This issue marks our 30th anniversary. Yes, 30 years ago in October we launched the very first
Counterman magazine. For 30 years, we have watched, reported and written about the view from the automotive aftermarket parts counter. Over the years, many trends have come and gone. Things have changed!
Thirty-five years ago, I was working at the counter of my family’s parts store. I was young, inexperienced, and of course, I thought I knew it all. It goes with the age group. If you have teenagers, you know what I am talking about.
Back then, you really had to dig for information. Cross references and application guides were our tools, along with a rack of catalogs as long as a small car. The counter was about 10 feet from the door and, with the catalog rack on it, you felt like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain.
Today, (thankfully) things have changed. Stores are bright and parts are displayed where customers can look, touch and read about them. Catalogs are electronic and have 3D images, part attributes and lengthy descriptions. A counterperson can be more effective, and the customer wins.
One thing that has not changed is the importance that the counterperson plays in this industry.
Counterpeople are responsible for getting the right part to those who need it. Regardless if it’s a DIYer or a DIFM customer, the person behind the counter decides on the right fit and brand for that part consumer. Recent survey data shows that counterpeople influence DIY parts decisions more than 80 percent of the time, and DIFM parts fill more than 70 percent of the time. It is imperative today that you have the right training and knowledge to serve this critical function.
We here at Counterman understand and highly regard the counterperson position. As a counterperson, you should constantly try to expand your knowledge base and improve your ability to function in that role. One of the ways you can improve your standing is to become ASE certified. ASE parts certification (P2) is designed to ensure that counter professionals are educated and informed on the vast array of subjects they may encounter during their day. Holding a P2 certification makes you a true counter professional and shows your customers that you are there to serve them in the best way possible.
I urge you to check out our ASE P2 test preparation guide in this month’s issue. Then head on over to ASE.com, get registered and take the challenge.