Automotive repair lobbyist Bob "Cowboy" Smith of Storm Appraisal and Management Services Inc. introduced attendees of the recent Independent Glass Association (IGA) Annual Conference to a new term: deceptive referrals.
“Steering is a deceptive referral,” he said. “I don’t like to use [the word ‘steering’] because when you talk to legislators and you say the word steering, a gray cloud drops over their eyes.”
Smith, who is well-known throughout the collision repair industry, recently helped to introduce two different anti-steering bills one in Kansas and one in Missouri.
In addition to explaining his person term for steering, Smith gave attendees tips on getting the attention of legislators.
“We use a very smooth country-folks approach with them,” he said. “If I see [a legislator] walking down the hallway, I say, ‘Do you have a minute, Senator?’”
He also mentioned that describing proposed legislation to legislators as beneficial to consumers is a good way to get their attention.
“They get reelected by constituents, so any bill with a consumer spin has a whole lot more chance of going somewhere,” said Smith, whose presentation was entitled “Cowboys and Steering.”
However, Smith warned that even when legislation is passed it’s not always an overnight fix. “There are no light-switch answers,” he said.