Volume 12, Issue 6 - November/December 2010
No matter whether the market is up or down, business owners are always
looking for new ways to attract business, get customers to notice you
and to keep past customers as repeaters. Following are new ideas designed
for auto glass businesses to market themselves simply and economically,
that I’ve seen work.
1. Attend both traditional and non-traditional events. It’s often helpful
to attend both auto and insurance events where you might be able to reach
out. But also consider attending less traditional events such as bridal
shows, safety events, antique car shows and environmental events (especially
for windshield repair businesses) to tell people about your services.
Customize your offerings for the event in question. For example, at an
environmental show, promote your efforts to be green. At bridal shows,
perhaps you could offer car safety packets and hold a drawing and award
one lucky bride-to-be a coupon for future service.
2. Wrap your vehicle. Show what you do and how you can help by having
your company vehicles wrapped in a way that shows potential customers
clearly what you do. If cost is an issue, you might be able to barter
with a wrap provider, such as a window film company, to provide work or
even referrals in return for the service.
3. Network everywhere. Look into joining your local Chamber of Commerce
to meet other business owners and potential customers. Offering demonstrations
is a major part of this—especially for windshield repair technicians,
who can easily and economically demonstrate the service they provide to
potential customers who might not have even known that it exists.
4. E-mails are as good as gold.
5. Market to keep customers from cradle-to-grave. Aim to get that customer
for life. Record the date of a customer’s wedding and send him/her a card
on that date saying “Happy Anniversary.” You also can track children’s
ages, so when a customer’s child is nearing driving age, you can send
a new driver alert.
6. Become a certified child safety seat inspector. Many auto glass shop
owners have found success with becoming certified child safety seat inspectors
and using this ability either at local safety fairs, or even having customers
bring the vehicles into their shops. This helps potential customers not
only come to recognize your brand, but also helps show your company is
an authority on matters related to safety.
7. Become registered with the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards
(AGRSS) Council. By becoming AGRSS-registered, you not only can utilize
the registered logo in your marketing, but also can become listed on www.safewindshields.org,
where many consumers locate auto glass businesses, and can utilize your
status as an AGRSS-registered shop to show customers exactly how committed
you are to safety and your customers’ well-being.
8. Be a big fish in a small pond. This piece of advice comes from Cindy
Rowe Auto Glass in Harrisburg, Pa. Early on, company founder Cindy Rowe-Taylor
made a decision to dominate the small, local, market of Harrisburg, Pa.,
and that she did for more than 20 years until she and her husband, David
Taylor, sold their company in 2008.
9. Utilize social media. It’s all over the media these days—Twitter,
Facebook, YouTube, and the other social media sites out there. But you
might be asking yourself, “Why bother?” Well, the main reason to “bother”
with these sites is that’s where all your customers (and potential customers)
10. Publicize your company. Always remember that a lot of what you do
is promote-able. Send out press releases about what you’re doing, or come
up with an innovative press release that will get media attention.
If you attend Chamber of Commerce meetings, participate in local activities, or attend industry conferences, promote that, too. Newspapers often are looking for local companies to highlight and this is a simple way to get some extra exposure.
Debra Levy is the publisher of AGRR magazine and the president
of AGRR’s parent company, Key Communications Inc.