Why technicians should not be taught sales!

John is a workshop supervisor in a car repair and maintenance workshop. My 7 year old SUV was in his hands for my regular service call. “Good animal this one” he told me. “It could easily last another 7 years” . I told him I was quite happy with it, but that lately the airco lost its power. I will check it out for you he said. Anything else I can do?. I told him I had problems in fixing my mobile telephone clamp which I needed for my car navigation system. I will see what I can do he told me. Why don’t you have your APK (MOT), which is due in 2 months, at the same time? It saves you another trip to the garage and most of it is checked anyway today!

8 hours later I happily left the same garage, with my MOT certificate, a refilled airco that would get me trough the summer, a new navigation system in my dashboard, 2 new front tyres ( the old ones were almost below the 2 millimeter standards) and a new spare wheel in the back. I felt really taking care off and for me John would be my trusted advisor for many years to come.

John gained my trust because his boilersuit told me, he would get dirty hands. To me dirty hands mean: People with a heart for technique. People that want to repair and think in technical solutions. People that know that every now and then a repair is better than a poor replacement. With his friendliness and costless advice to refill instead of replace my airco, he gained my trust that he was not after my money. His honesty saying that there was no way to fix the telephone clamp to my dashboard other than taking the dashboard off, made me buy an integrated navigation solution for the next seven years to come. And with this low interest rate there is no use leaving my money in the bank if with two new wheels I could drive safer with less risk on a flat tyre.

The real sales people reading this article may very well wonder if I would have been ready to buy a new car? The answer is: Not really, but maybe next year… if John says so….

Oscar Aantjes, Senior Change Consultant