I’m going to devote a series of videos showing you what I do to market and promote my business. And I’ll go into detail on how you can do the same.
In this first video I’d like to identify some of the customers available to towers.
Let’s start with the Cash Customer.
Hopefully you all know what a cash customer is. But for those unfamiliar it’s someone who calls you and pays you directly. I refer to them as cash customers not because I only accept cash for these types of calls but because they pay market rates, my rates. (Not discounted rates). There is no middleman like a motor club, in the way taking their part.
Cash customers might be stranded on the highway, locked out of their car at home, in need of a tow to a shop, or involved in an accident.
You get cash customers in a number of ways. If you’re listed in the yellow pages the older set will find you there. But online search engines and social media outlets such as Facebook is where the majority will find you. You also can get cash calls from referrals, postcards, and many other forms of advertising.
Then there’s Auto Repair shops
Here I’m talking about shops as small as 2 bays all the way up to the multi-location dealerships. If treated properly repair shops can be a huge source of business. Constant contact and listening without the hard sell will lead to referrals and more business down the road. But be warned, if your goal is to maintain a good relationship with these guys, and it should be, be careful there are many traps you can fall into. I’ll go into detail on that in another video but for now just know that no matter what you do never say anything negative about their business. It will get back to them.
Face to face non-intrusive discussions work best with repair shops, but remember your intention should be to serve not sell. Keeping a database with the owner or service writers’ names, and addresses, will allow you to follow up your visits with reminder postcards.
Many of you may already have a love-hate relationship with this next type of customer, Motor Clubs.
A motor club is basically an insurance company. They sell roadside assistance services to their customers and then hire towers to do the work. When a motorist is stranded and needs assistance she’ll call the club’s 800 number and they’ll be responsible for finding someone to help. They do this by calling contracted towing companies in the area. A contracted towing company is one that’s agreed to accept a motor club’s discounted rates. If there are no contractors available they’ll perform a search outside the network and pay market rates to whoever is willing to take the call.
There are varying methods of showing up on a club’s radar if you’re not contracted with them. Motor club dispatchers consult search engines like Google and others, or they may find you on a list of non-contracted providers. That is if you’ve signed up. Of course there’s no guarantee that they’ll call you if you’re not contracted. They might even place your name on a DNC list (Do Not Call) if you don’t provide them with rates.
I still don’t have the clubs 100% figured out, they’re like Google. They change their policies every so often to keep us on our toes. If you’re going to work for them just know that most of them are not in the relationship building business. They expect too much for the money and will drop you if another tower is willing to do what you do for less. So do not go out of your way to please them, only run calls that are profitable, that is if you want to stay in business.
Well that’s it for today, next time I’m going to talk about the difference between what you want to sell and what the customer wants to buy and how to close the gap.