Being a long time in the car industry, then I hear the same complaint, from all sides:

“the prices are high”

(customer complaint),

“the client has no money”

(workshop complaint)!

It is noteworthy that the same complaint, I hear the last 20 years and not just in the car industry, but in all industries! The time when sales of really expensive thing were blooming (shoes, cars, clothes, travels, houses, fun, etc) one could hear that: “prices are high” and “the customer has no money”!
It’s the exact same time that the automotive market in Greece, reached 280,000 new cars annually, nearly three times the number used, more than 2,500 authorized service units and approximately three times more independent workshops!

This, has to do with the feeling that if I complain about the price … will I get a better one?
And if yes, (this is something that happens to some extent), is this explanation enough for us to “rest on our laurels» and not act firstly against ourselves and then against our client?

Today, for obvious reasons, “money does not exist”! Or better, “money, not surplus!”
All households daily spent some money, but the partial or total expenditure, is constantly shrinking!
It is shrinking as an impact from the measures, as well as a proper and reasonable opportunity to rationalize our expenses, which is offered by today’s reality.
The “barrel” of the ever-greater discount to the customer … has no “bottom”, especially when on this altar, the quality is being sacrificed! Alongside, there is always a debt, our attitude toward the obvious: to be rewarded!

So, we need to keep in mind that when we fight for a piece of the market, through offered products and services, that:

although invisible – there is, a prioritized list for several things in the mind of every potential customer.

On top of this invisible list are the things which the client believes that are absolute necessities, and last the things he can live without!

One of the changes that bring today’s reality is the change in the sales process! We have to bring out one by one all the advantages behind the characteristics of a product or a service we offer, but also needed to focus on the inside value (included) at the price!

So, at this point, things are getting worse!
The product or service we offer is required to have content.
We must make things comparable for the client to present the content of our proposal and a visible and clear way to earn points!

Do not forget that the repair or maintenance of the car, most often, is easy to climb on the top priority in customer needs! It’s easy because it relates to the client’s daily mobility, something that he obviously loves, usually the second largest investment of money in his life, the safety of himself and his family; is associated the appearance, that touches a sensible chord for a Greek along with a number of other characteristics.

So, the only thing we can do is … to create real content in everything we sell.
To respect and really watch our property: our customers; and if all this happen, we have to banish away the guilt we are feeling today, every time we talk about the price to the customer!

Constantinos Mitropapas
(Published in the magazine Autospecialist, July-August 2012)