Much of the advertising we see is wasteful. It doesn’t return a profit on the money spent for it. Why? Because it repels people.
For example, how often do you mute the TV when commercials come on? How often do you throw junk mail in the trash without reading it? If you’re like most people, you’ve developed the habit of ignoring advertising. Your customers (and potential customers) also ignore advertising — including yours.
Your advertising messages have to cut through all that negative inertia. Maybe you already know that, but still can’t figure out why your advertising does so poorly. Here’s why: Effective advertising does not repel people, it attracts them. It’s like dating. If you want to impress the other person, you will talk about them, not about yourself.
That’s enough theory; let’s get specific. Rather than advertising how great your shop is, how nice its equipment is and how wonderful your people are, advertise like this instead:
- Name specific problems that certain car models have. Don’t give the solution, just talk about the problem and its symptoms. Then offer to fix it for them.
- Name specific situations car owners find themselves in, like these:
- “Going on vacation” specials: Check the car over for safety and reliability issues, for a fee.
- “Back to school” inspections: Make sure the college student’s car will be in good shape so the parents don’t have to worry.
- “Should I keep it or trade it in?” inspections: Don’t wait for customers to ask for your advice. Market the service as a package deal for a fee.
- “Stay comfortable this summer” service: This is a more appealing name for an HVAC check and diagnosis. Include the freon and oil charges, if needed, all for one package price. A bunch of individual prices will turn customers off.
In summary, learning how to advertise effectively is like learning how to fix cars. The more you learn, the easier it gets, the fewer mistakes you make, and the more money you earn.