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Not Your Typical Automotive Trade Show: Top Dog 2021

Are you going to the automotive trade show everyone is talking about? It’s Top Dog and we’re not your average convention. 

Today we are going to talk to a very interesting philosopher? This philosopher on LinkedIn has an interesting approach to how to motivate and retain the younger generation. I think everybody’s going to learn from him. I know here at the office, he made us pause and we thought, 

“Let’s have him on the show because he demonstrates forward thinking.” 

And his second job, besides being a LinkedIn philosopher, is running a shop, he’s a mechanic/shop owner. Our secret trade show will impact the automotive industry because we talk about topics that matter. 

We have a big event and we need to talk about it, before we talk about Matt. It’s called the Top Dog event. It’s an event that pre COVID happens every year for ages. We haven’t had it for a while. We’re going to be giving away my Jeep Gladiator, monster truck, the car’s a monster truck jacked up, fun to drive, but I’m giving it away to the Service Manager of the year that is in our on-demand or coaching that has taken our stuff and has had the biggest increase in profits, CSI, and productivity. 

Every year, we’ve done it. There’s been a clear winner.  Christian builds off of this statement by saying, 

“I would say that the entries are being elevated, there’s good stuff out there” 

OnDemand will talk about ways to improve your dealership and win a Jeep at my not so typical trade show.

As for our line-up at our not so typical trade show, Top Dog…

We have Jon Taffer, the bar rescue guy. We’re going to try to create some sort of scenario where he yells at Christian. I don’t know how we’re going to do that, it’d be that hard. But I mean he’s an expert on customer service and the psychology of pricing strategies.  We have the incredible Robert Cialdini, the author of Pre-Suasion and Influence.  We have the incredible and fascinating Chase Hughes, author of The Ellipsis Manual.  Lastly, we have Matt Baiamonte. 

People are going to leave the top dog event this year and talk about it forever. People are going to make friends at the Top Dog event and they will remember those friends forever.  It is going to be an experience, like nothing else that we have had pre-COVID.  

If you want to see the improvements you dream of… Going to our inspirational and alternative trade show, Top Dog, is the way to go. 

We’re going to talk about the Top Five Top Dog Mishaps, these are good things that have happened at Top Dog. Our Alternative Trade Show is different because…

  1. When managers come to Top Dog, they realize that their faces have been made into dart boards by other managers competing in our Top Dog software, where service advisors and managers are competing against each other in sales and benchmarks.
  2. When Jocko spoke at Top Dog, it was impactful. Jocko was so kind that he ended up signing autographs for a long time. We came back from lunch and he was still signing autographs. It held us back with getting on with the event because we didn’t anticipate Jocko to take that long. He was there before the doors opened and sat in the back all morning watching, he’s the real deal.  
  3. We had somebody that came from the east coast that literally walked from LAX to the event, which if anybody wants to just really quick pull up Google maps and go from LAX to Downtown Los Angeles, just draw your finger through Inglewood, Compton, every part of LA that if I dropped you off, you’d be scared to death. This person backpacked 17 Miles!  
  4. We did this thing where we had people write their limiting beliefs and different things on wood planks. We had the idea to have wood chippers on stage and the next day we had everybody come up and throw their wood planks in the wood chippers. These wood chippers ended up chewing up the back part of the stage, which cost us a lot of money, let’s just say we did not get our Deposit back.  
  5. Another thing that does happen and at Top Dog a lot is people want to go to In and Out Burger when they come to California. 

I’m sure that there’s going to be better stories this year at Top Dog! Especially where we’re having it and how people want to get out because of COVID and they want to do something fun like get away from work for a couple of days to refocus on their business. There’s something really powerful in going somewhere where other like-minded individuals are talk about:

  1. How can we attack the future?
  2. Can we increase our profitability, have a better customer experience? 
  3. Should we recruit better Service Advisors and better Technicians? 
  4. What’s the future? 

One thing I would say to you about Top Dog is that there are no vendors at Top Dog. It’s just us. It’s built for you to grow and build a foundation, it is not about selling. 

No vendors are allowed. People offer us and say, “Can I sponsor it?” We’ve historically always said “no”, because it changes all of a sudden and then we’re in debt to commercials.

Christian went into depth with our Top Dog event when he started saying, 

“I believe we make the clients the stars throughout the whole event and we definitely make a solid effort to do that. Everything that we do is for them, there’s nothing that is self-serving. We want you all to be able to come back after Top Dog and I think my favorite part as a coach is seeing what happens with the results the two months following Top Dog. It’s unbelievable. Always somebody goes back and wins the competition that’s never won the challenge before. Always somebody pops into the elite group because they just needed that refocus and this is two years of needing refocusing. This event is long overdue and I think that everyone’s going to get a ton out of it.”

Let’s talk next about our guests today, Matt.

Matt owns Mad Muscle Garage in Bell Plains, Minnesota, which specializes in classic and muscle cars from parts to full restoration. At the age of 10, Matt started helping restore muscle cars and Matt has never lost that passion. Matt has been doing certified appraisals and pre-purchase inspections across the country for the last 15 years, consignment of high-end muscle cars, sales, classic, and muscle cars, and has been a shop manager of a high end classic car dealership and restoration shop.

Top Dog is nothing like other automotive trade shows. 

Our crack team is always scouring LinkedIn for interesting topics or people that have ideas on leadership and business. As a shop owner, we noticed that Matt had a little insight into a need to change our approach when hiring younger kids coming in and we saw a post that Matt hired a high school kid to help them out a little bit. The kid was not showing up and so instead of kicking the kid to the road, Matt thought, “Why don’t I try something a little different?” 

Best Book to help improve your decisions from our alternative trade show.

Matt explains to us what he tried and what his outcome was

“I was upset. My emotions were a little upset and frustrated, however, I sat back and thought about the Pros and Cons to firing him. Who is it really good to affect? It’s just going to put more of a workload on me and once you figure out the issue of not showing up, the next thing to do is trying to find the source of the problem and find a solution that works for both of us. This seems to motivate them a little bit. Back in my day, you won’t get away with that. Instead of just taking the easy road, I took interest in his background, I know he was into welding and even wanted to be a welder.  I asked him to

show up a little early and show up on time and we’ll get him into welding the last 45 minutes of the hour of the day and can get you some practice and to move on to what you eventually want to do as a career.”

It worked and he started showing up on time everyday. 

Matt went into detail about how he’s now back in school. I’m only going to have him a couple of days a week.  Matt further explains to us that finding the solution to the problem really did seem to help him out.  It made Matt feel better because on your own and finding someone else to take over the position, just adds more stress, when you can try to figure out the younger generation and figure out a different path for them on a case by case basis.  

I asked Matt this specific question next, “When you proposed the challenge and he accepted and started showing up, did you notice any change in your personal relationship with him at all? 

Matt tells us in detail about how his employee responded to the offer, 

“Absolutely! You know, we do a lot of work here and now he kind of opened up a little bit and every day I’m learning more about him. He’s into trucks and bought himself a truck. He wants to start putting on suspension, exhaust, the typical stuff as a teenager you want to do and, and show off. Learning more about him can help me know more about him and help him go in the right direction and see what kind of positivity seems to work for him. No one wants to be negative or in a negative situation and it’s helped us both at the end of the day when we worked together to figure out the solution to our problem.”  

He says that the basics to move along to the next step in life when he goes on in college are these tools that he already learned while working for Matt and that this will help him excel into the future with whatever he wants to do.  

Matt tells us that no one’s perfect, no matter how long you’ve been doing this. 

Matt’s post inspired us here in the office to stop and look at ourselves a little bit differently. It was a great experiment into human behavior. 

Matt reminds us that we should take a second. When something negative happens, take a deep breath, get your emotions out of the situation, and analyze what positivity you can come from the situation and handle everyone differently and try something different. Everyone works differently, especially the younger generation. Matt says that if it doesn’t work well that we still have option number two.  

We appreciate what you do Matt, keep posting. We love it. If there is anything we can do for you, any questions, or anything that we can help you with, please feel free to let us know Matt!  

Don’t forget to subscribe and call us at (833) 3-ASK-SDR if you have a question. 

Join our OnDemand program HERE and I’ll see you next time on Service Drive Revolution!

We talk about our alternative trade show here.


Related Blogs/Podcasts:

Business Outlaws – Celebrity Boxing Trainer, Matt Baiamonte

Service Manager Challenge TopDog

#14: Top Dog Service Manager Happy Hour

#28 – Drive Sales And Retention With Events

DigniFi: Financing Cars with LeeAnn Radonski


Today we are going to talk to a very interesting philosopher? This philosopher on LinkedIn has an interesting approach to how to motivate and retain the younger generation. I think everybody’s going to learn from him. 

For special deals on our books and training, head over to OFFERS.CHRISCOLLINSINC.COM and I’ll see you next time on Service Drive Revolution!

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