Auto Shop Coaching Blog

How To Become An Unstoppable Shop Owner This Year

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.Robert Collier

Have you ever attended a training class looking for “the silver bullet?”  I thought about this as I recently watched a documentary on legendary football coach Vince Lombardi.  Lombardi is considered to be the greatest coach of his era.  He would conduct clinics for assistant coaches around the league who were seeking the secret to his success.

During the documentary, they interviewed a young assistant named John Madden. Madden admitted to being young and cocky, believing that he already knew it all. He attended the meeting looking for new information that would take his career to the next level. Madden was searching for the silver bullet.

The session was eight hours long. Lombardi spoke for four hours, took a break, and came back and talked four more. Madden was shocked to discover that the entire eight-hour session was on how to run one play!

The play was called the power sweep. It was so simple and basic, that every assistant coach in the room knew about it before attending the clinic. Even teams on the high school levels used it.

Why would a Hall of Fame coach spend so much time focused on something everyone already knew about? Here’s the lesson: It’s not about what you already know, it’s what you do with what you know, that determines the outcome of the game.

In other words, the secret to your success is to become brilliant at the basics. This level of mastery will make you unstoppable!

Just ask Vince. His Green Bay Packers ran this basic play better than everyone else in the league. His team mastered it to the point where it became unstoppable, even when the defense knew it was coming!

What are the basics that you should master to become a champion in your market? Step into my huddle, and you will learn.

Repair Order Audits

I was doing a coaching call last year, and my client and I were having a lively and interactive conversation. Everything changed when I asked him why his effective labor rate had been dropping the last three weeks.

The phone line went silent! Before I could call Verizon to find out what happened, he admitted that he didn’t know! If he was doing daily repair order audits, he would have been prepared for my question.

Like any discipline, the process isn’t exciting, but it’s effectiveYour people respect what you inspect so you will experience an improvement in compliance when they know you are regularly reviewing tickets.

Exit Appointments

What If I told you I had a marketing program that was FREE, and it would provide you with 10 additional cars per week? Would you sign up? If so, then why not schedule the next appointment for your customers? The clients who consistently schedule the next service for every customer, report a minimum of 25% coming back as scheduled.

If you average 40 cars per week, the math works out to 10 customers coming back who normally wouldn’t. (40X25%=10) I know I have mentioned this in another article, but I figured if Lombardi can talk about one play for eight hours, I can talk about exit appointments in two articles! Like the power sweep, it’s worth mentioning multiple times.


When you commit to doing daily audits and scheduling the next appointment, you will become brilliant at the basics, which is the real silver bullet! You may not make the Hall of Fame, but you can become an unstoppable shop owner!

P.S. Email me at  and I will send you a checklist of the 5 daily disciplines that will make you unstoppable.

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Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.