Helping Auto Repair's Internal Customers Make The Right Choices with Al Sutherland
Welcoming new team members shouldn't feel like every time a Targaryen is born: "Every time a new internal customer is hired, the Gods flip a coin." We can do many things to ensure we make the right pick during the hiring process, and there are plenty more we can do once they join us to help them adjust to our culture, work rhythm, and philosophy.
In this episode, I'm joined by a dear friend and Automotive Industry veteran, Al Sutherland. Al is the Owner of Al's Certified Auto Repair, which opened its doors in 2001, moved by the selfless desire to help as many people as possible fix their car issues and, at the same time, enjoy a great experience while doing it.
Throughout his episode, Al shares his thoughts on setting clear expectations with internal customers to maximize good results, the importance of being ready to re-educate them on specific aspects of their lives, and how to help new team members adapt to our auto repair shop's culture.
In addition, we chat about how to avoid adopting a "mob mentality" during interviews, Al's toughest lessons learned as an auto repair shop owner, and much more.
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- About what made Al start his own business (2:10)
- Al talks about how they handle hiring processes at his auto repair shop (6:00)
- How to establish healthy boundaries with internal customers (10:10)
- Al shares the most challenging lesson he learned as a shop owner (16:30)
- Sometimes, we must re-educate internal customers (21:20)
- How to help new internal customers adapt to our company's culture (23:30)
Connect with Al:
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95. Throwback To Ep# 55 | Everything You Need To Know About Your Auto Policy with Richard Sharman31:49How familiar are you with your personal auto policy? This week, we revisit the second part of my conversation with Richard Sharman, in which he shared everything you must know about your auto policy. Richard is an Executive Coach at ATI with over 40 years of experience in the auto collision industry and insurance claims professions.Throughout our conversation, you'll hear Richard's thoughts on State limits and coverage exclusions, how to avoid getting caught off guard when accidents hit, and what happens with medical bills if you get into an accident while driving an uninsured passenger. You'll also hear about deductibles, exclusions, and what you should know before handing your car keys to an internal customer to "get something for you real quick."Buckle up and get your reading glasses because today, we dive right into the small prints of your personal auto policy. In This Episode, You Will Learn:Do States have coverage limits? (3:40)What happens when someone gets hurt in your vehicle (6:30)What are comprehensive and collision limits? (8:40)Does carrying the minimum protect you from being sued for larger amounts? (14:50)A quick auto policy breakdown (21:00)Some details of exclusions under liability to others (24:00)Let's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: email@example.com
94. Rev Up Your Marketing Efforts and Make Your Competitors Eat Dust with Kim and Brian Walker35:06Isn't it frustrating to know you are better than your competitors, yet you see them getting all the work? The only thing you must do to change that is to get your marketing efforts right. This week, I'm joined by Kim and Brian Walker, Owners of Shop Marketing Pros and Hosts of the Auto Repair Marketing Podcast, to discuss auto repair marketing, the importance of creating and presenting unique content, and why every auto shop owner should understand how marketing works. As former auto repair shop owners, Kim and Brian know the importance of increasing auto shops' online visibility and using that exposure to grow their client base. Throughout our conversation, you'll hear Kim and Brian's journey into auto shop marketing and how they "had to figure marketing out" themselves. You'll also hear why they invest a lot of their time in knowing their clients, why they believe having a customer success manager is crucial, why understanding marketing reports is as vital as receiving them, and much more. In This Episode, You Will Learn:Kim and Brian's backstory (3:10)Why did Kim and Brian decide to leave their auto shop and start a marketing business (7:00)As a business owner, you must become a people and money manager (12:10)What message do you send when your marketing content isn't unique (16:20)Know your audience and create content accordingly (23:10)Why every auto repair shop owner should learn about marketing (29:50)Connect with Kim and Brian:WebsiteThe Auto Repair Marketing PodcastKim's LinkedInBrian's LinkedInLet's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
93. You Can Become an A-Tech and Repair Your Own Mind with Cally Rampis37:22Although talking about the pandemic in 2023 might sound like ancient times for some, many others are still struggling with the stress and anxiety of that epoch, and the worst part is that they aren't aware of it. In today's episode, I'm joined by the wonderful Cally Rempis to talk about entrepreneurship, stress release, anxiety and trauma relief, and the best methods to lower your cortisol levels. Cally is an Integrative Health Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist who, after consulting a hypnotherapist to figure out what was stopping her from feeling fulfilled, decided to become one, change her life, and help others change theirs. Throughout our conversation, you'll hear about Cally's introspective journey that led to all kinds of changes in her life: her looks, her thoughts, her career, and the way she sees the world. Cally also shares effective and ridiculously simple ways to lower your cortisol levels, tips and advice to leave stress in a drawer before going to work, how to incorporate meditation into your life, and more. In This Episode, You Will Learn:Cally's first encounter with a hypnotherapist. The beginning of a new life (4:40)We all are molded by our experiences (7:30)Some people weren't made to work from home (13:10)How focusing on what you want tricks your brain (18:10)How to get rid of stress in a couple of minutes (24:20)Why hiring an outsider to look at the inside might be all you need (30:50)Connect with Cally:WebsiteInstagramYouTubeTikTokFacebookLet's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: email@example.com
92. How to Choose the Perfect Software for Your Auto Shop with Kirk Mize and Jesse Meddaugh35:28Plugging technology into your auto repair shop can improve your productivity and efficiency, reduce costs, and make your internal and external customers' lives easier IF you choose the right software. This week, I'm joined by Kirk Mize and Jesse Meddaugh to discuss the advantages and the proper use of tech in auto repair shops. Kirk is the Director of Sales at Shop Boss, the premier shop management software for independent automobile repair shops and national repair brands. Jesse is a Founding Partner at 360 Payment Solutions, a payment processor designed to add value to its partners and shorten their sales cycles. Throughout our conversation, you'll learn why specificity beats broader approaches in business every day of the week, the difference between focusing on offering the lowest price or the best customer experience, and how to choose the right software for your auto shop. We also discuss the importance of picking software that supports your business model and growth goals, why having SOPs and systems in place is so crucial, and much more.In This Episode, You Will Learn:Jack of all trades, master of none (4:10)Why you shouldn't dabble here and there and create weak branches (6:30)How to pick the right software for your auto repair shop (10:40)The importance of having SOPs and systems in place (14:10)Do everything you do in your business improves the process? (20:20)Stay in touch with your suppliers (24:20)Exploring your software tools can improve your auto shop's productivity (29:30)Connect with Kirk:LinkedInShop Boss' websiteConnect with Jesse:LinkedIn360 Payments' websiteLet's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
91. How To Maximize Your Auto Repair Shop's Social Media Potential34:55"When your socials look like everyone else's, like a brochure or billboard, it's not doing you justice or a good service."In this episode, I'm joined by Corey Perlman, Keynote Speaker, Executive Consultant, Social Media and Digital Marketing Expert, Best-selling Author, and Owner of Impact Social Media. Corey got into social media way "before it was cool," teaching technology workshops at General Motors and other car dealerships. With time, he decided to spread his knowledge to other industries and wrote a book, "eBoot Camp: Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business." The book ranked #1 on Amazon almost immediately, he turned into a Keynote Speaker, and not too much later, Impact Social Media was born. Throughout our conversation, Corey talks about his journey in digital marketing and social media advertising, the dos and don'ts of social media for auto repair shops, and shares his thoughts on the best ways to reply to negative feedback online or negative reviews. We also discuss what content works better for auto repair shops, how to create engaging content, what to look for when hiring a social media professional, and more. In This Episode, You Will Learn:About Corey's journey into social media advertising and digital marketing (3:00)How digital marketing impacted the car dealership industry (5:10)What an auto repair shop owner should look for in a social media expert (10:30)What kind of content works better for auto repair shops (13:00)Corey talks about social media's unproductive habits for auto shop owners (18:50)How to respond to negative feedback online and negative reviews (24:00)Connect with Corey:Social Media Impact websiteLinkedInGet Corey's books!Let's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: email@example.com
90. Why Aiming for Profit Will Help You Put People First with Ron Saharyan39:35Business owners who openly discuss their desire to be profitable are usually misjudged. Some people think aiming for profit means being greedy or putting money and goods before people when it is the opposite: only profitable auto repair shops can put people first. Profit allows you to pay your debts, be philanthropic, and elevate your and your internal customers' lifestyle. This week, I'm thrilled to welcome Ron Sharyan, aka Obi-Ron Kenobi, back to the show. Ron is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Profit First Professionals, an international network of accountants, bookkeepers, and financial experts on a mission to help companies increase their earnings through the Profit First method. We had a wholesome conversation about profit. Ron explains why he sees profit as a retention tool, an instrument that allows one to give back, and a legacy-building mechanism. He debunks the myths around profit, shares his thoughts on seeking profit to fulfill a business purpose, goes through the difference between seeking profit and living above one's means, and so much more. In This Episode, You Will Learn:What it means to be proud to be profitable (3:00)Who are those who don't "want" to be profitable (8:40)Profit is a retention tool (10:30)The most expensive popcorn in the world and Ron's bragging rights (18:10)How everyone spends their money is no one's business (24:10)Profit first = people first (31:00)Connect with Ron:Profit First University websiteLinkedInTwitterLet's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
88. Build Trust Before You Build Dollars And Money Will Follow with Roy Niemi35:16Although it might sound contradictory, business owners who only worry about making money are likelier to fail at it. Every internal customer, from A-techs to newcomers, clients, managers, and team leaders, are people before anything else. As such, they need to be treated with respect and be appreciated. Many auto repair owners forget that, even when it sounds so elemental. In this episode, I'm joined by the inspiring Roy Niemi, an automotive industry veteran with over 21 years in the space and the CEO of A&D Auto Repair. Roy worked the first 14 years in the industry in sales and finances; he used to work 80 or 90 hours a week, focusing solely on making more money until a life-changing accident put things in perspective and taught him a valuable lesson he learned a lot from. Throughout our conversation, Roy talks about his philosophy as an auto shop CEO, using trust as a pillar of his shop's culture, and the importance of providing honest feedback and being transparent with internal customers. We also discuss mentoring; Roy shares his recipe to increase talent retention, explains how they created their own A-techs, and so much more.In This Episode, You Will Learn:A bit about Roy's journey in the automotive industry (4:20)We all want to be recognized, valued, and appreciated in the workspace (6:30)About Roy's 8 years journey as an auto repair shop CEO (11:30)Roy shares his recipe to increase internal customers retention (16:10)The importance of being proactive in spotting issues with your people (24:20)Connect with Roy:LinkedInA&D Repair FacebookA&D Collision FacebookA&D InstagramA&D LinkedInLet's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: email@example.com
87. Run Your Auto Repair Shop As Effectively As A Big Corporation with Drew Bryant33:37Training, onboarding, SOPs, and even "org. charts" sound like big corporation words. Yet, they are crucial parts of any business, including small auto repair shops and any company from the automotive aftermarket. This week, I'm joined by Drew Bryant, Owner and Operator of db Orlando Collision Center, to talk about the big corporation things you can implement in your auto repair shop to have big corporation results.Throughout our conversation, Drew shared his thoughts on the importance of spending time with new internal customers, training them, and making sure they soak in our auto shop's culture, procedures, and responsibilities. Drew also talks about unproductive habits, how improving his morning routine was a game-changer for him, and much more. In This Episode, You Will Learn:Drew and the unproductive habit he left behind (4:10)Never underestimate the power of onboarding and orientation (8:00)Drew shares his learnings working at Panera (13:50)When the process is clear, consistency is all you need (18:30)Onboarding done right (25:30)Connect with DrewLinkedIndb Orlando Collision Center's websitedb Orlando Collision Center Instagramdb Orlando Collision Center Facebookdb Orlando Collision Center YouTubeLet's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
86. Why Every Auto Repair Shop Should Think Of Getting A CPA with Eric Joern32:40Getting in trouble with taxes is easier than most auto repair shop owners think, and although everything can be fixed, preventing your business from getting to that point is even easier. In today's episode, I'm joined by Eric Joern, that'll help us understand everything we need to know about the financials, tax returns, and payments of our auto shops. Eric is a Partner at Kaizen CPAs + Advisors and a CPA that specializes in serving the automotive aftermarket.Throughout this episode, Eric talks about the importance of taking the auto repair shops' payroll seriously, spending the extra money on December 31st to avoid paying taxes on that money, and why we must look closely at our inventory to avoid tax headaches in the future. Additionally, we discuss why getting a CPA is a good idea for every auto shop owner; Eric explains the difference between a CPA and an accountant, and much more. In This Episode, You Will Learn:What every auto shop business owner should look for in a CPA (4:30)Why you have to take payrolls seriously (7:20)What's the difference between a CPA and an accountant (9:20)Let's talk about inventory (11:30)Is spending extra money on December 31st a good idea? (15:50)Where most auto repair shop owners "miss the boat" (24:30)Connect with Eric:LinkedInKaizen CPAs + Advisors' websiteMention this episode and receive 50% off the onboarding fee!Let's connect:WebsiteLinkedInFacebookEmail: email@example.com