Gonzo's Toolbox: Why Men Do 'Manly' Things -

Gonzo’s Toolbox: Why Men Do ‘Manly’ Things

Some male patrons tend to want to "talk to the mechanic" verses talking to the front-desk person. Especially if that person is female. In my case, the front desk person is my daughter. She has seen it all and is very knowledgeable, I might add. Ask her a car question, any question, and she'll have an answer for you.

Some male patrons tend to want to “talk to the mechanic” verses talking to the front-desk person. Especially if that person is female. In my case, the front desk person is my daughter. She has seen it all and is very knowledgeable, I might add. Ask her a car question, any question, and she’ll have an answer for you.

The phone rang one day and my daughter answered it: “Good Morning, can I help you?”

“What I really want is to talk to tech,” said the caller.

Being a chip off the old block, my daughter likes to feel she is doing her job and that there is no need to “talk to the tech” because the tech is only going to ­repeat exactly the same information.

“Sir, I’m sure I can answer any question you have,” she said.

“Look, little lady, get me the tech. I’m not talking to some girl over a car problem.”

“What, you don’t think I can talk cars because I’m a girl?”

“Just get the tech.”

“OK, just a minute, I’ll see if he’s free,” she answered.

She puts the guy on hold and turns to me with those eyes, you know the ones that imply there is  “another male chauvinist on the line, Dad.” 

“I’ll take the call, kiddo,” I said.

She hands me the phone and clicks the hold button, then sits back in her chair, glaring at me.

“Can I help you,” I said.

“Sure can. I was referred to you by another shop. They said you are the best,” he said. “I have this noise coming from my engine. The other shop said you would know.”

I stayed calm and answered: “Well, I probably could figure it out.”

“So when can you take a look at it?” he asked.

Now it’s time for the real fun, “Now, that I can’t ­answer for you sir, let me put you back in touch with the front office. They can give you that information. Hold a second while I transfer you back to the front,” I said with a grin.

“Sure, no problem,” the caller answered. You could tell he was quite proud of himself.

She got back on the phone as cheerful as ever and proceeded to set up a time and date that he could get his car in the shop. A few days later, as I was pulling into the shop parking lot, the guy was sitting in his car waiting at the front door. 

I waved at him and unlocked the front door. He followed me in to the lobby as I was putting my lunch and laptop down in my office.

“How ya doing this morning?” I asked him.

“I’ve got my car out here,” he said. “It’s the one I called about that is making that noise.”

“Great, let’s fill out the invoice and get started on it,” I answered back to him. My daughter hadn’t made it in yet.

The repair wasn’t a big deal (belt tensioner bearing). The customer waited in the lobby for the job to be completed while my daughter took over in the front office for the day.

All said and done with, nothing was mentioned about the phone call. Perhaps, it didn’t need to be mentioned because us men took care of business. You know us men, we do “manly” things. It’s not important if the opposite sex doesn’t understand us because we’re men, and men don’t need to explain things to each other. Now, that statement isn’t funny at all. That’s the chauvinistic response.

It doesn’t sit well with me. I may be a guy, but I try to show respect to anyone and everyone who shows respect back. It’s not a gender thing at all. I have quite a few parts counter female friends who can rattle off a part number for a given vehicle before you can fully describe the part to them. They are just that good. That “sweet” voice on the phone is no indication of knowledge. That’s just a voice. Put a wrench in her hand and watch out, you may have met your match. But, I know a lot more jerks who think “men” are the only answer to car repair. This guy, well, it’s safe to say, he made that list.

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Phone Shoppers Made Easy

Although there is no silver bullet that will allow you to bring in every first-time caller, there are a number of things you can do to get more appointments. In this article, I would like to share some of the best practices your advisors can use that will generate immediate results.

By Bob
Cooper of Elite

With
vehicles being built better than ever before, and with service intervals
continually being extended, you are going to see your customers less often.
This means your service advisors are going to have to be razor sharp when the
phone rings. Although there is no silver bullet that will allow you to bring in
every first-time caller, there are a number of things you can do to get more
appointments. In this article, I would like to share some of the best practices
your advisors can use that will generate immediate results.
In order for
someone to buy from you, three things need to occur: They have to like you,
they have to trust you, and they have to view you as a credible expert. So when
your phone rings, the first thing your advisors need to sell is themselves; not
the service or repair. The best way of accomplishing this goal is with a
professional, courteous and upbeat greeting, such as “Thank you for calling
Elite Auto Care, this is Bob. How can I help you this morning?” By using these
words we’re showing appreciation, by volunteering the name of our company we’re
assuring the callers that they’ve called the right number, and by providing our
name we’re beginning to build personal relationships. By asking how we can
help, we’re asking a question that will allow us to control the conversation.
By being upbeat and using the right tonality, our likeability goes up, and the
customer’s anxiety goes down.
The second
thing your advisors will need to do is slow the conversation down so the
callers don’t feel rushed, and they’ll have to become good detectives by asking
a number of questions. By having the callers talk, it will take their focus off
of the price, and it will allow them to begin to feel more comfortable with
your advisors at the same time.
When it comes
to asking for the appointment, one of the best kept secrets I can share with
you is this: With rare exception, your advisors need to offer every caller a
choice of appointment times, and whenever possible, one of those options should
be for them to bring the vehicle in now. For example; “I can squeeze you in
now, or would 2:15 be better for you?”
When it comes to auto repair, customers love finality, which is why
providing the “now” option is a powerful sales tool.
Now here’s
the absolute best-kept secret for dealing with the tough first-time callers.
Every one of your advisors needs to be aware that many “price shoppers” are
asking for price just to start the conversation, and beyond that, with rare
exception, callers don’t know the questions they should be asking. This is why
it’s a good idea to ask your service advisors to write down a list of the
questions that they think an educated caller would ask. Once they have their
lists completed, and committed to memory, then it’s easy for them to respond to
price inquiries with a statement like, “Well Larry, I know price is important
to you, and it should be, but if you call five different shops today, you’ll
more than likely get at least five different prices. Some of the other
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or not they have certified technicians and a drug-free workplace program, and
you might want to have them walk you through their diagnostic processes as
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that are available to customers when it comes to any recommended repairs, what
kind of warranties they provide, and if those warranties are in writing.”  Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve closed hundreds,
if not thousands of tough first-time “price shoppers” using this technique, so
I know it will work for you.
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this. If you take my recommendations, when those price shoppers start calling
other shops, you know as well as I do that they’ll more than likely ask some of
the questions your advisors suggested to them. Not only will your competitors
be caught off guard and struggle with the answers, but in each case, the
callers will be thinking of your advisors. This is when they’ll not only realize
how well your advisors handled the call, but they’ll trust your advisors, and
you bet; they’ll now view them as credible experts as well.
For help permanently
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