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Hold a Clinic for your Customers


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Last week we held two consumer clinics for women. Both were a huge success. I spoke about the importance of car maintenance, safety, what to do if you have a break-down and gave them many more tips. I expected the clinic to last about an hour or so, but went on for over 2 hours.

 

The clinic was so successful that I am already planning another one in July for teen drivers and students going back to college.

 

How did you promote it and how far in advance?

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Last week we held two consumer clinics for women. Both were a huge success. I spoke about the importance of car maintenance, safety, what to do if you have a break-down and gave them many more tips. I expected the clinic to last about an hour or so, but went on for over 2 hours.

 

The clinic was so successful that I am already planning another one in July for teen drivers and students going back to college.

 

 

Questions:

Did you charge a fee to be at the class?

 

Was it entirely just women... or did some men come along?

 

Would this be something that might be incorporated into a drivers education class?

 

Could you see this as a monthly class, something that they could get more info each time they attend?

 

Did you have a lesson plan, and if so, could you share your class ideas?

 

I like the concept... great idea... Gonzo

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Joe, I would like to have a copy of your plan. I also thought of new way to promote these clinics. One could put a clinic on for existing customers but make the price of admission that they have to bring along a friend who has never done business with your shop. That would guarantee an even mix of current and prospective new customers and would allow the customer to do the promoting. Just a though!

 

 

Now we're talkin business... send me a copy.

 

This is a great idea... and the fact that you tied the "needy families" into the mix... great effort!!!

 

You've proved to me again Joe,,, ya got it goin' on... Not bad for a fossil... (as my son would say...LOL)

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I promoted it a number of ways. I made a generic TV commercial about consumer clinics what aired a month before the clinic date. I will use the commercial in the future, since I will be holding these on a regular basis, probably 4-6 times a year. I had 2 already. I also announced on the radio, it on my web site, a made a poster for the waiting area and I sent out an email newsletter a few time inviting people to come to all my customers and to all the local business groups in the area. We also asked the local papers to give us some free press. I also featured it my quarterly newsletter .

 

We started promoting it about 6 weeks prior to the first class and now it will be promoted on an on-going basis with classdates to be determined.

 

It was a women’s clinic only. We had one guy show up for the 2nd clinic (my daughter’s boyfriend).

 

There was no fee for the class but the clinics were actually fund raisers for local organizations that help needed families. Most women donated something.

 

We actually will be starting Defensive Driving courses at my shop also, but I would not incorporate the clinics with the driving course; two separate audiences and deferent massages. Plus the defensive course is a required 6 hours.

 

I do have a lesson plan: If anyone would like a copy let me know I could send you my notes.

Great Stuff!

 

I would love to see the lesson plan!

Thanks for the promo info as well.

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Joe, I would like to have a copy of your plan. I also thought of new way to promote these clinics. One could put a clinic on for existing customers but make the price of admission that they have to bring along a friend who has never done business with your shop. That would guarantee an even mix of current and prospective new customers and would allow the customer to do the promoting. Just a though!

 

 

Great Idea!

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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