Changing Times

June 21, 2017

When no other television program catches my interest I search for a station filled with segments about car restoration. One of my favorites is called Chasing Classic Cars. A man called Wayne travels around the country searching for dusty but valuable antique cars tucked away in old barns and garages. This show and others on the same station usually feature mechanics with little formal training but with an abundance of worldly experience who can easily bring old cars back to life.

My ride is a 2008 Prius. One look under the hood is enough to inform me that nobody is going to fix any problems in that engine department unless they are specifically trained to know what they are doing. There is no visible carburetor or distributor to make adjustments on. Batteries are hidden under the trunk floor and there is enough voltage available in the engine compartment to do physical harm to anyone touching the wrong wire. An abundance of worldly experience will just not be enough to perform maintenance on almost any present day vehicle.

Cars are not the only product which technology has helped to change in the last fifty years. Anyone reading my editorials has noticed the word 'electronics' used many times. While there still will be many existing locksmith tasks where learned experience will save the day, more and more security products require special programming tools such as voltage testers, transponder programmers and specialized training to get the job done. If you do not have the skill or training to service these new products then someone else will soon be doing that job.

Good news for 2017 is that every job provides a chance to upsell your customer. Manufacturers have profitable new products available for all situations. Every deadbolt combination change job is an opportunity to sell a profitable electronic pushbutton lock. An automatic door closer can be a moneymaker instead of just replacing a leaking mechanical door closer. When keys are lost in an apartment building, management can be sold on electronic access control as an alternative to mechanical key replacement.

Opportunities abound for adding profitability to your bottom line but it all begins by learning how to service and install these new gadgets and then seizing every chance for telling your customers what you can do.