May 1, 2024 | OPERATIONS

Often a new customer will stop by saying, “So-and-So at XYZ Garage told me to stop by and ask for the ‘Free Nickel Tour’. I’m interested in having a high-performance engine built.” I have found this too be far more productive marketing than answering the same questions over the phone! One afternoon I came back from lunch and there’s a young 20-something “new guy”, that I hadn’t met before, refacing some Chevy LS valves. I could tell he was a newbie, as he was moving cautiously and slower than usual. But after watching him do a couple, I could see he was doing an excellent job. I introduced myself, “Hi, I’m Tom the company founder and the owner, Eric is my son. You must be a new hire. Welcome to our team.” The guy looked at me a little confused, then said, “No, I just stopped by for the ‘Free Nickel Tour’. Eric showed me how to reface valves, then let me try a few while he went to check on a block in the CNC machine.” I just patted him on the shoulder and said, “Well son, you’re doing a fine job. Keep it up, you only have 5 more valves to go”. I wandered across the shop to find Eric, while thinking, “What help shortage? There’s plenty of free help if you know where to find it.” While you won’t be able to put them all to work, a tour of your facility will go a long way towards creating a bond and trust that their project is in good and expert hands. The attached photo shows some students from Hill College getting a “Free Nickel Tour.”

Tom Nichols
Automotive Machine & Supply, Inc
Cleburne, TX
MAY, 2024