Burning Bridges, Eating Crow and Knowing When to Hold Your Toungue

Michael Mobile Technician Utah Posted   Latest  

About a year ago business slowed down and I decided to take some time and solicit some business. When I go to auto repair shops I consider my service to be one like an auto parts store. I am not selling books, flowers, credit card processing or insurance. So when I see a no soliciting sign at a repair shop, I believe that it would not apply to programming and diagnostic services. What shop would turn away another parts source? What shop would turn away a resource that could keep their cars out of the dealer?

During the week that I was out handing out cards, a particular shop owner was very curt and after my short pitch, he stated I should pay attention to the “no soliciting” sign next time. That really set me off. I held my words and walked out to my vehicle. That experience ruined my day. Every time I went by the shop I got mad all over again. Those who know me know that I am anything but pushy. I just did not get it.

Yesterday, I got a call. You guessed it, from that guy. He was referred to me by another shop. I accepted the job. Once he told me the shop name and the location, I knew exactly who he was. I was mad all over again. It was too late. I had told him I could do the job. I had 24 hours to get over myself. I told myself that the guy was now inviting me in to do work. Why would I refuse that! Would he remember our exchange? How would this reunion go?

I arrived at the shop got to the door. “soliciting by appointment only” Hmmm, I feel my blood pressure going up. I walked in and announced I was there to program a vehicle. The demeanor was like night and day. It was “thanks for coming in”. After the work it was “thank you for completing the job. Well call you in the future!” It is gonna take a long time to trust that relationship but at least the ice is broken. I wanted to say something snarky to him. In this case I would propose that it is best just to thank them for their business and take the money.

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Eddy Business Development Manager
California
Eddy
 

Welcome to the world of sales. You can’t take that stuff personally. People have stuff going on in their lives and you’re interrupting their day. However, congrats on turning the other cheek and taking on the work. I guarantee this will keep happening In the future, but on the bright side it’s one hell of a ride.

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Louis Owner/Technician
New York
Louis
 

Michael, hello. Your entire post makes absolutely no sense. What good does it do you to become angry like you did? The truth is you WERE SOLITICITING even though in your own unique definition you were not. Have you walked in this man's shoes, and are you aware of what hell, or none hell, he experiences on a daily basis? Anger shuts down the mind/brain, and sometimes puts us in a fight or flight…

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Matthew Technician
Nova Scotia
Matthew
 

Hi Michael, sometimes you need to let your work and expertise do the talking for you. One of the hardest things to do is bite your tongue, but what may be even harder is to make a phone call after you show someone the door like they did to you. Auto repair is still unfortunately driven by pride and I think you received the wrong side of that, Some days our shops gets telemarketing calls on the…

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Oscar Diagnostician
Virginia
Oscar
 

I know your feeling. Im sure you will have your opportunity one day to remind him to what he said to you. In another thought, charge him more!! Lol

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James Owner/Technician
Saskatchewan
James
 

I think you were 97% wrong in this case. First mistake, you placed yourself above his rules. Second, you got upset when he made you follow the rules. Third, you were upset when his traditional method of finding assistance landed on you. I can't even count high enough to figure out how many solicitations for useless crap I get every day. I'm sure I miss some good deals, but I just can't make…

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Jamie Owner/Technician
Ontario
Jamie
 

I had a similar experience last fall when I was out door knocking. Biting your tongue is all part of the gig. Dont ever let your pride get in the way of your wallet.

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Michael, You did good by holding back your emotions and wrecking your reputation. I run into this all the time. As a rule shops are constantly being pounded by solicitors, vendors and salesman. That is why these signs come to be. They hate in person ‘cold callers’ interrupting their daily business. I have worked by referral for years and see the challenges. Fortunately, I have developed…

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Matthew Mechanic
Missouri
Matthew
 

I recently read Warren Buffett say that one of the best pieces of advice he ever received was “You can always tell them to go to hell tomorrow.” Keeping your cool in the moment will pay dividends in the long run.

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Jason Manager
Michigan
Jason
 

not sure why or whats up with appointment solicitation sign but, you went in, got paid, got the referral business, and a possible call you in the future. Up front respect is hard to get in the industry.

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Justin Mechanic
Tennessee
Justin
 

[REMOVED]

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Darren Mechanic
Wisconsin
Darren
 

Outstanding!

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Richard Mobile Technician
Florida
Richard
 

You definitely cannot get mad at someone for having a “No Soliciting” sign out front of there shop. There shop could be down the street from a homeless shelter or maybe in a busy area of the city or town. Solicitor's can waste a shop's time and that is money. We all want to do good to our neighbor's but a shop's preference in dealing with solicitor's is there business and should be respected.

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Elias Owner/Technician
California
Elias
 

You did great in keeping your cool and getting the job done. My only fear comes from my past experiences where I make someone happy that isnt normally happy haha. Or someone that is overly happy and hyper that turns on a dime. It usually bites me later on. Hopefully not in your case. But never the less, you handled it perfect!

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Rudy Technician
California
Rudy
 

Michael- Im surprised to hear this story . From my time spent in Utah it seems as if though everybody in the business knows and respects you there. Your reputation is golden!!

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Allan Instructor
Manitoba
Allan
 

Michael, the best revenge is getting paid. He gave you the bums rush then had to eat crow and call you to bail him out.

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Oscar Technician
California
Oscar
 

Michael, Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us. It's very humbling and resourceful, I'd even say this is a great case study in how to handle customers, haha, sounds like you handled this matter perfectly.

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Nate Owner
California
Nate
 

I was recently introduced to the Abraham Lincoln quote: “I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.”

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Nick Manager
California
Nick
 

I'm guessing you probably caught them at the wrong time … for them. I can't tell you how many solicitations I get by phone, email and in person. If I gave each person the “10 mins” they all say it will take for them to convince me I need them, I'd get nothing done. It's rarely a “good time” for me to listen to anyone I'm not expecting. Having said all that, what you did worked for you. You…

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Michael, I have mixed feelings about this and I think it depends on the timing and the approach that you take. There are days when I'm literally bombarded with sales calls. If I didn't know you, and after a day with 20 sales calls trying to sell _____, I possibly would have responded in a like manner to the unsolicited cold call. The incidences of in person sales calls are fewer, but…

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Paul Mobile Technician
Massachusetts
Paul
 

Michael, I actually had the owner of a client shop try to hire me after my first service call there. I had applied for employment at this shop about a year before this. He was the person who interviewed me. I asked him how long he kept employment applications. I then reminded him that he never called me back as discussed during the interview. The look on his face was priceless. As a side note…

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Jason Technician
Georgia
Jason
 

I know it isn't easy, but keep business and personal separate, and don't allow your emotions into your work. Think of his point of view. He didn't know you from Adam. Maybe he gets a lot of people coming in doing the same and it disrupts business? In my experience, the better people I know, are rather standoffish with people they don't know. In fact, a few of the people I'm closest to when I…

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