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March 31, 2007, 11:21 AM
Thank you for your response Sandy.

First, have you actually surveyed your potential market to find out exactly what they want/need (or think they do)?

We have asked this question... but maybe at the wrong time. We ask them when we've set up an appointment. I put together a "SHOP SURVEY" we go thru....
Shop Survey

Shop Name:
Owner/Mgr: Buyer:
Booth Type:
Business Type: Collision Fleet Customs/Restoration Other

#Of Employees: _____#Techs: _____ #Painters: _____

Business Concerns:

Current Product Usage: Clear:

Current Suppliers (rate 1 to 10): Product Quality____ Price____ Service_____

Product Concerns:

Have You Ever Used Rubber-Seal Products: (yes/no)

What would it take for you to consider doing business with us?

What products would you consider purchasing from us, assuming we could offer you a quality product at a reasonable price?

Would you like to receive Special Offers, Industry News & Tips via email? (yes/no)

Email Address:


This has not proved very effective at this point. The main concern we get 9 out of 10 times is MORE BUSINESS. And they usually don't have much to say about any problems with current product. Don't get me wrong... we have filled a need with a small percentage of shops... but I'm looking for ways to up that percentage.

Since it's highly competitive there, you need a USP that stands out from the rest of the me-too's. This is critical. What aspect of your products, services, or any additional service you might offer, could you expand upon? It's obviously NOT price...so what else is there? How about personal service as in one individual rep to work with who gets to really know their business and would be available for consultation and problem-solving?

Yes! We are lacking a strong USP. Currently we've been using...

Quality Products. Reasonable Pricing. Guaranteed!

Blah... Blah... Blah! We need to develop our strongest advantage... our personal customer service. That is where we feel we can really shine.

If you can offer a complete start-to-finish line of INTEGRATED products that work ideally together (as opposed to mish-mash products that may or may not work well together) so much the better.

Here is where we run into a snag. So many of the products across lines are very similar. We do have some unique products... but the majority are similar to what the competition is selling. But if we can get our foot in the door and provide outstanding service we should be able to develop loyalty.

Buy 2, get 1 free is good for established clients. You should consider offering 3 lead-in products at a special intro price to introduce them to your line. Ones that logically could start a string of add-on products so you get them using YOUR line exclusively eventually.

Yes. The most costly products in the refinishing biz is Clear Coats and Primers. We have been trying to lead in with these products but are running into the price challenge. We don't beat their current prices by much. And fear of change is standing in our way. BUT... if we can get ours in their hands... we can use that "loyalty" to our advantage. So maybe a GREAT Intro Offer on our clear and primer would be a good lead in. We do give samples, but using a quart on a small job does not really give them the time to really get the feel of the product. But a couple of gallons will give them the time to "dial into" the product and give us a chance of repeat purchases.

So maybe a "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" lead in offer on our clear and primer would be something to try. We would definitely provide significant savings on that offer.

Another approach... would be to come up with ways to assist them in their biggest concern... "more business". But if I'm having trouble with our marketing how can I provide marketing assistance to them? Any ideas?

Sandy thank you so much for your response. I truly want to make this work and be an asset to our customers. Your ideas will certainly help get me thinking "outside the box".

Thank you.


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