Top 6 Auto Repair Shop Management Systems

Every day repair shops, body shops, collision centers and oil change stations have to deal with a huge number of customers, auto parts, and employees.

In the current environment of high competition every organization has to keep careful records for each of the above factors to ensure stable work of the company and proper customer care.

Running an effective auto shop is the way to make maximum profit each day and to build relationships with customers. Thats why many of todays auto shop owners have automated their business processes which helps not only to save labor time, hold control of the business effectiveness of the shop but also business automation is a real opportunity to improve customer service and to increase at the same time customer return rate.

After having looked into the work processes of auto shop business the top software products available on the market were determined, here are the 7 best, in no specific order.

All Data
ALLDATA Manage On-line was developed to provide shop owners with tools to run their business effectively. Make your shop more profitable and manage your customers experience with these key features:
-Track customer histories,
-Look up the complete 17-digit VIN from a license plate using Quick-VIN
– On-line Parts Ordering
– Easily track and assign jobs to technicians and bays
– Print or email with parts and labor organized estimates.

AutoRepair Cloud
AutoRepair Cloud is a cloud based all-in-one platform for running your auto shop business. It gives small and midsize businesses complete control over their auto shop business processes within an easy-to-use software solution. It helps to manage your customers, inventory, and keep track of your annual/monthly budget.
Run your business like a fine tuned machine. Manage repair orders, workflow tracking, inspections and invoicing with ease. Tech can see all important data arranged in one place, and achieve order without any effort.
Key features:
-Easy vehicle/customer management
-Appointment scheduling
-Inspection reports, estimates and invoices
-VIN code scanner/decoder
-Mobile application to shares workflow with the customer

The MaxxTraxx Editions are designed to fit your needs be that a 12 Bay three million dollar a year shop, or a fresh new owner / operator just getting your start. Read on to see what Edition fits your needs today; and know there is an Edition for your tomorrow no matter how big you want to become.
Key features:
-Repair order history, vehicle/ customer tracking
-Appointment schedule
-Electronic auto parts ordering, inventory management
-Integrated marketing tools (letters, post cards, reminders)

Mitchell 1 began in 1918 with the simple idea that people needed information to fix cars. For over 90 years, Mitchell 1 has been a leader in providing information solutions that simplify everyday tasks for automotive professionals helping make their jobs easier. Over the years, Mitchell 1s products have evolved to keep pace with industry and technological advances.
Key features:
– Billing & Invoicing
– Customer Database, vehicle tracking, service history, work order management
– Inventory Control, Parts Management
– Labor Rates, Quotes / Estimates
– Maintenance Scheduling
– VIN Decoder

AutoFluent is powerful automotive business management software that gives you the user-friendly tools you need to run more cost-effectively.
Whether your focus is in auto servicing, tire sales, parts sales, or any combination of these, AutoFluent is designed to help you improve how you track and manage your customers, employees, sales, inventory and suppliers.
Key features:
-Review and search customer and vehicle information by phone , address, vehicle, invoice number of
-Customized invoices
-Email marketing automation
-Comprehensive sales reporting for profit, commission, productivity, and more
-Bar/VIN code scanning, use CARFAX data to load vehicle data with a license plate or VIN, view vehicle service history
-Labor guides from AllData, Mitchell1, Real Time Labor Guide and Motor

Since 2001, FastTrak has been designing software that increases profits and cuts costs, helping auto repair shops, tire stores and fleet service companies become more productive and profitable.
FastTrak is scalable from one to hundreds of users, single to multiple locations, and is modular. You only pay for what you need. Its also one of the few in the industry with a wireless handheld device that allows you to take orders from the car and update your FastTrak database in real time.
– Accurate inventory control
– Labor and time guide
– Email estimates, invoices and bulk emails to your customer base for more sales and customer retention
– Allows repair orders to be assigned and prioritized using a simple drag and drop interface

Top 10 Selling Mistakes

Achievement of selling excellence is most often earned rather than learned. Outstanding professionals continuously seek to hone their skills from mistakes made and lessons learned in pursuit of success. Professional sales people in search of extraordinary selling competence are no exception.

There has been an ongoing philosophical argument among sales professionals whether extraordinary sales people are born or made. Most think born, because few people can maintain consistent sales generation performance within the same span of time needed to achieve financial and motivational stability.

Since most sales peoples compensation is based on actual sales orders obtained, not good intentions or positive attitudes, the selling professions relatively high rate of job turnover is most often validated fraught with intense frustration and an insurmountable learning curve that crosses many industries, products and services.

Selling skill is best achieved via real world practice not sales training theory, supported by guidance from others who have taken the same career path previously and are generous enough to share their learning experiences. This article attempts to guide you past the potholes on the road to selling success. Like most professions, the most common mistakes made can be boiled down to a short list of avoidable choices many of us naturally make in our pursuit to make a living.

10 Selling Mistakes You DONT Have to Make!

1) Exhibiting Little Self Confidence: There is no direct place to send you to get more self confidence. The more you have in selling the better. Most importantly, the more you exhibit to your existing or potential customer the better your product or service is perceived by them, the greater your probability of continued selling success.

2) Stretching the Truth: No one likes getting lied to, especially someone who is about to spend their hard earned money based on factual liberties told to them from the sales representative. Maintain your reputation first and foremost; it supersedes you in every sales call. Honesty should be the first adjective you want most of your customers to describe you with.

3) NOT Saying I Dont Know, When you Dont Know: This is a classic selling mistake! Discipline yourself to admit to your customer that you dont know about something anything! It is most credible to say, I dont know, but I will find out for you, than to try to sound like you know what youre talking about. As you continue to practice this principle, your knowledge base and your clients perception of your expertise will continue to increase.

4) NOT Looking the Part Selling involves approaching strangers, people who have never met you before. People naturally base purchase decisions on first impressions. Look the part you are playing, or better yet, exceed the common image expectation in your industry. Always dress and groom one level above your targeted audience. It portrays success and gives you an opening edge over your competition. The least you can do is look like you know what you are doing!

Starting and Running a Successful Mary Kay Business

Selling Mary Kay products can be the perfect career choice, especially for people who prefer flexible hours and enjoy connecting with customers. But to move your business from a sideline hobby to a profitable career requires attention to some key factors. This article provides fundamental guidelines that can make the difference between success and failure, from why Mary Kay products are a good choice to effective customer service techniques.

Your business success starts with the company and products you represent.

When you choose selling Mary Kay products as a career, you are choosing a reputable, high-quality product line from a stable, ethical, and successful company. Mary Kay has been providing high quality skin care and cosmetic products since 1963, and is a well-respected global leader in direct sales. Mary Kay as a company and Mary Kay executives have been directly involved with the Direct Selling Association (DSA), an established trade association that requires its member companies to follow best business practices and adhere to a strict code of ethics. And Mary Kay products stand on solid scientific research in collaboration with dermatologists and medical experts worldwide.

Selling products you use and love makes your job easier and much more fun!

Unless youre a good actor, its hard to fake enthusiasm. But its easy to be genuine and passionate about products you use and love. If you have been using Mary Kay products for any time, youre an excellent candidate for a successful career selling Mary Kay. Your knowledge and experience with the products as well as your passion for them is infectious, and will give your customers confidence that theyre buying tried and true products.

Treat your business with professionalism right from the start.

Success as an Independent Beauty Consultant requires you to keep track of myriad details regarding customers, inventory, time, and money. Computers have streamlined such tasks, and a professional-level software program that tracks the details for you is worth its weight in gold. Find out what software tools are available, especially programs that are designed for the Mary Kay industry. Then pick the right one, not the cheapest. Look at the reputation of the company, the software features, the frequency of upgrades and improvements, and customer service. A professional business management software program with excellent customer support puts a winning team on your side right from the start.

Get to know your customers as individuals.

Find out when their birthday and anniversary is. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes, what products they buy and how often. Then keep track of all these details meticulously in your software program. Personal service is one of the reasons customers like to buy from you rather than a department store, and the key to great personal service is anticipating your customers needs before they know they have them.

Manage your inventory effectively.

Besides your customers, your Mary Kay inventory is the next most important aspect of your business. Carry too much and youll tie up too much money on your shelf. But carrying too little means you may not have what your customers need when they need them. If youre tracking your customers buying preferences, youll notice trends. This helps you set the right inventory levels and decide which products to stock. A good software program should allow you to look at your inventory and your customers product usage and give you the exact information you need.

Automate as many aspects of your business as you can.

You make money by servicing your customers, not by figuring out what you should be doing with your time or counting the products on your shelf over and over again. Notice the amount of time you spend on each aspect of your business and look for ways to streamline by using your computer and mobile device. Does the Mary Kay software program you chose have a calendar feature? Does it sync with a PDA? Can you generate invoices electronically? How can you better use web tools? Let your computer and PDA do their job so that you can concentrate on what you do best: interact with your customers.

Follow up with leads and customers.

You never know when youll meet a potential customer. Carry your marketing material with you and develop a way of recording information about each meeting or interaction. Remembering and recounting details about your first meeting and all subsequent interactions with a person tells them they are important to you, and indicates your dedication to customer service right from the start. Follow up on samples and, later, purchases to see how they like your products. Send them birthday cards and offer special discounts during their birthday month. From lead to customer, show them they are special. Chances are, they dont get that kind of treatment from a department store.

How to Build Great Relationships through Cold Calling

Master the foundation for cold calling success

Sometimes the finest solutions are the simplest. Focusing on relationships when making cold calls is one of them. It keeps us genuine, and eliminates our dread of making cold calls. Were real people talking about real things. Were interested in the conversation, and it shows.

Most of us dislike putting on our “salesperson persona” when we make cold calls. We think its needed, however, because weve been trained to make the sale. And yet were interacting with a live, breathing person without having any real connection to him or her. It often feels fake, and it often is.

This artificial role puts a great stress on us, and sabotages our cold calling conversations. When we arent genuine, its a red flag to the other person that we have a sales agenda. This puts nearly everyone “on guard.” Theyve never met us and are wary of possibly being manipulated.

Have you ever noticed that most cold calls break down the moment we try to “move” things along towards a sale? Its as if were getting ready for battle, and the tension pushes us along.

But the person weve called doesnt know us. The momentum were trying to impose puts him or her in a defensive position. Theyre protecting themselves from a potential “intruder” who might have a self-serving agenda.

So how can we to shift into something more positive? We begin by focusing on the relationship rather than salesmanship. We call with the anticipation of meeting someone new, and looking forward to a pleasant conversation to find out whether we can be of service. This mindset is subtle but powerfully felt by the other person.

Building relationships humanize our cold calling conversations — and ourselves. We are less artificial. Cold calling conversations become more natural. And people tend to respond with more warmth and interest.

The point is not to use the “technique of building relationship” to improve sales. Thats having a hidden agenda rather than a relationship. Our goal is to see if we can provide something that will benefit the other person. If it doesnt, then we prefer not to continue interrupting their day. Thats a real relationship, even if brief.

When were being real people treating others as real people, the difference is amazing. Both people are both more at ease. We anticipate talking with someone who may possibly have an interest in what we have to offer. And if they dont, weve enjoyed our time with him or her.

When others feel this relaxed mindset from you, they are much more likely to welcome you into their day. But if you rigidly follow a script or launch into a mini-presentation, then your call is immediately pegged as something initiated primarily for your own gain. And that puts most people into resistance.

Here are 8 keys to building relationships in cold calling:

1. Focus on the other persons needs rather than on securing a sale

The Secret Thoughts of Clients That You Must Know to Increase Sales

Have you thought about how your potential clients are viewing you? When you are having any type of sales conversation, your potential client is going through a very specific thought process. The internal dialogue that is happening for them will is a make or break situation for you because it will determine whether they say yes or no to becoming a playing client.

Here is a checklist that you must keep in mind before every sales conversation. It is applicable to all sales conversations whether you are a coach, consultant, travel agent, or plumber. When giving estimates for a particular service, enrolling clients into your programs, or selling valuable products to clients, you must keep these in mind to increase your sales conversion:

1. Do your clients see you as a Problem Solver? This is the #1 Secret Thought your potential clients are having about you. If your potential client is convinced that you have the best solution to the problem they need solved, then they will put their money down and hire you. If the solution you offer has no urgency or is something that they can delay to another time, then they will say no.

2. Do your clients see you as an expert? When talking to you, clients are secretly assessing your knowledge and commitment levels. They must see, hear, and feel your confidence in and passion for what you do. If you are distracted or lackluster in your communication with them, you will not get the sale.

3. Are you present, listening, and understanding? Your clients are looking to see that you have their best interests at heart and that you truly care about them and the challenges they are facing. You must remain completely PRESENT with them. Every human being has a fundamental desire to be heard and understood. When you are present, sincerely listening and understanding your clients, they will be attracted to you like magnets.

4. Are you committed to excellence in customer service? Another secret thought your potential client is having in assessing you is how well you will treat them if they become a paying client. How you treat them in the sales conversation is an indicator to them of how committed you are to serving your clients/customers with superior customer care. Are you warm, receptive, and enthusiastic, or thinking about your to-do list when they are talking? People can intuitively tell how you will treat them.

So, the next time you are going to have a sales conversation with a potential client, make sure you take a few moments to go over this checklist and give yourself a few moments of silence to center yourself and become fully present for your client and start increasing your sales and helping more people in your business!