From October 2-5, Cochrane Automotive once again hosted its fall Lindertech North technical training conference.
This year, the format was slightly different, taking place over four days, with attendees able to pick and choose which seminars to attend.
According to John Cochrane, who has been organizing these events for the last 14 years, “we decided to host a four-day class in the fall this year because in the spring, we only had a small event.”
Service Advisor Master Class
Things kicked off on October 2 with Rick White’s Service Advisor A-Z Master Class seminar at Cochrane Automotive’s service centre, 73 Chauncey Avenue in Toronto. White’s seminars have proved very popular with attendees over the years and this time around, the focus was on several key factors that can make a huge difference in terms of building customer relationships and sales. These include the importance of first impressions, how to really connect with the customer; how to transform a price conversation into a value conversation, as well as how to develop successful phone skills to book appointments; how to deal with price conscious shoppers and be able to sell diagnostic services effectively, plus how to take full advantage of opportunities in delivering the vehicle and how to schedule effective follow-up service appointments.
With more and more service providers understanding the critical role that counter advisors play in the business, training such as this is becoming increasingly valuable. “Rick White’s seminars have proved very popular,” says John Cochrane, “and this one was well attended.
By gauging feedback from attendees at past events as well as analyzing some of the major topics impacting the industry, Lindertech North is on a mission to deliver some of the most cutting-edge aftermarket service sector training anywhere.
Other classes hosted at the Cochrane Automotive service centre during the week, included Modern Alignment techniques, delivered by John Shewbridge, a trainer for Hunter Engineering Company, as well as a seminar on Modern Chassis Technologies courtesy of Niel Speetjjens from ZF Group, plus an in-depth look at BMW’s unique and often misunderstood VANOS variable valve timing by renowned technician and owner of MB Automotive, Scot Manna.
“I first saw a presentation from ZF a couple of years ago and felt this would be a really good subject for our audience. We were able connect with the folks at ZF and put this program together for our members this fall,” says John Cochrane. “Plus,” he added, “we always enjoy having Scot Manna with his BMW specific training, so this was very well received.”
Following three days of detailed seminars in the shop environment, on the last day the conference, the Hilton Garden Inn, 1870 Matheson Boulevard, Mississauga was the setting as renowned automotive technician and technical trainer John Thornton focused on two specific topics of great interest at present, namely problems with push-button ignition systems and high pressure, Gasoline Direct Injection fuel systems. With specific case studies and real world experience, the fall Lindertech training sessions were essential for shop owners and technicians looking to understand today’s vehicles and elevate their diagnostic and problem solving skills.
Repair it Right 2020
During the Saturday session on October 5, John Cochrane and Mark Lemay of Auto Aide Technical Services, also provided attendees with an update on the Repair It Right 2020 task force, launched by the Automotive Aftermarket Retailers of Ontario (AARO) in conjunction with the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) in the U.S.
This program has been put together to provide Canadian technicians with a true, viable solution to accessing OEM vehicle repair information, with all Canadian Service Information Requests (SIRs) handled exclusively through AARO at aaro.ca/aaro-repair-it-right-2020
Yet in order for the program to work effectively, Lemay and Cochrane stressed that participation from technicians and the aftermarket industry was essential for the program to succeed. “If you run into a situation where you can’t find the information you need through your diagnostic software or OEM website, go to the AARO website and submit a Service Information Request,” said Lemay.
He stressed it was important for technicians to understand that in order to provide an effective solution, technicians have to use the SIR request system through AARO, otherwise they could be stuck with lost time and lost service opportunities, while potentially, enabling the OEMs to restrict access to service repair information for aftermarket shops.
John Cochrane also stressed it was important for more technicians and service providers to really take advantage of events like Lindertech North, which provide advanced, up-to-the-minute technical training from some of the best names in the service repair field period, at a local, Canadian level. “If you’ve attended,” spread the message,” he said and if you haven’t, do try it at least once.” Talking to some of the technicians gathered for the event, it was obvious that many who did participate the first time around, returned for more. “I’ve been attending this event since 2007,” said Murat Hassan from Jordan Grey Garage in London, Ont. “And I wouldn’t miss it for the world. The information you learn at these events is extremely valuable.”