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Chris’ Favorite Things of 2019, We Answer Your Questions, and How to Have More Energy in 2020

Set a goal and stick to it.

It sounds simple, but the truth is, most people lack the drive they need to get the results they want. They tell themselves, “Why bother?” before they even start. You know the type, we see them every year: In January, bodies pile into the gym and it gets so crowded that you can barely get in the door. Then, come February, it’s empty again! Not because these people found a better gym… Because they quit. Do you want to be one of those people?

No. Hell no.

If you’re anything like me, being that guy is your worst nightmare. That’s why, this year, I’m challenging everyone to set real, tangible goals for themselves, and to work every day to achieve them. The New Year is only a day away, so I need you to take the plunge now. Why? 

Because we’re not just starting a new year this week–  We’re setting the pace for a whole new decade!

Ask yourself: Are you where you imagined yourself to be ten years ago? If you’re not, how could you have worked harder? What can you do to make sure that, this time, you get where you want to be in ten years? Picture it, and then work every day to make it happen. That’s the only way it happens: You have to work on it every day. Results won’t come overnight, and you won’t always win. But with the right attitude, I promise that you’ll win more than you lose. 

That’s why on Service Drive Revolution this week, I sat down with Mario Pernillo, my Coach Super here at Chris Collins Inc. In just four months, Mario lost over 30 pounds. 30 pounds! And he didn’t do it by setting a lofty goal or by taking shortcuts. He set a simple goal, and he achieved it by sticking to it every day. And if Mario can do it, I guarantee that you can. 

But before we get started, there’s something you should know: 

I’m excited to announce that, starting now, Service Drive Revolution will be releasing weekly! We’re also going to be launching a new mini-episode every Friday called a Drive-By. These are two- to five-minute motivational clips to help inspire you as you head into the weekend. And if that’s not enough, every Drive-By will include a special sneak peek of the next week’s episode of Service Drive Revolution, so you definitely won’t want to miss those.

That’s right: Service Drive Revolution will be coming at you twice a week in 2020, so get ready! 

Now… Back to Mario.

Mario started at 267 pounds, and the closest thing to a turning point for Mario was when he lost a foot race to his son, Jordan. To understand what a big deal this is, keep in mind that I’ve seen him race technicians and advisers in dress shoes, and I’ve never seen anybody beat him in a sprint. To pinpoint why he lost, Mario thought, “Did I not run right? Did I have the wrong form? Am I getting old? Did I lose it? Is he beating me?” but, ultimately, he realized that he had given Jordan an advantage by letting himself go. 

He was out of shape (as he comically put it, “Round is a shape!”), but he never thought about it… Until he lost, that is. 

To Mario, you don’t realize how quickly you make every excuse in the book to cover your losses, and you don’t truly accept a loss until you admit that you lose.

After Mario accepted it, he couldn’t just do nothing. At the end of the day, he was carrying too much weight. So he asked himself: What can I do so this never happens again? When am I going to work out? How long am I going to work out for? His goal wasn’t to lose 30 pounds. His goal was to work out.

Now, Mario is down to 230. He gets excited to go on runs, with a minimum requirement of a mile every day, no matter what. From his perspective, there’s an excitement that comes from being in tune with his body. 

He describes it as a mindset: Everything you want to accomplish is simple if you put your mind to it and work at it every single day, so he keeps going. It’s not about the quick win, right? It’s a long-term game. I hope that you’ll keep that in mind, and that Mario’s story inspires you going into 2020.

But that’s not all we talked about this week. I also answered some service advisor’s questions. That’s right– anyone can submit a question to Service Drive Revolution. And if we read it on the show, we’ll send you some fun swag, like Service Drive Revolution t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, and notepads. 

Our first set of questions this week came from a service manager at a small shop. His quick lube techs have been missing a lot of M.V.P.I. (Multiple Point Vehicle Inspections), so he’s thinking of teaming them up with A techs to deal with the high volume of daily appointments. He has three advisors, and wanted my thoughts on bringing on a fourth. He also asked my opinion on a new pay plan for his advisers. 

There are a couple things to address here:

If you don’t have the right balance of techs inspecting the cars, you need a process for training techs to become better at inspecting. Those quick lube techs need a career path to become C or B techs within a year or so, and the way you’re doing quick lube isn’t going to work no matter what you do. If you have veteran techs coming over there, there’s a chance you’re either going to pay them to do those inspections, or it’s going to be unproductive and they’re not going to want to do it for long. This means you’ll eventually need to reset the whole shop. This isn’t an issue that can be fixed with a bandaid. You need the right structure in the shop, which is completely different than what you’re thinking.

The question, “Should I add another advisor?” leaves out several important variables. What are your hours in your shop? How many repair orders are you writing? What time are you open? You’re saying you have 50 appointments a day, but that doesn’t tell me how many RO’s you’re writing. If you have 50 appointments, are you writing 75? We do have a formula for that, but we need to know how many RO’s we’re writing at the end of the day.

Your pay plan is not how I would do it. You probably know this from being an advisor yourself, but you should pay your advisors on customer pay, warranty, internal, parts and labor, and don’t pay them on gross. Advisors don’t know or understand what gross is. You’re paying advisors on something they don’t understand. I never understand why dealerships complain about their parts to labor ratio falling off over the years while they’re paying advisors only on labor. You probably know this from being an adviser, but every RO has a part, so your advisors should get paid on parts. You miss out on tons of part sales by not paying the advisors on parts. Lower the percentage and pay them on customer paying warranty, then pay them on internal. 

In the end, it’s all about the customer experience, and I don’t understand why you would want a customer’s first impression to be advisors who don’t want to write up their car when they bring it in. I assure you this happens when advisors aren’t being paid on internal. I see and hear it all the time, and if you’re listening or reading and thinking, “Well, that’s what their salaries for,” or “That’s their job,” or “Oh no, my advisors don’t do that,” then you’re crazy.

The next question is much more straightforward:

“Do you believe that the parts department should contribute to advisor pay as long as we are paying the advisor on labor and parts?”

The truth is, every manufacturer has an accounting manual. Take for example the accounting manual for General Motors. GM does a parts transfer, and that covers what the service advisers are doing or offsets them. A percentage of the back counters gross gets transferred to the service department. Another example: a BMW financial statement splits the advisors, the warranty administrator, and the cashier with parts. 

What you want to do is go to the office manager and ask to see the accounting manual. It will tell you what to do. This isn’t about my opinion, it’s about how the financial statements are set up. Some are set up with transfers, some are set up to split the advisers, and every manufacturer will have that information in their master accounting manual. It will tell you how you should account for all the expenses. Secondly, if you’re in a 20 group or you’re comparing numbers with another dealer of the same manufacturer, it’s best if you’re following the right accounting practices.

You’re both asking all the right questions, but you’re going to mess this up if you don’t have the right direction. You have the right ideas and the right ambition, but you stand to lose millions of dollars by not offering your managers the right training. That’s why I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that for just $8 a day, our online Service Drive Revolution On-Demand platform can provide the exact training you need for your service advisors, techs, and managers. 

Our program is the best adviser training in the industry. It will help you rethink how to lay out the shop, figure out pricing strategies, and build a system that creates more sales per customer. With our Service Manager University, Technician Tree Recruiting, and Pet the Dog customer service training, your techs will learn how to sell, manage their time, and increase their flat rate. It’s worth way more than $8 a day. It’s worth thousands of dollars. Your ROI will be huge, and Service Drive Revolution On-Demand might be the best investment you will ever make in your life, even better than if you bought Apple stock. 

And now I have to tell you about my favorite things of 2019, starting with a book that I discovered this year called Teaching Excellence – The Definitive Guide to NLP for Teaching and Learning by Richard Bandler and Kate Benson.

Bandler is one of the founders of NLP, neuro-linguistic programming, and the story is that Kate met Bandler at one of his workshops and said, “You’re using NLP on me to teach me NLP.”

He said, “Yeah, of course I am. That’s how you learn better and how it’ll stick.”

“Well, why doesn’t anybody teach school teachers how to use NLP to teach?”

“I don’t know.”

They decided to write this book together for school teachers, which is not only one of the best ways to learn NLP but it’s going to teach you how to train your employees better.

Next, Away carry-on suitcases. This is something I bought all of my coaches for Christmas this year, and there are a couple things I love about it. It has a bag to store dirty clothes and bands to cinch down your clothes so you can pack even more clothes in it, and it has a charger for your phone. If you’re like me, and you need to travel for work, I guarantee that an Away suitcase will change your life.

Another highlight of 2019 for me personally was seeing Bon Iver live. Bon Iver is what you’d call an indie band, and their sound definitely isn’t for everybody, but as a fan of their music I’m happy to say that their live show didn’t disappoint. 

Last but not least, my favorite thing of 2019 was all of you tuning in to Service Drive Revolution, whether you’re watching on YouTube, or listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. So, with that in mind, the three episodes of Service Drive Revolution that got the most downloads in 2019 were:

  1. Why Trump’s tax reform might cause a dip in car sales and what you can do to stay ahead.
  2. Brian Benstock: why disrupting the automotive industry might be the only way to survive.
  3. Why you should stop following the golden rule with Glenn Lundy

If you haven’t listened to these yet, I recommend you check them out. 

That’s going to do it for this week on Service Drive Revolution. Remember: Set a goal for yourself this year, and work every day to accomplish it. We have a whole new decade starting this week, and a lot of potential to live up to. I hope that you have a happy New Year! We appreciate everybody listening, reading, and watching every week, and we will see you again real soon! 

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