Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Crazy Thing That Will Keep You From Hitting Your Shop Goals

The Crazy Thing That Will Keep You From Hitting Your Shop Goals

By


Eric M. Twiggs



  
“To have your place in the sun, you have to leave the shade.”  Tim Grover

Imagine for a moment that your goal is to visit Hawaii.   To accomplish your goal, you invest in a travel agent named “Amy”, who has a track record of helping thousands of other travelers like you, to get to the same destination. 

Based on this experience, she selects a specific all-inclusive package that includes the flight, hotel, and ground transportation.    There’s only one problem.

You live in California and your plan is to drive, because you don’t believe in flying. “Well what about a cruise? Asks Amy, “I have some great cruise line specials this time of year!” You reply with, “I think going by boat is even riskier!”

So, you get in your Honda and start driving towards Hawaii, determined to get there your way, driving up to the point where the road ends and the water begins. Now, you feel frustrated.  You’ve invested time and money into this travel agent, and you still haven’t gotten to Hawaii! 

Here’s the question:  In this imaginary scenario, what’s really keeping you from getting to your destination?  Is it your travel agent?   Is it your transportation?

Before giving your final answer, you should consider using a lifeline or phoning a friend!  The correct answer is neither!    It’s your beliefs that would be holding you back. 

I know what you’re thinking: “Twiggs, that’s just crazy! Who would honestly expect to get to Hawaii and not believe in flying?”  Well, allow me to provide some examples that hit closer to home.  Who would honestly expect to get to their car count destination, but not believe in exit appointments?

Who would honestly expect to get to their staffing goals, but not believe in always hiring?    Who would honestly expect to hit their profit mark, but not believe in the pricing matrix?  All three examples are just as crazy as the “Honda to Hawaii” illustration.

Here’s the crazy thing that will keep you from hitting your shop goals:   Hanging on to a belief that will never take you to your destination.   In other words, What got you here won’t get you there.  

Stay with me and you will learn about two specific focus areas, that will help you line up your thinking with your goals.   


Focus On The Possibilities

The story is told of two shoe salesmen named Rick and Mike.    Their company sent them to a third world country to look for new business opportunities.  

At the end of their first day, both called home to their wives to update them as to how things were going.  Rick calls and says:  "Honey, I'm coming back home, I can't sell anything.  Nobody is wearing any shoes here!

Mike calls his wife and says "Honey, you wouldn't believe it, this is a great opportunity.  Nobody's wearing any shoes here!   I can sell to the entire country!"  Mike went on to become a record setting shoe salesman while Rick retuned with no sales. 

When presented with the same idea, Mike was focused on the possibilities, while Rick looked for the problems.   Which are you focused on?

I’ve noticed this same trend when comparing top performing shop owners and those who are always losing money. 

For example, when presented with the idea of offering a lifetime oil change, the consistent top performers tend to embrace it faster, and are seeing dramatic increases in cash flow and customer retention. 

Those who consistently lose money, are more likely to dismiss the idea by talking about all the reasons it won’t work in their area.    The main thing that keeps the top shops at the top is their tendency to focus on the possibilities. 

Eventually, you will find whatever you focus on the most.   If you consistently focus on the possibilities, you will find a better business!


Focus On The Payoff

I believe that there is no such thing as a “silver bullet” solution.   I realize that not every idea works for every shop, every time.  I recognize that there is no one size fits all suggestion that is guaranteed to produce results in every location.

I GET IT!  These facts make it easy to dismiss new ideas, and create limiting stories to support why something won’t work.

Here’s an example of a limiting story from the opening illustration: “Flying in an airplane is too risky. Driving is safer.”  When you catch yourself using a limiting story, the key is to focus on the payoff.

The first step is to review your specific goal.  Next, look at the related story and ask, “How is driving my Honda going to get me to Hawaii?”  For your profit goal, you can ask “How is not using the parts matrix getting me closer to paying down the credit line?”

For your lifestyle goal, ask: “How is interviewing only when I have an opening, helping me to spend more time with my family?”  When you can’t find the payoff, it’s a sign that the limiting belief that’s driving your story, is stopping you where the road ends and the water begins! 


Summary

So, there you have it.  Focusing on the possibilities and the payoff, will increase the likelihood that you achieve your goal.    ATI is like your travel agency.   As long to as you listen to your assigned “agent”, you can get to your desired destination! 




Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach


PS. For more information on the lifetime oil change, email etwiggs@autotraining.net


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

50 First Days! How To Know If You've Made A Bad Hire

50 First Days! How To Know If You've Made A Bad Hire


By


Eric M. Twiggs



“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”  H.L. Menken


In 2004, Sony released the hit movie 50 First Dates starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.  Sandler’s character “Henry” meets Barrymore’s character “Lucy” in a restaurant, while having breakfast, and is instantly drawn to her.   After years of searching, he believes he has finally found the right girl.

But there’s one slight problem.  Lucy suffers from short term memory loss, and can’t remember anything that happened from the previous day.  As a result, every date is like the first date.  Even though Harry says the same things each day, Lucy is always hearing it for the first time. 

Does your recent experience with your latest hire, feel like 50 First “Days?”  Each day you talk about making exit appointments, but it’s like she’s hearing it for the first time.  Each day you review the courtesy check process, but it’s like he’s hearing it for the first time. 

Each day, you talk about collecting email addresses, but it’s like they’re hearing it for the first time.  Like Henry, you initially felt like you found the right one, but now you feel like every day is their first day. 

It’s possible that you’ve made a bad hire.  But how can you know for sure?    Studies show that a bad hire can cost a shop as much as six times the employee’s salary, so the sooner you find out the better!     

As you read on you will learn the “head, heart, hands” evaluation method, that can help you answer this question.   


Head

Years ago, I worked as a corporate trainer for a national automotive service corporation.  One of the classes that I facilitated was phone training. 

At the end of each session, the students had to demonstrate via role play, that they knew how to answer the phones and follow the phone outline.  The role plays were then graded on a scale of 0-100.

I remember one student named “Jeff” who was my best student. He passed the final exercise with a perfect score of 100%.  In the following weeks Jeff, my star student, went back to his location and failed his next three phone shops! 

Every day was like his first day when it came to executing the phone process.    His manager “Jim” blamed training as the issue, and wanted to send him back through my sessions again.  I disagreed, because Jeff demonstrated through the role plays that he knew what to do. 

When evaluating whether it’s a head issue, the question is “Does your employee know what to do?”  If the employee can demonstrate the task, then the answer is yes.  If after repeated training and follow up, he’s still unable to do it, then it’s possible that you have hired someone who doesn’t have the aptitude for the job.

Therefore, I recommend creating random role plays for those tasks that aren’t getting executed, even though you keep telling them to do it. In other words: “When it feels like their first day, it’s time to role play!”


Heart

Back when I was a store manager, I had a meeting with my team to discuss the courtesy check process.  I went through all the information as to why it was good for the car, the customer, and the company.  I also reviewed how they could make more money. 

I felt like the message was clear, until one of my technicians interrupted me mid-sentence with the following statement: “Yeah Eric, I hear all that, but what’s really in it for me to fill out these courtesy checks?”    To which I replied: “You get the benefit of continuing to work here!” 

After that, I never had another issue with his courtesy checks!   I had addressed the following heart question: “Does your employee know why he is doing it?”  In other words what is their motivation to perform the task? 

Studies show that people are motivated by either approach or avoidance, when it comes to their behavior.  Approach means that doing the task will help them to approach something they want. 

For example, completing the courtesy check will help your tech to make more money.   Someone who is motivated by avoidance, is looking to avoid the consequences of not performing the task.  The technician at my meeting was looking to avoid termination, which motivated him to execute.   

What if you’ve addressed the head issue, the benefits, the consequences, and it still feels like their first day?  In this case, it’s possible that the person has a limiting belief that they are unwilling to overcome.  This is the most common heart issue that I encounter, and it’s a sure sign that you have made a bad hire. 


Hands

When I think about the hands issue, I’m reminded of another situation I encountered back when I was a corporate trainer.  Myself and several other company executives where sent out to Northern New Jersey because a disgruntled employee at a troubled location had filed a grievance with the local labor union.    

I was sure that the disgruntled employee had either a head or a heart issue.  I was planning to provide training, and then follow up with the location manager to ensure that he was providing the right levels of motivation.  What I found, took me by surprise. 

The union drive, which made national news, was started because of a tire technician who didn’t have the right tool to perform flat repairs.   He kept telling his manager, but his requests went ignored.   He knew what to do, (head) why he should do it, (heart) but lacked the right tool to do the job. (hands)   

Here’s the hand question: “Does your employee have the necessary tools and resources to do the job?”  For example, if you are coaching your technician on productivity, and you believe he has a hands issue, a great question to ask is: “what do you need from me to help you improve your productivity?” 

If he says, “I need you to get the lift fixed in bay number three”, you know you have a hands issue.  If your new “B” tech knows what to do, why he’s doing it, has the right tools, but still averages 5 billed hours during a 40-hour work week, you just made a bad hire!   


Summary


So, there you have it.  If every day feels like your employees first day, check the head, heart, and hands before concluding that you’ve made a bad hire.  If you follow this formula, it won’t take 50 first dates to know the difference between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now!



Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach


PS.  Email etwiggs@autotraining.net to receive a special head, heart, hands checklist to help you determine if you’ve made the right hiring decision. 


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

How To Excel As An Expensive Shop Without Having To Discount

How To Excel As An Expensive Shop Without Having To Discount

By

Eric M. Twiggs



  
“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”  Steve Jobs

“I can get it cheaper from the parts store. You guys are too expensive, cancel everything!”  Has anyone ever said this to you?  This is what Laura, a first-time customer said to “Chris”, the service writer, after he presented her with a $530 estimate for a distributor on her Mitsubishi Eclipse.
“Rich”, the shop owner, overheard the commotion at the counter and met with Laura to salvage the sale. 
Put yourself in Rich’s shoes for a moment.  What would you do to salvage the sale with a first-time customer who has a price objection?  As Rich was telling me his story, I was sure that he would offer her a discount.  What he said to her, took me by surprise. 
“Laura, the price you were quoted by the parts store is a do-it-yourself price.” He went on to explain, “Ours is an installed service price, which comes with a two-year, 24,000-mile warranty, which is twice as long as the industry average.
With that warranty, you get nationwide coverage in case something goes wrong while you’re out of town. Can you find it cheaper? Probably. Will you be as happy with your investment? Probably not.”
Laura’s response was shocking: “I didn’t realize everything I was getting. Go ahead and do it.” Later in the day, she called Chris and apologized! Why did Laura’s mind change even though her price remained the same? 
Here’s the big takeaway: People don’t do what they don’t understand.   After speaking with Rich, Laura was finally able to understand.   
This allowed Rich to excel as an expense shop without having to discount.    Keep reading to learn two specific strategies to make this happen for you as well.

Find Out Their Plans

110 Retail business owners were surveyed as part of a 2014 Retail Systems Research study.  56% of the respondents reported experiencing increased price sensitivity from their customers. 
The survey also concluded the following critical point:  Customers only shop based on price when price is the only thing that separates competing offerings. 
In other words, the less informed customer will be more price sensitive, than one who is educated on how your service will benefit them.  The key is to find out what your customers plans for the vehicle are. 
So how do you find out what their plans are?  I’ve done some in depth, analytical research over the past eight years to present you with the following answer. 
Brace yourself because I’m about to get technical. Here it is:  YOU ASK: “What are your plans for the vehicle?” (It can’t be that simple, right?)
Once you know your customers plan for the vehicle, you can communicate the benefit of your service that lines up with what she wants.  
For example, I’ve asked this question and received the following response: “My plan is to keep driving my Honda until the wheels come off.” 
Later in the presentation, when we are talking about preventive maintenance, I would say, “Having your transmission fluid exchange service done will help you to drive your Honda until the wheels come off, just like you told me out at the car this morning.”
Finding out their plans for the vehicle, gives you the opportunity to educate your buyer on how your service is a match for their specific need.   

Prep Them For The Courtesy Check

“Joanna” a service manager working in the Mid-West, shared an encounter she had recently that hammers home the value of prepping your customer for the courtesy check. 
 She was attending her local Chamber of Commerce “Lunch and Learn” session where she ran into “Bob”, a longtime customer of her shop.  Bob had good news and bad news to share with her.
“I’ve been coming to your shop for years and you guys have the best tire prices in town!”  That was Bob’s good news.   He then went on to say,” My last visit made me upset! 
I came in for four tires and left with a print out of a bunch of other stuff that needs to be done on my truck! I didn’t plan on getting all that work done, I just came in for tires!” 
To which Joanna replied “The other items the technicians found were things that they noticed when they did the courtesy check.  The courtesy check is done just to make sure everything on your vehicle is OK. 
We do that because we don’t want you to experience a break down on the road because we didn’t tell you about a problem with your vehicle.” Here’s how Bob responded: “OK, that makes sense, now I understand. I will be making an appointment to get those things fixed on my truck.” 
Like Rich from the opening story, Joanna explained the process in a manner that Bob could understand.  What she shared with him, should have been communicated by the initial service advisor BEFORE the courtesy check was done. 
 If Bob had been prepped for the courtesy check, he wouldn’t have had any bad news to tell her. 

Summary

So, there you have it.  If you commit to finding out their plans, and prepping them for the courtesy check, you can excel as an expensive shop without having to discount.    As stated earlier, people don’t do what they don’t understand. 
It’s my hope that now you understand the importance of educating your customer.    The next step is for you to DO IT!    

Sincerely,


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach

PS. Email etwiggs@autotraining.net to receive a video that covers the different buying personalities and how they relate to the customers plan for their vehicle. 














Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Is Your Shop Too Expensive?

Is Your Shop Too Expensive?

By

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. 



Summary

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!


Sincerely,


Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach


PS.  Looking to call your one-time visitors, but don’t know what to say?  Email etwiggs@autotraining.net 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


By



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. 


Summary

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!

Sincerely,

Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach


PS.  Struggling to see what your big picture looks like?  Email me at etwiggs@autotraining.net 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


By


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!   



Conclusion

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!


Sincerely,




Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach



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