Tuesday, 24 July 2007



Why do I keep getting these phone calls? Now I know I have to stay positive, I have to portray a good image of the company, but to be quite honest I'm sick of it.

It really puts me off a customer, and as I'm busy I'm not desperate for everyone who comes along, so I'm starting to get picky.

If someone asks for prices I try to find out where they found my number - if they say on the website then they've lost the game - I won't take them on. Let them find another mug - I really have no interest in wasting my time with foolish lazy people who don't actually look at the information they're given.

If however they ask articulate questions, based on intelligent research and sensible thought - I'll do them a cheap rate.

So be warned - an interview (be it over the phone or not) works both ways - if you don't make a good impression I won't take you on.

I reckon I'll save myself a lot of stress and aggro, and might have some fun at the expense of ill prepared and badly organised people which always makes me feel better!

(Should I have got out of bed the other side this morning?)

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Minimum driving age of 18

Well, this time the rumour is gaining weight.

Insurers are backing it, politicians are backing it, and it seems like the more vociferous (and less intelligent) tabloids are backing it.

Once these things start to gel, it will only take a couple of years for it to be law.

Ah well - that's going to be an interesting year for driving instructors!

Luckily most of my clientelle is slightly older than 17, but there will be a huge oversupply of instructors for that year - some of us will need to make way for the rest to earn a living.

Unfortunately though - I can't really see it having much effect in itself on accident statistics.

Some of the other suggestions might help though - one is the training log idea - driving for 120 hours or so before taking your test. This may or may not be with a driving instructor, but it woud certainly build experience - one of the main problems with novice drivers.

Another - to restrict young passengers (between 10 and 20 yrs old) could prove interesting - and again could help reduce the accident stats (who didn't show off to a car full of friends?!). I'm not sure how the police may find enforcing this one - they may welcome the ability to stop a vehicle full of youngsters on suspicion - but they may just be sick and tired of yet more rules to enforce.

Realistically a lot of this will come down to something many of us have been suggesting for a long time - we actually need more police on the road to enforce the laws that regulate which driving attitudes are acceptable and which aren't.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Complaints about driving instructor training colleges

(Since posting this - we've had a lot of traffic for people looking to complain about their driving instructor - if you want to do this it's easy - just contact the driving school they work for, or failing that - the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) http://www.dsa.org.uk/ in the meantime, back to the thread in hand.......)

Yep - it's that time of the month again when all the people who didn't do the research, didn't engage their brains, didn't look beyond the glossy TV ads start complaining again!

Sorry guys - you deserve everything you get!

It takes about 2 minutes searching on the internet to find the forums and some serious independent advice. It takes even less to remember that you don't get owt for nowt.

I really am sick and tired of people saying that these colleges should not be allowed to advertise their £30k a year claims - the fact is YOU CAN EARN £30K/YEAR AS A DRIVING INSTRUCTOR.

The thing is - you can earn £30k/year as a toilet cleaner. You can earn £30k/year as a street scene operative (bin person!). You can earn £30k/year as a nocternal ambient replenishment operative (night shift shelf stacker). It's just that in all of these circumstances you know that you are going to have to work your way up, and put the hours in.

Driving Instruction is no different - get used to it.

Sorry guys - not in the mood for whingeing this week.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Cold Callers - the fools!

Yep, they're at it again - Ufindus' parent company Iomart have asked all of their oh so pleasant cold calling people to phone up all of us poor independent driving instructors - but they're now operating under the name of "customer street".

Don't be fooled - this is the same pleasant and polite (not) people who constantly hastle us under the old Ufindus name. Don't be fooled.

Couple of hints for dealing with cold callers - make them work for their money - say as little as possible, tell them you've never heard of them, and generally be quite "off" - you will soon find the nasty beggars start getting shirty with you.

Then try to sell them driving lessons - really hard sell, really really hard sell, or fleet, or advanced, what about pass plus, but have you considered the insurance savings, or eco-driving because the cost savings will be huge over the course of the year, what is your budget for driver training this year sir, oh, don't you know that if you use a car then you must comply with health and safety regulations - how do you get to work? this could be construed as driving on business, do your employers know? don't they offer you training, and WHY ARE YOU PHONING ME ON A LINE THAT IS INTENDED FOR MY CUSTOMERS TO CONTACT ME. IF YOU ARE NOT A CUSTOMER - YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING YOU GET YOU FOOLISH LITTLE PEOPLE. IF I WANT YOUR SERVICES I WILL PHONE YOU UP OR SEARCH FOR YOU ON THE INTERNET.

If you are as good as you suggest you are on the phone - I'll be able to find you easily enough, won't I?!!!!

PS: if anyone tries to sell you advertising linked to fire, police, or ambulance service charities - it is most likely a con. Put the phone down.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Driving Test Nerves

It's all too easy to forget exactly how these feel if you don't take regular tests and exams yourself.

I sometimes get a little annoyed when I see them start to get flustered, but I soon remind myself that I'm the same - however much I wish I could take my own advice!

Last "test" I was on I came within 1 minor of failing in the first 3 minutes. I had to really give myself a shake, and sure enough - didn't make another mistake at all. It's all to do with controlling how your brain works.

Not easy, but interesting - has anyone got any suggestions of books for overcoming test nerves that I can suggest to customers?