SERVICE MANAGER SUCCESS STORIES: 2017 WINNER OF THE SERVICE MANAGER CHALLENGE – DAMON EGAN

Congratulations to Damon Egan and his team from Alberta, Canada for winning the 2017 $50,000 Service Manager Challenge. He joined the Chris Collins Inc community in August of 2016 and since then has seen steady growth at his dealership as he implemented the tools and techniques gained in the Chris Collins Signature Coaching Group.

These are the results he’s seen in the past year:

  • CSI rise from 63 to 74
  • Net/Gross went from -7% to 31%
  • Effective Labor Rate (ELR) increase of $18

It’s taken some work, but you can’t argue with these results… and he is just getting started.

Read Damon’s success story below…

DAMON EGAN: I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE BULLDOG

How do you wrestle a seven million dollar beast? Full-on guns blazing? Tentatively? Afraid to make a mistake because the repercussions could be catastrophic? Try going in with really no plan. Everything is broken and being so overwhelmed that you have the feeling in the pit of your stomach that the world will implode right before your eyes. You know that this dealership had some problems and inefficiencies. You never dreamed that it would be as fractured as it really was. You figured that you could just go in rah rah the place to gain some team momentum and let the rest take care of itself. You couldn’t have been more wrong. The elephant in the room is you have absolutely no strategy on how to move this behemoth in the right direction. ELR is less than $100 dollars and moral is fragile at best. CSI? Let’s not even talk about that. This dealer is the laughing stock of the entire region. Sure they sell a lot of cars, but they infuriated all those guests with their substandard service so they never returned.

This was the beast that I signed up to take on! Matt figured that there had to be a better way. Google to the rescue! Ever search for Service Manager Training? Pretty slim pickings. Then I come across The Bearded One! I watched a few videos and all of a sudden lights were turning on! What do you know! There is a better way to do things. It’s called a PLAN! I made the call. You have to remember that we are not used to these California types up here in Canada. So when I got a call back inviting us down to the offices for Boot Camp, both my GM and I were a little shocked about how fast this is moving. We show up and there are many other people just like me sitting in this room. We all look like we did the first day of school. Scared. Apprehensive. Unsure of ourselves. We have all thought that we are better than we actually are. Now we actually have to prove it in front of the Gods themselves. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Chris wasn’t there to do the boot camp. It’s challenging enough to get up in front of your peers that you know, but we are in a room with several successful managers at big stores, and from big dealer groups.

Then the weirdest thing happened. They had the same problems and same stories that I had. They were facing the same challenges in getting their departments to where they needed to be. I was starting to feel more comfortable about this whole new way of thinking. After that first day I made pages and pages of notes and made the commitment that we were going all in! We were going for failure. I would implement EVERYTHING as soon as I got back to Canada. We needed a full paradigm shift in our attitude, execution, and presentation to our guests. I came back with the attitude that this challenge would not hinder the ability to succeed. We immediately started to see results. ELR goes up, RO count goes up, and CSI goes up! We had happy advisors who were getting paid every day because they were happy at work. What a job where you get paid to play games! We had happy technicians who were making more money than they had ever seen. We became the darlings of the entire dealership. We were absorbing more than ever and breaking every sales and gross record ever produced in the store. Yet something wasn’t quite right. Then November comes…

It was the next trip down to LA. This time the man himself is teaching the class. A rather imposing sight to say the least. Everything is going great. The numbers are there. The gains are there and BAM….. there it is. He asks the question “How many of you have read 10 books this year? How many have read 5 books? How many have read one book this year?” “Make it an action item on your list!” The look of disappointment stopped me in my tracks.

The heavens opened up and lightning bolts came raining down. This missing piece! I was so caught up in thinking that I was the second coming and that I had all the knowledge that I needed. I was doing a disservice to my team and myself. I didn’t know anything. How could I teach, show and motivate my team if I stopped learning? I knew a few things but I had lost my passion for learning and teaching. I love to train, coach, and motivate. I was just resting on my laurels, basking in the success that we were having. I had actually forgotten or stopped caring that you can always better your best! At the airport I picked up a book from a famous entrepreneur. I read it in 2 days. I know Gary likes to read a ton of books, so we started to text back and forth about different books and what to read. Gary gave me his goal for 2017 on how many books he was going to read. Now I thought Gary’s cholesterol number was high but the book goal was ridiculous I thought. There was no way I can compete with that. I don’t have time to read, let alone read 50 books in a year.

Then another lightning bolt. TIME MANAGEMENT!

I thought the work I was doing was “deep work”. Turns out that it was all shallow work with no specific time regimens setup for anything. I looked busy, but was really accomplishing nothing or very little. Next up get a planner and follow it religiously. I always thought that writing goals down was something “new age” people did and would never work for me. I write my goals down 720 times a year. Think I can make them come true? Now I’m getting Deep Work done. Our numbers went up again. ELR close to $120, Hours per RO 2.3 GP percentages moving up and a fully engaged staff. We broke records in November and December for sales, gross, and selling gross. The GM, dealer principal and the controller all were singing our praises. Then comes time for forecasting. I was reviewing my notes from our November coaching group. There were a page in there titled “Huge Goals for 2017.” I pulled it out and on there it said:

Increase net profit to 2.5 million
Increase CP labor to 2.7 million
Maintain 2.5 HRS/RO
CP ELR $123.96
Be Number 1 when you come back next year

There it was. Forecast done! I wanted these goals to become a reality. We made a HUGE goal and we made sure that everyone knew about it. No one questioned the fact that we were going to increase the CP labor sales by 33%. No one questioned that we wanted an extra million dollars net over last year. We back up everything we do. We talk the talk and walk the walk!

It’s now January and it’s the same old excuses. “We won’t be busy. It’s after Christmas , No one has any money.”

Excuses are not in our vocabulary. We dictate the market not the other way around. We had persistence, perseverance, and fun, and go figure we blew up the month. Over 200k in sales over Jan 2016. Over 100k in gross profit over Jan 2016. It wasn’t even hard. We followed our process and committed to the goal. We showed up every day and gave it everything we had.

123.46 ELR
2.35 hrs/RO
$241,900 CP labor (on track for 2.9 million)

The General Manager asked us what we were going to do for an encore.

“What if I gave you a million dollar month?”

He was speechless. That had never been done before. EVER. Not even with fleet repairs included.

I write my goals 720 times a year. Think it’s going to happen?

 

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