Build a Relationship and Watch Business Flourish

Aug. 1, 2021
The right supplier provides more than goods; they provide resources to help you grow.

Today’s customer is more savvy, more picky and knowledgeable than ever before—never has it been easier to search for some secret combo of price, service and appeal while deciding where they’ll spend their hard-earned cash.

But that door swings both ways. Owners also face a choice—who will help them become more than they could on their own? Who will help them train the best staff, stock the best products (and the correct volume of them) and help them reach further than the four walls of the business?   

“You can get a product from just about anybody,” says Michael Morrison, senior brand manager at Valvoline. His words are true, both for the shop consumer—that everyday driver—and for the shop itself. 

“We know it takes more than that to gain business from automotive installers. My team creates programs and services to help them attract new customers, attract talent, launch outbound campaigns—we provide services to help your business grow more efficiently.” 

The right partner does more than simply save money—it helps provide contemporary solutions to classic problems. How do I provide the best service at the right cost? How do I stock what my clients need? And most importantly, how do I look ahead and grow my business in a reasonable way, sustaining my team, shop and all its needs along the way?

Morrison says that Valvoline isn’t a traditional oil company—they don’t have oil rigs. They don't refine anything. Instead, they develop partnerships across multiple industries and channels to provide the best chemistry for vehicle products and the best services for installers.

“It’s not just about having good oil,” he says, “it’s about building relationships.”


If You Value Your Supplier, Customers Will Come

Morrison is a twelve-year veteran of the company and has worn many hats on all sides of service, including Valvoline’s large national automotive service centers, car dealerships and independent shops. 

“Valvoline wants to add value,” he adds, “and our support center helps installers focus on the customers that come into their stores—it’s hard to manage the phones and the people there with you. Missed calls are missed opportunities.” 

And that’s just the beginning. The right homework will reveal the right supplier for you and help accelerate your business. Valvoline partners rely on a robust network of over 1,500 stores—and the experience and growth that comes with them—as well as over 150 years doing business coast to coast throughout many of the industry-changing eras that affect the automotive aftermarket and all its contributors. 

“Many suppliers will fight day and night over product price, and you can shop as cheaply as you want,” he adds, “but we offer more.”

“It’s true,” says Andrew Ward, marketing director at Valvoline, “we’re all about partnerships.”

Ward says Valvoline organizes its services to the aftermarket in various platforms, scaling up or scaling down according to the size and needs of its shop partners. His team is responsible for developing, implementing and sustaining those programs, helping with everything from product recommendations to customer retention programs and more. 

Ward is excited about what Valvoline has in store, especially for independent shop owners and smaller operations. His team constantly develops and optimizes promotional programs to offer incentives on everything from oil changes to specific service types—premium oil, ancillaries, chemical service, etc.—listening to the aftermarket and meeting its owner-operators on the ground level with what they need most.

“All the installers have to do is sell it,” he says, “and our programs are great for small businesses because they often lack the resources to do so themselves. And Valvoline finds these programs so there’s no additional cost for this sort of service.” 

Together, Morrison and Ward point out three factors that helps Valvoline excel as a powerful support system, advocate and promoter of its shop partners:

Reputation - Private label offerings are great at distilleries and maybe not so much as the sole supplier of your shop. Valvoline has been around the block, so to speak, for over 150 years and works to develop SMART goals (Specific; Measurable; Actionable; Realistic; Timely) with its shop partners. 

We know what increases ticket values/AROs to help get customers what they need for their vehicle and shop owners the revenue they desire,” Ward says.

Training - Ward says that possibly the most important aspect Valvoline offers is a continuous commitment to training built from its hands-on expertise in the aftermarket. “We have dedicated training specialists that can visit your shop and train where your technicians and advisors need it most,” he says. From live training to online snippets—a few minutes here, a few minutes there—to more robust virtual classes, Valvoline offers a wide variety of virtual training options through a powerful customer portal. 

Easy to do Business With

First and foremost is Valvoline’s commitment to making business safe, simple and efficient for those who choose to utilize its services. 

“Our motto is hands-on expertise,” Morrison says, picking up the conversation. 

“We spend a lot of time in the field getting to know our shops, providing information about what can help them sell and learning a lot about our customers, getting hands-on and learning about what they need.”

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Ward says, “it’s good for us, it’s good for our partners and it’s really good for their customers. We’re very nimble—we’re not as behemoth-sized as some of the larger players. We can do some special and customized services for our customers. We value every relationship because we’re closer to that size; we can help you grow your business because we’ve been there. 

“When you succeed, we succeed,” he says, “and we all move forward together.”

To learn how you can move forward with the right partner, please click here.

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The views and opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of 10 Missions Media and its associated brands.

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