Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How To Become An Unstoppable Shop Owner

How To Become An Unstoppable Shop Owner


Eric Twiggs

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.  Robert Collier

Have you ever attended a training class looking for "the silver bullet?"  I thought about this as I recently watched a documentary on legendary football coach Vince Lombardi.  Lombardi is considered to be the greatest coach of his era.  He would conduct clinics for assistant coaches around the league who were seeking the secret to his success. 

During the documentary, they interviewed a young assistant named John Madden.    Madden admitted to being young and cocky, believing that he already knew it all.  He attended the meeting looking for new information that would take his career to the next level.  Madden was searching for the silver bullet.

The session was eight hours long.  Lombardi spoke for four hours, took a break, and came back and talked four more.  Madden was shocked to discover that the entire eight hour session was on how to run one play! 

The play was called the power sweep.  It was so simple and basic, that every assistant coach in the room knew about it before attending the clinic.   Even teams on the high school levels used it. 

Why would a Hall of Fame coach spend so much time focused on something everyone already knew about?  Here's the lesson:   It's not about what you already know, it's what you do with what you know, that determines the outcome of the game.

In other words, the secret to your success is to become brilliant at the basics. This level of mastery will make you unstoppable!

Just ask Vince.  His Green Bay Packers ran this basic play better than everyone else in the league.  His team mastered it to the point where it became unstoppable,even when the defense knew it was coming! 

What are the basics that you should master to become a champion in your market?   Step into my huddle, and you will learn. 

Repair Order Audits

I was doing a coaching call last year, and my client and I were having a lively and interactive conversation.  Everything changed when I asked him why his effective labor rate had been dropping the last three weeks. 

The phone line went silent!  Before I could call Verizon to find out what happened, he admitted that he didn’t know!   If he was doing daily repair order audits, he would have been prepared for my question.

Like any discipline, the process isn't exciting, but it’s effectiveYour people respect what you inspect, so you will experience an improvement in compliance when they know you are regularly reviewing tickets. 

Exit Appointments

What If I told you I had a marketing program that was FREE, and it would provide you with 10 additional cars per week?  Would you sign up?  If so, then why not schedule the next appointment for your customers?  The clients who consistently schedule the next service for every customer, report a minimum of 25% coming back as scheduled. 

If you average 40 cars per week, the math works out to 10 customers coming back who normally wouldn't. (40X25%=10)   I know I have mentioned this in another article, but I figured if Lombardi can talk about one play for eight hours, I can talk about exit appointments in two articles!  Like the power sweep, it's worth mentioning multiple times.


When you commit to doing daily audits and scheduling the next appointment, you will become brilliant at the basics, which is the real silver bullet!  You may not make the Hall of Fame, but you can become an unstoppable shop owner!


Eric M. Twiggs

PS.  Email me at  and I will send you a checklist of the 5 daily disciplines that will make you unstoppable.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Secret To Becoming World Class

The Secret To Becoming World Class


Eric Twiggs

"The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race"  Unknown

Do you know the secret to becoming world class?   The following story about Pro basketball star Kobe Bryant will reveal the answer.   Kobe has already accomplished his goals and achieved great success in his career. "Rob", his personal trainer, was hired to get him in shape to play in the summer Olympic Games for Team USA. 

The night before the first scrimmage, he gets a call from Bryant at 3:30am asking for help with conditioning work.  Rob arrived to the practice facility at 4:30am to find Kobe alone and drenched in sweat from his individual workouts as if he had just taken a swim!  They worked out together until around 6am, and Rob went back to his hotel and crashed.

Rob then woke up and dragged himself to the practice facility again at 11am.  He noticed all the Team USA players practicing on one side of the court except for Kobe, who was by himself on the other court shooting baskets.

Rob approached him and said. "Great work last night.  When did you finish?" "Finish what?" replied Kobe.  "Getting your shots up?  What time did you finish your workout and leave the facility?" 

Kobe's response tells us the secret. "Oh, I never left.  I have to make 800 shots at the end of each workout and I'm still working!   Why would someone who has already succeeded, put himself through this grind? 

It's because, the secret to becoming world class is realizing that you're never finished!  Think about the last graduation ceremony you attended.  They referred to it as a commencement right?  

The dictionary defines commencement as a beginning or start.  In other words, the real work begins once you have experienced success.  Our world is always changing.  If you stop working, you will fall behind. So, what areas of your business should you always be working on? 

Keep reading and you will be two steps closer to becoming world class!


Imagine having the opportunity to purchase a new shop, and staff it with your dream team.  You could have the best writer in town, writing for the best technicians in the industry.

Now look at your current crew.  Who from your existing staff would you hire for the new location? The key is to always be working on a plan for anyone whom you wouldn't rehire.

What can be done to either develop them into a top performer or to find the "A" player you need?   Your current top producers need a plan as well to maintain their edge.

Vehicle technology is improving and your competition is one "mouse click" away.  This is why world class organizations always have a plan to attract and develop exceptional people.


What if you called your power company and let them know you can't make the payment because the customers "in your area" don't have the money for your services? 

You would discover that in spite of your limiting belief, Pepco still expects to be paid! The reality is that your costs of doing business are always increasing.  If you aren't regularly adjusting your prices, you will experience a gradual decline to your bottom line! 

When was the last time you reviewed your labor rate?  Are you using the most current parts matrix?  Are you charging correctly for diagnostics? 

The people and pricing plans are connected, because a team of top performers will deliver an upgraded experience that will justify the pricing! 


So there you have it.  You are never finished, but consistently working on your people and pricing can produce world class results!


Eric M Twiggs

PS.  Email me at if you want my step by step process to develop your new hire into a world class performer!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

50 Ways To Blame “Another”

50 Ways To Blame “Another”


Eric M. Twiggs

"Nothing happens to you. It happens because of you" Grant Cardone

"It's not my fault, it's the area;" said Matt, a service manager who worked for me back in 2001. “We can't find good people because of the low unemployment rate and high median income."

This shop had a history of being understaffed on tire technicians and mechanics.  Matt was the third manager in the last twelve months, and the two previous mangers had the same explanation for being shorthanded. 

Maybe his shop was different from the rest of my locations.  I was starting to believe Matt, and I too blamed our failures on the area.   Matt and I had 50 ways to blame another! 

Then something happened that forever changed my perspective. Matt resigned, and I was forced to bring in a new manager from a different location named Roger.  Three weeks later, he had the shop fully staffed!  Roger hired two mechanics and three tire techs, who each became top producers in the market.

This experience taught me the following reality:  There's always a "Roger" out there who can get the result that I'm struggling with.  In other words, I should always be open to the possibility that it’s my fault!

Remember your customer who "didn't have the money?" There's a Roger out there who would have made the sale.  Can't find technicians because of your area?  Roger could come in and find that "A" tech you’ve been looking for.

Do you have a habit of blaming external factors for your failures?  If so, you have 50 ways to blame “another.”  It’s always another person, place, or thing that’s responsible instead of you. 

The key is to shift from playing the blame game, to taking ownership.  As you read on, you will learn two questions to ask that will change your perspective.


Who is the "Roger "in your market or 20 group that’s getting the results you're struggling with, while dealing with the same obstacles?  Back in 2010, a shop owner told me about how he couldn't maintain strong margins because he was in a college town and the students didn’t have any money. 

 He was forced to change his perspective when I introduced him to my client Dave Mays, who is in the same town and has been very successful.  They still talk to this day and Dave has given him several best practices to improve his business. 


What is your Roger doing to achieve the desired outcome?  In the college town example, Dave shifted his marketing focus from the students, to the college faculty, who were more stable and had a higher income.  He also hired a service manager who possessed the right attitude and personality to go with years of successful selling experience.

I agree with Tony Robbins who says to model someone who is already successful because success leaves clues. Asking the "what" question will lead you to those clues. 


You won't fix what you don't believe to be your fault.   Asking the "who" and "what" questions will help you to start owning the problem instead of blaming another person, pace, or thing. 


Eric M. Twiggs

PS.  Does someone working for you have 50 ways to blame another?  Email to receive a list of 5 questions you can ask that will put an end to the "blame game".