Helping Shop Owners grow into the successful entrepreneurs they imagine themselves to be.

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.