Monday, November 26, 2007

Technician Customer Friend Professional

I read a lot of business-to-business magazines, and I recently came across an article describing technicians and their approaches to a business transaction. It was basically a description of how tool dealers sell to technicians and it ran through the Mr. This and Mr. That description. And it got me thinking about our business. We all know people who scrutinize a bill before they pay it (My father-in-law had it down to a science when we would go to restaurants. He would actually bring out his abacus and do the math for the 15% tip while we all shrank in our seats...)
But my question is this - do we really want to categorize our customers into smarmy categories based on how they pay? I don't think so. Instead, let's recognize the professional technician for who he is -

1 - generally he or she is a professional who has had some life experience and some formal technical education that led him to this spot as our customer (more than 90% of pro techs are men, so I'll just use the "he" here..)
2 - sometimes they have a bachelors or masters degree
3 - he makes his living using his mind first, and his hands second
4 - he buys a lot of tools over the lifetime of his career
5 - he is typically a family person - if not married yet, he will be.
6 - he truly enjoys what he does for a living
7 - he can be a generalist AND a specialist
8 - if he is just starting out, there is a good chance he will be in this business more than 20 years
9 - many technicians move on/up to own their own business
10 - many techs bring their family members into the business

Now, how do you label a technician who embodies some or all of these points? The only thing I can call him is a customer for life who deserves my respect. Perhaps over the lifetime of our relationship, I could also call him or her, friend.

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