Las Vegas is full of high rollers, big deals and movers and shakers. If you’re not drawing attention to yourself, you’re not trying hard enough.
So what was some quiet guy from Romance, Arkansas, doing taking home the big prize when there were so many other, flashier players ready to hijack the hardware?
For Joe Sharp, victory came not by luck but by playing his cards right.
Sharp, owner of Joe’s Garage in North Little Rock, Arkansas, was named winner of the 2019 Wix Driving Performance award. Together with his wife, Susan, Joe was honored at the Babcox Night of Excellence at Mercato Della Pescheria during the recent AAPEX Show.
We celebrated with speeches and toasts and some of the tastiest, most paradoxically huge shrimp you could imagine. At the end of the evening, Joe and Susan walked out with a magnificent trophy and more accolades than can reasonably fit in a standard-sized carry-on.
But you know what? Even though they didn’t collect a prize in Las Vegas, the real winners of the Wix Driving Performance Award are the customers and employees of Joe’s Garage.
After 33 years, Sharp says the goals he set for his company’s success really haven’t changed much: “Provide quality service, make the customer happy and make them a repeat customer,” he says.
Auto repair can be a challenging career, but Sharp believes keeping his customers happy starts first with keeping his employees happy. This includes a “no-commission” pay structure and a strict Monday-to-Friday work week. That way, his techs know when they walk home on Friday, their paycheck is guaranteed.
Customers recognize Joe’s employees aren’t looking to pad the job with extra services that may not be required and they have responded with word-of-mouth recommendations that are better than any amount of social media or advertising expenditure.
“It may sound like I’m back in the Stone Age but I’m not,“ says Sharp. “I have never lacked in communication as far as getting ahold of a customer, selling the job and getting it done.”
You’ll be able to hear more about Joe Sharp’s business philosophy in an upcoming episode of my new podcast series “Talking Tech.”
On behalf of all of us at Underhood Service, Brake & Front End and ImportCar, I’d like to thank Wix Filters for partnering with us on the Wix Driving Performance Award and encourage you to watch for information soon about next year’s contest. Will you – and your customers – be the next big winners?