Reaching Out to New Markets: "The Car Coach®" Offers Tips
September 20, 2011

Several sessions at last week's Auto Glass Week™ in Memphis, Tenn., focused on reaching new customers in today's market-something from which all businesses can benefit. But a special session by Lauren Fix, "The Car Coach," addressed several specific facets of marketing-including reaching out to potential women customers and teenagers.

Fix began the session by pointing out that nine out of ten women feel that they're often "ripped off" by automotive repair shops, including auto glass shops, though according to Fix women actually own more than 60 percent of cars in the world. She offered specific tips on how to reach this market, pointing out that women make 85 percent of the buying and maintenance decisions and have veto power 95 percent of the time.

The first rule of thumb, Fix advised, is to remember that while many men communicate to reach a goal, women usually communicate to create relationships-and this plays a role in the business arena.

"It's your company's responsibility to educate potential customers and never talk down to [anybody]," suggested Fix.

She also pointed out that one of the main selling points of a quality auto glass shop-safety-plays a major role in women's purchasing decisions.

"Safety and security sells," she advised.

Fix, who said she became familiar with the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS®) through her involvement with the event, pointed out that educating women about the Standard and why safe windshield installations are crucial is key.

"They need your product and your service," said Fix.

Fix shared a comical video about female car purchases before explaining that automotive repair shops could take a lesson from auto manufacturers and dealers.

"The car manufacturers have figured out how to sell to women, you need to also," she said. "You have to appeal to them, because if you don't, they'll go somewhere else. All they know is what they see."

Fix referred to today's teens as another "untapped market" and suggested auto glass businesses look to them as future customers as well.

"[Teenagers] have no information when it comes to what you do," suggested Fix.

She added, "[Drivers' education courses] don't teach students about safety, they teach them to wear seatbelts," said Fix, who suggested auto glass shops volunteer in local high schools and provide information to drivers' education programs.

Fix also reminded attendees to pay attention to the changing market (which also was a popular topic in Kelly McDonald's session earlier in the week).

"Are you in the right century?" asked Fix. "You've got to get this generation where they live."

She recommended businesses turn to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and "Everything can be tied together," said Fix.

Fix replied quickly to a question from an attendee about her thoughts on the Yellow Pages. "So done," she said. "I get the phone book and I throw it out."

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