Bed Bugs, Cold Food and Bent Sheetmetal … Going after the Thin Market (your customer).

Collision repair is what we call in the ad biz … a thin market. That is, on any given day there are only a finite number of people that will have a need for our service. Unfortunately, we do not know who those people are, or will be.

We do know that on average, people have an accident about every 7-10 years … so that narrows it down a bit. But it also means that we have a shorter sales cycle than say … a mattress company. The sales cycle there can be an astonishing 15 years! (OK stop thinking about what takes up residence in that mattress during those fifteen years) …

Here’s the lesson we can learn from our friends in the mattress business, or refrigerator business (another 15 year sales cycle) … how often do you see a mattress or refrigerator ad or commercial? I guarantee that somewhere, sometime, you saw one today … either in your newspaper, or on television or on a billboard. The fact is those purveyors understand “The Thin Market”.

They know, that in order to reach that finite number of people that will need a fridge or mattress TODAY … they have to advertise EVERY DAY or there about … now when was the last time you saw a print ad or commercial for a collision repair shop?

Think about it … average sales price of a mattress? … about $2500.00 – Average refrigerator? … about the same? The average collision repair is also about $2500 and we have a shorter sales cycle. The major difference is that in any given geography there are probably more body shops than mattress or white goods dealers.

But no matter, as my friend in the earlier post said (coulda told you Jeff was a newspaper guy when he said top of mind awareness!) T.O.M.A. as it’s called, is actually a trade marked acronym owned by a guy named Steve Wasserman, but it is true … if you want somebody’s business whether you are selling mattresses, refrigerators or collision repair … you need to be Top Of Mind when they get in an accident!

Yes, it IS rocket science … now think about ways to own mind share … think of the video professor (you’ve all seen him on TV) … “Try my product” he says at the end of every commercial. Be funny, be provocative, but for Pete’s sake, be something … and but be it often enough to make it memorable! Today, someone will buy a fridge, decide to finally get rid of the dust mite farm they’ve been sleeping on, or have an accident. Be in front of them as often as the mattress and refrigerator advertiser so that if they decide that TODAY is the day to have that sheet metal adjustment, it’s YOU that they think about.

That’s just my opinion … I could be wrong. :-)

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