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Some Guy - - - You know who he is, but I'll bet you've never met him.


Gonzo

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Looking for Some Guy                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
         Have ya ever noticed that a lot of work shows up at the shop 
with some sort of story attached and the customer almost 
always knows who sent them to you or what the last tech 
has done to their car?  It’s pretty common at my shop.  
This other mechanic seems to always be busy, sometimes 
too busy to finish the customer’s job completely. I don’t 
know who this dude is but, he gets all the work in town. 
 
         I’ve never met this wrench jockey; I don’t even know 
where his shop is… in fact I don’t even know what he 
charges or what his expertise is.  But, I do know his name… oh yea, 
I know his name, his reputation is well known, and his never 
ending automotive repair skills are known far and wide.  
   
       Who is this genius of the auto repair world?  You know him, 
he’s that “regular mechanic” you always hear about.  I don’t 
know whether he is some super tech out there or just the 
best salesman in the business.  What’s his name you ask, well; it’s none other than…“Sum Guy”.   that’s the dude, that’s him… his name comes up in conversations all the time… something like this;  “I had my car to Sum Guy the other day… he said my problem was this, and said you would know how to fix it.”  Or when you ask, “Where did you have your car at ma’am?” and the usual answer ... “Oh, I had it at Sum Guy for a while till he gave up and said he couldn’t take care of it, I don’t think he knows what he’s doing.”  And, of course my all time favorite… “Sum Guy already looked at it so I already know what’s wrong.”
 
  Now I don’t know about you but Sum Guy seems to get around a lot.  One of these days I’d like to meet him.  I’ve got a few words for him for sure.  He either works the customer into an all out frenzy or they come into the shop with a chip on their shoulder as if they just cured cancer.  Ya never know which way it’s going to go with Sum Guy around.  He can be your friend or he can be your enemy it’s all a gamble at this point. 
 
  Listening in on conversations at the front counter and sooner or later good ol’ Sum Guy will get his name mentioned.  “I had Sum Guy change my brakes last week but he didn’t want to mess with the ABS system.”  “The other day my wife and I were out in town when we ran across Sum Guy, he said he knew you.”  Man, this dude gets around, how do ya keep up with him?  He’s everywhere!  
 
    I’m going to put an ad in the paper one of these days… it should say something like; “Looking for Sum Guy who can fix cars and impress customers more than I can.  Sum Guy who has all the correct tools and diagnostic equipment that I don’t have.  Sum Guy with the smarts of a rocket scientist and the strength of a gorilla.  Sum Guy who can be in two places at once and never-ever makes a mistake.  Sum Guy that can keep a customer happy even in the worst of conditions and knows just what to say to calm them down.  And, most of all Sum Guy who can do all of this and still show up to work on time.  
  
  I doubt he’ll answer the ad, I think he doesn’t want the rest of the automotive industry to know about him.  I think he likes to stay in the shadows away from the lime light and keep in close touch with all his customers.  He’s a credit to himself… that guy… he’s Some Guy…tp.gif

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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