Flipping Industry Misconceptions (Your Competitive Advantage)

When speaking or coaching business owners, a common challenge comes up. They are frustrated by the many misconceptions of the industry.  Today anyone who can do a search online thinks they’re an expert. These misconceptions pop up when working with customers.

Examples: How many customers…

  • Have told you they, why the check engine light is on. It’s been on for months. The challenge is they don’t know if another issue has developed.
  • Believe a code reader diagnoses an issue. They don’t understand that the advanced testing process and equipment you’ve purchased is not the same thing.
  • Don’t understand the importance of regular maintenance. Including checking fluids.

As owners this can be downright frustrating because you or your team spend time defending your process and pricing. Let’s face it, there are many vehicle owners who fear auto repair. They are inundated with ads, articles and movies depicting the auto industry as less than ethical.

Common Knowledge vs Common Sense

The frustration owners and teams deal with come from a trap that is easy to fall into. Mistaking their common knowledge (information that is widely known and accepted by most of the people in a particular industry.) for common sense (the ability to make practical and intuitive judgments based on experience and reasoning.) When this happens, you start to devalue what you do and your years of experience, knowledge, training, and expertise.

There are reasons for this including fear, perspective, and the curse of knowledge.

  • FEAR: The fear that customers will leave, push back, or write a bad review if charged appropriately.
  • PERSPECTIVE: Applying scarcity thinking. Believing there are only so many customers.
  • CURSE OF KNOWLEDGE: Knowing so much that you mistakenly believe it’s common sense to most people. You may find yourself using industry jargon or terms most don’t understand. It’s common knowledge in your industry but not common sense to others not in the same industry.

Let’s look at this in a different field. If you are going for a medical procedure, it’s a big deal to you. You want someone to explain and walk you through the process. It’s common knowledge to them but not to you. If they rush you through the process or don’t explain it in terms you understand, you could be left feeling embarrassed or frustrated with the medical staff.

Misconcetions Maryann Croce April Article

What if you turn this frustration into your competitive advantage? Educate your customers and community in a matter-of-fact way about the common misconceptions. Turn them into an educational opportunity. Get your team involved. Here are some suggestions.

  • Blog Post – On your website or as a guest post
  • Podcast Episode – Your podcast or as a guest on another podcast.
  • Social Media Post – Link back to your blog or podcast.
  • Short videos – Explaining a common misconception along with the facts.
  • Survey – Create and send it out for good misconception feedback.
  • Ad – Identify the concerns people have and have them click for more information.
  • Networking Intro – Let people know the common misconception and how you solve it.

You have a choice to stay frustrated about industry misconceptions or to do something about it. If you see this as the opportunity it is…

  • Work becomes more enjoyable.
  • Your team will be empowered to handle misconceptions resulting in more sales.
  • Your shop becomes a resource to your customers and community to make informed auto repair and maintenance decisions.

The key to this is to be proactive and mater of fact about it. Customers can make good auto repair and maintenance decisions. They want to make informed decisions. In the same way you would want to make an informed medical decision in the example I used.

Industry misconceptions are opportunities to educate your customers, empower your team and be a resource to your community.


Maryann CroceMaryann Croce, a certified partner of Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year™, is an operations coach/speaker and creator of ‘3-Day Weekends’ Coaching. Her company Small Biz Vantage specialized in performance and leadership development for automotive and skilled trade business owners. She has been an auto shop owner since 1999. You can reach Maryann at (203) 913-7741 or maryann@SmallBizVantage.com Maryann speaks on achieving goals and work-life fulfillment SmallBizVantage.com