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How I went from an average credit card transaction of $360 in November of 2013 to $805 in October of 2019...

Everyone wants change to be easy.

Everyone wants to kill it in their craft.

How many of you are ready to put in the work? Take an inside look at the lessons we learned while transforming our business over the last 7 years. We're going to discover how we evaluated Joman in 2013 and how we designed CAR to streamline service, period.

I sat in several classes at AAPEX where I felt like everyone was talking about the things we spent the last 7 years building, so now I'm going to tell you how we did it and why our platform is the integral internal process that can replicate this machine anywhere on the planet where service is performed.

If Amazon were a store, how could it possibly look or operate.

  1. Walk in, what level would you like to go on? Tech?
  2. Oh you just need an 'iPhone cable 6ft'?
  3. Got you, here's the one we recommend, along with a few others on the shelf. Want to see which is best rated? Lowest price? Manufacturer? How fast can you get it?
  4. Let me see this one; check some reviews, some comments...
  5. Ok, here's the one I need and it'll be at my house tomorrow? Awesome, thanks!
  6. Oh what's that, you need 2... your cord in your car looks the same?
  7. No worries! Still want it tomorrow? See you then!

Now, with that frame of reference... look at your own business.

What you must remember is that even though you are not Amazon, customers have been conditioned to have a frictionless approach to transactions. That's why your largest competitor is yourself and your ability to adapt to this evolved phase of business consistency... that you are also a part of.

When a customer walks in your door, what do they see?

  1. Must Have | HARD: Smile, let everything go that may be happening in life and get ready to deal with someone else's problem.
  2. Must Have: Counter/Desk clean and organized?
  3. Must Have: Computer ready to go? Unless you use CAR, then you can just take out your phone or the tablet we provide to every employee.
  4. Almost Must Have: A clean waiting room with available chairs? If not available for good reasons, that's a plus here. Like, there are other customers filling their space.
  5. Almost Must Have: Do you look like a disaster? *PS I did for years, still do sometimes. We all have off days.*
  6. Nice To Have:Water bottles handy? Maybe a coffee machine, if you have the space.
  7. The Hardest Goal: How clean is your shop?

The internet doesn't need a smile or a clean office/shop, the internet is a place where business is done based on price or features and sometimes... both. You're in the business of service, competing against everyone from the other local guy to the large marketing firms with endless budgets. And it's evolving, faster than you've ever imagined.

If you're standing still, you're going to lose out on a great opportunity to evolve as a business and as a person, and possibly make the most money ever by providing good and honest service.

Phase 1 is to get you to think about your position in the market place. Compare yourself to the impossible, because doing so will open your mind to potential solutions to frictions that exist in your business today, by just thinking about them.

When Jeff Bezos evolved Amazon, he wasn't trying to provide the lowest price on products. He was and is trying to fulfill what his customers want, cheaper pricing on goods and near instant delivery. He's delivered on both. Your customers expectations are different, and if your service level is built on trust, price becomes much less of a barrier.

Tune in next week, where we continue this series of... How to evolve my auto repair business. I had a really great title for this series, but it was stolen and trademarked.


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    • By carmcapriotto
      Bill Nalu is President of Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, Michigan and has been in business for 30 years. He collaborates with industry professionals, in building today’s “high-tech/old-fashioned” customer service system. Bill has been a big contributor to the podcast and he currently serves on several industries and educational advisory councils including AutoValue/Bumper to Bumper, Dorman Industries, and Cardone. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE.
      Key Talking Points
      What are you grateful for? The world isn’t ending. Stop comparing yourself to the content coming at you.  When you make a decision to move forward, don’t turn around and second guess yourself Leadership comes through gratitude Hire compliments to yourself Suffering comes from judgment  “Air smells the best and freshest after a hard rain” Awareness- isn’t that you’re having a thought, but that you are aware you are having a thought. That is your consciousness.  Learn from other people’s second chances before you have to be the one to learn from your second chance. You must have balance.  Compassion- there’s more going on in people’s lives than you know about If you want respect, respect someone into respecting themselves Consumerism- willing to pay extra  Do you hire for work ethic attitude? Do you love what you do for a living Suffering comes from judgment- wean yourself off of the judgment that you have centered around you, judgment that comes toward you, and judgment that you place on yourself   The grass isn't always greener  Book “Who not How” LINK "Every Life Has a Story" Chick Fil A LINK  Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partners:
           
      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.  AAPEX 2021 is in the record books and lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on Las Vegas in 2022. Mark your calendar now … November 1-3, 2022, 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

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      Show Notes:
      Maryann Croce's "Life Happens" Download HERE Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:

      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. By always innovating, Dorman has led the way in growing the aftermarket. Here you will see a few examples of a Dorman OE Fix. An OE FIX is a Dorman repair solution you can’t get from the original equipment manufacturer. It means they found a situation where they believe the OEM wasn’t giving repair professionals what they wanted, so we fixed it. Everything Dorman does is centered around providing customer value, both in the quality of products, and the creativity of solutions. Our engineers and designers go out of their way to save repair technicians time and save vehicle owners money. Want to really go under the hood? Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour

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    • By Joe Marconi
      A few years back, my service advisor, Tony, was trying to sell a customer a new battery. Let’s call this customer Ed Jones. Here’s how the conversation unfolded; “Mr. Jones, my technician completed our 21-point inspection on your vehicle and everything checks out fine. However, I do want to discuss the battery. Your battery was tested with our Midtronics digital battery diagnostic tool, which is a very accurate piece of equipment. Your battery is rated at 575 cold cranking amps, and your battery tested at 300.  Would you like me to replace the battery today?” Ed Jones looked at Tony, and three seconds later said, “Thank you for the information. Let me think about it.”
      I know Ed very well. The car we were servicing that day was his daughter’s car, who was home from college for the Christmas holiday. Ed’s daughter is in her first year at Plattsburgh University in upstate New York, which is about a five hour drive and near the Canadian border.  
      I could see the frustration on Tony’s face, so I gave him a little advice; “Tony, ask Mr. Jones who drives the car. After he answers you, ask him what the car is used for. Listen to his answers and then use that information to sell safety and peace of mind, not a battery.”
      Five minutes later, Tony reported back to me excited and amazed; “Joe, great advice!  He authorized the battery! I guess you knew he would buy the battery with the right questions?” I replied, “You were trying to sell Ed Jones a battery by pointing out the technical process we use to determine the health of the battery. What you need to do is reach the customer on an emotional level. The questions I recommended you ask made him realize that it’s the welfare of his daughter he was really buying, not a battery.” 
      Now, let’s clarify something. Tony didn’t say anything wrong with his sales presentation. But he got the process backwards. He was leading with logic. If you’re trying to sell something by using logic alone, you are going to struggle. People make buying decisions based on emotions. To make a sale, you need to connect with the part of the brain where emotions reside, and then back it up with logic.   
      Bombarding the customer first with facts and features tends to confuse the brain as it tries to make sense out what you are saying. That can be difficult because the technical information is usually not fully understood by the customer and the confusion usually results in the customer saying, “No.”  
      Let’s review the conversation when Tony asked the right questions; “Mr. Jones, who drives this car?” Ed replied, “My Daughter.” Tony continued, “And what does she use the car for?”  Ed replied, “She uses it to go college at Plattsburgh. She’s home for the holidays and goes back to school on Monday.” At that point, Tony realized why I urged him to ask those questions, and continued with, “So, your daughter drives this car back to college, and leaves on Monday. She goes to Plattsburgh, which is near the Canadian border.  Mr. Jones, it’s wintertime and that’s a long, lonely drive. Her battery tested weak and may fail without warning. For peace of mind and your daughter’s safety, wouldn’t it be in her best interest to replace the battery before she leaves?” Ed now makes the emotional decision, “Yes.” 
      Here’s the bottom line. First, know your customer. Build rapport during the write up process and find out all the details of why the car was brought in for service. Second, tone down the technical side of what you do. That’s not to say it’s not important. But, before you give the technical facts, reach your client on an emotional level. Ask questions to find out as much as you can about the customer, and then direct the conversation to the reasons why what you are trying to sell will benefit the well-being of the customer and/or the customer’s family.  
      Remember, decisions are easier to make when it has meaning to them or a family member. In Ed’s case, not replacing the battery would have been unsettling to him. Tony’s recommendation to replace the battery is perceived as the right decision because it promotes the safety and well-being of his daughter.
      Humans are driven by feelings and make emotional decisions, then justify it with logic. Next time you are trying to sell anything to a customer, ask yourself, “Why should the customer buy what I am trying to sell?” The answer may surprise you. 
      This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on November 1st, 2019


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    • By CAR_AutoReports
      How I went from an average credit card transaction of $360 in November of 2013 to $805 in October of 2019...
      Everyone wants change to be easy.
      Everyone wants to kill it in their craft.
      How many of you are ready to put in the work? Take an inside look at the lessons we learned while transforming our business over the last 7 years. We're going to discover how we evaluated Joman in 2013 and how we designed CAR to streamline service, period.
      I sat in several classes at AAPEX where I felt like everyone was talking about the things we spent the last 7 years building, so now I'm going to tell you how we did it and why our platform is the integral internal process that can replicate this machine anywhere on the planet where service is performed.
      If Amazon were a store, how could it possibly look or operate.
      Walk in, what level would you like to go on? Tech? Oh you just need an 'iPhone cable 6ft'? Got you, here's the one we recommend, along with a few others on the shelf. Want to see which is best rated? Lowest price? Manufacturer? How fast can you get it? Let me see this one; check some reviews, some comments... Ok, here's the one I need and it'll be at my house tomorrow? Awesome, thanks! Oh what's that, you need 2... your cord in your car looks the same? No worries! Still want it tomorrow? See you then! Now, with that frame of reference... look at your own business.
      What you must remember is that even though you are not Amazon, customers have been conditioned to have a frictionless approach to transactions. That's why your largest competitor is yourself and your ability to adapt to this evolved phase of business consistency... that you are also a part of.
      When a customer walks in your door, what do they see?
      Must Have | HARD: Smile, let everything go that may be happening in life and get ready to deal with someone else's problem. Must Have: Counter/Desk clean and organized? Must Have: Computer ready to go? Unless you use CAR, then you can just take out your phone or the tablet we provide to every employee. Almost Must Have: A clean waiting room with available chairs? If not available for good reasons, that's a plus here. Like, there are other customers filling their space. Almost Must Have: Do you look like a disaster? *PS I did for years, still do sometimes. We all have off days.* Nice To Have:Water bottles handy? Maybe a coffee machine, if you have the space. The Hardest Goal: How clean is your shop? The internet doesn't need a smile or a clean office/shop, the internet is a place where business is done based on price or features and sometimes... both. You're in the business of service, competing against everyone from the other local guy to the large marketing firms with endless budgets. And it's evolving, faster than you've ever imagined.
      If you're standing still, you're going to lose out on a great opportunity to evolve as a business and as a person, and possibly make the most money ever by providing good and honest service.
      Phase 1 is to get you to think about your position in the market place. Compare yourself to the impossible, because doing so will open your mind to potential solutions to frictions that exist in your business today, by just thinking about them.
      When Jeff Bezos evolved Amazon, he wasn't trying to provide the lowest price on products. He was and is trying to fulfill what his customers want, cheaper pricing on goods and near instant delivery. He's delivered on both. Your customers expectations are different, and if your service level is built on trust, price becomes much less of a barrier.
      Tune in next week, where we continue this series of... How to evolve my auto repair business. I had a really great title for this series, but it was stolen and trademarked.
    • By Joe Marconi
      A few years back, my service advisor, Tony, was trying to sell a customer a new battery. Let’s call this customer Ed Jones. Here’s how the conversation unfolded; “Mr. Jones, my technician completed our 21-point inspection on your vehicle and everything checks out fine. However, I do want to discuss the battery. Your battery was tested with our Midtronics digital battery diagnostic tool, which is a very accurate piece of equipment. Your battery is rated at 575 cold cranking amps, and your battery tested at 300.  Would you like me to replace the battery today?” Ed Jones looked at Tony, and three seconds later said, “Thank you for the information. Let me think about it.”
      I know Ed very well. The car we were servicing that day was his daughter’s car, who was home from college for the Christmas holiday. Ed’s daughter is in her first year at Plattsburgh University in upstate New York, which is about a five hour drive and near the Canadian border.  
      I could see the frustration on Tony’s face, so I gave him a little advice; “Tony, ask Mr. Jones who drives the car. After he answers you, ask him what the car is used for. Listen to his answers and then use that information to sell safety and peace of mind, not a battery.”
      Five minutes later, Tony reported back to me excited and amazed; “Joe, great advice!  He authorized the battery! I guess you knew he would buy the battery with the right questions?” I replied, “You were trying to sell Ed Jones a battery by pointing out the technical process we use to determine the health of the battery. What you need to do is reach the customer on an emotional level. The questions I recommended you ask made him realize that it’s the welfare of his daughter he was really buying, not a battery.” 
      Now, let’s clarify something. Tony didn’t say anything wrong with his sales presentation. But he got the process backwards. He was leading with logic. If you’re trying to sell something by using logic alone, you are going to struggle. People make buying decisions based on emotions. To make a sale, you need to connect with the part of the brain where emotions reside, and then back it up with logic.   
      Bombarding the customer first with facts and features tends to confuse the brain as it tries to make sense out what you are saying. That can be difficult because the technical information is usually not fully understood by the customer and the confusion usually results in the customer saying, “No.”  
      Let’s review the conversation when Tony asked the right questions; “Mr. Jones, who drives this car?” Ed replied, “My Daughter.” Tony continued, “And what does she use the car for?”  Ed replied, “She uses it to go college at Plattsburgh. She’s home for the holidays and goes back to school on Monday.” At that point, Tony realized why I urged him to ask those questions, and continued with, “So, your daughter drives this car back to college, and leaves on Monday. She goes to Plattsburgh, which is near the Canadian border.  Mr. Jones, it’s wintertime and that’s a long, lonely drive. Her battery tested weak and may fail without warning. For peace of mind and your daughter’s safety, wouldn’t it be in her best interest to replace the battery before she leaves?” Ed now makes the emotional decision, “Yes.” 
      Here’s the bottom line. First, know your customer. Build rapport during the write up process and find out all the details of why the car was brought in for service. Second, tone down the technical side of what you do. That’s not to say it’s not important. But, before you give the technical facts, reach your client on an emotional level. Ask questions to find out as much as you can about the customer, and then direct the conversation to the reasons why what you are trying to sell will benefit the well-being of the customer and/or the customer’s family.  
      Remember, decisions are easier to make when it has meaning to them or a family member. In Ed’s case, not replacing the battery would have been unsettling to him. Tony’s recommendation to replace the battery is perceived as the right decision because it promotes the safety and well-being of his daughter.
      Humans are driven by feelings and make emotional decisions, then justify it with logic. Next time you are trying to sell anything to a customer, ask yourself, “Why should the customer buy what I am trying to sell?” The answer may surprise you. 
      This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on November 1st, 2019

    • By Joe Marconi
      We sell service, not products. Yes, we sell water pumps, brake pads and air filters. And yes, those are products. But it’s the service we sell, the customer experience, which lives on well beyond the customer leaves your shop.

      Think of it this way; when you buy a watch, or a new cell phone, the experience of what you purchase continues after the sale. When we replace a customer’s water pump or air filter, there is very little about those items that lives on beyond the sale.

      But, what does live on is the customer experience. The better the experience, the more likely the customer will return to you.  So focus on the customer experience, not the products you install.

    • By Elite Worldwide Inc.
      By Bob Cooper
       
      1. Know your customers’ buying habits. You’ll need to know your customers’ buying habits as well as their service histories. You should always request your first-time customers’ service records, and should ask them about their service histories verbally as well. This information can be extremely helpful during any sales process, especially when it comes to selling maintenance. Great doctors are always interested in a patient’s medical history, just as great service advisors are always interested in a customer’s service history. This information not only indicates which maintenance services are due, but will give you valuable insights to your customers’ buying habits as well.
       
      2. Have the right tools available. People believe what they see, so whenever possible, you should get your customers visually involved. At Elite we are big supporters of complete vehicle inspections, proper documentation, and visually showing your customers what was discovered. Since third-party documentation is usually viewed as a credible source, you should use your customers’ owner’s manuals, their service records, and print-outs that show industry recommendations, maintenance brochures, and repair orders that show the high cost of repairs, failed components and fluid samples.
       
      3. Emphasize the benefits. You’ll need to know the key benefits of every service you offer by heart. You’ll need to know, in very specific terms that your customers will understand, how they will win by authorizing the maintenance services that you recommend. You’ll need to make sure they know it can maximize their fuel economies, protect the value of their vehicles, protect their warranties, help them avoid unexpected and costly repairs, and provide them with peace of mind in knowing that they’ll have good, safe transportation. Not only should you know these benefits by heart, but you should write down the benefits of each of your most popular maintenance services, and then review the list of benefits before each and every sales presentation. When it comes to selling maintenance, the overwhelming majority of shop owners and advisors put the focus of their presentations on the parts and labor, and unfortunately, that’s a mistake. As is true with all sales, your customers will be motivated by the benefits they’ll receive, not the parts and labor that go into the job.
       
      4. Be prepared to cost-justify. When it comes to selling maintenance, one of the single greatest mistakes that shop owners and service advisors make is being unprepared to cost-justify the services. You’ll need to be able to quickly explain to your customers, in clear financial terms, why the service is a great investment for them. Here’s an example: If you estimate that a customer is going to invest $600 in maintenance over the course of a year, then you need to break that number down into a daily amount. This way, when you are recommending your services, you can remind him that although he feels that $600 is a good amount of money, he’s going to be able to benefit from the service for a long time. By following your maintenance schedule over the course of a year, the customer’s investment will end up being just $1.65 a day ($600/365). In essence, for less than a couple of dollars a day your customer will protect his warranty, he’ll be protecting the value of his vehicle, he’ll be squeezing every mile out of every gallon of gasoline, he’ll be reducing the risk of costly breakdowns, and he’ll have the peace of mind that he’ll have safe, dependable transportation. If you are not prepared to cost-justify the investment, then you can rest assured that the only number your customers will hear will be the price of the service. This will not only lead to lost sales, but if your customers don’t experience a breakdown within the next few months (that is attributed to the declined service recommendation), then they’ll look at the service you offered as nothing more than an attempt at an unwarranted upsell. At this point, you’ve not only lost the sale, but you’ve lost your credibility as well.
       
      5. Let the customer know you have great news. When you call your customers, make sure you begin your presentation by telling them that you have some really great news. This will not only set the tone for your presentation and put your customers at ease, but it will send a strong message that as a professional, you feel the service you are about to recommend is truly a great value.
       
      6. Use an assumptive close. Instead of asking your customers if they would like you to perform the recommended maintenance services, you should say, “All that I’ll need is your go-ahead, and we’ll get started on it right away.” Assumptive closes send a strong message that there is no logical reason for your customers to decline the services that were recommended.
       
      7. Schedule the next appointment. There is no better time to schedule the next appointment than at the time of car delivery. Your customers are standing in front of you, they feel comfortable with you, and it’s easy for them to say yes. If your customers leave without making an appointment, then they’re going to be fair game for all of your competitors. In addition, taking good care of your customers’ vehicles is a process, not an event, so it stands to reason that you’ll need to see them again to perform the services that will be due at that time, to complete a periodic safety inspection, etc.
       
      8. Never put money ahead of people. Here’s one of the best kept secrets to not only selling maintenance, but to building a great business. Customers are intuitive, and they can quickly tell if a service advisor is interested in their credit card or their well-being. If you sell from your heart, and if you never put money ahead of people, it will show through every single time. Not only will this help you increase your sales, but it will help you generate lifelong customers at the same time.
       
      Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers one-on-one coaching from the industry’s top shop owners, service advisor training, peer groups, along with sales, marketing and shop management courses. You learn more about Elite by visiting www.EliteWorldwide.com.
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