Is it Time it Rethink your Retail Strategy?

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Independent Tire Dealers face new challenges every day!  Fact is that selling and installing only tires is increasingly becoming a recipe for failure.  Faced with shrinking margins and fierce competition from large chains, clubs and internet wholesales, the Independent Tire Dealers must focus on strategies that provide "one stop" vehicle maintenance services as well as tires just to keep their current customers.  "We do it all, if we let our customers go anywhere else for automotive related services, we may lose them for ever." says John Marino from Marino's Auto Service in Sun City AZ.  "We recently just started stocking tires, because we don't even want our customers to buy tires from anyone else.  Our tag line is "Customers for Life", and we mean it!" National Chains will do whatever they can to put tires on your vehicle, even to the point of losing money.  A Regional Director for a large National Tire & Service Chain recently explained it like this, "It costs us $350 to get … [Read more...]

Quick Tips – Competing with Car Dealers In today's Quick Tips I discuss strategies to compete with your local Car Dealer, such as offering Policy Alignments, Road Hazard, Life Time Balancing and some type of Preferred Customer Card program.  I didn't mention this in the video, but another great way to promote customer retention is to offer your customers the option of joining an Oil Change Club. … [Read more...]

Compensation for Tech/Assistant Manager


Frequently, I run into situations where Tire Dealers require a lead technician to run their store to cover days off.  This arrangement usually doesn't create a problem, that is unless your technician is on a flat rate pay plan and flags over 100 hours a week.  Then in most cases, your technician is losing money while minding your store. Ideally, you want your technicians working on vehicles full time and your sales management - managing and selling full time.  I liken the Tech/Asst Manager position to one of a utility player in baseball.  It's tough to be the really good at two positions; however, it can happen! If you must employ a utility player, I suggest using a modified compensation program.  One that pays flat rate for all days that your technician is turning wrenches in addition to a hybrid comp-plan, that includes a small salary plus a percentage of store's total monthly Net Service Gross Profit. It may look something like this: Flat Rate Hourly Rate: $15.00 Monthly … [Read more...]

Alignment Strategy – What’s a Good Job?

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A good way to gauge whether or not you are maximize your Alignment Opportunities is to base you Alignments sold verses PAT. PAT = Potential Alignment Ticket Potential Alignment Tickets are work orders (invoices) that you have sold two or more retail tires on. I would focus on a goal of 70% Alignments Sold to Work Orders that you have sold two or more tires. Track it Daily for best results! If you need a tracking sheet, check these out. Good Selling, Pat … [Read more...]