Tag Archives: Mindset

How to double sales at a hair salon by Chris Collins

HOW HAIR SALONS CAN DOUBLE THEIR SALES

 

I’m a little obsessed with helping businesses find new streams of revenue, in case you haven’t noticed… I’ve thought a lot about hair salons specifically, and it all comes down to a system.

The first piece they get wrong in most hair salons is scheduling. Usually, there’s some receptionist who’s handling all the appointments. That person is usually the anti-appointment administration. The “we’re busy”, “we’re booked”, person. God forbid, they get a walk-in…

I’ve been sitting in a salon and there’s people standing around and somebody walks in and the receptionist turns them away. C’mon, you can’t take those people for granted! Part of growing your clientele is having a plan to drive traffic, getting the phones answered, and getting bookings on the calendar.

The receptionists should be incentivized on how many appointments show up and are booked. Maybe pay them a little bit less hourly and then incentivize them on how many appointments come through. That person should be commission-invested in the booking of the schedule. If it directly affects their pocket book, I guarantee you’ll see different results.

Create a system for the person booking appointments and teach them that you want to book early and stack them up. No more, “When do you want to come in?” If a stylist comes in, they should have their five appointments stacked up and then they’re done. You don’t want them having two-hour gaps. It’s bad for morale. Book clients early and book them consistently.

Next, salons rarely do any sort of marketing. I’ve never been to a salon where they collect my email and market to me, but this is an industry made for fun marketing. Before and after pictures are like gold in those situations—the system is built for dramatic before and after pictures. Particularly with a business where clients need to be reminded how good they can look with highlights, or that they might want different looks for different seasons. This also opens the door to market products. Shoot easy little videos with a cellphone and send out emails once or twice a month to your list to remind them.

Getting your hair cut or styled is also perfect for social media—especially if it comes out well. I see people posting about how they got their hair colored or cut, yet I never see them tagging the hairdresser or the salon. If the hairdresser or stylist was the person who took the picture and shared it, they could cross promote, and make sure the salon is tagged.

The next thing is, where’s the presentation of what you could take with you? We’re all using products in our hair, but most of the time you have to beg for them to tell you what to use. They’re the experts. They need to present. Most of the time, the hairdressers get a percentage of what is sold, but there has to be some sort of mandatory forced presentation every time where you come in. Tell the clients what you used in their hair, or what shampoo you recommend. You could have some sort of needs analysis during the process where you ask them if they have damage, or tell them they have damage. Ask if they struggle with dry hair or greasy hair and then come back at the end with suggestions for them. Then, if they buy, next time they come in ask how they liked the products, and refill the supply, or adjust as necessary. You could double or triple your sales on products just by doing a needs analysis alone, pointing out the things that are wrong with the scalp, the hair, that sort of thing. Use your expertise to create a custom plan for your clients, and make sure they have everything they need.

Let’s wrap this up. To double your sales in a hair salon make sure that the person answering the phone is vested in making appointments and in those appointments showing up. Prioritize efficient management of the appointment schedule. Identify ways to drive new traffic with things like Groupon. Have an email CRM where you’re collecting emails and you’re sending out before and after pictures so you’re marketing, and creating a bigger story for your clients. Then send out reminders and present products every time. Use the time that you have with the client to recommend color, pedicures, nails, anything you can sell on top of whatever the client came in for.

Hair salons are built on creating a good experience, and if these business-boosting suggestions are executed properly, you’re only enhancing that good experience. The good news about boosting sales in a hair salon is it’s a win-win for everyone. 

To hear our full profit plan for hair salons, 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.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on YouTube

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on LinkedIn

Chris Collins, business advice, customer service, mindset

HOW TO COMPETE AND WIN IN BUSINESS

 

Want to know your advantage in the marketplace and how you fight the big boys to end up on top?

CUSTOMER SERVICE.

What nobody thinks about when it comes to customer service is if you’re selling a commodity, somebody else can sell it for less. If you have terrible customer service and your employees aren’t building good relationships with customers, then it all comes down to price. If you’re not the lowest price AND you have bad customer service, your business is going to fail.

Your most valuable advantage in the marketplace is the experience your customers receive and the customer service that you offer. Truth is, customer service and experience never really come down to the commodity, they come down to your connection with the customer.
For example, I go out and buy a book at the local Barnes & Noble that’s been downsizing for years. In a Barnes & Noble you have to wait in line and then they make you feel like a jerk because you don’t have the Barnes & Noble “Club Card”. It’s a total shit-show. The employees have good intentions, but they don’t care. They aren’t asking you about your day, or if you found what you’re looking for.

On the opposite side of the coin, you have Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. You go into Powell’s Books and everybody who works there is super into books. You go up to the cashier up they say, “Aw, wow. This is a great book.” They ask where you’re from and it creates a conversation. It’s never really about the book, it’s about genuinely showing interest in what you’re doing. The book is a commodity. I could go on Amazon and buy the book.

That’s the difference. When it comes down to price you’re going to lose every time because somebody’s going be bigger, they’re going to have more money, they can wait you out, they can play poker longer than you can, right? So, customer service becomes your best weapon.

The key to good customer service is understanding the three different types of employees.

First, there’s the engineer type. In a restaurant, this would be the cook. In a car dealership, it’s the mechanic. These are usually very knowledgeable people, but they’re more introverted. For most purposes, you don’t want them talking to customers.

Then, there’s the second type—the sales people. A salesperson could be a cashier at a Starbucks, but it could also be the waiter. These are your closers—often a bit too much for customer service.

The third person is support and customer service. This person answers the phone, works as the hostess, maybe they’re a cashier in a coffee shop. It’s a blend. But, this is the person who is interfacing with customers.

Herein lies the problem. Most businesses don’t have a system for hiring people that sets out looking to hire the right TYPE of person for an open positions.

The best tool I know of to make sure that you’re hiring happy people who actually like other people, is group interviews. The way a group interview works is exactly how it sounds—you have a group of people interviewing together in one room. The people who like people, who can easily converse with others and are happy and smiling, they stick out. The people who are introverts stick out, too.

You can always tell who the people are who want to make everyone else in the room comfortable. You can see them. Personally, I could sit in a group interview wearing earplugs and just by watching, I can identify the ‘people’ people  because they radiate from the group.

The best way to improve your customer service is during the hiring process. Hire people who really care and who want to engage with people. The group interview is great because if they can’t shine in a group interview, they’re not going to be good under pressure when the phone’s ringing, or when somebody’s standing in front of them, and definitely not when they’ve got somebody who wants to return something. They’ll ultimately fold.

Another tip is to carry business cards with you. Any time you get good customer service from somebody, give them your card and get them in for an interview. The best indicator of future performance is past performance. If somebody connected and engaged with you, you know that’s their thing.

Customer service starts at the top. It starts with the leader of the company making a big deal about customers always being right, and always being happy. Next, hire people with the personality for customer service. These are folks you can constantly train and work with to exude customer service and connect with people on something different than a commodity.

Being able to connect on a different level is your SUPERPOWER. We have a customer service video where I tell this story about going to a vet for my bulldog.. It’s called, Pet the Dog. Watch it and have everybody watch it that is interacting with your customers. Connect deeper and become a customer collector. No one can compete with that.

 

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.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on YouTube

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on LinkedIn

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.

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on LinkedIn

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on YouTube

 

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.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on YouTube

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on LinkedIn

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.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on YouTube

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on LinkedIn

Women in the Service Drive

WOMEN IN THE SERVICE DRIVE

The Auto Service Drive is male-dominated, and the car industry hasn’t made enough of an effort to understand female customers or recruit more female salespeople and advisors. We know this, but this is what you don’t know…

Personally, I employed tons of women in the service drive. Want to know why? Some of the best advisors I ever had were women. They’re good at the job. Having women around also helps keep the locker talk down.

WOMEN ARE ALSO TERRIFIC, LOYAL CUSTOMERS AND MAKE, OR INFLUENCE 85% OF ALL PURCHASING DECISIONS, INCLUDING TRADITIONAL MALE ONES LIKE…AUTOMOBILES.

 

But, yes, there are differences when dealing with female customers, AND there are different challenges for women when they work in an industry that is male-dominated. So this week we had Lindsey Glass on the show to talk about her experience as a female customer in the service drive.

Whatever you think about female customers—it doesn’t matter what you think. It’s how we make customer’s feel that’s important, so you have to pay attention because it’s a big deal. Perception is reality.

IF YOU’RE A SERVICE ADVISOR OR SERVICE MANAGER, AND YOUR FEMALE CUSTOMERS PERCEIVE YOU’RE INDIFFERENT, THAN THAT’S GOING TO AFFECT YOUR RESULTS AND YOUR CSI REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THAT WAS YOUR INTENTION.

 

Female consumers think differently, and often want the process to be explained. In my experience, women want to know what to expect and want you to take time with them and frame the experience. Here’s my trade secret for when I handled female customers…

I’d walk up with a big smile on my face, find a way to compliment them, ask them what they were doing that day, etc. If I saw a car seat or kids stuff, I’d ask about their kids. I really appreciated my females customers because they’d give praise when we did a good job and were loyal.

FEMALE CUSTOMERS ARE ALSO WAY MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO A MAINTENANCE PLAN. IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO SHOW THEM WHAT’S AVAILABLE AND EXPLAIN HOW IT ALL WORKS, THEY ARE YOURS FOREVER.

 

To wrap up, let me reiterate, female customers, are loyal and spend money. And, there’s a TON of opportunity for women who want to work in the service drive, so I’ll be writing a follow-up article on how to set yourself up for success if you’re a woman in the Automotive Industry.

Read this article for more Advanced Sales Techniques.

Motivate Your Techs

INSPIRATION IS NOT OPTIONAL: MOTIVATE YOUR SERVICE TECHNICIANS!

Business problems are easy, people problems are hard. I didn’t invent that phrase. It’s been said many times by many people, and it holds true for every business. Don’t pretend this doesn’t apply to you and your drive. I’ve said it before and I will say it again:

The most important people in your business and least cared about, are your service technicians.

Your service technicians are the only ones in the company who are qualified to solve your customer’s problems. Without talented, well-motivated technicians your drive simply can’t operate efficiently.

First, let’s agree that success is defined by the end goal. Results are what matters. We are the sum of what we achieve, not what we intend. It doesn’t matter if someone had the best intentions in the world. In business, what matters is how much gets accomplished.

Without exception, service departments that perform well have a leader who’s created a strong system. Without clear rules and accountability, the system breaks down. So you must have a good, easy-to-understand system. Then, you must be able to share that system. Start taking notes now because this is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

This is the stuff that’s actually working on drives all over the country!

Tip #1 – Track Production

This is production! You have to see how much people are producing. You’re living in the dark ages if you’re afraid to put the scores up in your service drive. Hang a dry erase board immediately and start tracking their hours. It doesn’t matter if some guys don’t like that idea. You can’t worry about the low performer, or be afraid of losing him. Equality of result is a lie. It’s equality of opportunity. Everybody has the same opportunity but not everybody is going to get the same results.

If you’re feeding your low-performing technicians so that they somehow get the same hours as the guy who’s working his butt off, you’re not creating a culture of high performers. The culture of performance is vital. Create that culture of performance by writing down the numbers from yesterday and everyone will be kept accountable.

Tip #2 Get to know your technicians

The single best way to make your technicians feel appreciated is to sit down with them once a month and talk about their goals. No, you don’t have to be their therapist, or Oprah, to make a huge difference. Use lunch as an opportunity to get together. Trust me, no one is going to poach your guys if you have a personal relationship with them. Your technicians are people too—they’ve got families and situations to deal with so find out what’s making these guys tick.

If you have a busy schedule and not much time to chitchat here’s a cheat sheet of questions you can ask: How’s work going? How can I help? What’s in your way? How can we get better as a department? Since we know from experience that they feel like the most ignored and picked on group in your shop, it’s your responsibility to change that.

Tip #3 Gamification!

If you have not read my book, Gamification, here’s the link.

Buy it and read it cover to cover. Look, I know the technicians are there to fix cars, but they also need to enjoy being at work. Gamification is playing for profits. It’s important to have a pattern interrupt with them where they get to have a break and have some fun. Let them throw a baseball or basketball at lunch—whatever gets their energy and mood up. If those don’t sound good to you, the book has at least 50 games in it so there’s plenty to choose from. I promise, if you throw some cash around, and add some work games into the mix, your technicians will get more done and be much happier in the process.

No Leaders Please

REINVENT YOURSELF

If you know anything about me, you know that I am a man of poetry. And no one sums up my philosophy on Service Manager Training and transformation better than the genius Charles Bukowski in his poem, “No Leaders Please”. Throughout history, the greats, from countries to people, have forever been creating themselves and recreating themselves. Bukowski put it most eloquently, “invent yourself and then reinvent yourself and stay out of the clutches of mediocrity“. On average, people will be average, stagnate. For better or worse, we are the product of our own imagination. Some of us just have more active imaginations.

Don’t swim in the same slough“. The greats, from Salvador Dali to Oprah Winfrey to Ricky Gervais, were and are never stagnate, rather they’re continually evolving. “Change your tone and shape so often that they can never categorize you“. Once society thinks it has you figured out, shock society by going in a different direction. Keep moving forward.

AS SERVICE MANAGERS-

To be one of the greats, we must take this simple principle, this resounding truth, and put it into practice on the service drive. First, create your service department to be extraordinary from CSI to profits. Then reinvent yourself and your service department to be even better. Humans are never going to be perfect and consequently, neither will our creations. But if you are continually reinventing yourself and your creation, you might come close. You own your creation, for all it’s faults and glories, it is yours. Take pride in that fact and let your pride manifest itself in your service department. “Be self-tolerant because you must, it is your life and it’s history and it’s present will belong only to you“. Join our Elite Mastermind Coaching Group to explore the ways in which the great Service Managers are evolving and reinvent yourself.

Conference Room

TECH MEETING VERSUS TECH PARTY

Back when I was starting out as a new service manager, there was one thing I consistently dreaded. Our regular tech meeting couldn’t have been more of a headache. Not just for myself, but my techs as well. I always came prepared with a list of topics. My list usually looked something like this:

1. Tech work stalls look unprofessional. Techs must clean up before clocking out.
2. Safety training: “Why We Wear Safety Glasses”
3. Review latest technical service bulletins
4. Inquire about shop equipment issues
5. HR reminder for mandatory insurance meeting next Tuesday

TECH MEETING FORMAT

At least half of the techs would arrive late. And at least a couple wouldn’t show due to a waiter. Pizza was served a form of bait if you will. It’s ill-advised to list out grievances to a group of hungry men. Even if I bought forty pizzas, there was never enough. Story of life, right? We’d take thirty minutes to chow down. The conversations during the chow down usually focused on the toppings they wish they had and who forgot the paper plates again. Once they were full and a little sleepy, then the tech meeting would begin.

THE LISTS

I’d make it through my list and, inevitably, a tech would pull out his list of grievances. Of course, it wasn’t really his list, it was the techs list. Prior to the meeting, the techs would decide what needed to be brought up and appoint the bravest tech to present it to me. The complaints usually focused on what happened in the last 2 or 3 days prior to the meeting. All valid points though. To make matters worse, our owner would sit in on the meetings. Most things were usually tabled.

Let me defend that decision. The matters that were tabled were outside grievances that I had little, to no control over. For example, factory warranty time constraints and why are techs across town allegedly making more money. This torture continued like this for a while. It wasn’t until a tech asked me before a meeting if I was nervous because I was sweating profusely. It was then I made the executive decision to stop this nonsense.

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

I decided we needed more structure to the meetings to end the chaos. First things first, I lost the “tech meeting”. From then we’d have “tech parties” limited to thirty minutes. It’d include a game with cash and prizes. And no more tech gripe lists. If anyone tried to slip one in, I’d invite him to my office to discuss it afterward. I’d also invite some other people from the dealership to join in on the fun.

I wasn’t messing around when I said it was a tech party. We’d dress up with ridiculous hats and Bette Midler-esque feather boas. Loud music or an action movie would be playing in the background. Depending on my mood, we’d have Wii games, limbo, casino games, or putt-putt golf set up to entertain the techs. I also nixed the pizza. It was too costly, took too long, and made everyone sleepy. But in light of all the new changes to the meetings, no one missed it. Techs even started showing up early for the meetings. Sometimes the techs would get so competitive, the joy could be heard in the waiting lounge. Now that’s what I call a successful tech meeting.

LESSONS LEARNED

Some of our finest moments of growth come out of the times when we felt unformattable, unfulfilled, and unhappy. Now, stay with me for a second. These negative emotions can really pay off in the future. They’re the exact motivation we need to get up and change our circumstances. These emotions motivate us. For some reason, when you’re dissatisfied to the point of frustration, you become hyper-aware of changes that need to be made. That’s exactly the point I reached with my tech meetings. And I couldn’t have been happier with the resulting new tech parties. Neither could my techs, for that matter. Try shifting the tone of your tech meetings to a party. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. For more helpful techniques, check The Irreplaceable Service Manager to help you transform your department, today!

Chris Collins Presents

SECRET TO SUCCESS

Something has been disturbing me recently. I’ve noticed people frequently misusing the word success and as a result this has caused mass confusion. The common misconception is to liken success with money. Of course there are successful people with a lot of money who a living very lavishly but that is besides the point. The Secret to Success is how you perceive yourself and how the world perceives you as a result of your contributions.

THERE ARE 3 DIFFERENT FORMS SUCCESS TAKES:

Internal, External, and Transcendent. It is crucial you take advantage of all 3 forms of success so that success is palpable.

Internal success is the movie reel in your mind’s eye of your vision of success. This internal compass of success is guided by how you feel about yourself. It’s relative to you and no one else. It’s somewhat idiosyncratic in that respect. For example, people will tell you that I’m successful but I personally feel l haven’t lived up to my full potential yet. It’s what you see when you look in on the window of yourself. External success is how the rest of the world perceives you. Which is very important factor because you’re not going to take advice from someone who’s broke or poor on how to run your business more efficiently. No one wants a fat trainer at the gym. You aren’t going to find a lot of success blatantly being the opposite of what you’re selling.

Now, the internal and external success factors could be in complete conflict of each other. For example: You could appear externally successful but inside you’re miserable. Another common way this conflict manifests itself is when people are pursuing a goal and haven’t quite attained it yet. The solution? Utilize transcendent success.

THE TRANSCENDENT SECRET TO SUCCESS IS HOW MUCH YOUR DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES AFFECT THE REST OF THE WORLD.

It’s how your work improves the lives of your neighbors. For example: Say you are a plumber. How much does your plumbing transcend: how many plumbers are you mentoring? How many customers are you touching with your work? There’s always a way to transcend your little world and expand. And when you nail transcendent success, your internal and external success will balance each other out.

Most people are continually looking to the horizon for new opportunities instead of maximizing the opportunities they have right in front of them. The key and real secret to success is to just look down and be grateful for what you have. Put passion into your work to become the best in your field and provide a real value for people. And then watch how many more doors it’ll open for you. Success doesn’t adhere to superstitions or luck. The true Secret to Success is most simply the value you give the world, the people around you, and your career. The more heart and soul you pour into the world, the more success is going to rain down on you.