Auto Service World
News   August 25, 2022   by Adam Malik

What flashy marketing really says about your shop

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Putting an ad for your shop on the radio or in the local newspaper may look nice but it may mean that you’re not actually running a very good business.

That’s because the best advertising a shop can get is by word of mouth from their customers, according to an industry veteran.

When Jay Buckley, head of product management and tech team lead at Dayco, would teach a class, he’d ask who in the room spends money advertising as a way to draw in new customers. For those who answered that they do, he’d have them move to the front of the class to listen to his message.

Buckley, an ASE certified technician and former shop owner, would explain that if the shop was doing its job right, their customers would be all the advertising they would need.

“Your customers are not advertising for you,” he would tell them. “Quite frankly, I was always backed up two weeks [in my shop] and most good shops are. And the reason is their customers advertised for them.”

In the same way people ask for leads on a good lawyer or doctor, friends ask friends to recommend a shop.

“Because people want to go somewhere that their friend or the local car guy or somebody who’s in the industry knows they’re a good shop,” Buckley explained.

And those who have been referred to your shop already have a level of trust with you before they walk through your doors. Their friend or family member recommended you, so you must be good.

“Customer [who come in from] recommendations are absolutely the best customers that you can get,” Buckley said in an interview with Auto Service World.

When a shop has to constantly advertise to generate car count, they’re not doing it right.

“Your customers aren’t telling everybody what a great guy you are, what a great mechanic you are and what a nice shop you have,” Buckley said.

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3 Comments » for What flashy marketing really says about your shop
  1. Rick says:

    I think you are wrong !
    Coca Cola , Mcdonalds and Wendys all adveritse to keep marketshare. They know the competition is working on their marketshare and it costs twice as much to get it back once lost. Advertising the right way brings in new people that hear a message intended for them. Its called message to market match. Yes you can bring a steady repeat and referral business in and do quite well but people die, move away and get new cars and the smart marketer is filling the funnel and prospecting . Do the wrong type of marketing and waste your money and there will be no new valuable clients arriving.

  2. Fred Del Pero says:

    I always find it funny that quote ““Your customers are not advertising for you,” he would tell them. “Quite frankly, I was always backed up two weeks [in my shop] and most good shops are.
    So if you were running your shop that well , why are you an instructor now?
    To me there is no credibility in this.
    PS The best instructors out there are like my dad running his own business in the same location since 1962.

  3. Craig says:

    I love when “former” shop owners selectively remember how awesome they were.

    Jay reminds me of a 50 year old “weekend athlete” sitting in a bar telling people about how he used to REGULARLY “run the 40 yard dash under 4.40/ bench press 500 pounds/ hit his driver 385 yards” and so on.

    And like the last commenter said, it’s strange Jay Buckley no longer owns his “always backed up two weeks” shop. I can’t fathom why any business man who is that successful would give all that up so he could work for someone else/ have a boss.

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