The journey began back in 2011…… A friend in my 20 group and I would always challenge each other and be in the search of the “next big thing”. We were always trying to grow. One day my friend called me and said,
“I just opened this email from DealersEdge and this alleged ‘Service Guru’ is going to have a web x’.
He said, “I think we should check it out.” I agreed and we signed up. As the web x started, I can remember texting my friend, “This guy Chris Collins is out there.” As we got past the halfway point, the texts changed to, this dude may be on to something!!!!
After the web x we both ordered The Irreplaceable Service Manager. When it arrived, I opened it up first thing and as I read it I realized I had been the manager in the stories he told and I was blown away. I was so juiced up I read it twice.
A few days later a vendor came into my office and saw the book on my desk and asked me what I thought? I said I truly love it. He then went on to say that he knew Chris and possibly could get him to speak at my 20-group meeting. I said great!
Fast forward a few months Chris Collins is speaking at my 20-group meeting in New Orleans. He put on a great presentation. After the presentation we all went to dinner.
After the dinner, Chris offered to take us all out for drinks on Bourbon St. Well not to embarrass all of us too much, I will say it was an AWESOME night. My friend and I had a conversation with Chris that evening and we signed up for The Secret Service Society.
We were so juiced up! We received our welcome call after we returned to our dealers. We were set in the COMP and the Bad Ass American Group was formed. About 4 months later we were invited to a Secret Service Society meeting in Chris’s office in California.
We booked our flights and trekked across the country.
When we arrived at the meeting from the opening to the end it was absolutely mind blowing.
I thought I knew a lot…… I knew sh*t…… Chris had everyone go up to this large white board and write your numbers up on the board (ELR, C/P Sales, CSI, & Net to Gross). It did not stop there.
He then fired questions at you about your numbers. True accountability on you. We also met some truly awesome managers in the meeting that to this day continue to be great friends and fellow gym partners for accountability. After the meeting we walked back to our hotel and were just walking on a cloud with the breath of fresh air that felt was pumped into us about the business……………
Fast forward as I implemented Chris’s system in my store at the time, I transformed the existing business that I was managing to new levels.
Increased our C/P ELR $18 per hour, our CSI increased to the top 3 in our Region, Net to Gross increased from 5% to 22.8%. My friend and I both became founding members of the Elite group which was another level.
It truly was a transformation. Unfortunately, I was growing in my mind set faster than my dealer either wanted me to or could handle. I decided (Due to my confidence being so high) to travel the country and put what I learned into “fixing” service departments.
Unfortunately, I was nowhere ready to take on that challenge. I did some self-evaluation and realized I needed to go back to the laboratory and continue to work on my mindset and skills.
I attempted to go back to my old store and at the time the dealer was not ready for that. I then joined a group that a friend of mine had just started growing. I was overseeing 2 locations and inputting processes to get the stores moving in the right direction.
Unfortunately, my confidence was at an all-time low and couldn’t turn around a piece of paper, non the less 2 service departments.
After many back and forth texts from my previously dealer (Him asking me if I was ready, to me asking him) we finally put something together and I went back to my old store. I just figured that it was all a fluke and I would just need to stay at his store and “Exist”.
After 4 service managers took down what I had created there, I went to work and put systems and structures in place and the store went from losing $30k per month to making $30k per month in 90 days. I was sitting in my office one day reviewing the financial statement and said to myself… 90 Days to your best fixed ops month ever.
I went home that weekend and reread the book and NEVER looked back from that weekend.
I came back in on Monday and ran the best morning meeting ever (In my opinion) and had a focus on where I wanted to go.
I hired techs (15 in 4 months, I would have said there was none out there in the past), hired advisors, porters, etc. The dealer was ecstatic. He said to me after a few months that he was about 90 days from selling the dealership if service didn’t turn around.
He then thanked me for coming back and truly let me run my department. This went on for approx. 2 years and we continued to smash records.
I unfortunately went through some life changing events in my life. I received a call from another dealer group that was courting me to work for them for approx. 8 years, and the call went like this. Roger, I have a great opportunity in a large store outside of Tampa, Florida.
I said nothing more other than “I am there”. Truth be told I always wanted to move to Florida and with the life changing events it was a no brainer. We met, put a deal together and then the MAGIC started. I left a state I lived in for 49 years and a manufacturer I was with for 31 years.
I started on March 1st ,2020. On the 1st day, I started evaluating the employees, the numbers, the RO’s, the processes. I quickly realized there is a TON of opportunity here.
As my 1st month started to take place, COVID 19 hit.
I had to reduce my service advisor staff by 50%, reduce my express team by 50%, and support staff by 50%. At one point in my life/career I would have said “What did I do? This is going to be horrible!”. Not this time.
I continued to put what I knew had to be done in effect. Very shortly I realized that the employees I was put in charge of, just wanted to be led. After my 2nd month and a 2-week slowdown from COVID 19 business started to come back.
As this started to happen, I was in a meeting with my GM and Vice President and they told me that they want me to produce $750k in total fixed gross (They had never achieved that). I replied, “Why is your ceiling so low, I will do $1m plus”. They looked at me and chuckled and said “Ok, Let’s do it.”
I left that office saying, “What did I just commit to?” I went home that night and said to myself “This is my time to prove to myself I can do anything I put my mind to.” I came in the next day and went to work and put a pricing strategy in place, minimum requirements for advisors, putting ads out for techs and advisors.
I hired 10 techs in 9 days, went from 7 advisors (After COVID 19 reduction) to 17 advisors in 90 days. The highest C/P labor sales month they ever had in this store was $250k. After 5 months we hit $280k then $300k, then $320, we just finished after 3 months at $443k in C/P labor sales.
The total Fixed Gross Profit results were $750k in just a few months, to $1mil in 7 months of my arrival. We put $1mil plus on the scoreboard for the next 90 days and continue to increase that number every month.
This truly has been a major self confidence builder for me along with the mind set to realize I can do whatever I put my mind to. After leaving my comfort zones of a manufacturer and hometown. Success is truly addicted to clarity.