real world RETAIL
Local Automotive Businesses Help Attract Referrals
mount amps, processors and components to a sturdier base that gets bolted to the car. We use sound dampening, too. The average person may not know how much it helps the vehicle, so we try to explain that to the client and tell them what it does for their audio system.” Even a basic install includes some sound dampening. “We try to under-promise and over-deliver. We want to make people happy.” Most of the consultations are scheduled rather than walk-ins. “We sit down and talk with them, educate them. A lot of people think they need a giant system to make their car sound good, but that’s not the case anymore. We can make something sound great with just an amp and a DSP,” he said, adding, “They don’t have to spend money on things they don’t need.” Creating Transparency and Building Trust Jankow said he sees a solid future for a boutique store that offers customers
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an experience they’ll always remember. Thinking back, he recalled earlier days of retail in 12-volt when shops sold from “walls of radios,” and said he feels the traditional retail store has had to evolve and become something different. “With online sales the way they are,” he said, “that kind of business model doesn’t seem to work as well.” While word-of-mouth is the primary way the shop attracts customers, Jankow said he’s been trying to figure out the best way to provide quality content on social media. One of the ways they connect is by posting behind-the-scenes photographs of builds. “We want people to have a reference regarding the work we’re trying to do,” he said. “I think it gives us a level of transparency. That’s the battle in terms of setting yourself apart from someone else.” Someone might post final build photos online, for example, “but behind the panel, it looks like spaghetti. We like to show clients how we wire things. It’s
Simply due to close proximity, the shop interacts with other automotive-related businesses and all of them support each other. “We’re located in an industrial area with other automotive shops around us,” Jankow said. “There’s a mechanic next door, and a body shop next door to them.” The body shop, he added, does a lot of custom work. If a client at the body shop mentions they are interested in getting a stereo system installed, the body shop will send them over. Similarly, Jankow said, “If one of our clients has an accident, we’ll refer them to the body shop.” The business is largely reliant on word-of-mouth marketing.