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Learn from your industry peers in a round-table forum. Get new ideas, perspectives, trends, insights, best-practices and expertise from aftermarket professionals who have a direct connection to the lesson or topic in discussion.

Watch like a DOCUMENTARY ... Learn like a SEMINAR.

Helping automotive aftermarket professionals improve their business; One lesson at a time.

A NEW Webinar Broadcast LIVE every Friday Noon Eastern Time

You can Watch the Academy Webcast Replay or Listen To the Audio Only Podcast. Your Choice. Click on any Town Hall Academy Topic To Get Your Viewing or Listening Options.

THA 054: Stay Up on Social Media – Facebook Changes and your Marketing Efforts 2018

Stay Up On Social Media. What do the Facebook Changes Mean to Your Marketing Effort?

Facebook announced sweeping changes in early 2018. Our Academy panel provides great advice on becoming 2018 ‘Social Savvy’ and improving and changing your social media strategy.

Key talking points: You are your brand, your brand is you. Build a sales funnel around the assets you own like your website and your mailing list. Put your customer out front. Use Facebook Live because video will get preference from Facebook. And among so many other great insights you need to document instead of create content.

THA 053: Improve Communication Between the Service Adviser & Technician

Many Problems Are Found in A Lack Of Communications; Therefore Good Communications Can Prevent Come Backs.

Improving Communications Between the Service Adviser and Technician with Jude Larson from Valley Repair in Tenino, WA and also with JML Real Solutions, also Darrin Barney, Owner of Barney Brothers Off Road in Grand Junction, CO and Donnie Carter, Service Manager at Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI.

Communication is an important tenant in any service business. It is up to the service advisor to bring the ‘novel’ to the technician. Listen hard to the customer and write down the details of their issue or concern.

Technicians results are dependent on getting a good path to follow. Give them a great opportunity to succeed with clear in-depth information. Techs need to do their part and provide clear information back to the service advisor to support the recommendations they are going to provide as a value to the customer.

THA 052: Lessons I Learned When I Sold My Shop

Lessons I Learned When I Sold My Shop

Three former shop owners tell their story on selling their business. With Margie van Lierop, Formerly of Beach Cities Garage in Laguna Hills, CA; Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver formerly of Superior Auto Electric, Tulsa, OK (You also know Scott from Gonzo’s Tool Box) and Dave Winters formerly of Swedish Automotive in Seattle, WA, share their experience.

Among the talking points, confidentiality, transparent and normalized profit and loss statement, valuation, business broker, asset values, being a landlord and eventual tax liability, among others.

THA 051: First Moves When Opening a New Shop

Find A Blue Print Outlined For Finding Success If You Are Going To Open An Automotive Aftermarket Service Repair Shop.

There is some secret Sause shared here including a few preferred methods on how to start, setting up your spending plan, how important location is and the need to know the demographics of that local community. Is the income level such that money can be spent on vehicle service and maintenance?

We talk financial, (knowing your numbers) debt, cash flow. All very important parts of a CEO’s responsibility. May great technicians, who are unemployable, strive to start their own business because they want to do things their way. Most find out it is not an easy task. There are responsibilities beyond financial and cash flow like, marketing, the tax man, HR laws and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

This panel does a great job of explaining the challenges you’ll need to deal with, so you can find your successes sooner rather than later. It is a slow process, but success shouldn’t take years to achieve.

THA 050: Finding The Right Business Coach

Finding The Right Business Coach.

A strong group of successful service professionals credits a business coach or consultant for their success. This Academy panel is in agreement on the steps you must weigh when considering hiring a business coach or consultant.

Be prepared to put your pride on the shelf and learn how to grow your business to new heights. Let the coach Identify your problems with profit, productivity, training, marketing, pricing labor and parts among others.

Your coach will teach you how to identify your problems and show you ways to fix it yourself. Business coaches/consultants help business owners develop skills to become reliant on their own. You will also be held accountable for your goals and production.

THA 049: How to Sell Diagnostics

How To Sell Diagnostics at a Profit?

This is not an easy question to answer. Service professionals must be paid for their expertise because the cost of doing diagnostics is the most expensive service you have in your building.

It is time to move from diagnostics to testing and analyzing. Every shop needs to build a premium product around testing and analyzing. You need to be known as the ‘we can fix anything right the first time shop’. Your motto: “We have the best technicians.” Your shops testing and analyzing skills is the premium product you sell and are known for in your marketplace. No need to go anywhere else. We do the research, test, analyze and discover what is wrong. We present the solution then you decide.

Marketing this premium product requires a strong testing/analyzing process that both the service advisor and technician are totally in agreement with. The benefits allow the SA to confidently sell testing and analyzing.

The diagnostician knows that the SA will sell the value and benefits to the customer because the process dictates the work to be done. A very strong discussion and powerful take-a-ways that will arrest the black hole in your business of profitable diagnostic time.

THA 048: Grow Your Fleet Business

Growth Strategy: Fleets

Fleet business can sustain your revenue during the up and down times of the year. Get started and be willing to change and adjust as you move along. These three experts agree that it may be time for you to ‘Get out of your comfort zone’ and jump into the fleet business.

Learn from Tom Palermo from Preferred Automotive Specialists in Jenkintown, PA, John Constantin from Bison Fleet Service in Buffalo, NY and Bill Nalu from Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, MI.

We talk how to recruit fleet customer, obvious reasons to get into fleet business, the how and the challenges of implementing and growing fleet revenue.

THA 047: Twenty-One TIPS to Get an Edge on the Competition – Part 2

Do you need a quick new idea to implement that will give you an edge?

In this Academy lesson get 21 TIPS (Part 2) to help give you an edge over the competition. These are some very simple ideas that have been collected from successful service professionals in the industry.

Implementation will be the big payoff. If you listen to learn just one thing and do not implement you will not benefit from this listen.

THA 046: Revving Up Your Business Culture

Building a strong business culture can be one of the hardest things a business owner can do yet the most rewarding.

It is one of the key principles in the business that you cannot touch. It’s the soft stuff. For many, it is tough to get your hands around it. This academy panel does a great job explaining culture and shows you many ways to implement and lead it.

The power of a strong business culture can be one of your biggest differentiators as a business and a strong reason you attract top talent.

THA 045: Installing Customers Parts – A Discussion

This panel’s perspective is meant to excite a dialogue, to present ideas and concepts to support your decision or to inspire you to take a stand; one way or the other.

This topic is a worthy discussion because of the growth rate of e-commerce part availability, transparency in pricing, and ease of self-diagnosis on the internet.

At risk can be your reputation based on the quality of part being installed. You own the cause of their concern. This panel has not gotten one new great customer from ever installing parts for walk-in customers.

THA 044: The Importance of Back Office Operations – Part 1

The Power Center of your Business is in the Back Office.

In this Part One Amy Mattinat, Jacquie Walter Hower, Maryann Croce and Kim Auernheimer discuss controls, operations and accounting/finance.

Highlights: Cash accountability, bank statements, trust and verify. The three stages of a business and the power of communication. With good systems, you can find where any breakdown occurred. Also discussed is team buy-in, QuickBooks, keeping good records, budgeting and cash flow.

THA 043: Book Club – Favorite Books That Have Made Me A Better Leader/CEO

Books That Have Made Me a Better Leader and CEO

Harry Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers.” Our Academy panel will share with you the books that have impacted them. They’ll explain their big take-a-ways that have impacted their lives both personal and business.

Many service professionals, that have shared their story on the podcast, credit books as an important resource for building their knowledge on leadership, business culture and personal growth.

THA 042: Impacting a Difference For Those Struggling For Success

The Power of Peer To Peer Help.

When you commit to helping a struggling service professional you help lift all ships. The tough part is starting the engagement. When a shop owner asks for guidance that is the first step to really make change. The teacher arrives only when the student does.

It is very altruistic in nature to help a colleague. These actions help the entire industry. Marginal operations contribute to a negative image problem. A stronger independent service industry brings strength to the industry and compounds success.

Together everyone blossoms and grows as servants to the motoring public. This episode shares a few examples and starts to write the action items you need to take to build a stronger aftermarket.

THA 041: The Value of Knowing Your Customers Observable Behavior (DISC)

Become A Better Communicator By Learning The Power Of Observable Human Behavior.

Kim Auernheimer, Shari Pheasant and Jeremy O’Neal bring their wealth of knowledge using the DISC profiles in their businesses. You need to understand that DISC is an evaluation of your four basic behaviors. There is a science element to our discussion but don’t let that get in the way of this very powerful communication tool.

The value of knowing your DISC and how to discover your customers or co-workers behavior traits and then communicate in their basic way is the power of this lesson. Once you know them the world is your oyster because you can now start to converse with them in their language, not yours.

THA 040: The Extreme Value in Doing a SWOT On Your Business

The Power of Performing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, Threats) Review of Your Business.

Join Maryann Croce, Greg Bunch and Murray Voth for a wide-open discussion on the power and value doing a SWOT on your business. These three aftermarket professionals know the worth and outcome of a well-done SWOT.

Involve your team, assign priorities to the outcome and create a timeline to do the things discovered in this exercise. You are creating a strategic plan to best prepare your company for doing business in today’s market and into the future.

Go to the show notes page for this Academy episode #40 to download support tools.

THA 039: Eight Ways To Recruit and Build Your Team

When was the last time you actively recruited qualified candidates to fill your bench strength?

Kevin Vaught, Business Development Coach from Elite Worldwide, Ryan Blair from Blair Automotive and Robert Sexton from First Tire and Automotive bring their strategies, tactics and ideas to the discussion.

We cover networking, building your pipeline of qualified candidates, and your people as recruiters. They all agree that recruiting is a long game that needs daily attention. You must invest the time.

We talk about marketing efforts and being involved in secondary and post-secondary education. Many more great ideas and gems of wisdom from the Academy panel who make recruiting a ‘must do’ piece of their responsibility to their companies

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