular city.
  7. If you’re on the edge of a city and you get more links within the city that you’re not in, you have a better chance at moving into the local pack in that city.
  8. You probably aren’t going to rank too far outside of your radius if you’re a service area business. This is something that Google needs to change, especially for businesses who travel to their customers.
  9. Stop worrying about proximity. There’s nothing you can do about it unless you want to set up an office on every block.
  10.  A lot of the relevance factor is first determined by what category and sub-category you put yourself in in Google My Business, and what the person searched for.
  11. To boost relevance, take the page you link to on Google My Business and optimize that with keywords, and also related topics.
  12. Reviews are very important to relevance and prominence. If your reviews feature keywords relevant to you and they’re from people within your city, they will help a lot.
  13. Use ‘semantic relevance’ in your pages to increase relevance. This is the practice of including keywords parallel to phrases that are important for you (e.g. ‘Manhattan’ and ‘New York City’).
  14. Links can add a lot of location relevance. By joining the local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, sponsoring local events and local non-profits, and getting mentioned in the local media, you can boost your relevance for that particular location.
  15. Aside from the SEO benefits, local link building can drive a lot of traffic directly to your site.
  16. If you have 1-5 locations, point your GMB listing to your homepage. If you have more than five locations, it’s time to start setting up location pages.
  17. Google wants to show the best businesses rather than just any old businesses, and prominence is one way that they try to measure that.
  18. If your citations are screwed up or you don’t have any, fixing them or adding them can help you be more eligible to rank in the pack.
  19. Pay attention to new, native Google My Business features, like Q&As, Posts, and ‘store-within-a-store’, as these will become more important in rankings over the next few years.
  20. Google is now getting data sources that we can’t really have any influence over, such as table reservations from OpenTable, and customer numbers from credit card companies. You can’t manipulate these things, so you just have to focus on being an awesome business, and making that awesomeness visible to your potential customers.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, it is; but it is manageable. Having a solid website is the heart of this, but the Google My Business page is equally important. Stay tuned to part two of this post where we walk you through step by step how to claim, manage or modify your Google My Business listing.

 


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