Working on cars can be a fear for some people but for others, it is a favorite pastime, a hobby, or even a profession. If you don't like cars or have never worked on a car then this article is for you. Below you will find some of the best things to say and ask someone who enjoys working on cars.
1) "How is working on (specific car or part)?" This is a great question to ask anyone who enjoys working on cars. You will have to look up quickly on the Internet something you can put into the parentheses. You could also just insert anything you know about cars into that gap. For instance, you could say. "How is working on Nissan Altimas?" See what they say then find out what they work on.
2) "What was the hardest piece to install on or in a car that you have worked on?" This is another good question because anyone who enjoys working on cars has had a job installing some type of piece or part. If they haven't installed anything, this opens up the conversation for them to tell you what they hate working on.
3) "Where do you order your parts from?" Ask this later in the conversation when you identify what types of cars they like to work on. Once they tell you where they order parts from stay on that topic and find out how good of a supplier they are. Have they ever had any problems with them? If you know of any suppliers or other people who work on cars and have supplies feel free to refer them to your contact.
4) "Where do you go for a second opinion?" Many times when there are issues with a car, mechanics will sometimes request another opinion from a trusted source. Find out where that source is. Ask them how long they have known that source. If they don't have a second source it is a good chance for you to elaborate on how long they have been working on cars for because they are obviously very confident in their ability. Good to keep in mind in case you ever need your car worked on.
5) "What kind of car do you drive? What kind of car do you wish you could drive?" This will rev any car enthusiast's engine. You might have to bear with a lot of jargon from the car enthusiast you're talking to but if you want to connect with them on a more social level, listen. If for nothing else ask more questions about what are some of the terms they are using. They will appreciate your interest.
1) "The dealership charged me (X) for doing (type of work)." This is a good lead in statement. Get their opinion on what the dealership charged you. Find out how they could do it for cheaper.
2) "There is no such thing as a complete tool set when working on cars." This is a great statement to say when in the middle of the conversation. Anyone who works on cars can identify with this statement. Unless they work in a full equipped garage, then ask about their opinion of how they enjoy having every tool at their disposal. This alone will have them talking for awhile.
3) "You can order specific car manuals online at..." In the Internet age, we are in, you can find a lot of information about cars online. Whether or not they use the Internet for research, dropping this statement will open their eyes about attaining car manuals that they might have thought they could never get again. Of course, before you say this do some quick research online to find out the best sites to get car manuals from.
4) "For the most part, I would never use a hammer on a car." This seems rather obvious but bringing this up will allow you to either talk about your experience with working on cars or what you've heard about working on cars. This is a good lead in to find out what their favorite tools are and how they use them.
5) "If you want a car to last forever simply fix all of the issues immediately." This opens up the opportunity for both of you to talk about your experiences with long-lasting cars and what it takes to take care of a car so it does last forever.
When using the above talking points don't try and act like an expert. Your conversational counterpart will see right through this. Rather, use the talking points above to hold a confident and intriguing conversation. By asking the questions and saying the statements you will show them you have an interest in their interest. This will have a larger effect on them if they realize at the end of the conversation that you never worked on a car in your life.
John V. Genovese is the CEO of Networking Note Cards, a company built on developing conversationally responsive communication products and services for conversation purposes. He is also the founder of the Strategic Conversational Exchange.
You can read the whole Strategic Conversational Exchange:
1. Breaking the Ice
2. Initiating Small Talk
3. Establishing Mutual Contacts
4. Establishing Location
5. Establishing What They Do
6. Establishing Hobbies and Interests
7. Establishing Aims and Goals
8. Parting Ways