Leon Anderson, owner of Integrity Auto Care, South Beloit, Illinois and Belvidere, Illinois. A long career with Ford dealerships starting as a technician and ending his Ford career as a General manager. Celebrated by Ford Motor Company for Customer service satisfaction. Lessons learned during that time were the growth of female customers in total purchase decisions. Twelve years ago Leon started Integrity with the thought that he could employ some of the people that lost jobs during the closure of dealerships that were going on in the area and hopefully move some of the customers that were orphaned into longtime customers. Integrity Auto Care caters to customers with a focus on women and baby boomers, as the main customer base.
Brittany Schindler, GM of her father's shop in Bellingham, Washington for over 10 years. She loves working at the shop and being able to help people every day. Brittany has learned so much over the years by going to classes with great trainers and having a great business coach. One of her main focuses is to raise the standard of the automotive service and repair industry.
Aden McDonnell is a second-generation shop owner, his parents have been in the business for 64 years. Aden has owned and operated since 2003. He worked for Ford dealership for 9 years and was the youngest service manager in Montana during his employment. Aden believes in coaching and has been with ATI for 8 years. He attended his first SuperConference in 2019 and it was a big change in his thought processes and operations. Aden is married and has two daughters.
Key Talking Points
Too prideful- Thinking you can do everything yourself instead of training people what to do. Too proud to call customers to ask for a review/ask how they are doing/when they will come back SOP’s- be prepared for daily SOP’s and unpredictable events that take the owner out of business. What is going to make you dispensable? Write down answers to questions your employees have to ask you. Establishing second in command- letting teams manage and be accountable. Trust and empower the people you put into place. Have your second in command go through training and train others in shop. Margins- believing in your shop and the benefits of going there as a customer. Believing you are worth what you’re asking for. Procrastination and pushback from the things you need to do- listening to coach/mentor. Definition of insanity- doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results Trusting people- giving authority to employees to handle customer situations immediately. Establish expectations with employees- too often owners get stuck wearing management hat and never switch to leadership hat. Instead of managing, you need to continue to grow your people. Mistakes when growing (inner growth, outer growth, shop growth)- getting lean with processes to get customers in and out as efficiently as possible Never taking a vacation- if you say you don’t have time for it then it’s not a priority to you 20 groups/coaches saving a marriage- surrounding yourself with people you want to emulate. Having accountability in professional and personal life. A special thanks to Leon Anderson, Brittany Schindler and Aden McDonnell 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
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By Joe Marconi
Last October the doctors found a large infection and abscess in my large intestine that perforated into my abdomen. I required emergency surgery to remove the abscess; removing about six inches of my large intestine. That was step one: This past January, I needed an additional surgery to remove another 4 inches, and repair other areas of my intestines. Thankfully, I am fine, with no lasting issues. It will take about a year to fully recover, but all is well.
I am telling you this for one reason: What if something were to happen to you? Will your shop survive? What about your family? These were the things I thought about when I was laid up in the hospital.
Create a continuity plan to prepare for a crisis. Make sure you have a will and enough life insurance. Build a business where it can be run by the systems and procedures you out into place.
Lastly, ENJOY the fruits of your labor! When I woke up after the surgery with tubes inside me and in my arms, It became clear that the things we worry about in business are really not that important.
Take care of yourself !
Many of us were once techs, but now hold the management role within our facilities - and as much as we'd love to say we're as technically proficient as we once were, the reality is technology is changing SO quickly that it's tough at times to stay on top of it!
Scan tools are being released at a dizzying pace, and the features required aren't what they were 5 years ago!
In this episode of the ASOG Podcast, David and I talk with Brandon Dills of Jarhead Diagnostics about just that!
Brandon shares his scan tool choices and what tool, if he could choose only one, that he would purchase!
We also talk some techncian perspective and there's even some dealer perspective in there!
Make sure you listen to the whole things, as there's some killer information mixed in 😉
You can listen on your favorite listening app here:
There's also a live premiere on YouTube currently! Go and share your opinion with other listeners!
Please considering liking, subscribing, sharing, reviewing or commenting on your favorite platform! It really helps us know how to better serve this community!
By Joe Marconi
Nick is on the front lines of customer service each day. He is a talented service advisor, with a passion for helping others. Nick and I often debate what’s more important to the customer: price or value? He’ll often tell me, “I know you preach value, Joe, but people care about price, too. In the end, price is a major concern.” I always respond, “Nick, it’s not all about price, it’s really about value. Build a strong relationship, reach the customer emotionally, have them believe in you and they will trust you. And when that happens, price will not be the focus.”
Here’s the reality. I would be lying to you if I told you that price has absolutely no bearing on a person’s decision to buy from you or not. However, are consumers only interested in price? I know that sometimes it may appear that way, but the bottom line is this: being competitive and profitable is a fine line we walk each day. When the perception of value diminishes, price then becomes the focal point. Nick, who debates me on the philosophy of value, learned a valuable lesson recently, which made him a believer that there is most definitely a difference between value and price.
About a month ago, a first-time customer called us to ask if we could take a look at her son’s tire, which was losing air pressure. Nick took the call and said, “Sure, we would be happy to help you.” He took down all the needed information and let her know that he would follow up with a phone call as soon as her son arrived.
When the son arrived, Nick wrote up the car and dispatched it to a technician and then called the mother to let her know that her son had arrived. He also let her know that he would call her as soon as he knew something about the tire.
About ten minutes later, the tech informed Nick that the tire was damaged from riding with too little air pressure and that the tire would have to be replaced. He also said that the other three tires looked new and that it would not be a problem replacing the one tire.
Nick prepared an estimate for the tire and called the customer. Nick explained why the tire needed to be replaced and let her know that we could have the tire installed and have him on his way in about an hour or so. Nick then gave her the price for the job. The mother replied with, “Ok, give me five minutes and I will call you right back.”
Fifteen minutes later the mother called, and said, “Nick, I found another shop that will install that same tire for $50.00 less than you can do it for. So, can you put air in the tire so I can have my son drive it to the other shop?” Nick thought for a second and responded, “putting air in the tire and having your son drive his car to the other shop is not safe. Here’s what I will do. I will have my technician put the spare on the car. He’ll also check the tire pressure in the other three tires. Afterall, we want to make sure that your son is safe.” The mother thanked Nick and hung up the phone.
A few minutes later, the mother called again, asked for Nick and said this, “You know Nick, you were so nice to me from the very beginning when I first spoke to you and right up to now, and you put my son’s safety first. You also didn’t try to force me into buying your tire. Please install the tire at your price.” Nick, now on cloud nine, hung up the phone and told the tech to finish up the job.
Nick learned a valuable lesson that day. He learned that he didn’t sell a tire—he sold something much greater. He sold an emotional feeling. He reached the customer on an emotional level and the price of the job became less important. Does this work with everyone? Of course not. But, if you want to make more sales and build the right clientele, sell value, sell relationships and sell a positive emotional feeling.
Later that day, Nick told me what happened. I could tell that he was proud of how he handled the situation. And he should be. I just listened as he told me the entire story and relived the moment. After he had finished, I calmly asked him, “So Nick, is it really all about price?” Nick just smiled.
This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on May 5th, 2020
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