Catch More Flies With Vinegar

Monday came and the dealership was kind enough to send a car for me. Wow, great price, good service and now a ride to go grab my vehicle – These guys are good! The voice in my head starting whispering… “Look at you Mike, you negotiated a great price, now you’re getting picked up – youdaman!”

While the voice in my head was patting me on the back I got distracted. When I got home I realized I only had one set of keys and the car had no floor mats. Not a huge deal. I placed a call and explained the situation. The salesperson made some notes and told me he’d get back to me.

A couple of days later an extra two sets of keys arrived in my mailbox. I checked the envelope, but couldn’t find any floor mats. I called the next day. It’s hard to remember who I spoke with, but I remember thinking… “I hope this doesn’t turn into a hassle.” After all, who’s got time for hassles? I just want floor mats.

Two weeks goes by and I don’t hear anything. Finally, I call back and speak to one of the owners. (This dealership prides itself on the fact there’s always an owner on premises.) We go through the facts again. At that point he tells me he’ll order the floor mats.

My car was due for an oil change and I decided to take it somewhere a little closer where I had a free oil change coming to me. So my plan to get the floor mats at my next oil change didn’t happen. A couple of months passed…

The low tire pressure light on the dash came on. Jamie, the girls and were heading to Cape Cod for the weekend so I figured I’d take the car in and see what was up with the tire pressure before our trip. Plus, I’d finally be able to get those floor mats. When I made the appointment I was sure to mention the floor mats so they’d be ready for me.

Checking in to the service department I explained the low tire light and mentioned the floor mats. Doing his job – the service manager asked for a “we owe slip.” Note: If a dealership owes you anything be sure you get a “we owe slip” it will save you some high blood pressure. I explained that because I discovered the mat thing after I took delivery – this was more of a verbal agreement. He saw there were mats in stock so my story made since, he just needed to check it with the owner.

He placed his call. When the service manager hung up with the owner he said, “Sorry, nothing we can do without that slip.” “Can you get him back on the phone? I’d like to speak with him” was my reply. The owner was on the other line. I let him talk. In a condescending tone he told me without a slip, there’s nothing he can do. I could not control my frustration. I was pissed and I let him know it. He commented back something like… “You don’t have to give me an attitude!” He ended it with “If you want floor mats, you can buy them!” and hung up.

I walked across the parking lot and confronted him about the mats. Skipping to the ending… I drove home with new floor mats in my trunk.

You’ve heard the saying about being able to catch more  flies  with honey, than with vinegar. But the truth is certain situations call for vinegar. I found it funny how the owner of the dealership kept mentioning my “bad attitude.” My attitude was irrelevant. In fact, my attitude was fine going in and then turned bad when I got the run around over floor mats.

I’ve been in business for a long time. As you can guess, I have had my fair share of client and customer “run ins.” I’ve dealt with people who were pissed at me for certain things and in most cases they had every right to be pissed. In business stuff happens that you can’t control. If I ever find myself in a situation like that what I do is aim to solve the problem. I don’t give “bad attitude” back and I don’t “suck up either.” I realize it is simply about solving a problem. It’s about results.

There have also been times where I purposely fired a client or customer because their bad attitude was not based on them needing a problem solved but instead, pure arrogance. You have to be able to sense where the attitude is coming from.

When someone gives you crap, it may be because they want a problem solved, effectively, effectively and with as little BS as possible. If you can be a problem solver the person on the other end will appreciate it. And even though they may not get all warm and fuzzy on you right away, eventually they will respect you.

And yes- there are times when you need to break out the vinegar and cause a little ruckess to get your problems solved.

Source by Mike Dolpies