Today I met a mechanic who will never get my business.

This post is a little ranty, unscheduled, unplanned but I just needed to vent. Let me set the scene.  I was leaving the supermarket today with my arms weighed down with shopping bags. I was very much aware that one of the bags had been overfilled and could burst open at any second.    The weather was well above 30 degree celsius and the humidity was packing a real bite.     All I wanted to do was get home, drink some super chilled ice water and play day one’s recordings from Social Media Summit. Not too much to ask right?  What I didn’t anticipate was a mechanic lurking around the car park  spruiking his $50 car servicing deal. He didn’t even wait for me to unload my groceries before he started bombarding me with his sales pitch.  Did he really think I was a potential lead?

$50 for a car service? Can I have that in writing.

Firstly let’s get real. There’s no way that the service would end up costing just $50. He knew that. I knew that. I have never had a service that didn’t end up costing me more.  Secondly, I wasn’t in the market to get my car serviced. I was at the supermarket to buy groceries. Interrupting my day to shove your spruiking down my throat won’t make me give you my business it just makes me annoyed and agitated and pretty much guarantees that I won’t do business with you. Ever.  Any word-of-mouth you would get from me would be pretty negative.   Let me just point out again that it was a freaking hot day and this wasn’t the time or place to sell me car servicing.

Now I am prepared for the fact that some people might think I am being too hard on the guy.  I get that maybe business is down for him but surely his time could be better invested where his prospective leads actually are.  I don’t agree with harassing customers in a car park, Im guessing it’s not even legal, but surely if he insisted on haggling prospective customers in a car park there would be better venues than a grocery store? How about near an autoshop or car wash?

How about targeting ‘prospective’ customers?

Imagine how many more leads he would have gained if he spent the time he used haggling uninterested customers in car parks to targeting and leveraging social media. Rather than coming across as a creepy sales guy lurking in the shadows of a car park he could have been using that time to become an authority on car repairs.  He could have been filming quick two minute car tips and posting and scheduling them out weekly. Nothing fancy he could have used his smart phone that  he was texting on between pouncing on unsuspecting shoppers.

The internet not his thing? That’s fine too. Maybe he could hold workshops for first-time car owners teaching them how to care and maintain their cars for peak performance.   This workshop could be free with a discounted $50 workshop or better yet charge $50 for the service with a free ticket to the workshop.   How about attending some local car enthusiast meet-ups?

The truth is car mechanics and car salesmen already have a bad rep. Their whole industry has an umbrella of mistrust over it. Becoming car park pests doesn’t exactly help their cause!

If you are going to be a car park spruiker at least handle rejection better

Despite my ranting I was still polite to the guy. There was no need for me to be a jerk. I thanked him but let him know that  my car had only recently been serviced so the timing wasn’t right. I even obligingly took his business card. How did he respond? He muttered disapprovingly under his breath as he left. That mechanic will never get my business. Ever.

Vanessa Rose
  • David Findlay

    When I was a tradesman I found that my most successful advertising was in places where people were looking to buy my services. People would come to newspaper classified solely because they were looking for someone like me, selling the service I was selling. Spending three times as much for a display ad in the front of the newspaper wouldn’t get anywhere near as many sales.