The art of saying NO applied to car body repair business.

Numerous articles have been written about the gentle art of saying no. Perhaps it is about time to say a few words and provide some tips applied to the day-to-day operation of a car paint shop. Below you can find six situations when, as far as I’m concerned, a car painter should be firm and decisive to say no.

Say no to anyone who is cutting corners in paint job or asks you to do so. Practically, most of preparation procedures are invisible to a customer. He or she would never understand instantly whether you used or not, for example, a plastic adhesion promoter on a bumper or if sand-through scratch is treated by etch primer. Paint may peel off from the bumper or rust may appear in a few months, but… who cares then. Right? NO. Respect your customer, your craft and … yourself no matter if you will ever see this vehicle ever again in the future.

Say no to work you can’t perform properly. Accepting jobs, which even if look financially tempting, but you have no time or knowledge to execute is highly unprofessional. Know your limits and undertake tasks you are capable to deal with.

– Learn to say no to an insurance estimator if needed. Regardless of the way you interact with insurance companies, you should be able to refuse underpaid jobs, which might undermine work quality.

– You need to say no even to a potential customer once in a while. Forget this saying: “customer is always right”. We all have had an experience with clients we wished we had never dealt with. If you know beforehand that a customer, be it business or individual, would file groundless complaints, delay payments or ask for favors beyond normal customer service, then better decline him politely.

– Be firm to say no to binding and restrictive contract with a supplier. Probably you have heard about these too-good-to-be-true deals, when a paint company offers equipment, tools, stock of materials, supposedly all free of charge, just to sign the agreement. Unfortunately, nothing is free nowadays. Likely enough, those generous offerings will be covered by high purchase prices or minimum order quantities required. Don’t enslave yourself.

– Be prepared to say no to this pushy sales guy. I am in sales myself, but there is one rule I never break – respect your clients’ time. If you face a sales person with aggressive, disrespectful sales style, don’t be shy to dismiss him. Give you attention to those who have appropriate approach and business behavior.

This list is not all-inclusive, of course. Like in personal life, in our work we must occasionally stay stern and protect our time and personal space. What is in your list?

 “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” Josh Billings

 “When you say “yes” to others, make sure you are not saying “no” to yourself.” Paulo Coehlo

 “Learn the “art” of saying NO. Don’t lie… don’t make excuses… don’t over-explain yourself. Just simply decline.” Unknown

Yes vs No

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