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RR 395: Shop Talk 8 – Second Shop Challenge | The Power of Blacktop | Industry Image
8th January 2019 • Remarkable Results Radio Podcast • Carm Capriotto, AAP
00:00:00 00:51:17

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Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver sold his business Superior Auto Electric in Tulsa, OK, in 2017. He had the shop for sale for a while, but a medical condition accelerated his move as he had to mothball the shop while he recovered. Scott continues to write for magazines and automotive publications. He is remodeling his home and teaching student the automotive trade. Listen to Gonzo’s previous episodes HERE.

Scott Pelava founded LONSDALE AUTO WORKS in 2005.  As an ASE-Certified Master Auto Technician, L-1 Advanced Engine Performance Specialist and Service Consultant, he saw the need for a more modern auto service center in the fast-growing community of Lonsdale, MN.

In 2015 Scott created the Auto Shop Owners Group on Facebook which today has nearly 4,000 members. Scott is also very active in the community, as he is currently a third term Lonsdale City Council Member, has held numerous leadership positions with the Boy Scouts and has served as a director of the Lonsdale Chamber of Commerce. Listen to Scott’s previous episodes HERE.

John Eppstein is the owner of John’s Automotive Care in San Diego, CA since 1998, admits he was a better tech than a businessman but did something about it. One thing he credits for his success is making his customer his main focus. John was honored as the 2016 NAPA ASE Technician of the year.  Hear John in our one on one interview in episode 119200 and Academy 003 on the Top Qualities of a Service Advisor. Listen to John’s previous episodes HERE.


Key Talking Points:

  • John added a second store in a ‘quick’, A very fast opportunity.
    • He has a few regrets. One big one; never assume the previous shop’s obligations.
    • John thanks his people for working hard to integrate his second store.
  • Scott Pelava is considering adding a new service. Collision.
    • There is only one collision shop is his town and 5 automotive shops.
    • They are getting rid of the extra services they do that are not profitable.
    • He doesn’t work on RVs in his lot one morning, but  
  • Gonzo says so many customers come back with an unrelated problem that they feel was your problem when their vehicle was in the shop.
    • He makes it right and in his 30 years very seldom do those customers don’t come back. He says it is like loss leader money.
  • DVI will help prevent some customers from coming back blaming the previous repair on the current problem. DVI will create a strong baseline for the condition of the vehicle when in the shop last.
  • John takes pictures of the dash with the door closed and the vehicle running.
  • Security systems in the shop can help to alleviate claims. I’m some cases you don’t even have to pull the footage as long as you have it the customer may retreat.
    • People are not trying to be dishonest it is their perceptions on things.
    • Some people enjoy the argument with you.
  • As an industry, our image is all over the place.
    • Every independent will have a different look.
    • Your image should be designed to the people you are trying to attract. (your ideal customers)
    • All independents represent each other.
    • You need a professional look and feel looking to attract the female customer.
      • Clean restrooms, flowers, plants, clean exterior, and interior.
    • Scott Pelava paved his parking lot and it did wonders for his image and for his customers accepting the prices he charges. “Operation Blacktop!”
      • Big curb appeal increase. It made noise in the community.
  • Ask your training partners (suppliers and association) for the classes you need.
  • John would not be there today with his association membership, involvement in his business development group, training he has been involved with. Including joining the leadership of your associations.


  • Thanks to Gonzo, Scott Pelava and John Eppstein for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.


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