Highlights from the AASP-MN Annual Meeting

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April 23, 2018—The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) held its Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference, April 5, 2018, at the Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington – Minneapolis South, Bloomington, Minn.

With seminars covering topics on stress management, customer service, top secrets of America’s greatest body shops and how to survive and prosper in the auto repair industry, there was something for everyone. There were also numerous opportunities for networking and socializing with industry peers.

The opening general session, “Bring It,” was presented by Terry Watson of Easify, Inc. Watson’s humorous message gave attendees simple tweaks to keep them profitable and more efficient. He also shared ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace and how to compete on value instead of price.

Following the general session, attendees had the option to participate in roundtable discussions covering 10 topics, ranging from protecting against employee fraud and conducting employee meetings to tech tools that save time and estimating resources. These discussions were facilitated by AASP-MN member experts.

During the lunch and business meeting, members received an overview of recent association initiatives, a legislative update from AASP-MN’s lobbyist, Kevin Walli, and were introduced to the new board of directors. A highlight of the meeting occurred when Kevin Walli was presented with an award for 25 years of service to AASP-MN and Minnesota’s automotive service industry.

When presenting the award, AASP-MN executive director, Judell Anderson, stated, “From insurer claims practices and salvage title requirements to sales tax and environmental regulation, Kevin has worked hard to advance legislation for the benefit of the industry. Just as importantly, along the way he’s also stepped up to play defense and stop legislation that would be detrimental to the industry. He is well respected by legislators, staffers and his colleagues at the Capitol. Kevin can always be counted on to give the Association and its members sound legal counsel and political advice.”

The luncheon keynote, “Momma Told Me There’d Be Days Like This,” was presented by Mark Mayfield. Mayfield is known as “The Corporate Comedian” because he merged his corporate background as a lobbyist and his comedy background as a nightclub performer to create an extremely unique and comedic presentation style. His presentation gave attendees ways to identify their major stressors and techniques to manage them—all while they held their sides laughing.

Afternoon breakout sessions included, “Can I Get a Side of Customer Service with That? – Creating Dazzling Customer Service,” presented by Mark Mayfield. The program focused on customers’ perspectives and examined issues like credibility, reliability and responsiveness.

Dave Luehr of Elite Body Shop Solutions presented “Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops,” which revealed six secrets used by great body shops that have helped them rise to higher levels of success than their competition.

Dan Gilley of RLO Training presented “Survive & Prosper in the Auto Repair Industry,” an AMI-accredited course, which took a look at what today’s customers (both external and internal) want and what shops need to do to meet or exceed expectations. Attendees also learned ways to improve business efficiency through processes and tracking vital numbers.

When the seminars were over, attendees enjoyed a happy hour with vendor exhibits displaying everything from business insurance to rental cars. The relaxed environment provided attendees opportunities to network and learn about the latest products and services available to the automotive repair industry.

Following happy hour, the fun and networking continued during the Casino Royale, where attendees enjoyed playing Black Jack, Three- and Four-card Poker, Red Dog and more. At the end of the evening, attendees bid on prizes with their winnings.

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