Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Is Your Shop Too Expensive?

Is Your Shop Too Expensive?


Eric M. Twiggs

“Always care about value—not about price.”
Debasish Mridha

Imagine dining out at Ruth Chris Steakhouse.  Your waiter comes out and takes the order for your family of four without writing anything down.  It takes forty-five minutes for the food to arrive, and when it does, the order is completely messed up. You asked for the steak, but get the chicken wings.

You asked for mashed potatoes, but they bring you French fries.  It’s been so long since you’ve seen your waiter, you feel the need to take his picture with your I Phone, so you can remember what he looks like!

At the end, you get your bill and you see that the total came to $150.00 with the tip already included!  Now you’re mad and ask to speak with the manager.  You tell the manager “I could have gone to Outback and spent much less!”   But, why are you really upset?

Are you upset about the price, or are you upset about the experience?  The experience would be the right answer!  You would be upset because you didn’t feel the value for the price you paid. 

Ruth Chris is a high-end restaurant with a great reputation, but based on this imaginary scenario, Ruth Chris was too expensive. Based on the level of service you provide, are you too expensive?   Here are some additional scenarios to help you decide:

If your phone rings so many times that your customer volunteers to answer it, you may be too expensive.   If your writer tells your customer that he can’t give her a price over the phone because “the guy from ATI told me not to,” you may be too expensive(This actually happened!)

If your customer comes in faithfully every 5,000 miles to have his tires rotated, and is greeted by a different “brand new service manager” on each visit, you may be too expensive.   

According to a 2011 American Express survey, 70% of the respondents reported that they would be willing to spend more money with companies that provide excellent customer service

Here’s the big takeaway:  If you’re losing customers, the first place to look is at the quality of your service, NOT the quantity of your pricing.   Keep reading and you will learn two strategies to help you evaluate the quality of your service:

Close The Back Door

In his book  The Sticky Church, Pastor Larry Osborne introduces the metaphor of the door.  He points out that some churches are so focused on acquiring new members through the front door, that they ignore the fact that their existing members are leaving through the back door.   He refers to this failure to focus on the existing flock as leaving the back door open.      

Are you losing a flock of customers through the back door?  Measuring and monitoring your customer retention on a regular basis is the key to closing the door.    For example, the average shop has a one-time visit frequency of 47%.  

This means that 47% of their customers made only one visit during the past twelve months.  If your one time visit frequency is much higher, then you must ask yourself the following questions:  Why aren’t my customers coming back more often?  Did they die?  Did they relocate?  Or are they upset with some aspect of my service? 

Reviewing your visit frequency report and contacting your one-time visitors to find out what’s keeping them away is a critical step to closing your back door.  I have had several of my members contact their one-time visitors to find out what was keeping them way.

Without fail, Issues like not fixing the problem right the first time, the time it took to complete the work, and not liking the previous service manager, are mentioned more than price.  Even when price comes up, it’s usually followed by some aspect of the service the customer was unhappy with.   In other words, the service wasn’t worth the price.  

Feel free to email me, if you would like additional information on how to access your visit frequency report, so you can close the back door. 

Ask For Complaints

‘But Eric, it’s not my service because my reviews are great and I don’t get any complaints.”  This is what a shop owner said recently, after experiencing a sudden drop in business that he was blaming his pricing for.  If this sounds like you, please keep the following in mind:

According to a recent retail industry study, 96% of unhappy customer don’t complain.  91% of those unhappy customers will never come back.    When it comes to customer feedback, don’t mistake silence for satisfaction.     Asking for complaints will help you to avoid making this mistake.

When I say ask for complaints, I’m suggesting that you give the customer the opportunity to tell you what they are unhappy about before they leave your shop. 

There are two ways to accomplish this.  The first and most basic method is for the service advisor to ask every customer and the end of the transaction, “Have we exceeded your expectations today?”  

The second method is to say the following when asking for the internet review: “We are committed to delivering a 5-star experience.  If today’s service wasn’t a 5 out of 5 for you, please let me know what we can do better.”   

If your customer does mention pricing as the problem, you can review exactly what you did during the service, how it will benefit her, and the details of your warranty. 

The retail study I mentioned earlier also mentions that an unhappy customer may tell 15 people about their experience.  Asking for complaints will keep you from developing a reputation for delivering a level of service that’s not worth the money. 


So, there you have it.  Closing the back door and asking for complaints, will keep you from being perceived as too expensive.  Improving the quality of your service, will make dinner at Ruth Chris more affordable for you!


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS.  Looking to call your one-time visitors, but don’t know what to say?  Email and I will send you a script

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Best Shop Owners On The Planet Have This In Common

The Best Shop Owners On The Planet Have This In Common


Eric M. Twiggs

Focus on the possibilities for success, not on the potential for failure  Napoleon Hill

I’m always amazed at how two shop owners can look at the same opportunity, but see something different.   This reminds me of a movie I recently watched titled  The Founder, starring Michael Keaton, which tells the story of how Ray Kroc started the McDonald’s franchise. 

Early in the film, The McDonald’s brothers are visited by Kroc, a struggling milk shake machine salesman.  Kroc was so intrigued by the operation, he asked Dick and Mac McDonald to give him a tour of the restaurants kitchen.

After the tour, he met with them to communicate his idea of franchising the restaurant.  The brothers reluctantly agreed and signed a contract that granted Kroc the rights to grow the franchise, and them the authority to make final decisions on each location.

The franchise had grown to have landholdings in 17 states with Kroc as the President & CEO.   He eventually buys the McDonald’s brothers out of their contract assuming complete control of the operation.

There’s a pivotal point in the picture where you can see the key trait that Kroc possessed that made him successful.  The best shop owners on the planet have this trait as well.  During one of the final scenes, Kroc is speaking with Dick McDonald. 

Dick asked Kroc why he didn’t just steal their system, and use it to start a business under his own name after they gave him the kitchen tour.

Here’s what Ray said: “It’s not just the system, it the name.  The name ‘McDonald’s’ sounds like America. The first time I saw your name, it was love at first site. I knew I had to have it.”   When the McDonald brothers looked at their business, all they saw were sandwiches, systems, and struggles. 

Ray looked at the same opportunity and saw a name that could grow into an international franchise.    Both he and the brothers, viewed the same opportunity, but they saw it differently. 

This is what separates the best from everyone else.

Both the best and the rest can look at the same opportunity.  The difference is, that the best focus on the possibilities, while the rest find the problems!  

For example, the best view the “always be hiring” philosophy as an opportunity to find great people.  The rest focus on what to say when they interview someone, but don’t have an immediate position to offer them. 

The best focus on the eight customers out of ten who will say yes to scheduling their next appointment. 

The rest dwell on the two out of ten who might say no.  When presented with an idea to improve your shop, do you focus on the possibilities or do you find the problems?

This is an important question to answer because whatever you focus on tends to expand.  If you aspire to expand the possibilities, and become like the best shop owners on the planet, then keep reading to learn about their two key areas of focus. 

The Big Picture

Several years ago, I was working to complete a jigsaw puzzle.  I reached a point in my pursuit where I was stuck.  I became frustrated, because I couldn’t get the pieces to fit. To my surprise, no matter how many times I tried to connect the wrong puzzle pieces together, it still didn’t work. 

When I turned the puzzle box over on its opposite side, I saw there was a big picture of the completed puzzle.  Once I shifted my focus to the big picture, I could see how all the pieces fit together, and was able to accomplish my goal.    What do you see when you turn your puzzle box over?

In will be easier to hire your replacement, when you focus on your big picture of being an absent tee owner.   It will be easier to raise your labor rate, when you focus on your big picture of having the revenue to retire in style. 

 It will be easier to register for the Super Conference, when you focus on your big picture of becoming an ATI Top Shop.

Unlike the McDonald’s brothers, Ray Kroc was focused on the big picture.  This level of focus empowered him to pursue the possibilities, while the brothers remained puzzled by their problems.

The Best People

Your environment has been described as the invisible hand that shapes behavior.  I didn’t believe it at first glance, but then I became aware of the following studies:

 1. Author & researcher Brad Stulberg reports that you are 57% more likely to become obese, if your close friend becomes obese.  2.  Gallup research has concluded that you are 30 times more likely to laugh when you are with someone else than when alone.  3. The Eric Twiggs research center has concluded that if you spend enough time around three pessimistic people, you will become the fourth!  (OK, there is no Twiggs research center, but you get the point!)

This “invisible hand” inspires the best shop owners to intentionally associate with the best people.  

For example, if you called your unsuccessful shop owner friend, and told him that you wanted to become an absentee owner, he would try to talk you out of it. 

He would tell you to how hard it is to find good people, how you can’t afford to pay the right person, and blah, blah, blah!  You would hang up the phone feeling discouraged, and begin to second guess yourself. 

If you were to call Eddie Cleveland, the 2016 ATI shop owner of the year, he would encourage you and tell you specifically what he did to accomplish this goal.   Talking to your friend would keep you focused on the problems, but speaking with Eddie would inspire you to pursue the possibilities. 

Both your friend and Eddie would be looking at the same opportunity, but seeing something different.  Therefore, associating with the best people is a key area to focus on. 


So, there you have it.  Focusing on the big picture and hanging out with the best people, will allow you to expand your possibilities.   This will leave you smiling as if you just ate a happy meal!


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS.  Struggling to see what your big picture looks like?  Email me at to get the latest instructions on how to create a compelling vision bo

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

How To Close More Sales At Your Shop

How To Close More Sales At Your Shop


Eric M. Twiggs

“In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true either is true or becomes true” John Lilly

There’s a familiar story that is told of a new insurance agent named “Jack” who was struggling to make sales.  He would contact ten leads and come away with ten rejections. 

He believed that business was slow due to the bad economy in his area, and the fact that many of his customers were focused on getting their kids back to school.   I’m sure his insurance vendors told him, “everybody’s slow.”

To change his luck, he scheduled a meeting with “Bill” the leading sales expert in town.    Bill agreed to provide Jack with ten of his most qualified leads on the condition that he contact them immediately and report back to him with the results. 

The following week Jack met Bill at his office to provide the update.  “Bill, those were excellent leads!” said Jack “I sold policies to eight out of the ten referrals you gave me.  Thank you for giving me such great leads. Do you have any more?”     

Bill smiled and replied, “I’m very busy right now, but I’ll be glad to give you my main lead supply source, so you can start calling on your own.”  “Great!” Jack replied. “If they’re your leads, I know they will be good!”

Jack’s facial expressions changed as Bill handed him a big yellow book.  As it turns out, the leads weren’t qualified.   Bill had picked ten random names out of the phone book for Jack to call! 

Here’s the big takeaway: Jack’s results changed once his beliefs changed.  Now you may be thinking, “That’s a cute story Coach, but what does this have to do with me?”   Well, think of a business result that you’re unhappy with.   There’s probably a limiting belief that’s the root cause of your problem.  

Here are some common examples: Car Count: “ I’m in a small town and my customers don’t like to schedule exit appointments.”  Sales: “I’ll lose new customers if I tell them everything I found on the estimate.     Gross Profit: “I’ll lose my good customers if I raise my labor rate.”

I have some good news:  If you change your limiting beliefs, you will close more sales at your shop.  If you plan to change your beliefs, you must change your assumptions.  Keep reading to learn two specific changes that will help you to close more sales. 

Change Your Assumptions About People

Several months ago, a man with worn out clothes and a beggar’s cup sat in front of a church as the members of the congregation were gathering for the Sunday service. 

Although several members greeted him with kind words, their gestures, tone of voice, and body language told a different story.   They looked at him with pity, and made an obvious effort to avoid extended conversation and physical contact.   

Later during the service, The Pastor introduced the guest speaker for the morning, and to everyone’s surprise, it was the same homeless looking man they passed when entering the building!  At the end of the service, the members embraced him, and encouraged him to come back. 

This Minister had a habit of visiting churches in disguise just to see how he would be treated.    He was saddened to realize that his earlier interactions with the congregation were based on their inaccurate assumptions.    

What would happen if a wealthy customer visited your shop wearing worn out clothes, while driving an older vehicle with 200,000 miles on it?   You could say the right things, but your gestures, tone of voice, and body language, would tell a different story

It’s possible, that your buyer says he doesn’t have the money because you’re treating him like he doesn’t have the money.    

It’s possible that your customer doesn’t like the exit appointment, because you presented it with the assumption that she doesn’t like the exit appointment. 

I would attribute much of Jack’s sales success to a subtle change in his tone when he assumed the sales leads came from the sales guru.  If you change your assumptions about people, you can change your results as well!

Change Your Assumption About Problems

I recall interviewing a service manager candidate who had worked in three shops in the last three years.  When I asked him why he left the first shop, he said it was because of he had problems with his co-workers.

I asked about the second shop, he said he had a problem with the general manager.  For the third shop he said he had a problem with the owner. 

It was at this point that I felt the need to invoke “The Bob Principle” that was coined by John C Maxwell in his book Winning With People: “When Bob has a problem with everybody, Bob is usually the problem!”

The main reason “Bob” was unemployed, was that he assumed his problems were outside of his control.  If he would have worked on fixing “the man in the mirror”, he would still be working.

The key to closing more sales at your shop, is to assume that all sales problems are your fault.  When it’s the customers fault you can make excuses, but when it’s your fault you can achieve excellence.   

For example, when it’s your fault, you will send more digital pictures.  When it’s your fault you will visit the car with the customer.  When it’s your fault you will spend at least five minutes a day watching a sales training video.  Changing your assumption about problems can change everything!   


So, there you have it. If you commit to changing your assumptions about people and problems, you will close more sales at your shop.  Embracing a belief that doesn’t line up with your goals is just as crazy as looking through the phone book for qualified sales leads!


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS.  Email me at to receive the latest service advisor Standard Operating Procedures, (SOP’s) that will help you close more sales at your shop. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How To Become Great At Selling Service In 24 Hours

How To Become Great At Selling Service In 24 Hours
Eric M. Twiggs
“Tell me what you did today and I’ll tell you who you are” Benjamin P Hardy 

Do you want to become great without having to wait?  I just read something that can help you with this.    In his book The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy introduces the reader to three friends: Larry, Scott, and Brad.  

They each live in the same neighborhood and make a similar annual salary. They each have a similar level of health, and body weight.   

Larry plods along day to day without making any major changes. He simply does what he’s always done. (Sound familiar?)  

Scott starts making small, gradual changes.  He reads 10 pages a day from an inspirational book, listens to a self-improvement podcast for 30 minutes during his daily commute to work, and cuts 125 calories a day from his diet.    

Brad makes a few bad choices like buying a big screen TV to watch more of his favorite show on The Food Channel, and adding one additional alcoholic drink per week to his diet. No big deal, right?   

So, how will these decisions impact their lives?  At the end of five months there aren’t any noticeable changes in their overall situation.   

Ten months go by and there’s still no change in the lives of the three friends. Thirty months later, the changes are dramatic!  Brad is now 67 pounds overweight. He’s unhappy at work and his marriage is on the rocks.  

Larry is in the same position he was 30 months ago, except now he’s bitter about the fact that nothing has changed, and he’s blaming everyone except for himself. (Ok, I added the last part based on recent observations!)    

Scott has lost 33 pounds and tallied a total of one thousand hours of reading and podcast time.  By applying this newly gained knowledge, Scott has earned a promotion and a pay raise.   In addition to experiencing improved health, and job success, his marriage is thriving.   

Scott became successful in 24 hours.  It may have taken 30 months to become visible, but the seeds of his success were sowed within the first 24 hours, when he committed to daily improvement.  Once you commit to daily improvement, you can become great without having to wait. 

I have good news and bad news.  The bad news is that there’s no such thing as standing still. 
You’re either getting better, or you’re going backwards. For example, Scott got better, while Larry and Brad went backwards.  Which direction are you headed in?  

The good news is that you can become great at selling service in 24 hours, if you apply the two ideas that I’m about to leave you with.

Commit to The Daily Video

I was recently conducting a second interview of a prospective service manager named “Joe” for one of my shop owners and noticed an interesting pattern. 
Joe had a pattern of producing double digit sales increases everywhere he worked.  At his most recent employer, he had produced a 20% improvement over the prior year’s performance.    

So, I asked the obvious question: “What are you doing to get those results.  Here’s what he said: “Every night before going to sleep I spend at least five mutes watching a sales training video.”  

I responded by asking:” How long have you been doing this?  Joe’s response confirmed why he became great at selling service: “Since 2005”  

What would your results look like today, if you had watched at least one sales video a day, every day for the past twelve years? The good news is that you are 24 hours away from planting the seeds to selling greatness.  Click here to access a series of selling videos to get you started.    

Commit To Continuous Improvement

Pat Riley, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, was one of the most successful basketball coaches in history.  In 1986, his team was the overwhelming favorite to win the NBA championship.  They were the most talented team in the league, and victory was a certainty.  

They went on to lose in the early round of the playoffs that year, never getting the chance to even play for the championship.  This humiliating defeat motivated Riley to invent the 1% rule. 

During the offseason, he began tracking his players basketball statistics dating back to their high school days. He gave each player a total score based on the data.  He challenged them to improve their output by 1% over the course of the season. 

This commitment to continuous improvement resulted in the Lakers winning the championship in 1987 and today they are regarded as one of the best teams of all time.  

Watching daily sales videos, doing random role plays, and listening to recordings of yourself selling, can help you to maximize the 1% rule. Improving one sales skill that results in one additional successful sale may not sound like much to you.  

But one additional sale per day, every day for one year would make you a star performer.   The commitment to continuous improvement is the key.  


So, there you have it.  Committing to watching the daily sales training video, and to continuous improvement, can lead you to becoming great at selling service in 24 hours.  Which of the three friends from the Compound Effect, is mots like you?  



Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach


Looking to get better but don’t know where to start?  Email to receive a Sales Improvement Checklist. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Overcoming The Uncertainty In The Auto Industry

Overcoming The Uncertainty In The Auto Industry


Eric M. Twiggs
“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” John Wooden

What’s the future of the automotive service industry? As I ponder this common question, I’m reminded of the tale of two CEO’s from another industry.  
Allow me to introduce you to Reed and John.  Reed was the founder of a small niche business that was losing money.  John was the CEO of an established Fortune 500 organization.  

John was the top dog, the eight hundred pound gorilla, and any other metaphor you would use to describe the top player in a market.   One day, Reed approached John with an interesting proposal.

He offered to sell John his fledgling company for $50 million dollars, with him staying on to lead his part of the organization.   John and his executive team listened intently to the proposal and took copious notes.  

After much deliberation, they proceeded to laugh Reed right out of the room!   After all, why would John need to change, when he was already at the top of his industry?  

Let’s fast forward a few years.  Reed Hastings “fledging company” Netflix is now worth $32 billion dollars, while John Antioco’s Blockbuster Video, is now out of business.  

Many business experts have attributed the demise of Blockbuster Video, Borders Bookstore, and the Blackberry Smartphone, to the advances in technology.   

I disagree. The tale of two CEO’s teaches us that the failure to change is the fatal flaw.  Advancing technology creates uncertainty, but Netflix has managed to overcome the uncertainty in the entertainment industry.  

I know what you’re thinking: “Great story Twiggs, but my industry is different.  Car’s don’t break down like they used to, and they don’t require as much maintenance.”  Well, stay with me to learn the two changes you need to make to overcome the uncertainty in the automotive industry:  


Change Your Perspective

Prior to starting Netflix, Reed Hastings was a customer of Blockbuster video.   He liked the idea of visiting the video store on the weekends to rent a movie.  What he didn’t like was having to pay the late fees for returning a movie after the due date.  
His pain reached its peak when he had to pay over $300 in additional fees after returning a set of movies that he had misplaced.     

The thought of having to explain the additional expense to his wife, left him a feeling of anxiety.  his pain inspired him to create Netflix, where the customer can rent a video without having to worry about late fees.
 Netflix exists today because he saw the problem from the perspective of the customer.     

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  What is it about having her car serviced that makes her anxious?  Is it price? Then show her the true cost to own page that itemizes all of the expenses involved with purchasing a new car.  A minor investment in maintenance trumps the major expense of a new vehicle. 

Is it trust?  Then show her the pictures of what you found during the inspection.  Data from Auto Vitals confirms that the most trusted shops in the ATI Program take and send inspection pictures to at least 80% of their customers per week. 
Reed would agree that changing your perspective can change your bottom line.


Change Your Pay Philosophy


In keeping with the entertainment industry theme, I’m reminded of a recent interview I saw with actor/director Denzel Washington.  The movie he directed, “Fences”, was nominated for an Academy award for Best Picture.   

The reporter asked what made him successful as a director.  His response applies to automotive as well as entertainment industry.  He said:  “80% of directing is casting.”    

Do you have an award winning cast of “A list” service managers and technicians?  Thanks to Amazon, EBay, and internet technology, customers don’t have to interact with a human to get the product or service they want.  
Employing better people, with a track record of delivering “wow” experiences, is more important now than ever.  The need for better people may require you to change your pay philosophy. 

Many of the top performing shops in the program have increased their labor rates, in an effort to afford better people.   They are also offering medical, dental, vision, and retirement benefits.  Again, I know what you’re thinking  "But Eric, I can’t afford to pay more.”   

Well, I have a question for you: How much business would having no person or the wrong person in a key role cost you?  Chances are, it would  be more than the additional $3 per hour that you would invest in an “A player.”   



So, there you have it.  Blockbuster, Borders, and the Blackberry, would still be around if they had been more receptive to change.  

 It’s unlikely that John Antioco will ever become a Netflix customer.  If you are willing to change your perspective and change your pay philosophy, it’s likely that you will overcome the uncertainty in the auto industry!



Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

Do you know an “A” player when you see one?  Email to receive you’re a Player Identification Checklist.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Secret to Sustained Success At Your Shop

The Secret to Sustained Success At Your Shop


Eric M. Twiggs

 “What got you here, won’t get you there” Marshall Goldsmith

Are you a “one hit wonder” who can’t maintain the success you experience?   This question reminds me of an encounter I had with “Jim”, a shop owner who was struggling to find the right technicians.

He desperately posted hiring ads and communicated with his vendors, in an effort to find “Mr. Right”. 

He spent most of his time working IN the business turning wrenches, and was averaging $15K per week in mechanical sales with a $350 average repair order (ARO).  Jim’s struggle to find the right tech ended, when he hired “Tom” to be his diagnostic technician.

If you were to “Google” the term “A Player near me”, Tom’s picture would show up on letter A of the map!   He was master certified, and could flag 50 hours a week, with zero comebacks. 

During the first four weeks of Tom’s tenure, Jim’s sales jumped to $20k a week, with a $471 ARO.  For the month, his gross profit improvement performance was on par with the top shops in the ATI program.   

There were no billboards, blimps, or banners added to his marketing mix.  The secret to Jim’s sudden success was Tom.  Thanks to Tom, Jim was finally out of “desperation mode” and on his way to experiencing the freedom he’d been seeking since he opened his shop.  

Everything was going great as Tom approached Jim on the following Monday morning to let him know that he was resigning to pursue another opportunity.   Tom was offered a pay guarantee from the shop down the road that exceeded what Jim could afford to match. 

After Tom’s last day, Jim went back to turning wrenches and his shop’s sales dipped to $13k per week.    Jim’s great month was just a fluke and not a trend.  He was a one hit wonder.  So, why was Jim unable to sustain the success he experienced?

It’s because he ignored the following secret that all consistently great performers know:  The secret to sustained success is staying desperate after you’ve succeeded.  Sometimes desperation is the best inspiration when it comes to pursuing your goals.

Jim lost his desperation once he gained a technician, so he stopped doing the things that made him successful.  He stopped running ads.  He stopped talking to vendors.  He stopped posting signage.  

What have you stopped doing since you lost that desperate feeling?    Stay with me to learn two things you can start doing to experience sustained success at your shop. 

Stay with “WHY”

I was recently watching the movie Invincible starring Marc Whalberg.  This picture is based on the true story of Vince Papale, who defied the odds by making the Philadelphia Eagles Football team as an undrafted walk on.   

Every morning before football practice began, the lead character would open up his locker, read from this sheet of paper, and then close his locker with renewed enthusiasm.   What was on that sheet of paper?

The “locker room letter” was a note from his ex-wife, who wrote that he would never succeed or amount to anything in life.  Part of his “WHY” was to prove her wrong.  Staying with his why, helped him to maintain the level of desperation he needed to stay on the team.    

Your goals represent WHY you are doing what you do.  Having a vision board that you never see, isn’t enough.  If you want to be an invincible shop leader, I challenge you to take things a step further.  First, get in the daily habit of writing down your three most important business goals on a 3 X 5 index card.

Next, make sure you write them in present tense as if you have already achieved them.  For example, “I am an absentee owner”, or “I have $30,000 in my savings account.” Lastly, review what you have written each day to verify that your daily actions line up with your WHY.  Taking these steps will allow you to stay with WHY.

Always Be Shorthanded

At the beginning of every month, I pose the following question to the Members I coach: “How many employment interviews did you conduct during the previous month?”   I get answers ranging as high as 12 to as low as 0.   Lately, I have noticed an interesting trend. 

Several of my Members who consistently conduct the most interviews, are fully staffed and tend to rank highly on the top shop rankings.  Now why would a shop that’s fully staffed, lead the pack in average monthly interviews?   It’s because they’ve embraced the “always be shorthanded” mindset.  

Embracing this mindset means that after you hire your “A” player, you keep posting ads, and networking with the same feeling of desperation that inspired you to fill the opening.

So you’ve just made a great hire. Congratulations!  Your work has just begun.   Don’t stop recruiting, start building your Rolodex. Don’t stop networking, start asking your recent hire, about who she knows.   Don’t stop displaying your signs, start building your career opportunities tab.

 If Jim would have embraced this mindset, he would have had other technicians to call after Tom resigned.   If you fail to embrace this mindset, and go back to business as usual, you will always be shorthanded.   


The secret to sustained success at your shop is to stay desperate after you’ve succeeded.   If you commit to staying with WHY and to embracing the always be shorthanded mindset, you will avoid becoming a one hit wonder!

Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS. Email to receive your “always be shorthanded” checklist.