23 May 6 Things Auto Appearance Professionals Need to Know about Group Buying Sites
Group buying sites like Groupon, Living Social, Eversave, and others have exploded in popularity over the past few years. Basically, these sites let businesses offer discounted products and services to large audiences as a “deal-of-the-day.”
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about these deals lately and talked to automotive professionals who have had great success, and those that had nothing but regret when offering detailing and other services on a group buying site. These sites present great potential for business growth, but there are plenty of pitfalls as well. By keeping the following tips in mind you can avoid group buying blunders and use them to grow your business.
1. Expect More Customers, Not More Profits
The greatest value businesses most businesses find in group buying sites is the large amount of attention gained because you’re offering discounted services to a large number of subscribers. Keep in mind that the greatest value is exposure and growth, not a consistent source of business. Don’t be one of the poor guys who use these sites just to find work, only to be cursed with hacked profits for months on end.
2. Know Your Limits
Some auto professionals get into trouble because they sell hundreds of coupons and can’t handle the volume, or the cut in profits. You can avoid this by setting a limit for how many coupons can be sold. Before you even think of offering a deal, plan how many customers you can take and decide a coupon limit based on the lowest profit you’re willing to make per job. Also, figure out how long it will take you to complete any number of discounts you’re planning on offering. If you’re mobile, don’t forget to factor in things like drive time, gas, time setting up, completing the job, and collecting payment.
3. Set Your Offer
Use the info in tip 2 to determine exactly what your offer will be, and make it very clear wherever you decide to advertise it. Sometimes customers can get confused with what auto appearance pros are offering, so create a clear bulleted list of procedures so there are no complications. Whatever you offer, be sure to charge the right amount – especially for more involved services. Your services will be discounted, but you shouldn’t have to work for slave wages just to get a few new customers. We suggest you offer a base package to set yourself up for the next step.
4. Have an Upsell and a Cross Sell
Upsells and cross sells are one of the ways you can recoup profits lost on group deal sites. Restaurants do it all the time by offering a free sandwich and then making up the profits when customers buy drinks and snacks. Do the same with your auto appearance services. When your deal customers come by (or you go to them), be prepared to explain the other services you offer and why they should pay extra for an upgraded version of your discounted service, like a paint sealsnt add-on. Or, cross sell with a different automotive service. If you don’t have a cross sell, consider adding one. Wheel repair, PDR, and headlight restoration are profitable auto services that you can quickly learn online or hands on with auto appearance training from Rightlook.com
5. Plan for Repeat Business
The other way to make group deal sites worth their while is to retain the new customers that showed up for the discount. If you can get them coming back and paying full price next time, you’ll quickly make up for lost profits and then some. Prepare to sell your new customers on regular maintenance plans that involve your services at yearly or monthly intervals.
6 Do a Great Job
This should go without saying, but how are you going to get repeat business if you don’t blow customers away with your work? You may be offering service at a discounted price, but that doesn’t mean you should give anything less than 100%. This the best time to build your reputation and develop a loyal customer base so be sure you can deliver the best possible results with expert training. Rightlook offers professional hands on and online training that will let you take full advantage of online buying sites.
We hope this has been helpful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice before you start offering discounted services, or for any auto appearance business advice.