Sales forces, CEOs and more get tips straight from the techs

Jan. 1, 2020
Do you give hats as incentives to your distributor customers? Well, you might want to stop. That and other pieces of advice were shared by technicians to sales staff, counter personnel and management during "Selling parts for imports: Did you ever co
Untitled Document

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2007) — Do you give hats as incentives to your distributor customers? Well, you might want to stop.

That and other pieces of advice were shared by technicians to sales staff, counter personnel and management during “Selling parts for imports: Did you ever consider listening to your customer? The installer’s view.”

“For more personally, it can be a discount at the end of the month for the amount I spent,” said panel member Jim Bastone, owner of Bastone Auto Service in Pittsburgh.

And while the joke of doing away with hats got a few laughs, the majority of the discussion was no laughing matter. Quality control, returns and just taking care of your customers were brought up by audience members in the standing room only seminar. For example, quality control, one attendee mentioned, seems to come from the bottom up, and changing that could benefit the aftermarket. But is the problem unique to the aftermarket?

“I’m wondering if we’re not battling against human nature. If we couldn’t have this same argument in a grocery store,” panel member Bill Guinard, vice president of Olympus Imported Auto Parts in Alexandria, Va., mused. “You know I’ve used this brand and it works every time. I’ve used this brand and it doesn’t work every time…If we could get this down to a science, we’d have one brand in a grocery store.”

Bastone said a database like the attendee mentioned as a way to maintain quality could have the most affect on manufacturers because they then could see problems as they happen in the shops themselves. But he is quick to point out that he thinks some problems are caused by incorrect specs on parts, not a defective product.

“If we can give them the exact info on why the part failed in our estimation, that would be (helpful), but the plans are not in place,” Guinard said.

In any case, that can lead to returns. Some managers and shop owners have taken on a unique approach in dealing with incorrect parts.

“A lot of us won’t turn in parts we (don’t need or use),” Mitch Schneider, co-owner of Schneider’s Auto Repair Inc. in Simi Valley, Calif., said. “If it’s my mistake, I eat it. And if it’s your mistake, I expect you to eat it.”

Quality control can be monitored somewhat, since most technicians stay within the aftermarket to purchase their parts. Many refuse to purchase products from big box retailers trying to break into the market, while others use those stores only when parts cannot be purchased in a timely manner anywhere else.

Sponsored Recommendations

Access Carside OEM Repair Data with MOTOR TruSpeed

Now available on all Autel MaxiSYS Ultra Series tools, MOTOR TruSpeed Repair delivers expanded OEM service and repair data within days of being published by

ADAS Case Study: From 10 Calibrations a Month to Over 10 A Day

Originally published by Vehicle Service Pros, March 26, 2024

Autel MaxiTPMS TS900: 3-in-1 TPMS Tablet

Originally published by Tire Review, April 4, 2024

Ask The Expert: The Basics & Benefits of Bringing ADAS Calibrations In-house

Originally published by Vehicle Service Pros, March 26, 2024

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!