Tag Archives: consultancy

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A BOSS AND A LEADER

Being a leader, as well as a boss, is critical to getting your employees to perform at their best. Not sure about that? According to Gallup polls:

  •   Poor leaders in the workplace are the number one reason people quit their jobs.
  •   Poor management can cost a team 50% less productivity than well managed teams.
  •   Poor management can cost a company to make 44% less profits.
  •   75% of employees say dealing with direct supervisors is the most stressful part of work.
  •   Gallop estimates that $960 bil – $1.2 trillion is lost a year due to poor management.

A lot of people think of the Meryl Streep character from The Devil Wears Prada as the token stereo type idea of a boss, right? She’s the real to-the-point, perfectionist, do it or you’re fired type.

There’s a flip-side to that. There’s also the boss that’s what I like to call, the “keeper of the keys,” or the “Charlie Brown”. They can unlock the door every day. They’re reliable, but they’re not a leader. They’re not making the numbers go anywhere. They’re not propelling the business forward. I have a theory on the difference between any manager or boss, and a leader. There’s one thing that happens that changes everything, that most bosses or managers never actually do. They can go far in their career, but they’ll never transcend. They’ll never really know what their full potential is, or how they can add a ton of value to other people’s lives.

The difference between the two is raising your hand and saying, “I’m going to be the leader”.

Something happens in your psyche when you raise your hand and you say, “I’m going be the leader”. At that point, you accept all responsibility. The biggest difference between a boss and a leader is the responsibility part, the owning it. Owning the result until the end. The outcome is yours.

I think the way it was described to me early on in my career by one of my mentors was saying that managers manage things, leaders lead people. You can’t manage people—you can try, but once you get out past a hundred or so employees, it’s really hard because you can’t see them all. You can manage inventory, you can manage resources, you cannot manage people. You’re better off leading them so that they follow you willingly instead of standing on top of them.

When you accept full responsibility, you focus on the results more than the feelings. A lot of times, managers are led by feelings, not results. It’s tricky because it’s easier to create feelings around your comfort zone than it is to create feelings around the actual result. Raising your hand and saying, “Hey, I accept this. I’m going to lead us out of this valley,” is a magical thing in a lot of ways. It is at that point you’re committing to the result.

When you raise your hand, you’re committing to improving all the time. As the leader, you’re saying, “I’m constantly going to get better.”

Jim Collins said, “We found, instead, that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And then they figured out where to drive it.”

Meaning, you really have to understand that there are people out there who just aren’t meant for what you’re trying to do. Don’t spend all your time trying to convince them. Go find people that want to change the world and be a part of what you want to do. If you spend all your time trying to convince somebody who doesn’t believe, it will demotivate you and may ultimately stop you. More than anything, you have to have a sense of who you’re letting on your team.

To break it down, the real difference between a boss and a leader is raising your hand and owning every result that happens—it’s when every customer interaction, every misfire, every bullseye, is on you. The good and the bad. You’re going to manage to the middle. You’re going to be stoic. You’re not going to get too excited or too depressed about anything because you’re constantly moving forward. By raising your hand, you’re saying that you want to be the leader who gets better, who constantly improves. The one who is managing by the results, not by the feelings, and you’re humble enough to tell your team that you’re not perfect, and by doing everything together as a team, you’re stronger and better.

What do you think? Do you think leaders are born or make the choice to be leaders? Have you ever raised your hand? Let us know!

 

Listen to the full episode our new podcast, Chris Collins Unleashed, on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle PlayYouTube or chriscollinsunleashed.com.

Think I’m onto something? Disagree entirely? Reach out to me on Twitter at @bulldogcollins. I’d love to know what you think.

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GOING INTO BUSINESS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS

Should you? Or, shouldn’t you?

People have wildly different opinions about whether it’s a good idea to go into business with family and friends, and for good reason. Personally, I have dreams of grandeur that in some situations it can go well, but plenty of my close friends and colleagues have warned me against these optimistic notions. Some have gone even further, warning me about near brushes with divorce over working with a spouse.

The biggest issue I’ve heard about is that you lose all sense of boundaries. Particularly with spouses, or partners, who work together—it’s never clear where the business stops and the marriage begins. They blend together and it can get rocky because no one knows their role. It’s often the same when people go to work for their parents—there’s a weird power balance in the office, or getting caught in the middle between other employees and the parent, or boss. God forbid, you get into a situation where you have to fire a spouse or family member.

In fact, according to psychologists, couples who work together experience an overload and interference. Overload because couples have insufficient time and energy to perform both as a family and business owner. Interference because work and family activities occur at the same time so it becomes hard to know when family begins or ends.

On the other side of the coin, the biggest upside of having family in your business is trust. In most cases… For example, with businesses like car washes, bars, places that are cash heavy, it helps having people up front who you can trust. As long as you trust your family members, they’re the best people to have handling your cash.

The other huge benefit to working with family or partners, is having someone there to be the rock. When everything’s going chaotic in your in business, you’re behind on your taxes, you’re bouncing checks, you’re trying to make payroll, you’re having to do all these things that an entrepreneur who’s starting up has to do, you need somebody there to hold you together. Someone who will put you back together and fix your wounds and send you back out to do more.

If you’re lucky enough to have that healthy business/personal relationship with a family member or partner, that’s great. If it becomes unhealthy with the family member for any reason, then the work should probably be removed because you don’t want to jeopardize the one person who you can count on above all else.

At the end of the day, whether going into business with friends and family is a good idea really depends on who your friends and family are and what your relationships with them are like. It could be the best situation—it could be the worst. So, get real clear on what kind of business partners you want. If your loved ones don’t fit the bill, or might not be able to handle your ambition, work with people you feel comfortable pushing and keep your loved ones safe from the ups and downs of the business life.

Do you have any experiences working with friends and family?

Reach out to me on Twitter at @bulldogcollins. I’d love to know what you think.

Listen to the full episode our new podcast, Chris Collins Unleashed, on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle PlayYouTube or chriscollinsunleashed.com.

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Chris Collins, business leader, business advice, business performance, entrepreneur

HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD IDEA AND A GOOD BUSINESS

Lots of people have great ideas – my doorman pitches me a new business every week. But great ideas don’t always translate into a great business. To prove my point think about these stats:

  • In 2013, there were 406,353 startups of new businesses and 400,687 firm closures.
  • Out of these new businesses, only 7 out of 19 survive for more than 2-years (36%)

As part of your entrepreneur’s survival guide, it’s critical to ask yourself questions before you rent office space and start asking friends and family for money you’ll never be able to repay.

First, what is my goal? Sometimes people go into business because they inherited Aunt Ginny’s favorite cookie recipe, but what’s the goal? To make money? For everyone in the world to taste Aunt Ginny’s cookies? Are you willing to do this for free? If you’re interested in making money be very specific. Do you want to make $50,000 a year or $100,000,000?

It’ll serve you well to have a disciplined approach to your profitability, finances, and bookkeeping from the start. Because believe me, there will come a time you’ll need investors, or to borrow money, and you need to be prepared for that. You also want to know every month if you’re winning or losing so you can make informed decisions moving forward.

Next, is there a demand? Doesn’t matter whether YOU love your product, or whether it’s good if no one wants it. So, you need to find out and test the market. Handsome coffee is a great example because whenever there was a cool event they were there with a little kiosk, making coffee and selling bags of coffee. They had something like 80 wholesale accounts before they even opened their doors. It’s possible to test without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, and anything can be tested.

How committed are you? Are you willing to sleep on your mom’s couch as an adult to make this work? I’m not kidding because the time will come for any entrepreneur when you run out of money, something goes wrong, someone tries to sue you, whatever… Expect things to go wrong and know going into it how you’re going to handle it when that inevitability happens. The time for a gut check is before you go off and spend a bunch of time and money.

Also, the best time to work out an exit strategy is at the beginning. Put it in writing and make it clear what’s going to happen if it doesn’t work out, or things go wrong.

What’s the monetary of the system you’re going into? Most successful businesses have different ways to make money so you need to understand the monetary system, and all the streams of income. For example, if you have a wine store it might end up that your wine club makes more money than bottle sales. Create a consumption plan for your customers because they’re looking to you to guide the experience.

Who, or what, is your potential competition? This can make, or break, a new company because if you don’t know who you’re up against there’s no way you can put the right strategy into place. The last thing you want to do is compete on price with someone who has it locked down. Sometimes you have to take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, is my product really better? But better to ask yourself that question before you find yourself competing with Starbucks. Tivo is the perfect example because they had a great product, and was first to market, but they never made any partnerships so when all the companies came out with their own version than they lost their edge, and ultimately all their business.

Finally, what’s the relationship with the customer? At Virgin Airlines, they’re selling an experience—a really great experience. The result of that is the customers grow accustomed to that first-rate experience. They like it, and then they count on it, so when it’s gone they feel a gap.

So early on it really serves you to create a relationship and build a list of raving fans. So, every time you interact with someone they walk away thinking that was really good. Exceed their expectations. Even slight differences can make all the difference in the world.

Think I’m onto something? Disagree entirely? Reach out to me on Twitter at @bulldogcollins. I’d love to know what you think.

Listen to the full episode our new podcast, Chris Collins Unleashed, on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle PlayYouTube or chriscollinsunleashed.com.

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The New Era of Marketing by Chris Collins

THE NEW ERA OF MARKETING

This week was the show of a thousand thoughts… I think everyone forgot to take their Adderall. Of course, we got an update on Gary’s cholesterol because that’s becoming a hot topic here at Service Drive Revolution. Wherever we go people ask more about Gary’s cholesterol than anything else. But that’s going to prove my point later on about adding a personal component to your marketing. Hold on, we’ll get there…

Gary shared with me that I’m tweeting, which I find very hard to believe because I’ve never used Twitter. So he spent a few minutes reading my recent tweets and we tried to determine who’s actually writing from my account. Another oddity this week was that someone called me and asked me to comment on President Trump. My response to that? I need a year to think about it so ask me again in a year.

This week’s book report of the week is on Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. Gary was kind enough to explain that he initially thought ego referred to being cocky, but what the author is talking about in this book is far more subtle. In this case ego can stop you from progressing in a subtle way. Gary used his own career track as an example, explaining he had done so well as he ascended from service technician to service advisor to service manager, etc. that it caused him to rewrite history a little. When he looks back on his career it’s easy to remember the highlights and think he was great at each job. But the truth is there were failures every step of the way—it was experience and hard work that made him successful. But the mind (and subtle ego) makes it easy to remember the highlight reel and think he was really good the whole way through, not the actual learning curve that it was.

We also used a story about one of our friends as a perfect example of how the subtle ego can negatively affect one’s perspective. Our friend had been super successful at one dealership in Chicago so when he moved to a different state and got a job in a new dealership, he brought with him such confidence and big expectations that he was completely stopped up when he had issues there. Between office politics, a different culture and other barriers, our friend found himself unable to find success there and ended up quitting! His success at one dealership blinded him and caused him to have an ego and expectations that overlooked the need to try really hard and go back to basics at his new job.

The thesis of the book being you have to remain a student—humble and open to learning new things. The book references Ghenghis Khan and the Mongols and how despite their great success with conquering nations they still remained humble enough to learn and take the best pieces of each culture with them when they left. This way of doing business led them to champion the canon. By taking pieces of each culture they were able to create new technologies that made them even stronger. Gary wrapped up the book segment by trying to back out of his goal of reading 60 books this year. Seriously, Gary, four books a month is too much for you??

Back to the main topic of this show, which is the new era of marketing!

I look around at what other people in this industry are doing and it bores me! It’s all the same! So I put together some new, fun, usable tips on how to do effective marketing in this modern day. First, for the love of God, tell a story. If you look at what’s successful on TV these days it’s shows that have aspirational characters, drama and mystery. People love stories and they always have. Give your email blasts a personality. For example, the two best pulling emails we’ve ever sent were written in the voice of my Bulldog, Tequila. The point is to immediately hijack your audience. Using stories or a character is an easy way to capture the attention of your reader and draw them in.

Another powerful marketing tool is to use sequences. Sending series of emails is another tactic to keep your audience connected to your business and what’s going on. Next on the list and this one is super important, the more personal and real you are with your audience the better it will be received. The reason our Service Drive Revolution audience is so obsessed with Gary’s cholesterol is because it’s real and it’s relatable. This is a concern everyone has and allows people to share their challenges or experiences with high cholesterol. And believe me, people share their experiences whether we want them to or not.

Use cross over techniques! If you’re on several platforms for social media, which you should be, use them all. Put your posts on all of your social media and use video! Many people aren’t immediately comfortable with video, so practice. Video helps you rank better and improves your SEO. Facebook and Google pay attention to video so add it to your social media content wherever possible.

Make it entertaining! This one is kind of common sense but it bears mention. As well as telling stories make sure your copy is fun to read. Humor always works but even if you’re not a comedian, try and get original with your copy, emails and posts so your audience isn’t getting the same regurgitated content they hear over and over.

Tracking and conversions… Also known as fall in love with what gets results. We had a competition in the office where I asked three of our creatives to create an E-book about customer service. We gave them each a budget for Facebook marketing and I told them I’d give $500 in cash to whoever’s E-book converted the best. At first none of the E-books were converting but after we changed the pictures their numbers took off. By tracking what was going on, and making small changes, we were able to salvage their good work and get the conversions they needed by creating a better visual.

You really want to focus on what’s converting and getting results rather than being married to a headline. Here’s a little piece of gold from my personal vault—if you’re not getting clicks or it’s not converting try a variety of small changes. If changing the photo doesn’t work, try changing the colors on the email because a change as simple as that can make a huge difference. Often a color or headline that doesn’t look right to everyone will turn them off. Correct or alter those things and see what happens—what have you got to lose?

If you’re sending out post cards make them stand out. Use colors, or sizes or pictures that will make people notice that your content, mailers, whatever are unique.

The simple truth is when the value of something outweighs the cost people are happy to pay so make sure your content has value. Try using fiverr.com to get even more professional content. They’re great for logos, photoshop help—you name it and they have freelancers who can help. To wrap up, get creative with your marketing and the sky’s the limit!

The Carlisle

WHAT’S DRIVING CUSTOMERS AWAY FROM DEALERSHIPS AND INTO INDEPENDENTS?

In case you missed the first episode…

For the last two weeks, we’ve been talking about The Carlisle Technician Study, which is a fascinating study that outlines the barriers between service technicians and service advisors, looking at the reasons why customers switch between dealerships and independents.

If you happened to miss the first part, go back and watch it first, because Jair told a fascinating story about seat belts that you can’t miss.

We talked about shocking stats we learned from The Carlisle Technician Study like

  • 43% of repair orders require additional clarification from the service advisor, costing each tech 30 min per day of follow up time.
  • 33% of customers are provided an unrealistic amount of time for the service.
  • Service advisors reported that customers get a realistic timetable for how long the service on their car will take 83% of the time

According to the study, the number one reason that would make someone switch from their dealer or repair shop is because their car wasn’t ready on time.

Seriously, can you afford to miss information like that? I gotta say, it really, really matters what service managers tell their customers. The consequences can be disastrous if the information they share is incorrect.

Okay, moving on…

In this weeks show, part two of our discussion about The Carlisle Technician Study, we talked more about the two biggest issues we’re facing with the technicians:

  1. The lack of communication between the service advisors and the service technicians
  2. The growth of Quick Lube, which has resulted in the least qualified technicians getting the most work while the skilled technicians get less.

This epidemic of breakdown in communication between service advisors and their service technicians is causing a bleed of time, money and the loss of customers. The service technicians feel frustrated and disconnected. This breakdown and loss of clientele to less-skilled technicians causes them to leave the business, further intensifying the problem.

So what’s the answer?
If you want your auto repair shop to thrive and prosper, then the following things need to happen:

  • Create GOOD communication between your technicians and your service advisors
  • Arrange training for your technicians
  • Create a growth or career plan for your service technicians, giving them something to strive for

In order to fix some of these problems, I suggested getting the service managers and service advisors together, making them walk over hot coals, starving them indefinitely or only giving them water for a couple days. But Gary didn’t think that was the best idea for morale…

Since Gary had a more doable approach, we’ll go through his tips to keep service technicians happy, feeling included and protected from leaving the industry:

-It appears everyone could benefit from increased communication, and it’s up to each shop to figure out how to get their guys to operate like a functional, effective team. I always lean towards gamification, as I’ve found that to be the most effective tool to date.

-It’s critical to focus on the guys you have in the shop; that means you have to protect them. One way to do that is to slow down! Most shops don’t want to slow down their technicians because time is money, but if time and money are being wasted, then slowing down to improve communication and clarify repair orders becomes vital.

-In order to retain your good service technicians, you need to provide a realistic career path for them. They need to get the kind of training that will help them be successful, and then reward them when they are doing well.

-TRUST. Whether you use gamification or trust building techniques, make sure your guys trust each other! The service technicians need to trust that the advisors are setting them up for success. The service advisors need to trust their technicians that if they give them clear instructions, the technician is going to work both hard and fast to complete the order on time.

Basically, the system has broken down. In order to rebuild, it requires everyone getting real clear on what each job requires. Then, how to work with the next guy in line to make sure he gets what he needs, so we can return the customer’s car on time and repaired correctly on the first go.

We know that if these things don’t happen, you’re going to lose the customer. It’s imperative to get the job done right and on time!

Highway

FIXED OPERATIONS IS YOUR BUSINESS BACKBONE

When it comes to automotive dealerships there are two areas of note: the front and the back. The front is what’s often referred to as the sales area. It is here where customers go to buy their cars. Simply put it is where the business gets its sales from.

That said, there’s also another sales department that’s also part of the business. But rather than being in the front it is often, figuratively and literally found in the back. That is the service department and for many it’s the hidden world behind the glamour of the showroom.

Sadly, there are those owners who simply see the service department as a mere add-on. For them the main source of revenue is the showroom and the service department is nothing more than an afterthought to sooth customers. That can’t be further than the truth.

Yes, while service departments only account for a small percentage of the dealer’s revenue (some estimates put it at between 10% and 15%) it does account for a large percentage of the profits. Some estimates see it at over 50%. Then there’s another thing you should know as well – half of the customers that use service departments didn’t buy their cars from the same dealer.

Based on these numbers you really need to focus on making sure your service department, known as fixed operations, gets the support it needs from you. This way it can continue to make money for your business so that you succeed in the long run.

  • Service personnel. They are the ones that are taking care of the customers. They are the ones who handle the servicing of the vehicles and also the ones who will recommend what needs to be done or what needs to be taken cared of soon.

The longer these service personnel can talk with the customer the higher the chance they can get more in terms of sales. When the customer is there the chances that they will say yes to any of the recommendations of the service personnel tends to be higher.

The reasoning is pretty simple. Since their vehicle is already there then then there’s really no reason for them not too. This compared to when you are talking to them on the phone where they have a much bigger chance of saying no.

But, this will only work if they feel that they are being taken care of. If your service personnel has to deal with a lot of customers they will be forced to spend less time with each one. This may alienate the customer such that they won’t be receptive to any ‘sales’ suggestions.

In order to keep this from happening you should have extra service personnel available during peak times. This is so even if you have 50 customers waiting they will all be attended to in a reasonably short amount of time.

  • Customers. Whether it’s in the showroom and especially in the service department, customers are very important. Without customers you won’t be getting any revenue. New customers are always welcome but old customers must be retained as much as possible.

In order to do this you need to give your customers a reason to return. This means giving them incentives that not only helps them but also builds trust between you and them. This way they will remain loyal and keep coming back.

  • Connect with them. This can be done either by direct mail, emails or whatever communication channels the customer wants. This is a way to let customers know of any specials or offers that they can avail of.

That said, the shotgun approach may not be a good idea in this regard. Sure, you will be able to get them all but then after you give them the promotion what next?

Using a more directed approach allows you to target specific customers at one time. This could be dependent on the year of their vehicle and the model. Since each vehicle will have different servicing needs you can send out communications to those that, say, need the 20,000 checkup or something like that.

This is much better since you are able to target the specific needs of the customer based on their vehicle. At the same time you don’t run out of marketing ideas since you can use the same tactic on the next batch that needs that same kind of service as the one you just sent.

Connecting with them doesn’t just happen when the customer is away. It also happens when they are in the building. When they are in your service area talk to them about their vehicles and get them to talk about their experiences with it. By doing this it will often lead you to being able to sell them on ‘legitimately needed repairs’ that their vehicle needs.

  • Incentives. Who doesn’t want them? If a business gives you an incentive to come to their store wouldn’t you be more willing to do so. It’s human nature after all. That being the case you should also try and give your customers incentives so they are more than likely to come back and spend more at your dealership.
  • Loyalty rewards. Airlines do this a lot. So do hotels and restaurants. It’s basically a reward for the continued patronage of their business. There are a variety of ways to do this. Airlines mostly use points which can then be converted to tickets.

For your business you can do something like every 5th service visit is free. This means that after the 4th visit their 5th one is free of charge then the cycle starts all over again.

  • Pre-paid maintenance service plans. Give your customers the option to lock in the price for a set number of service visits. This way they don’t have to worry about footing the bill other than those not covered by the plan.

This will keep them from having to worry if the price for the service goes up. Because they don’t have to worry about it, they tend to come in more often than those who don’t have plans.

  • Coupons and specials. Most of us cut coupons or use special flyers for one thing – to save money. This is true of any customer whether they are buying groceries or bringing their car in for servicing.

Sending your customers savings coupons or specials that they can use gives them an incentive to come in and avail of it. This is highly effective if you combine it with reminders that their vehicle is up for servicing. Not only will you let them know that they need to bring their car in you’re also giving them savings when they do.

  • Convenience. If you’re customers work from 9 to 5 then give them the option to drop their vehicles off before they go to work. If this means you have to be open earlier then so be it. Also, you can offer them rides to their place of work as well as pick-up option so they don’t have to worry about how to get back since their vehicle is in your business.

Also, make it easy for them to get a hold of your service department. Whether it’s via phone or your website don’t make it hard for them to get through to you. If you do so they may go somewhere else and you will lose their patronage.

  • Marketing. It doesn’t matter if you have a top notch service department or a top notch dealership. If no one knows of your existence or what you have to offer then it’s all for naught. Marketing can get you name recognition.

At the same time it also keeps your business fresh in the minds of your old customers. It also reminds them of the services that you offer and whether they need to come down for a visit.

  • Training. This is something that all your service personnel need to have on a regular basis. With training they get added experience and know-how that they can apply to their work.

This gives them better expertise that they can use not just to service customer’s vehicles but also to answer customer queries. Doing so let’s customers know that their vehicles are in good hands and at the same time builds trust between your business and your customers so they keep coming back.

Of course, what’s also needed is the integration between your front end showroom and your back end service center. It’s not a competition – rather both are important ‘sales’ departments that just happen to have different functions.

But, is the fixed ops service department more important than the variable ops showroom. Do you even need the latter? Should you focus more on the former? Comment below.

Basketball Ring

SERVICE DEPARTMENTS – WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM MICHAEL JORDAN

What You Can Learn from Michael Jordan that Helps in our Service Departments

Video Transcription:

Hey everybody, Chris Collins here and my trusted sidekick Mario. (Hey, everyone.) We are here to talk about what we learned from Michael Jordan that can help us be champions in our dealerships. Mario knows a lot about champions because he’s a San Francisco 49rs fan; they went to the Superbowl last year and then just lost to the Seahawks this week. (We had to bring that up? Now, we had a bet and I’m supposed to wear jersey so I had to make that up to Chris on the next one.) Mario wanted to bet that the loser has to shave his head. That was the bet he proposed, which makes absolutely no sense. (That was a win-win for me.)No sense there for me.

The Seahawks play the 49rs later this season so I don’t wanna talk too much trash because there’s a lot of season and the Seahawks are way over high favorite and I love them to death.

So, the Jordan thing came up because Mario’s huge Jordan fan and he even named a son after Jordan, correct? (Correct.) Huge Michael Jordan fan and he’s thinking about getting a tattoo on his back of Jordan’s spread holding the ball, all the way across your back, right? (Yeah, either that or San Francisco, I haven’t made up my mind.)

We have three things here that we pulled out of Jordan’s book and things and stories that we know about Jordan from reading other books. The first one is talking about what Jordan lets into his mind or lets into his head. And his mom talked about in his book that she didn’t let him watch TV except for once a week on Saturday. Something to the effect of had she not instilled values and discipline in him from an early age, he would just have sat on the couch and watched TV all the time. And so it starts with what you let in your mind watching TV.

We just came in from our Top Dog event with the best service advisors in the country that we invited to this event and they workshop. It was funny to me when we went around the room and we’re asking them different questions, the really top guys in the room don’t watch TV at all, whatsoever. (Yeah, they’re more, mostly readers.) Yeah, and most of the time it’s funny to me too. I rarely watch TV. People ask me ‘Hey, have you seen the show ‘Breaking Bad’ or this show, this and that?’ No, never seen it, have no idea what it is, don’t care. I’d much rather be reading a book and try to figure out how to get better than sitting there like a drone in front of the TV, letting all that noise and negativity in my head. So, the first characteristic is, be careful what you let in your head and protecting yourself.

The next one is plying up in life. Jordan played up in life in many situations. He talks about in his book how he would wait to play with the older kids and even though he would sit in the sidelines, eventually one person wouldn’t show up in a pick of game and he get to play with the older kids and so he was playing up and he was learning to play with the bigger, faster kids at a very, very young age. Right? (He actually enjoyed it. He would really go out there and just wait for hours until he has his chance. Sometimes he wouldn’t play. But he wanted to beat at the next level so he go and challenge himself everyday.

You can play up in life by managers that are better than you and surrounding yourself with people that are achieving things that you aren’t achieving, like getting in my mastermind or one of my coaching groups. It’s always amazing to me when guys join my coaching group how literally takes us a couple of months to figure out how to make their department profitable and how to get them performing in a very high level. It doesn’t take any time at all but, it’s just them getting in, a group of managers that support them, that have the idea and have the track record of success that they can instantly just plug in, like plugging into a switch. And they instantly can get results. So, playing up in life and surrounding yourself with higher performers.

And the third is the drive and bulldog mentality. Never say that you can’t, right? (Right, there was actually a good part in the book where it actually spoke about Michael Jordan’s family slogan. It actually said – How do you know, if you don’t try? That was his theme, if he ever mention ‘I can’t’ in front of his family, they would always say, how do you know if you don’t try? The thing they used to say at that time was – If you try, then you can’t fail, if you don’t try, then you already failed pretty much. That’s one thing that he lived by, and everyday, he would never allow his mind to say ‘I can’t.’ So he’s always, I could, I could, I could. And showed them that he did.

It’s powerful. It’s that if you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way you’re right, right? So, drive and bulldog mentality. And with that bulldog mentality comes a lot of hard work. It’s funny, it’s happened to me many times in life, when people where people say, “You are lucky, or you have the golden touch.”  But, they’re not there with me when I’m reading books and they’re watching TV. They’re not there with me when I’m staying four extra hours or when I’m tracking down somebody to learn something or figure out what I’m missing or surrounding myself with the people that are going to help me get to where I want to go.

It’s easy to just say that people are born lucky or you know, they’re chosen. But really, that isn’t the case. For Jordan, they weren’t there 7 am when he was lifting weights and they were sleeping. They weren’t there in the offseason when he was practicing harder than he did during the season, trying to get an edge, trying to increase his free throw percentage, trying to learn a better jump shot and all those weapons that we have. Those were all created over time in the offseason by constantly practicing and never giving up.

The funny thing is Michael Jordan actually used to get picked up by his coach. At six thirty in the morning, he would go and practice in the gym for an hour before showering and going to class. The funny thing is, he still, all that work he did for a year and a half, he still didn’t make the varsity team. But he was still determined and he didn’t give up. So, even though you’re doing all that work, you might not get your accomplishment or your goal. But by not giving up, you eventually will. A lot of people, when they don’t see the fruit of their labor right away, they just put their hands up and give up. Jordan showed you didn’t gave up, keep your goal, keep your eyes on the prize and you will reach it. And that’s powerful.

Just in a kind of conclusion, you deserve to be successful; you deserve to achieve great things and to perform to your full potential and live up to your full potential.

And I’ll tell you, the best day of your life is the day that you accept responsibility for your results and you look yourself square in the eye and you decide how to go get it and no excuses. Bulldog mentality; go after it, and achieve everything that you can and run a healthy department, and run a healthy dealership and live up to your full potential.

Thanks for watching.

Road

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF AUTOMOTIVE FIXED OPERATIONS CONSULTING GOING?

Where do you see the future of fixed op’s going?

I think it’s a lot like in the computer industry, where you had Microsoft that dominated the market for the longest time. And because of the new technology, everybody had it and you had to have it but I don’t know if you have experienced it years ago that you’d buy. You know I’m on the road and I’d buy a sony viao every couple of years, sometimes every year because it’s almost disposable.

It’s hard to get a new brand laptop and you’d try to print with your printer and it wouldn’t work so called the 1-800 numbers, right? And you get somebody in India and say it’s Microsoft. And then he didn’t get Microsoft on the phone and says its Lex Marker HP partner, and you’d be caught within that gap and then along comes Apple. They kind of took away all that.

They took away all the worry and the decision-making and then you walked up into the genius bar and then there’s some cool kid there who knows more about computer there is. You chat with him and you’ll know more than you’ll ever know and he just fixes it. And that’s it; you don’t have the same issues as you did with PC. Apple has been really smart and been called the post PC era now, just kind of minimized any idea of PC’s value. This is not about whether PC is any better than Apple. It’s about the customer experience and that’s what’s going to change in fixed op’s “it’s the customer’s experience.”

We’ll no longer be able to compete in this industry with a sub par customer service in fixed ops. The customer needs to be able to come in, they need to trust us, we need to really take good care of them and they need to experience that when they go, they’ll say, “Hey I want to go back to that dealership. I feel like a part of something, I feel that they care about me and it was a very easy experienced for me. It wasn’t a hard experience.” It wasn’t like you know the rate into going a car dealership when customer is survey, they rate going into a car dealership with going to the dentist. And it can’t be like that.

You need to go to the genius part; I love it to the genius part.

It is fun, I mean here in Santa Monica I needed something at the Apple store last night and I went there and the place is packed. I mean there’s energy and it is fun and so many wanted to talk to me and I tell them what I needed. They grab it and they hand it to me and they swipe my card and they email me my receipt. And it’s very easy. And the thing that the industry is craving now is the fixed ops. The craving, the technology and the solution. The misfire has vanished and everybody is signing off for all this technology. They don’t have the basic system that comes in training in place so that the technology is enhancement. The technology becomes just another layer of advancement for the customer.

So you want somebody who’s going to come out and ……….. Hey, how are you George? Good to see you again. Let’s go and get this fixed. As simple as that.

So our system has a lot of times going to big deal groups and so we get rid of all the technology, set it to the side and do the basics. Arm with paper and we’ll do really good at that and add in the technology so it’s an enhancement. If we don’t have the system and the training and the consistency in place, then the technology just becomes a problem. And I understand why our industry is craving for that technology. However, you have to have your basic instructions systems right in the beginning in order for that technology to help you. So, technology isn’t always the answer although technology is valuable industry. The customer experience is taking away customer’s worry and is the decision making in the process. It is the key to success.

Key

AUTO BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION SECRETS REVEALED

One of the metrics that shows the stability of a business organization is its capacity to deal with the changes of technology, business models, marketing practices and other factors as time goes by. Commonly, the problem in providing or developing a solution for business transformation relies on the inability of the decision makers to comprehend and accommodate innovative ideas especially for auto business. Other dilemmas include the following:

The right solution is not always the best answer to the problem. Business transformation is a journey. It is an endless cycle where problems keep arising and at some given point of time, changes are inevitable. So if technology is introduced into the auto industry, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to adapt it right away. You first need to consider your customers’ demand for this new technology and to consider if your business structure will benefit from it; otherwise, you don’t need to do it right away.

Make the decision maker understand and accept your innovative ideas. Explanation is everything. However, you need to support your new idea with details and statistics that will greatly help explain what you are proposing. Substantial information from the latest trend and innovation will help you convince your bosses that in fact the auto business is up for a change.

Generally, auto business will reap profits if the organizations are taking initiatives that incorporate holistic approach of sustainability. These approaches might require massive changes on the business structure and will require setting of new goals, corporate culture and work attitude. Changes within an organization shall need alteration on the mindset of employees, stakeholders and organizational leaders.

Of course, it is a fact that auto business transformation is a profound significant change. Mostly, information technology is the primary factor that brings changes to business conducts. It brings significant effects to business operations like obsolescence of skills and knowledge that leads to re-organizations of functions and jobs within the organization.

Simultaneously, business transformation has both negative and positive effects. For one, mobile communication devices as well as the growing dependency with the Internet allow greater flexibility but provide challenges to workers in separating their working hours from personal time.

In another note, software solutions allow workers in auto businesses to create complex reports that ultimately add to business value. While in the negative side, the less physical storage space requirement poses greater risks for hackers which in turn will require jobs or functions that protect these data. Thus, from simple filing to online storage, the job has evolved but the requirement remains, protect company sensitive data at all cost.

The popularity of automated operation has presented huge benefits. It enables workers across all levels of the organization to share information and collaborate without any geographic constraints. This also opens the door for communicating with co-workers even if they are located elsewhere in the world.

Meanwhile, attracting, serving, reaching and engaging clients from all over the world becomes easier. For one, you can book a client for an auto service by simply using the internet. You can make constant reminders for the next service checkup or offer services to prospective clients with less time and effort.

Finally, experts in the field of information technology see that business transformation that are driven by this aspect will be long-term and remain strong even at times of economic slowdown. There will always be technological innovations to be developed. So, if you intend to stay profitable in auto business, then keep a keen eye for transformations that may affect your industry.