I Need More Sales - I Should Write More Estimates

I Need More Sales - I Should Write More Estimates

I almost laugh out loud at when I hear this logic. Typically its a very telling statement of desperation, and more specifically, of simple-minded owners and managers who tell their estimators to write more estimates and make more estimate callbacks daily.

Write more estimates and make more estimate callbacks? Really?

The idea of writing more estimates, is predicated on flawed logic: "We don't have enough sales coming in, our estimate to conversion ratio sucks unless an insurance DRP delivers a customer to us on a silver platter. Our estimators suck as sales people, so we need to do more of it! The concept is: Write as many estimates as possible. Make multiple callbacks to every vehicle owner for whom you’ve written an estimate.
Stop being a dumbass.
Does simply writing more estimates and harassing customers on the phone, ever result in plenty of more customers? Sometimes. Is this the most effective and profitable use of your employee’s time? No. Here’s why it doesn’t always work anymore. It's pretty obvious that writing enough estimates, you can definitely get several commitments. Especially if you have chosen to be compliant rather than profitable.
However, often estimates made for non-DRP’s vehicle owners and then making estimate callbacks convert into sales at an astonishingly low rate.
I can remember spending 60% of my time writing estimates and making estimates callbacks before I knew better. Truth is, once the customer leaves your shop without making a repair commitment, it may only generate 5% of your total sales. Why is this so?
Quite simply, because even busy, successful people have not reserved the cash to meet their $1000 deductible. After they leave your shop they will almost never accept your call back after the first one. Who’s left? Time-wasters, people who have nothing better to do, or worse yet, to quote an old southern saying, “A wreck will make a preacher go to hell.” These individuals actually think they are going to make a buck out of this accident. Others always want to talk more, but they never commit.
The main problem with just writing more estimates, is that it focuses on quantity over quality. What happens then? Estimators rush from estimate to estimate, quickly writing estimates, getting no repair commitments or many repairs scheduled. Not to mention writing a profitable estimate. They are usually just focused on writing a DRP compliant, minimally profitable estimate. For most, the end result is a bunch of wasted time and worthless estimates with people who are never going to commit and let you repair their vehicle. Because they often don’t have the money. So you've not only wasted a bunch of time writing the estimate, but now you get to waste more time on fruitless estimate callbacks, and probably leaving multiple voicemails for these non-buyers. Believe it or not, some top collision center pros go so far as to be selective about performing only profitable quality repairs, and not trying to be the repair shop of choice for difficult low profit vehicle owners and insurance companies
Solve The Problem
If you want to increase sales, improve your estimator's morale, and increase your collision center profits, listen up. Get off the hamster wheel.
Stop accepting poor estimate sales ratios and start doing something that works instead.
If you don't know what that is, no worries. Offer your potential customers “in-house” installment loans managed by Collision Financial Services. It works. In fact, roll the 6% C.F.S. charges for this service and a increased and profitable labor rate difference into the loan. It's that simple, your customers will be glad to pay it. They are much more concerned about, “How much per month? Than the loan details. Register your shop today at: www.collisionfinancialservices.com