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Episode Description

In times of need, it is important to stay front of mind and be as genuine as possible. During these times though, it is more important than ever to keep your customers’ (and your own) needs and motivations at the forefront of everything you do. We can call it the “Why?”

On today’s episode of Digital Shop Talk Radio, shop owners Kathleen Jarosik (Xpertech Auto Repair, Englewood, FL) and Russ Crosby (Russ’s Wrench, Clinton, NJ) show us some strategies and techniques they have used to keep their shops cranking away over the last few weeks, tell us some success stories about their experiences lately and give us some insight on understanding the “Why?” of those around you to motivate your staff during these tough times.

Episode Transcript

*This transcript was generated using Artificial Intelligence. Errors may occur. If you notice an error, please contact [email protected].

Tom Dorsey (00:00):
Good afternoon. Welcome to this week’s edition of The Digital Shop Talk Radio. I’m Tom Dorsey coming to you for my COVID-19 free Digital Shop Talk Radio studio Bunker in sunny Port Hueneme, California. And today we’re going to be talking about why and how to stay relevant with your customer base in this difficult time with this pandemic. And so I’ve got two fantastic guests. You might remember them from our amazingly fantastically successful online summit that we had last week, the Queen of [perseverance, Kathleen Jarosik and the King of Culture. Russ Crosby, welcome back. Good to be back.
Kathleen Jarosik (00:44):
Automotive royalty. Thank you for having us back.
Tom Dorsey (00:48):
We should have brought our tis.
Kathleen Jarosik (00:51):
We should, should. I would just like to point out for the record that we are totally representing the east coast here, not on picking
Tom Dorsey (01:00):
Yes, yes, exactly.
Kathleen Jarosik (01:03):
That’s right.
Tom Dorsey (01:04):
And yeah, so Kathleen’s in Florida from, expert Tech. Russ is in Clinton, New Jersey, which actually as you’ve been watching the news has been hit pretty hard with the virus. And he’s from Russ’s Ranch. And if you remember from the summit last week, which by the way, we’re really looking to carry some of that momentum. So the show’s changed a little bit today. We’ve opened it up. If you want to join live, you can join the room, the zoom link that’s in your registration email and come on in. And we’ve got several people in live with us today. And so that way we can get a little bit more engagement and a little bit more ideas and information from across the country on how folks are meeting the challenge during these times. And so let’s just dig right in and queen of perseverance. I’ll go ahead and start with you because matter of fact, why don’t you just go ahead and tell us your condition and where are you
Kathleen Jarosik (02:12):
Tom Dorsey (02:12):
From today?
Kathleen Jarosik (02:13):
So Cat out of the bag. I’ve been home quarantined, self quarantined for two days now. Monday night I came home, wasn’t feeling, I was feeling fine actually. And then at 8:30, 9 o’clock I was winding down, getting ready to go to bed and then it started to feel like somebody was jamming, a spike in my ear and my throat. So luckily I got into the doctor yesterday afternoon and who has ever prayed that the strep test come back positive, please let it be strep.
Tom Dorsey (02:42):
Kathleen Jarosik (02:43):
So yes, I am the proud owner of a phenomenal case of strep. Got a couple shots in my rear end and a couple of prescriptions. So I really tried to step up my A game here and look all pretty. You’re killing me over. I knew rest was going to be looking all pretty, but I was like, no, you can’t look sick girl
Tom Dorsey (03:06):
Unless you’re
Kathleen Jarosik (03:08):
Wait. Here’s the positive side of that. Nobody wants to get sick, nobody wants any of this stuff. At least it’s not coronavirus. And I’m glad that it’s not the flu or anything else and I’m glad that it was me and not one of my team members that are there killing it. I can motivate from home, I can still work from home because of my shop management software. So I am very, very blessed and fortunate to be able to still be a part of what’s going on without infecting anybody. So that’s where we all try to get right. Well, proof is in the pudding this week. I guess
Tom Dorsey (03:44):
You’re actually living the challenge. It’s not just from the customer side, it’s impacting your shop. Russ, how’s everybody doing in Clinton?
Russ Crosby (03:55):
We are kind of right in the middle of ground zero, you would say up here between New York and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is completely shut down right now and New York is the same deal. And where my shop is, we’re about a half hour, 40 minutes in between both of ’em. So the main highway that we’re right on, man, you look outside, it’s typically bumper to bumper traffic. There is nothing on the road. So it’s a little crazy. But with following CDC protocols and trying to do our best to work with customers and make them feel comfortable and our team members feel comfortable about doing the work we’re getting through, the phone started ringing again, which is great. So we’ve ramped up our marketing and we’re just trying to stay relevant, right? Yeah, buddy. This whole show is based on we’re trying to stay relevant and it’s tough, but we’re going to get through it. We’re going to persevere and get through this. So it’s hard to keep us down and my team is just absolutely incredible. There you go. You can beat us up. We’ll be black and blue, but we’ll be okay
Tom Dorsey (05:09):
Right there. American small business, we don’t run, we don’t hide, we overcome.
Russ Crosby (05:15):
I want to share something that I actually heard today that I thought was awesome for this talk. I listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast. I’m sure almost everybody knows who Joe Rogan is. Yes sir. He had a former Navy Seal on there, Andy Stump, I think his last name is. Anyway, he’s talking about overcoming issues and one of ’em was he’s talking about his SEAL training and what they call hell week, which is basically from Sunday to Friday you get two hours of sleep going into it. He got advice that really helped him get through it. I thought it was really relevant for what we’re dealing with right now is he knew that had a huge challenge ahead of him for that week, but if you take it a bite at a time and keep your circle small, you can get through it. He said one thing that he relied on was the Navy had to feed him every six hours, so he had to get through six hours to get a break, to get through another six hours to get through another six hours. So I’m just taking it one day at a time and keeping my circle small and making sure the people around us are protected. So I heard that literally on my way in this morning and I said, man, I have to share that with everybody because it’s so true right now, just one day at a time. That’s all we can do.
Tom Dorsey (06:34):
No, that’s awesome advice buddy. And that’s it, right, is stick to the fundamentals and keep it, do what you do best and just do it often and consistently. And so let’s talk a little bit because kind of the other thing that I do at AutoVitals other than invade your computer every Wednesday morning and or afternoon is I spent a lot of time digging through your numbers. I looked through the metrics of all of our shops and really looking for patterns and then dispatching help some outreach and things like that. And it’s really been an incredible couple weeks. I found a shop down 40% in car count up 23% in revenue. I mean, that’s incredible. And I’ll tell you what else was up. They were up 53% in inspection rate. So
How do you deal with the 40% decrease in car count? We’ll send more inspections. We are offering a campaign manager managed campaign for folks, whether they have our retention program or not, to try to help as coming off of what Adam was telling us a couple episodes and then last week in the summit about some of his innovative ideas for marketing in this environment. Matter of fact, we’re going to have him on next week where we’re going to dig into how he got it done and talk about some of those topics, some of those messages that he’s finding very effective. And so it really is, if you’re able to open, if you’re an essential business, it’s time to get on the horse. You have to think in terms of communicating and messaging and services that you provide that maybe you haven’t done before or don’t want to do, or maybe they’re more expensive. Did you guys hear the story about the newspaper delivery guy who’s offering to go shopping for all the folks on his route and he had something like 300 people took him up on it and he went shopping for everybody and at no charge? Did you guys hear that? Have you seen that? No,
Kathleen Jarosik (08:53):
I didn’t hear about that, but that’s awesome. He
Tom Dorsey (08:55):
Went viral from last night, right? I mean this guy, so up five in the morning, folding papers, throwing ’em, and he had to end up recruiting his entire family and they’re running around doing a bunch of shopping and errands for folks that just can’t get out of the house. Hey, I guarantee you since that guy’s going viral, I don’t know how you grow your newspaper route delivery business, but I mean what a fantastic community story, just a human interest story and it’s going to drive so much recognition for that person. We can adopt the same type of practices in our own businesses, think outside of the box and keep that community service top of mind, right, similar to keep that circle small. So what are you doing differently in the last couple of weeks to stay relevant?
Kathleen Jarosik (09:49):
Russ, do you want to go first?
Russ Crosby (09:52):
Sure. So something that we were talking about a little bit before was we’re trying not to change our pattern too much. Obviously there’s big changes that we’ve had to make for everyone, but trying to keep a consistency amongst your schedule and how you operate. And I know Kathleen and I are both members of B and I and we’re getting through that and we just changed the way we meet every week, which is keeping us relevant. We’re able to hear from multiple businesses, different types of businesses, what’s going on, how are they getting through this situation, how can we as an essential business who’s able to stay open, use that information and apply it in our business to keep moving forward. So I guess trying to stay as consistent as you can and trying to keep that schedule as close to normal as you possibly can. It’s very difficult, but that’s what we’re trying to do and just staying in touch with our other networks that we’re involved with.
Tom Dorsey (11:04):
And even what we did last week with the summit, it was an opportunity for a whole bunch of people to get together and kind of see what’s going on. And gosh, there’s other people out here in the same boat and their hair’s not on fire, they’re not all running for the hills and it’s probably very comforting for you. Hey Kathleen, for folks that don’t know what BNI is, why don’t you give ’em a little background on that, how you’re involved and maybe what are some of the takeaways that you’ve been getting from your meetings?
Kathleen Jarosik (11:32):
Well, I’ll tell you. So BNI is the most successful networking organization of its type in the world. Wait, I’m the president. So I run the meeting and there’s a little blurb that we read every time, so I could probably spit it all the way out. But they really do have, they have thousands of chapters around the world and millions of members. So you can only have one of each type of business in each group. You become a family, and I think I’ve had a couple in my vicinity, we’re not shut down yet here in Florida, so people are still getting out. It is very limited. I hope to see them stop that soon. But some of the businesses are going to be severely affected by nobody coming out. We are lucky that we are essential, but the home inspectors, the realtors, the restaurants, all of these essential, all the businesses that are relying on tourism, which is really big for us.
All of our seasonal people have left, so they’re getting a little more nervous about how things are going to go. So I think staying with your social and networking groups and keeping that face-to-face connection as much as you can is so important just for your stress level alone. Right. Okay. So I’m not out and doing things like I was, but I’m still interacting with probably the same amount of people that are like, I’ve been really putting off that I’m home for the week. I finally noticed that that pipe is leaking under my sink and I can go, Hey, you know what? I know a plumber or an AC guy and I know a really good plumber, an AC guy, and it gives us the opportunity to see how we’re all going to change. On the other side of this too, I’ve learned how to edit videos now that I recorded a video the other day, and that’s not my strong suit. That’s why I was creeping on Russ’s page and I’m like, oh, I got to get good at this. So I forgot my phone number and I recorded it probably 743 times and I was not doing it again. And so I was like, well, you better figure out how to add that in text. So guess who learned how to do that? Woo. New skill, lifelong learner core value.
Tom Dorsey (13:52):
That’s awesome.
Kathleen Jarosik (13:54):
I’ll tell you, I think that for BNI, for me and any of my networking groups, I’m a vice president for our local chamber and the executive board met this morning via conference call. I think it’s really important that we all stay connected to our professional and social groups right now. I’ve offered through Facebook to go pick up groceries for clients of mine that I know pretty well that are higher risk, things like that. I mean, they haven’t taken me up on it, but the offer is there and not because I want business out of it, but because it’s the right thing to do. And building relationships is so critical even before all this.
Tom Dorsey (14:33):
Yeah, when you give that, the rest comes, right, the business comes and that’s really the difference. So let’s talk a little bit about some of the techniques that you guys are implementing. I saw some great videos, so I’m sure if you’re open for business, you’re letting your customers know you’re sanitizing the interior surfaces, you’re covering the steering wheel, you’re wearing gloves, you’re wearing face coverings, you’re using floor mat, seat covers, wiping down the door, handles the whole nine yards. Are you doing pickup and delivery? You should be, are you offering some type of a drop off box or something where they don’t have to come inside if they are going to drop off in person some of these things. So how do you get that message out there? And I’ve seen over, and speaking of video creation is I’ve seen several shops that are shooting quick videos, a 92nd video, 62nd video of them actually demonstrating the drop off and delivery process of a vehicle, how they cover it, what it looks like, how the technician is covered in head to toe, almost in a hazmat suit.
And that just gives a, you are empathetic and you are thinking of them and going out of your way to take care of ’em. But then it also, it gives me the visual to say, oh, I can just call ’em up. They’ll come, I don’t even have to go outside. They’re going to take care of my car. They’re going to sanitize. I can do this. And to Kathleen, to your point is to say all those things that you’ve been putting off because we’ve been so busy, now’s the time to get it done. So Russ, let me ask you, how do you take that and not offend somebody? Because as we heard in the summit last week, there was some folks that were saying, Hey, I sent out an email blast to my customer base and I was getting negative responses. People were like, how dare you try to market to me and this bad time? But I guarantee you they’d be really happy to see that new delivery shipment of toilet paper just hit the local Albertsons. They love that advertisement. So how do you take that message and put it out there to your customers, Russ, without having that backlash and actually getting, like you said, the phone ringing again.
Russ Crosby (17:03):
So the approach that we’ve taken and what I’ve seen a lot of other shops do is it’s all about who you’re marketing to right now. If you’re trying to market directly to the general population of people and saying, Hey, we’re open for business, especially in our area, there’s some backlash like you’re selfish, you should be closed. Well, what happens to the medical professionals if they blow a tire out on their way to work or they have a car breakdown or you have rescue squads or police departments we’re servicing their vehicles or federal accounts. So by marketing and saying, Hey, we’re here to help these people. You’re really marketing to everybody, but we’re able to identify who our ideal client is right now. Look, we want the phone to be ringing and we want to be scheduling, but the reality is, do we really want hundreds of people coming through our door right now with this virus? We have to protect our team. Also, yesterday I got in a truck in a full suit with a full face shield on, I must’ve freaked out my neighbors because I made a point to walk around the street a little bit like that.
Of course you did. I’m pretty sure there’s a picture that we posted up of me walking around like that. But if we’re essential and we have to be open and we’ve chose to be open, just identify who your target audience is. So that’s my suggestion in what we’re doing now on top of that is you throw out a video like that or you send out an email campaign or text campaign or something, follow it up with more content post three, four times a day on Facebook or Instagram. People are in front of their phones right now. It’s not a guessing game. We’re not hoping they’ll see it. They’re going to see it. They’re going to see your marketing. So market the hell out of whatever you’re doing. I’ve seen some really elaborate videos that are really fun and in times like this, you don’t want to have a lot of videos or a lot of marketing that’s just constantly beating you over the head with this negative information.
We’re hearing about how bad this is. We want to get people to laugh and have a good time. And I’ve watched so many videos of shops that are just absolutely killing it and other businesses that are killing it, making funny videos about how they’re dealing with this situation. I don’t know. And to Kathleen’s point before, this is a time where you can try things that you’ve never tried before because sometimes we’re not so quick not lose, we’re not so quick to try and to try and do these things when things are working well. And particularly I’m seeing the poll results here. I’ve never been a fan of direct mail. I thought it was dated and whatnot, but I get phone calls all the time saying, Hey, we didn’t know you were here, but they’re my neighbor down the street. How the hell didn’t you see us blocking the road or trying to push a car in Whatcha talking about we were here.
So we decided to do a campaign, a direct mail campaign kind of saying, Hey, we’re in the area, this is who we are. And it really doesn’t directly go after the COVID-19 issue. It’s just, Hey, we’re here. There’s some marketing on the service that we’re offering for cleaning the HVAC systems, but that’s not why we’re sending that out. It’s just to get, because as soon as people are allowed to get out of their houses, you better believe they’re going to be doing anything they can to get out of the house. And we’re seeing that right now too, where people are starting to get bored, they’re wanting to drop off their car or just get out of the house and go do something and have conversations with people other than
Kathleen Jarosik (21:08):
Their family. Their
Russ Crosby (21:09):
Family. Yeah, I dunno. Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes it feels like you’re talking to a wall, but that old friend sometimes is useful right now after you’ve been cooped up with everybody.
Kathleen Jarosik (21:24):
Yep, everybody.
Tom Dorsey (21:24):
Yeah, no doubt. I got to tell you two awesome nuggets I took out of what you just said though, and I just want to repeat ’em and give time to jot ’em down. If you are maintaining first responders vehicles for a fleet business, that should be first and foremost maintaining these first responders. So that kind of puts your business as integral to what’s happening now, and it kind of takes that negative connotation of you’re just trying to market to us Now I can see that, hey, not only are you an essential business, you’re a critical business because you’re maintaining the first responders. And the second thing I thought was great, Russ was to post that follow up to your email and direct them over to your social right. As you can see on the poll, everybody said, Hey, increase social posts. Well, that’s exactly how you do it.
Don’t give it all to ’em in the first touch. Kind of wet, get some excitement. Get them to take an action to move over into your social, because here’s why is on your social, you’re probably going to have a lot of more engaging content and inspiring and revelatory, right? In other words, I can see the culture of these people and maybe your customers are on there saying nice stuff about you. And what I’m getting at is to overcome that negative connotation of you just sent me a marketing piece. If I get you over to my social, maybe that’s where I post my video of me detailing a vehicle before drop off and those kinds of things. Well now all of a sudden you’re human, you’re a commute, you’re a neighbor, you’re feeding families, you’re taking care of people, and people are liking it. I’m not going to be the one that is going to go on there and be the one negative person. And so I can convert almost my attitude to say maybe I should get those shocks replaced that I’ve been wanting to do for the last year.
Kathleen Jarosik (23:25):
Think about all the people that are sitting at home right now that were too busy in their lives that they’ve had to pause. Let’s look at that for a minute. The one positive thing about this whole shutdown, the entire world has had to pause the noise, all the noise that we listen to every day and we’re running like a million miles an hour. Guess what? It’s quiet now.
Tom Dorsey (23:50):
As long as you turn off the tv.
Kathleen Jarosik (23:53):
See, I don’t watch television. So yeah, I have Hulu and Netflix. That’s all I need. What do you call it? Hulu, Netflix and Facebook. That’s all I got.
Russ Crosby (24:01):
Kathleen, I could tell you with two under two at my house, the noise has not gone away.
Kathleen Jarosik (24:07):
So I can relate and I can tell you it gets different. We’re sitting here trying to start this live thing and my daughter that had come in before who’s 18 is literally dancing around the living room over here being trying
Tom Dorsey (24:24):
To distract you,
Kathleen Jarosik (24:25):
Obnoxious. And I’m like, I can’t imagine where she gets that behavior from, but it’s supposed to be her dad
Tom Dorsey (24:33):
Kathleen Jarosik (24:35):
But yeah, I just think it’s so important through all of this, a way to stay positive, show your clients and your vendors and your colleagues that you’re staying positive. We have a lot of local places do the best of awards through their local newspaper and things like that. And so they held the announcements of these awards and they finally decided to put ’em out this week, even though nobody can really do much of anything about it except blow it out on social media because it’s issues like it’s time. We need to let you guys put some positive stuff out there of what you want. And then of course now all the drama’s going to start because it’s a small town and everybody talks trash. But yeah, I think it’s just really important that we stay positive. Staying relevant is I think for me, my area is significantly older, so to see
Tom Dorsey (25:32):
Be more difficult.
Kathleen Jarosik (25:33):
Well, but you would think, and that’s what I would think too, that social media really isn’t going to help, man. Somebody told me the other day that email open rates are up to like 56%. What is it? Isn’t nine the best you get? Yeah,
Tom Dorsey (25:48):
That’s incredible.
Kathleen Jarosik (25:49):
And how many fights did we get as shop owners? And you can absolutely relate Tom from technicians going, yeah, I hate this digital vehicle inspection thing. I hate it, hate it. I’m not doing that. You know what I mean? Well, guess what? They’re getting better at it right now, right? They have less cars coming in and they have the time to be a little more thorough and efficient and learn that tool a little bit better. So I really think that we’re all, as an industry, going to come out on the other side of this better skilled, smarter people. We’re going to do business smarter. I am one that I’m in a market where my direct mail is not dead for me. I do a snail mail newsletter every single month and if they come late, I get phone calls, I didn’t get my newsletter and it’s got a puzzle and a recipe and it’s not all marketing. It’s fun stuff. I stay relevant, I talk to them the way they want to be talked to. And so I think it’s about knowing your client and it’s all stuff that we’ve all been talking about for how long, but now you just have to be a little more selective with it. So I think that it’s giving us an opportunity to showcase what we’ve already been doing and do it even better. Yeah,
Tom Dorsey (27:03):
I mean that is just chock full of brilliance, right? Because that’s exactly it. Like what Adam was saying two weeks ago in the show, he said, I have a choice to make. I can roll up into a ball and sob or I can take this time and yeah, business is going to be down, but I can take this time to grow, to learn, to expand my skills, to get better at something so that because we’re going to come out of it, when we come out of it, I’m that much more farther ahead. Especially if you look at some of the things that you’ve been kicking down the road from your long-term goals planning, maybe you get caught up on those things and maybe you learn new skills and maybe you experiment and maybe you try things. And a matter of fact, next week’s show is going to be about exactly that is how to get into your campaign manager, which you all have.
If you’re on smart flow X, you might’ve know how to use it. You might use it constantly. It might be a completely new thing to you. And to Russ’s point from earlier is again, brilliant, is that you have to know your market and who you’re marketing to at this time. And that’s what that tool allows you to do is filter your database by best customers. You want to see folks who come in the most or spend the most with you, lost customers type of vehicle, make, model, whatever services that are deferred, whatever it is, you can start to chop your database up into these segments and then really think, put yourself in their shoes and create messaging around that group and then execute that message. And like you said, follow it up with some fun, some tips, seasonal driving tips, additional services that you may offer that would benefit those folks and get ’em over to your social media to learn about that additional information and just keep doing it. That’s the key is you got to keep doing it. It has to be a regular recurring activity in your business. It’s just like farming. You plant the seeds and you put them in water and then pretty soon you’re having corn cakes and they’re all tasty. So Russ, you could elaborate a little bit more on that because when you said, Hey, market to the right segments, what’s the message that you’re sending out? Let’s just say your best customers are the folks that are the most supportive of you. What are you telling them?
Russ Crosby (29:27):
Well, we’re telling ’em that we’re here for you. We’re here to take care of you in a time that there’s not a lot of people that can. So we’re here to get that vehicle for you. We’re going to clean it up. We’re going to take every precaution we can to protect you and ourselves. We’ve been operating with loaner cars for a long time and almost a no touch policy for a long time. We’re just kind of taking this and moving it into more of what we’ve already been doing for so long. So taking those credit card payments over the phone. We don’t have a whole lot of customers that we see because we’re able to really use the tools that we have. Customers do come in and out, but most of the time it’s overnight drop-offs or early morning and they pick up after hours. We don’t see our customers a whole
Tom Dorsey (30:16):
Lot. Wow. Doesn’t even surprise me as innovative as Russ. It doesn’t surprise me that here you are just kind of completely prepared for crazy times. Yeah,
Russ Crosby (30:28):
Something else that we just did too that’s pretty cool is we had a member of our BNI chapter, they’re also struggling right now too on the HVAC side up here. So we’ve been toying with the idea of doing a little improvement here. We just had a UV light installed in our forced hot air system, so it kills norovirus and it kills strep throat and it kills all of these different things and sanitizes. Yeah, Kathleen, I’ll send you the link.
Tom Dorsey (30:59):
Dang it. Better late than never.
Kathleen Jarosik (31:02):
A dollar short.
Russ Crosby (31:05):
She’s going to take that light and
Kathleen Jarosik (31:11):
It’s like he’s known me my whole life, Ru, my brother and sister or something
Russ Crosby (31:16):
Maybe. I dunno. But we just had this company come out and we took videos of them installing and they’re all wearing their respirators and we’re promoting other businesses at the same time while we’re trying to promote ourselves. So our community has really come together to try and help each other as much as we can. We’re ordering a lot of takeout and typically I’m told I shouldn’t be doing that. I should be saving my money. So we’ve been doing that for a long time too. Spending money I shouldn’t on food that I shouldn’t.
Kathleen Jarosik (31:52):
But think about the opportunity there, Russ. Seriously, if you are able to do that and to bless another business in your community. We ordered lunch the other day and I took pictures of them picking it up the front of the restaurant. We are highly tourism and that is awesome. So here, that’s it. Our seasonal people went home, mostly retired people left. And so our restaurant workers are really, really suffering right now. They’re the first line that’s just getting hammered. And so that’s a big thing. I’m trying to order lunch and spend that kind of money and post it, post it, cross promote with the people that are in your area that are still open and trying to make it happen. When you’re doing that, what kudos to you, man, that is fantastic because you blessing somebody else is going to come back on you no matter what. Anyway.
Russ Crosby (32:46):
Well, I think this whole Thank you, I appreciate that. But I feel that our tagline is keeping the community rolling. So one of my technicians came up with that. I didn’t, which is awesome because that just goes to show what kind of culture we have, but it’s so true, so concerned about our community and keeping these people in our thoughts, prayers and getting on the phone and doing wellness checks. I got that idea from my ATI coach. He said, jump on the phone, start calling people not to sell ’em something. Just call and see how they’re doing. How are you? They’re all right. How are you? And we’re working on that too. And it’s interesting as a lot of us are slow right now. We have so much that we can try and accomplish are so much that we’re trying to do that we have to also prioritize what we’re trying to do also and make sure we’re trying to do as much as we can with the time that we’re given. But yet definitely try and support your local businesses because that’s going to get out. That’s going to get out. And who better to give you word of mouth than the restaurant that’s got 150 people in there every day knowing that you are trying to help them.
Tom Dorsey (34:08):
And I got to tell you, I mean there’s a lot of folks out there that they post, maybe they don’t post at all to social media or maybe they have a service that posts or maybe they have a tech that posts every once in a while or their kid will post some stuff and they haven’t really got behind it yet. Now’s the time because everybody’s cooped up. Everybody wants a window into the world. Everybody’s avoider kind of right now and take advantage of that. And it’s really as simple as you’re doing something, take a picture of it, hit post, write a little caption. And what Russ and Kathleen just said is that, yeah, you’re picking up some to-go food pizzas for the crew, promote that business, take a picture of it, it gives you something to post, right?
Kathleen Jarosik (35:02):
Yes. And it benefits two businesses at the same time.
Tom Dorsey (35:07):
And the
Russ Crosby (35:07):
The Interesting thing is you don’t want to be trying to sell constantly, especially in this type of market, you’re going to wash yourself out. So by just posting fun things like Tom saying, wow, we picked up pizza from Dominic’s down the street. Today’s special
Tom Dorsey (35:21):
Was awesome.
Russ Crosby (35:23):
Go check ’em out. They’re open also.
Kathleen Jarosik (35:29):
Isn’t that so important? We have a local florist here that I get a weekly subscription delivery in my office from. Well, I didn’t stop because she’s trying to run a business too. She’s in my BNI group. And so I came to work on Monday morning, I come rolling in and guess what? There’s this sign on the corner of my parking lot with rose petals sprinkled all around it that just says, we love that you care about our community. Thank you. Ann’s flowers. And she did them all over town to clients of hers, which I thought was really, really wonderful. Just to spread joy.
Russ Crosby (36:05):
Kathleen Jarosik (36:06):
It’s so critical. And to show people, like Russ was saying, do silly videos and things like that. Are you kidding me? People want to be entertained right now. They want to be entertained right now. If looking at Russ turning wrenches, wearing a suit, coat is hazmat suit. I feel like there’s a tiara coming soon though.
That’s just such a huge nugget. Somebody else told me that if you guys are doing a break job on a grand marquee, which is okay five or six times a week, no, we work on a lot of grand marquees and Buick centuries and stuff. That’s what we do. But just to post that to show what you’re doing and this is to let people still feel that you have a good culture in your shop, that it’s not all gloom and doom and it gives them the opportunity to virtually bond. Look at the be we got a new host. I feel like Russ is less excited about that. You’re still too close to it, man. Wait till they’re like 18 and
Russ Crosby (37:10):
16. Oh no, I love it. I love
Kathleen Jarosik (37:12):
It. What do you call it? But yeah, it gives us an opportunity to bond and show them and the audience that’s looking that there is still life out there. We are not alone in this. And we’re going to look back on this in a few months or in a year and go, man, was it really that bad? It’s like having a baby. You know what I mean? It wasn’t that bad.
Russ Crosby (37:41):
I don’t know if my wife would agree with that, but it wasn’t that bad for Me.
Kathleen Jarosik (37:46):
Give her a year. She obviously did it another time.
Russ Crosby (37:53):
So what you just said, I was listening to a talk two weeks ago from John Maxwell, he’s a trainer and I know a lot of people follow him. Great, great inspirational speech I got because a few weeks ago I was like, I have no idea how we’re going to keep this thing going, but we’re going to keep it going. I know we are. Just dunno how he said exactly what you just said, Kathleen. He said, every year or every two years we have a situation like this. Maybe not to this extent, but we go through these situations more often than we think and we look back at them and we say, it wasn’t that bad. It was a minor situation. We were dealing with this, but it’s not that bad. It wasn’t that bad. We got through it. This is pretty bad right now because we’re living it.
But in a year, like you said, we’re going to be through it. He said the most important thing to remember, I think that this is the part that I latched onto the most was we don’t learn anything unless we’re challenged. So we are being very challenged right now, but we are learning so much and for us to just try and take in as much as we can and take as many notes as we can so that we can refer back to these tough times and how we handle our businesses and our personal lives and how we’re going to get through this and how we latch onto other people like in BNI groups or local businesses times like this, bring communities together. So use it to help build your community, get involved, show them that you care about the community and not just about fixing their car. It’s not just about that. Yeah, these times these are when true leaders are born.
Tom Dorsey (39:49):
Yep, exactly. Exactly. And that’s all it is. That’s exactly what it is. You could be scared and as unsure as anybody else, but you are putting forward that face of calm resolution, perseverance, and you would be amazed at how effective that is and how people remember that and attach to it is everybody needs. Everybody needs a helping hand. And in these times you are those helping hands, right? You are out there every single day frontline, right? You are frontline business operators and we look to you for leadership and guidance. So don’t think that just because a three bay guy down here around the corner, that doesn’t mean anything. You are integral to the success of your community. You are critical to the success of your community. Be proud of what you do and lead. Lead by example, lead through your empathy and it’s going to pay off forever, really forever. Build that reputation. Just don’t set a torch to it someday down the road and you’re in good shape.
Kathleen Jarosik (41:08):
I mean, that’s it too. I’m sure we’ve all spent all this time building our shop brands, but we also spent time building our personal brands. At least I can tell. Look, I just had the pleasure of meeting Russ, but I feel like he kind of works really hard on that. And that’s something I’m picking up from this as well, is I need to make sure that I’m out there making videos from home, putting them out there and being silly and what people are accustomed to seeing. I mean, sometimes I’m a social train wreck and I always tell people, I’m like, they invite me to go places. I’m like, you do know I could be a social liability. You never know what comes out
Tom Dorsey (41:46):
Of this thing. I’m
Kathleen Jarosik (41:48):
Pretty sure the first time Tom, they asked me to be on the show. I’m like, are you sure?
Tom Dorsey (41:53):
Not at all. A lot Justin said.
Kathleen Jarosik (41:57):
But that’s what’s important. You guys think about what we represent to our client base. What do we represent? Freedom and independence.
Tom Dorsey (42:08):
Yes, security and a lot
Kathleen Jarosik (42:11):
Safety. So my dad, I share this story occasionally. My dad had stage four lung cancer in 2009, lived with me for about seven months and then it metastasized to his brain. And so he could no longer drive after that. And man, it killed him every single day. Killed him every day not to be able to get in his truck and go places. So he would steal his keys out of my purse, which was a huge no-no, in our family, you don’t go in a wallet. You don’t go in a purse. And when he was actually going in my purse and taking back his keys, I thought, wow, it’s all about the independence and the freedom
Until I said to him, I said, you could kill somebody innocent. And he’s like, hadn’t really thought of that, number one. Number two, if you could just take that completely away where I can’t even see it anymore, that would be great. But you think about seeing, I deal with that a lot because of the older clientele. When we start to take away freedom and independence, that’s a problem. So we have to remember that we’re not out there selling, like Russ said, I don’t have to sell to anybody. I am providing freedom and independence. And my value to you is that I want in this time, yes, would I like to fix your car and keep my employees paid through my normal channels and not for the government? Yes, I would. But what I really want to do is make sure that my clients are taken care of.
And if that means that I go to Publix and pick up their, not me personally right now, but if I go to Publix or I call the pizza place down the street and say, Hey, can you do me a favor? Can you send two pizzas over to this address? Because I know that those people are not able to get out. They’re not able to eat some meal delivery service, something like that. Just to be a good steward in your community and a good human being. This is the time for us to do that stuff. It’s not about marketing your services so much as marketing your personal brand and that you really do care about these people. Mine are always waiters. They fight to be waiters. They’re retired most of the time. They don’t have anybody to talk
Tom Dorsey (44:23):
To. Fun to hang out with you. Yeah. Yeah.
Kathleen Jarosik (44:25):
We’re kind of fun to hang out with. You should see the rest of the shop. We’re all the same. Well, not the guys. Not the guys. The guys are pretty subdued. I’ve
Tom Dorsey (44:33):
Seen all your photos in your webpage and all that.
Kathleen Jarosik (44:36):
There’s the three of us up front. It takes a specific culture to work in the front office of my shop. And we’re all women, not because I don’t want any guys there. We just haven’t found one yet that has the energy.
Tom Dorsey (44:48):
You can hang,
Kathleen Jarosik (44:49):
They can hang
Tom Dorsey (44:50):
Spotlight with you, Kathleen, for
Kathleen Jarosik (44:52):
A week. Yeah, right? I mean it just takes, we goof off with our customers all the time. I can’t wait until this is over so I can hug people again. I said this yesterday, I was on with somebody doing with Dory Epstein doing a thing yesterday. I’m like, check on your extroverts. We are not okay. We can’t touch people. We can’t hug each other. We can’t. This is killing us. Thank God for these kinds of things. Stay relevant for your people, man. We literally look in the obituary on a daily basis to make sure we haven’t lost clients. And I know that sounds bad, but it’s true. That’s our number one loss rate for clients where I’m at. And ask just about anybody in south Southern Florida will all tell you the same thing. It’s just what happens. They all come here to retire and they die. And so it pains me when I find one that I see that I know. And Jamie, my director of Wow, she is my service advisor, but her title is director of Wow. Feel free to use that. Just send me a check for five bucks. It’s one oh one North Call Road. And we have these developed personal tight relationships.
Tom Dorsey (46:16):
Kathleen Jarosik (46:19):
Did I mute myself?
Tom Dorsey (46:20):
Yeah, you hit mute man.
Kathleen Jarosik (46:23):
Can’t say how many people wish
Tom Dorsey (46:24):
They could do that. Develop tight relationships.
Kathleen Jarosik (46:26):
We’ve developed tight relationships with our clients and with the people in our community and they are really showing up on social media, making comments, making on posts going, man, we’re so excited. I mean, we did a promotion to boost our likes in March before any of this started. And I got people now April 1st. They’re like, when are you giving away the Apple watch? When are you giving away the Apple watch? I’m like, simmer down. I’m giving away the Apple Watch. It’s only a month ended yesterday. I’m sick. I’m sorry.
Tom Dorsey (46:56):
That’s great.
Kathleen Jarosik (46:57):
But they’re still engaging and I think that relationships are everything. So
Tom Dorsey (47:02):
I mean, you couldn’t have hit the nail more squarely on the head actually is that’s exactly why you do this cultural stuff. Those are the folks that carry you through the hard times. And if you just, Hey everybody, you’re expected to do a good job, right? You’re excited to do a good job. So yes, you go out and you give quality service and you give quality work. And that’s something to be proud of, but that’s just not the end of it because that’s the expectation. It’s going above that. Yeah, it may be cheesy, it may be outside of your comfort zone. I’ll bet you there’s some people that are perfectly suited for that on your team and you can empower them to do those things. I’ll tell you what, the king of culture right here will tell you all about it. And you take advantage of that and you engage and yeah, come out of your comfort zone a little bit and get out there and post your face and be goofy and fun because that’s what sticks, that’s what brings the folks in as a relationship.
And those are the ones that will carry you through these times and you can rely on them just like they rely on you. And it’s not that hard to do folks. It really is just making a goal, setting a plan, and executing that plan consistently every single day. And if you get up in the morning and you think, gosh, how can I be relevant today? How can I give back to my community today? And that’s what you start your day out with. Even if it’s a good morning, Clinton exclamation point, smiley face post on Twitter or whatever, that’s a start. And that’s going to grow into something because eventually people will start saying, good morning, back to you. And then you’ve got a network, then you’re doing it now. It’s like anything else. You started out with a tech or a customer and you built it into what you got.
Now it’s the same kind of thing that you’re going to develop through social media and through kind of your messaging. It starts with one step. And today I think we’ve had some amazing examples of messages that you can develop and videos and collateral and ideas that both Kathleen and Russ have given us today that you can mold into your own personality and culture and start to use those and just do it right. And if you have any questions and you need any guidance or help, go on the Facebook forum. Folks are up there all day every day and they’re going to do exactly that. They’re going to help you to think outside that box, give you the kind of the support and courage to hit the send button and continue to do these things. And if you’ve got to set an alarm on your phone or some alert somewhere to remember to post on Facebook or remember to send that tweet, do that until it becomes a habit for you.
And I want to give a quick shout out. Speaking of that, I want all of you that are in our Facebook form and those of you that aren’t, you need to join it. Go on Facebook. Adam Ick is working on a project right now. He’s asking for some help. He’s putting together and I’ve seen kind of the rough draft and I got to tell you, it’s, I almost cry. It’s amazingly powerful video he’s putting together to honor first responders and our servicemen and women. And he’s asking for some clips from folks, some pictures, even just your shop, your logo. He wants to incorporate that into his video. So give him some support talking about supporting the community and helping each other out. We can start right now. Go on the Facebook forum and look for Adam’s post. And if like it, say hi to him. Thank him. I can’t wait to see the matter of fact, I’m going to be beating him up a little bit about it next week because he’s going to be on the show to see that final version. Because from what I saw, it was extremely powerful. It really hit me in the heart. And it’s that kind of actually premier
Dustin Anaas (50:56):
That next week live on the show. Well, there you
Tom Dorsey (50:58):
Have it.
Dustin Anaas (51:00):
I mean, takes some work and we got to get, Adam needs some more pictures. So really if we can reach out to Adam, [email protected] is where you can send any pictures. I’ll put the link in this video too on Facebook for everybody to see.
Tom Dorsey (51:17):
Awesome. Dustin.
Dustin Anaas (51:18):
He’s doing an awesome job. And I saw the video too. It’s incredible,
Tom Dorsey (51:23):
Man. I got to tell you, listen,
Dustin Anaas (51:25):
So send him pictures. He’s doing hard work over here, so yeah, it’s awesome.
Tom Dorsey (51:31):
Yeah. And so next week, thanks. We’re going to be changing the show up a little bit. We’re going a full hour even though we’re going a full hour today too. But we got awesomeness in the house. And what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to switch the format up a little bit and we’re going to be talking about the why like we did today about specific topics. And next week it’s going to be exactly that is what kind of messaging do you put through your email and text messaging? And we’ve talked hashed it out a lot today too. But we’re going to get some specific results talking with Adam next week. And then in the second half, the second half hour of the show, we’re going to be doing the how, right? We’re going to have Chris Maggard on next week who, if you know Chris, she is really our resident expert when all things retention.
She’s customer, I mean, she’s just been doing retention for so long in the industry. She is a font of amazingness when it comes to retention. So she’s going to be coming on and giving kind of the how do you actually get it done? How do you build a campaign, how do you create the collateral and that kind of stuff. And we’ll be talking about that awesome video. And those are just other ideas on how you can really don’t be so desperate. Don’t think, oh my gosh, I’m in emergency mode and I have to just do cold calls and spam people to get them no think instead in terms of engaging and providing and then the business will come, right? And we’ve heard great examples of that today from the queen of perseverance. Kathleen Jarosik expert, wish her well, say hi to her on Facebook, send her some flowers. She’s feeling a little under the weather. And I got to tell you, I mean that’s why she deserves that moniker is because here she is and just give her back even though she’s under the weather. And then of course we a
Dustin Anaas (53:16):
Shout out to Russ too, is his anniversary today, six of Ru wrench.
Kathleen Jarosik (53:25):
How many years Ru
Tom Dorsey (53:27):
Send Cake to Russ’s wrench.
Russ Crosby (53:30):
Yeah, we’ve been in business six years today. I decided brother on April Fool’s Day.
Kathleen Jarosik (53:40):
You man. I love it. I love it. Congratulations.
Tom Dorsey (53:44):
That is so awesome. Yeah, so fantastic. So tune in next Wednesday, same time, same place, 10:00 AM Pacific time, 1:00 PM Eastern, a new format. You can actually join the show and be in the group and chat us directly. I’m sure Dustin will get quicker on the unmute button. And we’ll get some of the studio audience as it were to participate next week. Really looking forward to it. Chat in your ideas, post ’em up on Facebook, send ’em directly to Dustin Shop top show topics that you’d like to see. Think of be selfish, right? Think in terms of things that you really need help with and you’d like to hear some folks that are doing it. We will be glad to put some shows together to help you out from those specific solutions to challenges that you’re having in the shop. Until then, stay positive lead, right lead, get out and engage.
Show that empathy that’s going to lead to your success and making more money in 2020 and really coming out of this thing with a full head of steam. Like Kathleen said, I couldn’t have said it any better. A whole new group of skills that are going to empower you. And we’ve been in the digital shop talk, we’ve been talking about this, and now people kind of see that we’re not just crazy people and that the sea change, this digital shop is an actual thing. It’s not just the shops. You see it across all industries right now. They’re trying to figure out how to get your dry cleaning to you digitally. You have the Willy Wonka machine, they’re just going to break. It’s just going to show Star Trek Enterprise. But seriously, you see, it’s evident right now. There’s people that were highly prepared for it. There’s some unfortunately that weren’t. And this show right here every week is going to give you the insight and the skillset to become ready for it. And that sea change that’s happening with the digital marketing and way to do business. Again, guys, I can’t thank you enough for coming on. It’s always a pleasure. Looking forward to the next time.
Kathleen Jarosik (55:57):
You too.

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