Create a Marketing “Go Bag” for Your Body Shop

Create a Marketing “Go Bag” for Your Body Shop

These days many of a shop’s leads come from online searches. But, there are times when you’re out and about and stumble upon an opportunity to tell someone about your services. 

Even after you tell someone what you do, there’s a strong chance that they’re going to forget all about you once that conversation ends.

You need something to leave behind - you need a marketing “go bag”. 

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What to Put in Your Shop Marketing Kit

Here are some ideas for items you might want to include in your marketing kit, but this is not a comprehensive list. This mostly contains a mix of informational handouts and promotional items. If you want to include other items, then do!

Business Cards

Business cards aren’t as common as they were in the past, but they’re still useful. Yes, you can pull out your phone, ask someone’s number, then text them your info, but it’s simpler to just hand them a card.

What to Do in Case of an Accident Flyer

Having a handful of these on hand. Remember, when someone gets in an accident, they might feel panic, and not know what to do. A flyer can be a helpful guide to give to drivers, or to insurance agents.

Emergency Info Wallet Cards
Emergency Info Wallet Cards

Emergency Info Wallet Cards

Like the flyer above, this business card-sized piece can contain important local phone numbers that people may need in case of a collision, including yours. Get a template to create your own Emergency Info Wallet Card here.

“All Our Services” Flyer

Does your auto body shop offer any non-collision services? If so, you have to let people know about them! Having a flyer in your kit that outlines your other services is a great way to spread the word. Get a template to create your own “All Our Services” flyer here.

Repair Planning or Process Flyer 

If your shop uses a repair planning process, you’ll want to explain why it’s so beneficial to your customers. Create a flyer to outline the process and use this as a selling point to illustrate why your shop can provide better repairs.

“Join Our Team” Auto Body Career Flyer

You know how hard it is to find good people, so having flyers on hand lets you share details with others. Hand these out to anyone you can and ask them to give one to anyone who is looking for work. Include a list of positions in your shop with short descriptions of responsibilities, whether you’re currently hiring for that position or not. And be sure to link to the “careers” page on your website if you have one.

🧲 Related: Use Marketing to Recruit Body Shop Employees ➔

Testimonials Flyer

Cherry pick some of the best testimonials you’ve received and put them on a flyer. If you have some from well-known fixtures in the community then those can carry more weight. With this flyer, you don’t have to tell people how great you are, your customers will do it for you.

Pocket Folder

If you leave multiple pieces with someone, like an insurance agent, package it all up in a nice pocket folder. Custom printed pocket folders can be expensive, but you could even get away with single color or manilla envelopes with your logo stamped on front, if it’s designed well.

Auto Accident Kit

You can find these kits at many promotional item vendors. These kits might include flashlights, glowsticks, flags, and guides. Have your logo printed on the kit or added to an insert.

Beer Huggie or Can Koozie

Get your logo and phone or website printed on these, and hand them out where appropriate. These are very common but also very useful. Your technicians will take them home or even give them to their friends, and anywhere local that your logo can be seen is a win.

Insulated Drink Tumblers
Insulated Drink Tumbler

Insulated Drink Tumblers

You could argue that we’re already saturated with these things - everyone I know has multiple Yeti tumblers or mugs, but people seem to love them! Promotional item vendors offer these in bulk with your logo imprinted. These are considerably more expensive than foam can sleeves, so you may want to only give these to your VIPs or long-time customers.

Car Coaster

These are a natural fit for body shops. These foam coasters fit in a car’s cup holder and absorb condensation from drinks. When no drink is sitting on it, your logo gets displayed. These are inexpensive enough that you could leave these in your customers cup holders after repairs. 

Cell Phone Stand

For anyone who sits at a desk, these are a convenient way to keep a phone propped up so the screen (and your logo) can be seen. There are tons of options from plastic to aluminum to leather or vinyl. 

Microfiber Chamois

When your customers are cleaning their cars, a nice drying cloth is a nice reminder of your shop, especially if you offer detailing services.

Situations Where You Might Use Your Kit

Your marketing materials can go into a bag, box, or some type of container - something you can keep in your car. We need to consider the different scenarios where it might come in handy:

  • Visiting an insurance agency
  • Noticing a damaged vehicle in a parking lot
  • Meeting someone in a social situation
  • Witnessing a collision

Each scenario calls for different marketing items. What you give to an insurance agent won’t be the same as what you give to someone you meet at a golf outing.

Let’s step through our example scenarios and look at some ideas for what materials to include for each.

Marketing Materials for Visiting an Insurance Agency

Let’s say you’ve decided to work on developing relationships with local insurance agents. Whether you stop into an agent’s office or meet him for lunch, it’s good to have some items on hand to leave with him.

  • Business Cards
  • “All Our Services” Flyer
  • Repair Planning or Process Flyer
  • “Join Our Team” Auto Body Career Flyer
  • Pocket Folder
  • Beer Huggie or Can Koozie
  • Insulated Drink Tumblers
  • Cell Phone Stand

For the paper materials, you might put all this in the pocket folder and give it all to the agent. For the other stuff, you may want to “spread the love” out and give them a new piece each time you see them. It can be so good for your business to treat your local agents well.

Marketing Materials for When You Notice a Damaged Vehicle in Public

Imagine you are running a few errands and park near a car with some damage. This may be an opportunity to leave something on their windshield. Be sure to check your local ordinances though before doing so.

  • Business Cards
  • “All Our Services” Flyer
  • Testimonials Flyer

If their car shows hail damage, then leave your Services flyer, which mentions PDR - or if their car has been keyed, grab a business card and place it on their window with a note. For heavier damage, leave a Testimonials Flyer. Sometimes people just need a little nudge to take action!

Marketing Materials for Meeting Someone in a Social Situation

How many parties, backyard barbecues, golf outings, and other events have you been to where you start talking about your work? Have these items in your kit just in case you can share them:

  • Business Cards
  • “All Our Services” Flyer
  • Testimonials Flyer
  • “Join Our Team” Auto Body Career Flyer
  • Beer Huggie or Can Koozie

If the conversation turns to hiring people, you can always say “hey, let me give you a flyer about the types of people we’re looking for” and if you’re lucky they’ll look it over after the event and think of someone who might be a fit. 

If it’s your event, hand out those beer huggies! Giving them to friends is fine - they’re going to use your shop regardless, but if you have new acquaintances that’s even better, as they may not even be aware of what you do for a living.

Marketing Materials for Witnessing a Collision

This is a long shot, but occasionally you might come across a minor accident, as a witness or an unfortunate participant. In that case, assuming it’s minor with no injuries, you could always give the driver your business card, as long as you’re tactful. You don’t want to look like you’re just out scouting for accidents!

  • Business Cards
  • “All Our Services” Flyer
  • Emergency Info Wallet Card

Proceed cautiously here, as you don’t want to look like a greedy, opportunistic salesman. If you can calmly guide them through the process of calling the police, and their insurance company, they’ll appreciate that.

Final Thoughts

As the Boy Scout motto says, “Be Prepared”. Having your auto body marketing materials ready to go makes it so much easier to take advantage of opportunities on the spot, as they arise. You may never use your kit, but there’s no downside to having it with you.

If you’d like to talk about marketing for your collision repair shop, get in touch.

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Jason Ferguson

About Jason Ferguson

Jason has been a graphic designer since 1994 and started building websites in 1997. Since then he's learned countless new marketing skills and loves helping companies get more customers using digital marketing techniques. Jason founded Conspicuous Digital in 2017 and focuses on helping collision repair shops with their marketing.

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