In line with our brand motto ‘MANN-FILTER – Perfect parts. Perfect service.’ we are following a dual approach with our MANN-FILTER brand. While our products and solutions impress through their technical excellence, the service concept behind our motto is of equal importance to us. Regular training sessions are therefore provided as standard.
Training sessions with great added value for both parties
Together with my colleague Hans-Peter Müller, I am responsible for the MANN-FILTER sales support in product management and IAM marketing. IAM stands for independent aftermarket. Alongside the creation of technical documents, which we provide for the sales employees, I am also responsible for holding training sessions at the plant in Marklkofen or directly on site with the customer.
Holding training sessions is a lot of fun; the training participants often come from a wide range of countries and cultural backgrounds. Last year, for example, I held product training sessions for customers in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. During the meeting, customers can respond directly to practical questions and discuss specific problems, which brings great added value for both parties.
For us, these training sessions provide the opportunity to find out the needs of our customers and how we can go about addressing these needs more precisely. If the participants comment on a specific filter, I can pass this feedback on to my colleagues in product management or write further explanatory technical product information there and then. Through continued contact, the product managers are able to keep us up to date, allowing us to provide our customers with helpful tips and tricks.
Perfect Parts & Perfect Service
The main purpose of the product training is to demonstrate the technical and theoretical backgrounds of our ‘perfect parts‘. We demonstrate, for example, the exact process behind building an oil filter, which components and valves are contained within it, the functions of these parts and why different filter media are needed at all. Many of our customers are also interested in how filtration actually works, and likewise how our products themselves function. They are also keen to find out the advantages and uses of our various products in contrast to one another, as well as how our filters stand out from those of our competitors.
The topic of ‘perfect service‘ does not disappoint either: I show our customers how our excellent online catalogue works, the advantages it offers over other well-known parts catalogues, how many types of filter we have, how many applications we cover with our filters and the fact that we have a market coverage of over 97%.
In order to lead a training session, pedagogic skills and authenticity are required, in addition to knowledge of the topic in question, didactics and teaching methods. However, a certain sensitivity can be important too.
If I hold a training session at 10 a.m. I hope that the participants will be on top form, but many of them will in fact have travelled a long way by the time they reach us. Some of them will have left home at 4 a.m., travelling to Marklkofen via Munich, and will therefore already be exhausted on arrival. In such cases, I need to respond to the situation and the participants’ feelings, and so am not always able to start the training session right away.
In addition, there are more than just cultural differences separating the various participants; depending on the group, a mechanic will sometimes find themselves sitting next to a logistician or a sales employee. These three employees will often have different areas of interest and therefore also different expectations and requirements from the training session.
Nevertheless, the feeling of being not just a supplier, but a partner too is the greatest sign of appreciation for me, and seems to me to be a win-win situation, as both sides only stand to benefit!