Auto Shop Coaching Blog

The Small Problem That Can Lower Your Pay

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."Albert Einstein

“Fred” is drinking the Kool-Aid, all in, and on-board, when it comes to implementing most of ATI’s suggestions. As an aspiring Top Shop Owner, he attends SuperConference, is active with his 20 group, and is current with his classes.

He’s so convinced of the power of coaching that he turned the tables on” Chris,” his ATI coach, by asking Chris to email him back the three takeaways he picked up from his recent “coaches only” meeting with George Zeeks!

There’s one small problem. Fred can’t get his mind around the idea of exit scheduling.  After all, he wouldn’t schedule an appointment if he took his car to another shop! On his most recent call with Chris, Fred said, “My customers don’t like it!”

During a recent SuperConference, Fred picked up the idea of hosting quarterly focus group meetings with his customers. He selected five of his best buyers and asked them what they liked and disliked about the location.

Overall, they had great things to say about Fred, his team, and the experience. One of the group members mentioned one small problem. Keep reading to find out what she had to say.

Ideas to grow your businessWant more tips for how to identify small problems, improve your bottom-line, and grow your business? Discover valuable, easy-to-implement ideas and strategies in ATI’s shop owner events. Register today at

The Results Are In

I know what you’re thinking: “Twiggs, I’m on the edge of my seat! What did his focus group member have to say?” 

Here’s what “Gina,” one of his group members, said: “The service is great, but it would be even better if you would schedule our next appointment like they do at the dentist’s office!”

Fred was NOT looking forward to his next coaching call with Chris!

Here’s the small problem in this story: Fred’s limiting belief about exit appointments.

Defining the Problem

Your belief is merely an opinion that’s based on your perspective.

Fred’s belief about exit appointments was only his opinion and not a fact that his customers agreed with!

Any “problem” that’s only an issue for one person can be considered a small problem.

Do you have a small problem? The following scenarios will help you decide:

  • The Mercedes Benz Dealer is three miles away from you, but you still believe the customers in your area “don’t have the money” to pay for shop supplies!
  • While you’re blaming your car count struggles on the impeachment hearings, the ATI shop down the street is booked two weeks out!
  • Your customer is sending emails on her smartphone while you are writing up her work order, but you’re still afraid to ask for her email address!

Here’s the bottom line: A limiting belief will limit your performance! A limited performance can lower your pay. 

An Example From Your World

Don’t believe me? Well, let’s use the exit appointment scenario as an example. ATI studies have found that at least 50% of a shop’s customers will return for their next scheduled appointment.

This percentage can be even higher in locations where the owner is “all in” on the process and has strong communication and exit appointment reminder disciplines in place. (Are you all in?)

If your shop averages 45 cars per week with a $450 ARO and 50% of your customers come back for their scheduled service, that’s an additional 22.5 cars in your bays over time. (45 x 50% = 22.5)

The 22.5 cars would generate an additional $10,125 in revenue based on a $450 ARO (22.5 x $450). If you refuse to exit schedule, you just lowered your potential pay by over $10K.

Keep in mind that the exit appointments represent one example. A limiting belief in the areas of pricing, selling, and email capture, can also lower your pay.


So, there you have it. I challenge you to schedule an appointment with your coach if you need assistance in overcoming your small problem!

Don’t stop believing in the ideas that line up with your goals!

At ATI, we focus on teaching and coaching shop owners on best practices to get the most out of your automotive repair business. Want to learn more? Find an ATI shop owner event near you.

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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.