Quantcast
Jump to content


Old Sarge --- My traditional Veterans Day story.... Semper Fi


Recommended Posts

Old Sarge
 
  I met this great man through his son, who happened to be 
the driver of that Chevy van from the furniture store that 
was my very first customer. Sarge isn’t his real name, but 
that’s what I called him.  He was a retired Marine Corps cook. 
I met him one day when he came in with a sick Cadillac. 
   
   The old Cadillac hardly had any power at all; just as slow 
and lazy as a snail.  I was only in business for a few months, 
and didn’t know anybody. I didn’t have any work to speak of, 
so even though it wasn’t an electrical problem 
(as he originally thought),   I jumped right in and found the 
problem.  It was a clogged catalytic converter.  Unbelievably, 
it wasn’t even welded in place. I could take off the clamps, 
and remove it without much hassle.  
 
   Back then I didn’t have a lift to put the car in the air, so I had to do the whole job on the ground.  Well, old Sarge just sat there and watched me do the whole thing.  I think he was a little suspicious of this skinny little white kid who was hacking away at his car, but he patiently waited, being the good man he was. We got to talking about things, and it wasn’t long before he found out that I was also in Marine Corps. Now we had some common ground.  We were buds for life, always cutting up with each other.
  
    One hot August afternoon Sarge brought in one of his other cars to get some work done.  I had the back door to the shop open, and Sarge steps outside for a little fresh air.  I thought I could hear the guy crying or mumbling something, couldn’t tell which it was. I stuck my head around the corner, “Sarge, ah …. you ok, buddy?” I asked. tp.gif
   
     He proceeded to tell me how the house he grew up in was close by, before it became a shopping center. He talked about his dad and family, and how he hunted rabbits right where we were standing. It was during the Depression. Hard times, and things were scarce in those days. How his dad hid a pig in a pit, not too far from here. Where they kept the corn mash for making moon shine. I sat and listened to this hardened Marine tell me his life’s story that day, from his first car to how he ended up in the Corps.  I didn’t answer the phone, or go up front to see if anyone came in. I just sat out there in that August heat, drenched in sweat, listening to this fella tell me his life story. 
     
     I’ll never forget that afternoon.  I’ll also never forget how every time he came to my shop over the next 25 years he would sneak up on me, and yell in a drill instructor voice, “TEN HUT!” I would snap to attention just like a good Marine should.  Sometimes, just to get a rise out of Sarge I would purposely hit my head on the hood of the car I was working on. He got a kick out of it every time. 
    
     Sarge passed away a couple years back.  I still think about him now and then. I hope he’s up there hunting rabbits, or something. Maybe he’s guarding the gates like every Marine hopes to be doing when their time comes. Or, he could be just waiting there to try and surprise me with one more “TEN HUT” when I show up.  
   
    Sarge, I miss having you around the shop.   Semper Fi

View full article

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      Kenneth Greffin-28 years in the automotive industry. President of Aspen Auto Clinic with 5 locations. He's done a bit of everything; tire buster, oil changer, Shop Owner, Franchise Consultant and Big Box Automotive Retail Executive.
      Sam Craven- Owner of The Garagisti, Houstin, TX. Following an established career in business and real-estate, native Houstonian Sam Craven has brought his passion for business and racing together with a return to his roots within the world of cars and motorsports. A graduate of Texas A&M’s Mechanical Engineering school, Sam was a busy student. While some headed to the bars on the weekend, Sam headed out all over the country between classes (and sometimes during classes…) to work as a mechanic and run data systems for Ferrari, Porsche and open wheel race cars. Sam created The Garagisti to be a space for both the hardcore enthusiasts and people who simply desire trusted, quality work combined with an excellent client experience. The Garagisti was made for the people that appreciate their car and expect a dealer level experience.
      Greg Bunch is the owner of Aspen Auto Clinic, a five-location automotive and service business in Colorado. Greg started his passion for cars at 15 when he began rebuilding a 1966 Volkswagen Bug. Greg has moved from a Volkswagen mechanic to ASE Master Technician, to Management, to starting his shop 18 years ago in his garage, to an award-winning multi-location business.
      Greg is currently a board member for the STEM-based charter school call “Automotive Institute of Science & Technology” and on the Advisory board of Ratchet and Wrench Magazine. Greg is also a board member of the Autocare organization and a certified instructor for the Worldpac Training Institute and Carquest Technical Institute. Greg’s unwavering passion for the industry has also led him to form a company called Transformers Institute, a coaching and training company dedicated to transforming the automotive industry.
      Listen to Greg’s previous episodes HERE. Transformers Institute HERE.
      Key Talking Points
      Build a culture where technicians meet owners of vehicles- brings more relationship and effort to repair.  Break down the wall of what technician knows and what customer understands- if the customer doesn’t understand, they don’t feel comfortable buying Build trust at every touchpoint- mailer, curb appeal, roads on way to location (are mom and kids comfortable driving there?) marketing, follow up after the customer has left, answering the phone, how does the shop look? How do technicians look and speak to customers? Make it a point that technicians should say “hello” to customers when walking by.  Little things lead to big things- both positive and negative “I need my car towed to your shop” - set it up yourself instead of giving them the tow truck phone number “No update update” -keeping customers in the loop Phone etiquette- beginning of first human interaction, the customer is calling because they are looking for help. Take the stress level of customers down. Building trust and making them feel like they called the right place. Tonality, customers can’t see your face, your only tool is your voice. Record and listen to your phone calls. Get the basics done. Make it personal- use pictures of owner/employees Collaborative interaction with customers- make them a part of the process. Show them the DVI. The choice is their own, how you relay the message and repairs makes the difference.  Collaborative interaction with employees- everyone needs to hold each other accountable, share ideas, support, offer feedback  Transparency- no one makes decisions unless they 100% understand, consider showing the customer their fluid sample colors “Test procedures” can help customers understand diagnostic work  “Key droppers”- are they repeat customers? Service advisor’s goal- win skeptical customers over with exceptional customer service  How do you handle complaints? Find resolution and recovery to repair the relationship  Consultive style selling techniques- ask the customer what they use their car for, what is their relationship with their car, how long do they plan on keeping it A special thanks to Ken Greffin, Sam Craven and Greg Bunch for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook   Twitter  LinkedIn   Instagram  Youtube   Email  
      Mobile Listening APP’s HERE
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee 

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com

      This episode is brought to you by Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi
      Do customers really have clear expectations when they arrive at your shop?  Think about it.  Who is responsible for setting clear expectations?  Consumers may have a preconceived idea about what to expect, but when it comes down to what or who sets the expectation, it's the shop's responsibility. 
      Great customer service is created by the shop and its people. The consumer will judge that experience, but they don't create it, you do. 
      We may think that the consumer will tell us what they expect from us.  I think it's the opposite. 
      Henry Ford once said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
       
       
    • By carmcapriotto
      The Panel:
      AJ Nealey, Nealey’s Auto Service, Edgewater, MD John Klarkowski, AutoPro Auto Service, Brooklyn Park, MN Talking Points:
      Discover the number of cars that pass by your location. Search for Car Count in your County Find a state or county website They may update the numbers yearly Number of cars, trucks, etc AJ started with a DIY sign His new sign cost him $42K The company he hired did the permitting AJ justified at $700 per month because his referrals justified the investment If he gets 3 new customers a month. Sign pays for it. His driveby referrals doubled Lights up at night AJ can change the sign wording from anywhere Seasonal message If it is going to rain that day he can put up a message on wiper blades AJ has over-communicated his brand message and is totally consistent John started with not much money and created signs on a budget The old-style sign with the letters needed to be changed 15’ up in the air John’s is located off the path with only 4,000 cars a day going by Installed digital sign and he saw within 8 months an increase in car count of 20% People said they discovered him because of his sign Digital signs grab attention His signs change every 20 seconds Check with your local ordinances The messages are their unique selling points The messages are conversation starters John started to change his clientele from the shop he purchased. A strong reason for the branding and signage change Product packaging shows professionalism John’s investment is prox $15K for his digital sign He went with monochrome. A single color AJ went with color in his digital sign Make your branding professional that may include a new sign More car count More professional customers John $120K increase in revenue because of his sign and branding investment  
      Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP’s HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
      Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy me a coffee

      Are you seeing auto shops in your area get hundreds of 5-star Google reviews and are you feeling left behind because your shop only has a few?
      Hey look, Broadly is your answer to getting more online reviews. With more reviews, your business will rank higher in search results — and that means more customers coming into your shop every day.
      Broadly helps you automatically request reviews so that your customers can promote your business with just one click.
      When you immediately ask for a review after service, when the experience is still fresh in their mind, // you’re more likely to get a 5-star positive review.
      Plus, asking for feedback makes your customer feel valued and more connected to your business. Isn’t that what you want a connected customer? See how Broadly can help grow your auto shop.  Visit www.getbroadly.com/carm to learn more.
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Emily Chung is a proud mom of two energetic boys. She owns and operates AutoNiche, a family-friendly auto repair shop in Markham. She is a licensed Automotive Service Technician, and Automotive Writer with various publications. She also teaches in the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College. Emily holds a degree from the University of Waterloo in Psychology and Business, and her previous jobs include Psychometrist and Human Resources Associate.
      She has appeared on various media including Breakfast Television, Cityline, and the Marilyn Denis Show. She is passionate about her work; together with her staff, AutoNiche’s purpose is to bring better communication and client service to the auto repair experience. Check Emily’s previous episodes HERE.
      Key Talking Points
      Communication with your customers-educating them about their vehicleBeing aware of different communication styles  Communicating with babies and puppies-we tailor our communication to them because we have no expectations that they will communicate to our quadrant levelYou can 100% adjust your communication style- are we intentional/aware of it Responsibility of communicator- be temporarily a part of their own quadrant  Coding clients- providing a baseline for approaching a conversationNot set in stone coding Quickly lookup communication style in shop management system for others in the business Your job is to serve the customers the best way possible  Quadrants- are they task oriented or people oriented? Structured or non structured?Controler- structured and task oriented (very direct and to the point) Analyst- structured but more people oriented (want to know details and specs) Promoter- people oriented and structured (energetic, first on bandwagon, get it done energy and fun) Supporter- non structured and people oriented (love harmony and connecting)  Each quadrant gets recharged by different things- tap into it in order to communicate efficiently  True leaderAbility to move in between quadrants and speak effectively for listener Training your staff- have each employee find out what quadrant they’re in, pros and cons of each quadrant, practice giving inspection sheet to different quandrants   Psychometry- run tests and administer surveys, analysis and recommendations  

       
      Download for Carm Capriotto’s Chart on How To Communicate With the Four Basic Types HERE.
      Tony Robins Site Mentioned HERE.
      Link to previous Town Hall Academy episode 041 "The Value of Knowing Your Customers Observable Behaviors (DISC) from November 2017 HERE.
       
       
      Thanks to Emily Chung for her contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP’s HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
      Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email
      Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy me a coffee

      This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve.  The Virtual AAPEX Experience 2020 is in the record books. Virtual AAPEX lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on the homecoming in Las Vegas in 2021. Mark your calendar now … November 2-4, 2021, AAPEX // Now more than ever.

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com/carm

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi
      After a slow January and multiple snow storms in Feb, 2021 is beginning to shape up and gaining traction.  Being less than an hour north of NYC has its challenges, but all the pent up demand is greatly improving business. The roads are packed, so people are driving. My prediction? A very good rest of 2021! 


  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...