Reply To: Upholstery – Restaurant Warning Signals
Owners and Associates,
I just wanted to pass on a note of encouragement for all those Dr. Vinyl Techs out there.
One of our techs(Ryan McGann), looking to increase his sales, was investigating a lead I had given him on a restaurant (Beef O’Brady’s) in need of booth repair in his area. Apparently, he was there a little early and no one was at the restaurant yet. Now he could have given up and gone on to his normal daily route of car lots, but due to the inclement weather that morning he thought “What other restaurant can I go to that is close by?” He picked the nearest one (The Chop House) and thought at least this will kill a little time until the first restaurant’s staff arrives. Little did he know what an opportunity he was walking into.
The Chop House manager surprisingly was very anxious to show him her booths that were in dire need of recovering. Her area manager had given her to the end of the month to have them recovered, but she had been unable to find anyone who would do the work they so badly needed. The quote for the work on the “cold call” restaurant was $14,220.00!
While what is written above is exciting, it is not the most encouraging part of the story. The tech’s main work is and has always been on car lots. However, we try to cross train as many of our techs as possible in the different trades offered by Dr. Vinyl whether that be interiors, paint, dents, wheels, windshields, or upholstery. While this tech had done some booth recovery work in the past, he had never done this type of work. However, he did not let this discourage him. He asked how early they were there each morning and told the manager he would have to come back when he could devote enough time to measure the entire job. While she was worried he would not return, he reassured her he would call her and let her know exactly when he would come back with enough crew and time to quote the entire job.
He did everything mentioned in the paragraph above having no idea of how to quote or even recover the work shown him in this restaurant. He knew something that we try to instill in all our techs, he knew he had people in his Franchise and in his Dr. Vinyl family that he could draw on to get this job done. He called me and we both went to this restaurant together. We disassembled and reassembled the booths enough to not only quote it but make a solid plan of attack on how we were going to do all the work involved.
Ryan McGann has been an interior tech for our franchise for years. Recently, he passed on his interiors accounts to a new tech and went to further training at corporate to become a paint tech in the same area and at the some of the same accounts he used to work interiors. Ryan was THE FIRST TECH we moved from our hub in Cookeville, TN some 225+ miles away to start a new area in the furthest NW corner of our territory. We call that moving to the “Wild, Wild West”. Picking up roots and starting a route 100% from scratch takes a special individual. Ryan was the first of several we have transplanted into other areas 2-3 hours away from where they were living to become very successful in the Dr. Vinyl trade.
It is people like Ryan that make our Franchise successful. Please encourage your techs; for they are the ones who will make your Franchises even more successful.
You never know when that next stop, even an unexpected or unplanned stop, will be the next piece of the puzzle that makes your business soar. I hope this story will encourage each of us to strive to overcome any roadblocks that may get in our way.
For the record, I did not know how to recover this upholstery either. I called on other Dr. Vinyls like Nina and Brian Greenfield and Jason McCurdy to give me as much guidance as they could. Their input was not only invaluable and encouraging but empowering. I don’t know if all Dr. Vinyls out there realize how much their advice and instruction gives us with less experience the confidence to learn and grow in this trade. Thank you to those who helped us in this endeavor as well as those other Dr. Vinyls that help each other everyday.
Please know there ARE other Dr. Vinyls that are willing to help you. It may be someone you met at a Convention or that you heard about from a fellow associate. If you don’t know who they are or how to get in contact with them call 1-800-531-6600. Corporate can give you their contact info. Help is only a phone call away.
The Wandering Upholsterer
“All Who Wander Are Not Lost”