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Meet Chris

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I’m Chris Collins, and I’m Here to Fix Your Sinking Ship of a Business

I got my start in the automotive industry working in the car wash at a dealership. It wasn’t long before I worked my way up to service advisor, where I got an inside look at all of the problems and inefficiencies that plagued the department. I decided things had to change, so I put my head down and focused on following consistent processes and making friends. Before long, my new way of doing things made the department dramatically more profitable. I started to connect the dots and realized the potential of my philosophy and processes. I felt like every service drive could benefit from my approach. So I decided to become a consultant, eventually founding Chris Collins Inc. Over the past 25 years, I’ve built a team of coaches and distilled my systems into a series of books, online courses, and my in-person coaching program. We help dealerships implement consistent processes to get them out of the red and create winning culture along the way. My approach is to shake things up because the conventional way of doing things often doesn’t work. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to take a risk, I promise you won’t regret it.

How Did a Guy Like Me Get into the Automotive Industry?

I grew up as a missionary’s stepson, dividing my time between Tijuana, Mexico, and Washington. Since my stepdad was terrified of secular influences, I attended a private Christian school, traveling north of the border each day for classes. All of the kids there (except for me) were from wealthy families. While I was wearing raggedy hand-me-downs from church donation bins, they had the latest styles and gadgets. And you’d better believe they let me know about it. I was constantly bullied—at school for being poor, and in Mexico for having pale skin.

When I was 13, good ol’ stepdad cleaned out our bank accounts and ran off with his young girlfriend, with whom he’d been having an affair. My mom and I were left utterly destitute. And while we were taken in by my grandfather—a rock solid fire lieutenant who taught me what it truly meant to be a man—the experience made me vow that I’d never be broke again.

Throughout my chaotic adolescence, I found that banging on my drum set was an excellent way to relieve stress. Inspired by grunge bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains, I decided that going into music would be the way for me to make a name for myself. So I joined a band, but quickly found that the gigs paid poorly and my bandmates were more interested in girls and drugs than music. To supplement my income, I took a job in the wash pit at a dealership.

I wasn’t in the car wash for long before I started lobbying my boss to let me have a shot at being  service advisor. Unfortunately, Dick didn’t like the idea of letting a guy with long hair interact with the customers. So, naturally, I kept pestering him and finally wore him down after a year or so. Once I finally got the job, I learned I had to submit a quota of repair hours each month or I’d get shipped right back to detail. I quickly discovered there were a lot of problems in the service department. So I rolled up my sleeves and completely changed the way the department was run. It pissed off a lot of people, but they shut up when they realized I was logging far more repair hours than anyone else. As I mentioned earlier, my way of doing things isn’t for the faint of heart, but bold actions bring bold results.

It wasn’t long before I was invited to visit other dealerships and consult with their staff on internal process improvements. I quickly became a full-time consultant and discovered that I truly enjoyed what I was doing. Later, I became the General Manager at a BMW dealership. Under my way of doing things, that dealership became number one for sales globally—for four years straight. At that point, I decided I was ready to run my own dealership, so I invested in a location and got ready to make it rain. Except that the partner Chrysler had sent my way turned out to be a crook and I quickly found myself mired in a lawsuit. Around the same time, my personal life went down the toilet. My wife left me and my bulldog died.

This was one of the darkest times in my life, but I believe there is opportunity to be found in every setback. I realized that the thing I was most passionate about was not running my own dealership. Rather, my true passion lay in helping other people grow their businesses. Luckily for me, this also happens to be something I’m really good at. In fact, I’ve developed a track record for increasing the profits of service centers by 400% within a mere matter of months. Since launching my own consulting firm, I’ve branched out into other industries. Under my guidance, a personal trainer’s business grew to more than $2 million in profits within three years. I’ve also helped a hydroponic nutrient company grow from $28 million per year to more than $50 million per year. And I’m just getting started. There’s a lot of dough to be made out there, guys. You with me?

What I Believe

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