What Are You Afraid Of?
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
When I was growing up, I was afraid of dogs. There was one in my neighborhood that scared me the most. My friends and I called it "Cujo" based on the popular Stephen King movie.
It was a German Sheppard with a loud and intimidating bark. I would walk past the yard every day on my way to school, and Cujo would start running in my direction.
This was troubling because there was no fence between us. This game of chase took place every day, until one day I got fed up. I decided to grab a big stick and when the dog came at me, I would use my weapon to defend myself.
The next morning, I walked past the yard and the beast ran towards me. I grabbed my stick and was ready for a fight. When my four legged opponent got close, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before.
It had no teeth! I had been running from something that posed no real threat. This is why F.E.A.R is described as False Evidence Appearing Real.
What are you afraid of? Below are three of the most common “Cujos” that chase shop owners, along with the "stick" you will need to confront them with:
Grab for the stick called VALUE, and use it to confront your fear of losing customers. Many of my clients confronted their fear of raising their labor rate only to discover they gained on the bottom line without losing any customers.
Value is defined by dictionary.com as the equivalent worth or return in money. When customers question the price, they are really asking if the service is worth what you’re charging.
When your customer picks up their car, remind them of the warranty, quality of the parts, and experience of the technicians. If they feel the value, they will pay the price.
Hiring a Key Employee
Reach for the stick known as the hiring process, and use it to overcome your fear of ending up with the wrong employee.
A critical aspect of the hiring process is doing the reference checks. I always check with a minimum of two former supervisors and ask them if they would rehire the candidate. Most employers won’t bad mouth a former employee because they risk being sued.
They will say good things about someone who did a great job for them, so anything less than an enthusiastic referral, should be considered a red flag.
Confronting an Under-performer
Use the stick known as the one on one process to overcome the fear of him quitting. I coach a shop owner who was afraid to hold his service manager accountable. He was scared, thinking the manager would quit, leaving him to work the counter.
In spite of his doubts, he conducted a weekly one on one meeting with him every Tuesday morning at 7am. These meetings have resulted in the shop's average repair order increasing and the owners stress level decreasing. The manager is more engaged than ever, and the owner’s fears never became a reality.
When Cujo was chasing me, I prepared myself by grabbing a stick. If you communicate value, implement the hiring process, and conduct the weekly one on one’s, you’ll discover that the beast you’ve been running from has no teeth.
It’s just False Evidence Appearing Real.
PS. Email me at email@example.com if you would like some additional information on how to conduct an effective one on one meeting.