Posted by: News Works Marketing | January 2, 2018

Business is a Challenge!

Rhonda Hiltbrand“Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is love, enjoy it!” – Indian Guru

I ran across this quote today and  realized; if you substitute the word “business” for “life” it works beautifully.  Small business owners know business is a challenge, a dream, a game and a love of what you do!  We have to meet it, realize it, play it and enjoy it every day.

I’m sure the majority of you, like me, ask yourself; how can I make it better?  How can I make my staff happier and more fulfilled?  How can I help my customers even more to realize and meet their challenges?

I think we must rise up daily with the desire to make each new day better.  We must work daily with our staff to encourage their progress; giving them the desire to do better and offer suggestions to help the company move forward.  We must offer our customers the very best we have to give.

If I can help you, my dear readers and customers, to meet your challenges and realize your dreams for your business, don’t hesitate to ask!  Together, we can do it!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Posted by: News Works Marketing | December 19, 2017

Automotive Service Advisor: Doing Your Part

Rhonda Hiltbrand“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael Leboeuf

If you are the service advisor but not the owner (I know some of you wear both hats) you are still very responsible for the success of the business you work for!  You are the front line.  Your role is extremely important!

You need to come to the job each day with energy, intelligence and a desire to meet the needs of each and every customer and at the same time, grow the bottom line of the shop you work for.  See how very important you are?

If you feel you are lacking in this area, or have lost your zeal the past year, make this your year to shine!  What can help?

  • Stay current with training.
  • Meet with others in your profession and exchange ideas.
  • Set goals for yourself with an attainable deadline to accomplish them.

Wishing you all the best in 2018!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Posted by: News Works Marketing | December 12, 2017

Success for the Auto Repair Shop

Rhonda HiltbrandYou will succeed if you persevere, and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles, a delight in climbing rugged paths, which you would perhaps never know if you did not sometime slip backward.  Helen Keller, writer and activist

It seems hard to believe that we are wrapping up yet another year!  It is true what our parents always said when we were young…time goes faster the older you get.

How was your year?  Did you meet your goals professionally and financially?  If you did, I offer my congratulations and hope our company helped you to succeed.  If not, don’t despair!  January is always a time of new beginnings and you can start fresh to overcome obstacles and do great things in 2018.

If you need help, please contact us.  We are always here to assist you to climb those rugged paths.

I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Posted by: News Works Marketing | November 21, 2017

Looking for The Positive in a Negative World

Rhonda HiltbrandBusiness owners and/or service advisors often must set the tone for their business day.  If you are in the front-line servicing customers, you deal with all sorts of personalities.  Some days, you may feel a bit stressed and anxious and you aren’t exactly sure why.  I got to thinking about this recently when I was having a conversation with someone about how to deal with negative people.  They were wondering why people in general seem so negative lately.

We concluded that people could subconsciously become negative due to many factors; like waking up to the news on the alarm clock/radio each day.  The news is rarely good in those few minutes, and one’s head starts to be filled with negative vibes then and there.  What can you do to make life better for these negative folks you deal with?  You have to try to be the positive force.  It isn’t always easy but greet each one with a smile and hopefully your good attitude will spread and push out the bad attitude. Smile when you talk on the telephone, too.  It really does make a difference.

I also find counting my blessings helps me feel positive and I have much to be thankful for, including all of you.  I appreciate you more than I can say!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Stay positive!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Posted by: News Works Marketing | October 31, 2017

You Are A Problem Solver…Sell That Service!

Rhonda Hiltbrand“Sell the problem you solve, not the product you make.” Unknown

 I ran across this quote and thought it was very profound.  You solve problems for consumers every day!  If you are the service advisor, let your customers know that by briefly explaining the problems the technician has discovered with the customer’s vehicle on the phone, by text or at the counter.

If you are the owner, use your marketing pieces to explain what a vehicle needs and how the customer can be proactive by having regular service and how they can be aware of a car’s needs by noticing if something sounds, smells or looks different.

You are the problem solver! Let your customers take note of that fact.

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Posted by: News Works Marketing | September 19, 2017

The Tale of the Hot Dog Vendor

Rhonda Hiltbrand“Early to bed, early to rise, work like [#%!] and advertise.” – Ted Turner

Over the years there have been similar versions of this tale.  It is one of my favorites.  From time to time I get asked to share it again, so here it is!

The Hot Dog Vendor

There was a hot dog vendor who sold the very best hot dogs by the side of the road. His business was booming, people loved his hot dogs, and his business steadily increased month after month. The man loved his business and believed in the need to provide great food at a great price.

This man was so busy advertising and selling his hot dogs and making lots of money, that he didn’t even have time to read the newspaper or listen to the radio. Consequently, he never heard a word about the potential economic slowdown. He just continued to offer his delicious hot dogs and his customers bought them. He kept advertising and selling, and they kept buying.

Then one day his college educated son told him that an economic downturn was surely coming. His son told him that people wouldn’t have enough money to buy his hot dogs. The successful hot dog vendor believed this, so on his son’s advice, he cut back on his advertising. Additionally, he started ordering less supplies and product, because after all, people would be cutting back soon.

He even went so far as to take down many of the billboards that led to his roadside stand. And sure enough, people stopped coming to him. People stopped buying his hot dogs, and he eventually went broke.

Then he thought to himself. “How smart my son is in predicting this.”

Hope you enjoyed it!

Happy advertising!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Posted by: News Works Marketing | July 25, 2017

It is Time…

Rhonda Hiltbrand“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” – Leo Burnett

It is time…back-to-school time, that is!  Back to school is big business and retailers sure aren’t shy about getting the word out to buy their products at this time.  Auto repair shops shouldn’t miss this opportunity either; especially as the work you do keeps us all safer on the roads.  As Leo Burnett’s quote above says, “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at.  Make it fun to read.”  News Works can help with that!

One very important item that should be on everyone’s check list is their vehicle’s maintenance. Yes…we may put more miles on the car in the summer but that is usually because more road trips are taken.  Those who have children in school, however, are dashing here and there and everywhere to get their children where they need to be.  Those trips may not rack up the miles as quickly as a summer vacation trip, but it is usually more severe driving.  Picking kids up after practices and other school events keeps mom and dad, and yes, grandparents’ taxi services busy!

We point out in marketing for our shop owners, that even those who don’t have children/grandchildren in school, feel the pain!  Traffic is heavier and therefore slower.  Children are fast and we all need to be more alert when they run around in busy traffic and are in school crossings.

Don’t miss the chance to get the word out to your customers that they need to remind drivers to get their cars serviced so they are as ready as they can be during the hustle and bustle of back-to-school.

Let us know if we can help!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Listen to Rhonda Hiltbrand on the Remarkable Results Podcast!

Posted by: News Works Marketing | June 20, 2017

Can You Be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence?

Rhonda Hiltbrand…Stephen Hawking suggests that “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race” to Elon Musk saying that “If I had to guess what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably artificial intelligence.”

I must admit to you all that I am a Star Trek fan. My favorites are Star Trek, Next Generation and Star Trek, Voyager.  When it comes to artificial intelligence interacting with humans I always picture Data and The Doctor.  I know a lot of Sci Fi shows (and even these showed the dark side of AI on an episode or two) have the AI’s wiping out humanity, unhappy at how they had been treated.

My inbox is full lately on the subject of AI. My Smartbriefs articles are all about AI and what it can do for businesses.  It has been seen as the way to get back good customer service.  I have been thinking a lot about that lately and think to myself…what a shame that customer service has become so poor that we need to create an artificial type.

I had the point driven home to me when I was exceptionally tired last week and in a moment of weakness drove through and ordered a diet coke.  (I try to just have my morning coffee and then water the rest of the day).  The person handed me a dripping cup.  I asked that it be wiped off please (who wants that on their clothes and in the cup holder?).  They did and I left and when I went to take a drink the lid came off, getting me wet anyway.  At that moment, I thought that an AI being couldn’t do any worse and perhaps could do a whole lot better!

The news was saying that in ten years banks will no longer have tellers as they will be replaced with AI.  I find that very sad. Other businesses are also preparing to replace humans with kiosks and other forms of AI.

Next time you are out and about notice the type of customer service you are receiving.  Then ask yourself if you are giving the best possible customer service to your customers.  It is something to consider.  I am sure no one wants to feel they can be replaced by AI.

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Posted by: News Works Marketing | May 2, 2017

Never Be Too “Busy” to Help the Customer

Rhonda HiltbrandThis week I went, as usual, to our local farmer’s market.  They have many unique items, a wonderful array of Amish goods and local homemade items. I was at the deli counter and asked for a pound of shaved ham.  The counter person kept slicing and putting it up on the scale until it was short one quarter pound.  She sighed deeply and said if I must have a pound she would have to open a new package.  I was shocked at the attitude but said, “No, that is okay. I’ll try to get by with this amount.”

I think she then realized what she had done and asked me what I was going to use it for.  I told her and we chatted a bit about recipes and such and then she asked if I needed anything else.  Before I could answer she said, “I know, the rest of your order of ham!”  I told her it was okay and took my package and went about my shopping.

She was an employee at this small business and in my opinion basically cheated her employer out of a full sale (and this is always wrong no matter if it is a big box store or small independent) but I felt especially bad for this employer as it is a small, independent business and every sale counts!

I then thought about the Facebook post I had put on our News Works page (the one above) and thought…how very true!

Have a great month and treat those customers well!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

Posted by: News Works Marketing | April 25, 2017

Who Likes To Get Mail?

Rhonda HiltbrandWhat a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand-clasp.  ~Author Unknown

I was going through my marketing smart briefs this week and ran across an article for marketers.  It said that many presume that only elderly people like to get direct mail but went on to say that, contrary to popular opinion, that assumption is just not true!  It turns out that all generations like to get mail.  I, of course, knew this as it is my job as a marketer to have all that information at my fingertips each and every day, just like it is your job to have your finger on the pulse of the automotive repair industry.

These days, when so many of us pay our bills online, our mailbox is less cluttered.  We pay more attention to the mail we do receive.  Online ads are always popping up and we have become so desensitized to these ads that we shut them down without even giving them a chance to be viewed.  We are focused on what we wanted to see online…and not allowing that ad(s) to interrupt our singlemindedness.

People will often look at something online and unless they print it out, will forget where they saw it.  A well put together printed piece of mail, on the other hand, is something people can hold on to and save until later.  They enjoy holding it, touching it, and retaining it (especially if it includes a coupon offer).

It seems that all generations, from Traditionalists (born 1945 – and before), Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964), Generation X (born 1965 – 1976) and Millennials (born 1977 – 2000) trust direct mail more than any other marketing channel.

I thought that all my customers who currently do direct mail with my company would enjoy reading this, and those who aren’t might wish to explore this option! It is hard to beat direct mail for Business to Consumer!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
News Works Marketing

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