PDR College Podcast #122

Confidence: The Income Crushing Intangible

Get your mind right with Shane on this latest episode of the PDR College Podcast!

Arnold's Story

100 ways to motivate others

100 Ways to Motivate Yourself

Shane Jacks Signature PDR Tools

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PDR College Podcast #109

Why you SHOULDN'T get into retail

Up to this point we have only talked about how great retail work is. Well, guess what? It's a ton of work. 

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PDR COLLEGE Podcast #81

Maximizing Profits at Dealerships

In this show we welcome Derek Reed on as a guest. Derek is insanely productive while working only ONE dealer account!

You've got to hear some of the unique things he does to get his numbers up there, way up there!

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Keith: Let’s talk a little bit about hot glue. Specifically, for paintless dent removal. What kind are you using? You know, you can get a decent pull from any type of glue. I mean any. You can get stuff from the craft store, you can get stuff from Wal-Mart. In fact, I used Wal-Mart glue for a long time, before I really got into the manufacturing side of PDR, Wal-Mart glue was my glue. You know what I thought, all these colored glues are ways to trick me out of more money, how much better can they work? Well, to some degree, I was right. Some of those colors suck, and they’re there just to take your money.

However, once I opened my eyes, and got some of the samples of glues that were the real deal, glues that really did work better, I thought, holy smokes, here I am again, doubting the technical progress of our trade. Just because something looks different, doesn’t mean it’s not better. It doesn’t mean it’s a scam. So, I started using colored glues. I found two that worked amazingly. Green glue and the pink glue, and we stock both of them on blackplaguepdr.com. But, I wanted a glue that worked even better than that.

Now, can a glue work too good? Yes. Superglue and Liquid Nails work too good, they will take the paint off the car. That’s not what we’re after. It’s a fine line of maximum adhesion, but not going over the top, and ripping the paint off the car, putting us further back than we started in the first place. We wanna leave the paint on the car. So, we need something that doesn’t have maximum adhesion for a hot glue. There’s a lot of glues out there, made for construction and manufacturing, that’ll make this glue look like it doesn’t work. Other glues that we use. But, we have a specific purpose, and we need to find the maximum adhesion we can get out of those conditions.

And, that’s what we’ve done with our new line of glue, Tab Weld. Tab Weld is the new standard for PDR. You don’t think it can get better, because what you’re using works now. But, if you want to function at the highest level, you’ve got to squeeze the last 2, 3, 5, 10 percent of performance out, that everyone else is leaving. It’s just like racing cars. Everything has to be dialed if you wanna go faster than the other guy, and if you wanna do a better repair, with less pulls, or you wanna do a repair that someone else said couldn’t be done, you’ve gotta have the best tools. And, glue is so stinking cheap for how much you use.

I did a $600 repair the other day, I was on it for four hours, and I used two sticks of Tab Weld. The whole time, and I glue pulled the whole time. It’s not a lot of money to put in, and there’s not a lot of other expenses in our business. Stop being shortsighted, buy the glue that’s gonna make your life easier and more profitable. Don’t forget, that’s what I’m all about in this business; making more money. And, if you’re using the right tools, you’re gonna make more of it, I can promise you that. You’ve got the right lights, you’ve got the right tools, and the right tabs, you’ve got the right glues, and you know how to use it all? Magic happens. So, that’s what I’m trying to tell you about. There’s a glue that works better than what you’re using now, and it’s called Tab Weld.

It’s still in an early release stage, we’ve got samples out right now. If you buy anything on blackplaguepdr.com right now, you’re gonna get a sample. You can go on there and just pick the sample, if you want, you’ve gotta pay for shipping if you do that. But, very shortly here, in a matter of weeks, Tab Weld is gonna be released, full steam ahead, you can have as much of it as you’d like. Check out the website, tabweld.com, you can bop yourself onto our mailing list, there, so you can be notified the moment we are releasing it, but we’ve got some exciting stuff coming out, with that. You are going to be impressed, I promise you, and if you don’t like it, I’ll buy it back, because I use it every single day

I can’t have enough of it. So, buy it, enjoy it, make more money. Tabweld.com.

I’m Keith Cosentino, he’s Shane Jacks, and this is the PDR College Podcast, where we want you to take your dent removal game to the next level. We’re gonna share with you everything we know. All of our tips, tactics and tricks, to up your sales, up your profits, and make your life a better place. All in the pursuit of giant, giant, unmanageable stacks of cash. Now, I want you guys to stay quiet if you’re listening during the show, Shane Jacks is here, but he’s asleep. I don’t wanna wake him up. So, if you would, just keep the comments to a minimum, and just enjoy the show.

Today, we’ve got a special guest on the show. The guest today is Derek Reed, and he is with the show. He handles a lot of our backend audio, because he’s just a wizard when it comes to that stuff. But, before he is our audio guy, and our behind the scenes guy, he is a fantastic technician, and really, really productive. He works on the wholesale side, at a dealership. This guy is probably, out of all the people I’ve met, one of the most productive techs who stays in a fixed location that I’m aware of. He really, really cranks it out. So, I asked Derek if he wouldn’t mind coming on the show and sharing some of the techniques, or strategies he uses the maximize profit at a wholesale lot.

We talk about retail on the show all the time, and I’m a big, big fan of retail. But, in order to have a completely well-rounded business, and to kind of round out the entire ecosystem of a retail company, it is really beneficial to have at least a couple of wholesale lots, because they’re gonna feed you retail leads, and on a couple of strange days when your phone is not ringing off the hook, you’ve got something to do. So, it is a good practice, and I thought, who better to have on the show than Derek? And, I know I’m gonna learn something from him, because quite frankly, he’s more productive on his wholesale stuff than I am.

So, I know everyone’s gonna learn something from Derek, and we are gonna make more money. That’s the point of the PDR College. So, before we get too deep into the show, I wanna tell you about a couple of things that are exciting for me. We have got the amazing one-inch rubber balls, back in stock at Black Plague. It has been forever since we’ve been without these things. You guys have been messaging me every day, hey, when are your balls coming back, when are your balls coming back? And, I’m starting to take it personally. I never wanted so many people around the world asking about my balls. But, we got them, they’re in transit to my warehouse now, so they’ll probably be there Monday or Tuesday.

So, if you’re listening to this Monday morning, and you pop over to the site, it might still show out of stock, but just pop back over later in the afternoon, or Tuesday, and they will be there, very excited to have those back in stock. In addition to those, a lot of you consistent listeners know about the Black Plague Crease Tabs, and you also know about the new version, that has been in production for, in all honesty, a lot longer than it should’ve been. But, the Black Plague 2.0 tabs are now done, and they are also ready to ship out. So, what are they, why are they different? Well, on first glance, they look exactly the same as the old Black Plague Crease Tabs, they are designed from them.

But, what we did is, we buttoned up a couple of shortcomings that we had with the 1.0 tabs. The original Black Plague Crease Tabs were all plastic, and they had a metal screw, that screwed directly into the plastic. And, the screw – the screw took the place for the tab head, that fits into your slide hammer or lifter, and allowed you to pull that tab. Well, under some circumstances, with enough use, or maybe with a tab that wasn’t perfect, the screw would rip straight out of the tab, and just pull through the plastic threads. Now, it didn’t happen that often. It especially didn’t happen on the big tabs, but the size that we use most, right in the middle, it was happening more than I wish it was.

That’s one of the shortcomings, and sometimes, it would snap a tab when it pulled it out. Still a great product, you can use it 100 times before it goes, but it doesn’t last forever. So, I didn’t like that, so I set out to fix that, and also, there was a gap in the sizes, between the first two little baby crease tabs, and then the third one, which is about just under three inches long. But, I wanted something right in between those two, and I didn’t have one, so when I redid the tooling for the Black Plague 2.0, I was able to create a new size. And, that new size is probably the one I use out of any other tab in that set now, because it’s just the right size for kind of a normal sized crease door ding.

So, that’s probably my number one go-to crease tab, you’ve heard Shane talk about them a little on a couple previous shows, because he’s been using the 2.0 tabs, trying to break them for me as well, and he hasn’t been able to break them. I haven’t seen anybody break one yet, out of all of my testers, so the new size is one difference that you’ll notice right away. So, it’s a seven-piece set, rather than a six. But, the main difference is a new material that is crazy resilient, so you’re not gonna have any material issues, and a brass threaded insert in every tab, where the screws screw in. So, there are no more threads in the plastic to pull out,

It’s metal-on-metal inside the tab. So, it really, it looks similar, but it’s a completely different animal. Much more bulletproof, much higher quality control, it’s a much better product all around. So, if you’re interested in upgrading to those, those are going to be available – the only place they are right now is on the Black Plague site. So, keep your eyeballs over there, if you wanna hook up with them. They will be there on the site as soon as you hear this. So, we’ve got those, and we started carrying the Keiko Super Tabs. Now, these are the big, giant tabs, that are like Nerf footballs, baseball sized.

So, if you guys do collision damage, if you do big, big stuff, or maybe you’re transitioning from body tech to PDR tech, and you’re still working as a body tech, and you wanna shrink some damage before you do a conventional repair, this stuff is phenomenal. So, we’ve got them on the site by themselves, in a variety pack with, I believe there’s six different sizes, the Keiko Super Tabs, and the Smooth Series tabs, all together, so it’s pretty darn well-rounded, if you buy that set. There’s not a lot of – you’ve got everything down from 9 mm, all the way up to a football. Not much you can’t glue pull with that set. So, we put it all together so it’s easy to get all in one place, and knocked a few bucks off of it.

So, all that stuff will be on blackplaguepdr.com, or deadrattabs.com. Check it out, and get yourself some of the industry’s newest and baddest tabs. Okay, Derek Reed, welcome to the PDR College Podcast.

Derek: Hey, good morning, Keith, thanks for having me.

Keith: My pleasure. So, you are a Dent Wizard, tech, as I talked about in the intro, nothing’s changed since we’ve talked last?

Derek: Sure. Hold for the boo noises that I will edit in.

Keith: Well, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to bring you on, because there’s a lot of negative opinions about Dent Wizard, but when you really start digging deep, almost everyone has their roots at Dent Wizard, and if they didn’t, the guy that trained them probably did. I know that’s the case for me. The guy that I first started working with, he was an ex-Dent Wizard guy.

Derek Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people sometimes forget that we have a Seven Degrees of Dent Wizard thing going on –

Keith: Right.

Derek: Throughout the industry a lot of times, and some people understand that, some don’t.

Keith: Yeah. Dent Wizard actually trained Kevin Bacon.

Derek: Absolutely. I hear he’s doing real well.

Keith: He’s doing fantastic. So, tell us about your situation. It’s a little bit unique, right? As far as I understand it, you’re 99 or 100 percent at one dealership.

Derek: Sure. I’ve been 100 percent at this one dealership for about the last six years.

Keith: That’s a long time.

Derek: Yeah, I was, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, specifically for this one account. I’m from Detroit, natively, I was working in Indianapolis for a couple of years, and the guy down here, just – he was having problems with the management of this account, and he wasn’t happy, so they asked me to move down and take over, and kinda fix it, and I've been there six years now.

Keith: Man, did you fly down and check it out, before you committed to it?

Derek: No. I had, they had given me a couple of other choices, and they said, “Hey, just drive to these places, and tell us which one you wanna correct.” So, I ruled out – I had seven choices to pick from.

Keith: Temecula, Chicken Lips –

Derek: Pretty much, pretty much. I instantly, instantly ruled out anywhere that snowed, more than once a year.

Keith: Yeah.

Derek: And, anywhere that had 120 degrees more than once a year. And, that left me, basically, with Atlanta, Columbus and South Carolina.

Keith: And, Atlanta’s almost 120 degrees.

Derek: Of course, and I’m sure I’ll touch on this later. But, I have a unique situation at my account, where I actually work inside with the shop mechanics, and the air conditioning.

Keith: Nice.

Derek: So, I have no complaints.

Keith: No, but one of my best buddies lives in Atlanta, and I went there and visited him when I was, you know 19 or 20, and I’d never been anywhere in the South, all I’d known was California. And, it gets hot here, but when I got there, I finally understood what this humidity was all about. It’s terrible. I thought, if you don’t have air conditioning, you might as well just either move away or just lay down and die.

Derek: Absolutely. I mean, it’s one step away from – if we had more trees, it’d be a rainforest. I mean, it’s nasty here.

Keith: No doubt.

Derek: As it’s – I mean, as it’s literally pouring down rain right now outside my window.

Keith: So, let’s put a pin in the timeline, and let’s go back a little bit, and let’s tell everybody a little bit about your background. How did you get in the business, and how’d you end up where you are, and all that kinda stuff, and then we’ll talk about working one account, and making ridiculous amounts of money there.

Derek: Sure. I’ll go way back, well, maybe way back. But, 18 years old – my uncle’s actually been with Dent Wizard for 20 years.

Keith: Okay.

Derek: He’s been around for a while. At the age of 18, I was a struggling musician, thinking I was a rock star, but honestly kind of a struggling musician. And, he was kind enough to say, hey, you should check this out, I think you’d be really good at it. He went and got me an interview. I went and did this interview, and they said, “Where do you see yourself in five years, Derek?” And I said, “Well, I’ve got this band, right? And, we’re pretty awesome, so I’m hoping that works out.” So, they said, “Okay, well, thanks for your time. Lunch is on us, good luck with your music.”

Fast forward five years of eating ramen noodles and Taco Bell, and I was like, hey, can I get another interview? And, he hooked me up with another interview. I pretty much left Detroit, moved to Indianapolis, started with the company, and within I week, I just, I knew this was what I needed to do. I’ve never felt more comfortable doing anything in my life, other than PDR.

Keith: Talking to your uncle, you had an idea about the possible income you could make, and the lifestyle and all that?

Derek: Of course. He was doing really well, even back then, and still, to this day, blows my mind. He does – he’s a phenomenal dent guy, he’s one of the best guys I’ve ever seen do a repair in person. And, he bills like it, so.

Keith: Cool. So, when you started with him, what was that like? Don’t they have like, a corporate training, or something like that?

Derek: Yeah. I obviously, I had no – I’m not a car guy at all. Coming from Detroit, and everything –

Keith: You weren’t a car guy.

Derek: Right, yeah. Well, I’m not. I’m still not. I hate cars. I’m not into them at all. I can fix anything, but I just – I’m not into owning or driving cars. Coming from Detroit, everyone in my entire family had worked on an assembly line for one of the Big Three, and I had seen how cars can ruin families, and stuff, so I was kind of opposed to it. So, when I got to school, training, I was one of those guys that like, so, what’s the difference between a fender and a quarter panel?

Keith: Oh, man.

Derek: You know, so this is, this is the left rear door, correct? So, I had no clue.

Keith: You were looking for corner panels?

Derek: Exactly. Like, you’re talking about this bumper, right? The training is – was and still is awesome. So, I know, a lot of people know that in the ‘90s, they had an amazing training program, and they still do. The trainers there have been doing this a long time, and they really care, and it’s an eight-week training program in St. Louis, at the corporate office. They have a huge training warehouse, basically, and they go through numerous setups, and it’s five days a week, full day job. And, it’s phenomenal. They walk people through that have no idea, and then they have people come in that are like, oh, yeah, I’ve been doing this for about two years by myself, and things aren’t working out.

So, they’re – the spread of knowledge is kind of all over the place. But, it’s intense. You have tests, one or two tests, every single week. Tests on theory and physics of metal, and tests on actual metal, where they’ll put some damage in, and if you can’t get it done in the time limit that they deem appropriate, you probably won’t take the test the next week.

Keith: Oh, you’re out, huh? Reality [inaudible] [00:19:15]

Derek: Yeah, it’s a pass/fail thing.

Keith: That’s cool. So, you obviously did well there. Did you feel like you picked it up easily?

Derek: I did really well, I was, within the first or second week, I was first in my class. If – and it is, it’s a scored class, so very competitive. They have races, and they’ll put in some dents, and see who can fix them, stuff like that. So, very, very competitive nature, by week two, I was first in my class, and I never fell below that. So, I left the class number one, got me some fancy toolboxes and some extra stuff that got – and I knew, I knew. I remember leaving school after eight weeks, going back to my uncle’s house. I was gonna be living with him in Indianapolis while he did my field training.

We have an in-depth post training, up to six months, where you work with a mentor, basically, and fix dents for free, and they take all of your billings, and they show you kinda what’s going on. And, I told him day one, I was like, “Man, I was meant to do this. This is my calling in life.” And, I’ve never looked back.

Keith: Did you feel like you got your teeth kicked in when you got in the real world?

Derek No, I don’t know if you heard me, but I was number one in my class, I was pretty awesome. No, absolutely. I went right out of school and went right to an auction. The auction was very, very high volume. I’m talking two sales a week. One sale was about 1,000 cars a week, and the other sale was 1,500 to 2,000 card a week, at times. I was on the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep team. We had about ten guys on that team, and about three guys on other various accounts selection – GM, Ford, etc. And, it was non-stop. It was a lot of work.

Go to work every day, do $1,000, and go home, you know? And, it was no questions asked, consistent work every single day, a huge, huge auction. So, I definitely got pushed to my limits, and there were some guys out there that were – were and still are some incredible technicians, that’d be like, “Aw, man, I did 78 panels today!” “Well, screw you, I did 120 panels!” And, I’m like, “Man, I finished three panels today! What did I build?” Nothing. You build nothing. You build in my name.

Keith: With that many guys, at that fast pace, did you see any of that trademark auction work that wasn’t up to par, that was just getting pushed through?

Derek Not really. On our account, on the Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep account, it was very, very, very, very picky. So, we would run down the lines, every week we would get a list. Say, here’s your 2,500 to 3,500 cars for the sales next week, go find them and fix them. So, we would fix them, we would turn in the invoices, and then the actual representative of those companies would go and walk every single car. Along with a representative and a coordinator from Dent Wizard, they would walk every single car, and if you drilled a hole, you were out. If you cracked some paint, you were pretty much out, and they had to paint it. They did inspections on every repair, and if it wasn’t good enough, you’d get a redo.

You’d show up the next day, and they’d give you a redo list, and you had to go and find those cars again, wherever they were in the process, and make it right. They were very, very, very picky. So, they were – I can’t say that on the other accounts, I didn’t work the Ford or GM accounts, but I’m sure it was similar. They were very, very, very picky.

Keith: I’ve experimented with an auction account for my company, a place that had a BMW account, and there wasn’t a huge auction, but any decent auction is still pretty big. And, they were exactly the same way. We didn’t drill any holes anywhere, and just like you said, maybe even the same company, because they would come and inspect every car. And, man, I wish they were looking for dents in the first place, the way they were looking at our repairs.

Derek: Oh, absolutely, man. There’d be days where I’d walk up to a car, they’d be, okay, fix this quarter dent on the left front door. And, I’d be like, what about this baseball sized dent on the right rear door? And, they’d be like, well, don’t worry about that. The auction block’s on the other side of the car.

Keith: Oh, wow. Yeah, so, there was – I get what you’re saying, from an auction standpoint. People have the idea of them, generally, you’re just slamming out 52 cars, and they just go through this hole, and they never come back out. But, in reality, those guys are babysitting every little aspect of the car. You think they’re not, because everything’s moving so fast, and there’s so many people around, but everybody’s driving the show.

Derek: Yeah, they’re on top of it. They’re on top of it out there.

Keith: They sure are.

Derek: And, it was a lot of pressure, and those guys, the guys that I had working with me, they put me through it, man. They would – they would always somehow manage to give me the nasty stuff. You know, the roof – they’d be like, hey, Derek, we’re gonna knock out these 300 cars, but we got this roof times seven over here, what do you think about that? I’m like, sure, man, bring it on. I don’t know if you knew, but I was number one in my class.

Keith: And, I got time.

Derek: Yeah, yeah, they were putting me on some nasty stuff. I remember, one of the first repairs I did after school was a Caravan, Dodge Caravan, and it was like, the deck lid, right under the license plate, and this was 2007ish, so it kinda swoops out, that big, huge bodyline, right? And, this was like a baseball shot, I mean, like a baseball bat shot, right to the bodyline. And, they sat me there, and they said, listen, this car goes on sale Tuesday. I don’t care if it takes you that long, fix it. This was, like, Monday of the week before. Fix this dent, and don’t leave until it’s done.

Keith: Wow.

Derek: And, it was pretty much like that non-stop. They would always find a project for me, and really push me to my limits, which, at the time, sucked. I hated every second of it. But, looking back now, I do the same thing to my guys that I trained, so I definitely understand the value of it.

Keith: Yeah, you learn kind of what you’re made of, Like Navy SEAL training, or something. It’s not about fixing the car, it’s about how long can you stay on this piece of crap and keep working?

Derek: Yeah, it’s a testament to patience, you know. And, I tell a lot of the guys I train, too. I’m like, listen, you can fix anything that I can. It might take you three months to get it right, when I can get it in an hour. It might take you three months. But, if you take the time, and make every single push count, you can probably do the same quality. You’re making less than a penny an hour, but if you can sit there and do it, doing it that way will make you better in the long run, I feel.

Keith: Yeah, it’s a very seldom you find a guy that will do that, but I agree with you that it’s possible.

Derek: Yeah. Absolutely.

Keith: So, how long were you working there in Indy? Couple years?

Derek: A couple years. I did my field training at that auction. I was there, not as long as – I was hoping they’d just kinda forget about me, and leave me there forever, but that didn’t happen. Eventually, they took me out of there, they gave me a Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover dealership, three service drives in one.

Keith: You can’t win, dude, from Chrysler to Volvo Jag Land Rover?

Derek: Listen, it gets better and better. So, they give me this Volvo Land Rover Jag account. There’s three service drives in one building. One on each end and one in the center, and I was responsible for, basically, running from service drive to service drive, and did mostly just service work. The used lot was really small, 50 cars, maybe. I mean, it was tiny. But, it was in this complex that also had a bunch of other accounts in it. All one dealer group, Tom Wood, in Indianapolis. And, they gave that to me, just to see if I could do it.

And, once I proved myself, it was, okay, well, here’s the rest of this cul-de-sac, and it was one cul-de-sac of dealerships. And, it was those three, Porsche-Audi, Lexus and Mercedes. And, it was just this one circle, and eventually I was running all over the place, doing pretty much all the service drives, and then all the used stuff. And then, once I succeeded in proving myself there, was getting consistent work, they said oh, okay. Well, how about we move you to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where we have no accounts, and see if you can start marketing?

Keith Oof.

Derek: So, they pulled me out of there, sent me up to start a market. I was two years out of school at this point, maybe, at the most? Maybe three years, at the most.

Keith: And, you were just down for the challenge, huh?

Derek: You know, I was pretty young. I started 23, so I was still in my mid-20s, and I was still of the opinion that if I didn’t do what I was told, I was gonna get fired.

Keith: Got it.

Derek: I didn’t really understand my value at the time. So, I just did whatever they wanted. So, at one point, right after this, I was still doing the service drives in Indianapolis. I would go at 7:00, 6:30 in the morning, do all my service drive work, and then, around 10:00, 11:00, I would drive two hours up to Fort Wayne to try to build my route up there.

Keith: Man.

Derek: At one point, I had an apartment in both cities, and would basic – no, I’m not joking.

Keith Team player.

Derek: And, Dent Wizard was great, they paid for both of them. You know, I was like, I’m willing to do this, but I’m not billing a ton of money doing this, so you need to help me out, and they paid for me to have two apartments, and really went out of their way. Obviously, we get a gas card and a company vehicle, so that wasn’t a big deal, driving back and forth every day. But, eventually, I was able to – I landed a Mercedes service drive in Fort Wayne, Indiana, by myself. Did some demos for them, landed that one, got a –

Keith: Was there an incumbent you had to boot, or was it kind of open?

Derek: Yeah, it was, it was pretty rough, that Mercedes. I remember the first time I walked in there, you know, I was pretty young, pretty naïve to the industry. I walked in there, I was like, oh, where’s the manager’s office? He came out, I shook his hand, gave him my card, introduced myself. He literally ripped up the card, and threw it on the ground, and said, “Don’t ever come in here again.”

Keith: Nice.

Derek: And walked back in his office. So, I immediately went to the service drive, and handed my card to the service drive manager, and was like, hey, you know, I’m pretty good at doing these cars, I don’t know if I told you, but I’m number one in my class. And, you know, a couple of weeks later, he called me, and said, “Hey, I have a car our guy passed on. Can you come check it out?” It was an S550, with a pretty big dent in the door. Laminate glass, you know. So, I went and, quote unquote, glassed it out, and he was like, okay, you’re my service guy now.

Keith: Cool.

Derek: And, I went and hung out there, and keep in mind, this sounds like a big win, but this was Fort Wayne, Indiana, and they had, like, one service advisor, and their RO count was like, seven. It was horrible. I mean, it was a great experience, and I had fun hanging out with the one service advisor, and two technicians, but it was just a horrible dealership in the middle of nowhere, in Indiana.

Keith: And, the guy ripped up your card.

Derek: Yeah, well, he actually, he ended up getting kicked out of there, which was great. Because I had landed a couple of other accounts. I had landed a Subaru-Acura account, a couple Ford accounts, a Lincoln-Mercury account. I ended up building a decent route up there.

Keith: I mean, you talk about that pretty nonchalantly, but that’s not easy to do, walk in and just land franchise stores.

Derek: Oh, no, it was hard, and it was really hard. I got my teeth kicked in quite a bit, chased off a lot of accounts.

Keith: Yeah, but you know what I like about brand new guys like you who are at that point? I mean, you weren’t brand, brand new, but pretty green, two years. Is that, when you’re new, you don’t know that it’s supposed to be hard, and you don’t know that – you don’t know what it’s like to have an account for eight or ten years, and have some new guy come in, and try to take it from you.

Derek: Yeah, absolutely.

Keith: So, you just kinda go in stupid, and it serves you right, because you don’t come up with your own excuses about why it shouldn’t work. You just say, hey, I just figured out that I can fix these cars.

Derek: Yep.

Keith: I gotta tell some people about it. I gotta show these guys. Do you guys know that I can fix all this stuff? This is amazing!

Derek: Have you guys ever seen this? I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about this. But I do PDR. You know, and of course, everybody’s got a dent guy. But, I had a system, I had a very, a good system that was kinda tailored from information from a couple other veteran guys, and then just what I knew I had to do, to basically throw someone under the bus. I knew what was expected, and I knew what bad work looked like, and I was not ashamed, or afraid to go in there, and be like, you need to come see this car. You need to see what your guy did. And, it worked, I got a lot of accounts up there, and they weren’t all the best. Some of them were pretty horrible, and looking back I thought, why did I even go to that place?

But yeah, that worked out, and then of course, a year of doing that, a year and a half. It didn’t take me very long up there, it was a pretty untapped market. After about a year and a half or so, Dent Wizard said, oh, okay, well, now we need you back in Indianapolis. So, moved back to Indianapolis, I gave my Fort Wayne route over to a newer guy, and moved back to Indianapolis, and kinda took over –

Keith: Did he do okay? Did you kinda follow up with him, to see if he kept everything?

Derek: No, he lost pretty much everything.

Keith: Yeah.

Derek: Yeah, unfortunately, he just didn’t – I don’t know. I don’t know why he did it, but he lost, the market was gone. Within six months, he lost everything.

Keith: Yeah, so obviously, the car market didn’t change in six months. It’s a testament to the fact that this business is as much about you as a person and your relationships with the people as it is the repairs you do.

Derek: Absolutely. Even moreso.

Keith: Yeah, it really is. So, and I’m sure you’re gonna touch on that later, when you get to your current gig, but you know, these guys come in thinking they’re just gonna fix the cars, and they can lose entire businesses. Like, not just an account, but an entire route, gone.

Derek: Yeah.

Keith: Because they don’t know how to find the right people, and shake the right hands, and ask them about how the kids’ softball game went, and all that stuff.

Derek: It’s mind boggling to me, you know, I’ve trained – and when I say trained, everybody goes through the training program, but I do a two week pretraining, that I require all my hires to go through with me, where I work with them for two weeks, then I do all the field training in my market. So, I’ve trained a few guys. When I say that, that’s what I mean. I’ve done their field training, and I’ve given a lot of old accounts to people, and I’ve really had only one of them that stays successful. And, I’m sure he’s listening right now. He’s a religious PDR College nerd.

Keith: All right.

Derek: He’s one of my guys, Kevin Culture, I’ll go ahead and throw his name out there.

Keith: Shout out, Kevin.

Derek: And, he –

Keith: You’re famous.

Derek: He’s famous now. He’s one of the few guys that I’ve given that opportunity, that’s really taken it to another level. And, he – but, it’s that relationship. He is a super relatable guy. He knows how to talk, he knows how to push some dents, but he went in and built those relationships, and I’m sure, after six months of hearing, like, oh, when’s Derek coming back?

Keith: Right.

Derek: It just, it stopped, and now they’re his accounts, and he’s doing really, really well. So, yeah, it’s all about that relationship.

Keith: They all say, yeah, that Derek guy, he was good. But Kevin? Oh, over the top.

Derek: Yep. Well, as long as they’re not saying, oh, Derek used to do that for this amount.

Keith: Right.

Derek: Why are you costing so much money? But, I know that’s not happening.

Keith: You know, you’ve got a lot of options when you decide what to do with your invoicing and your data capture for your dent removal, or other reconditioning business. But, the choice I’ve made for my company is ReconPro, by Auto Mobile Technologies. This stuff has proven invaluable. I had a mountain of paper invoice books, stacked up in a room, in case I wanted to look something up. It was archaic, ridiculous. Now, all of my technicians are on iPhones, they scan the vin of the car, they enter a few pieces of information, including capturing the email for your customers. It’s 2015, you need to be building a mailing list for your customers, so you can keep them updated.

If you wanna run specials, you wanna reach out and touch them, you need an email. This prompts you to capture their email, so you can send them the receipt, which comes via email, no paper in the truck to get lost. This is the way to do it. You guys, there’s a lot of options you can take, there’s lots of competitors, but this is the one I’ve chosen. Check them out online, automobiletechnologies.com, the product is called ReconPro. It’s not one guy who’s also a PDR tech building software, it’s a team of nerds, dedicated to making your life better, and that’s what you want. Check them out, tell them we sent you over there, ReconPro.

Derek: But, yeah, so after Fort Wayne, went back to Indianapolis, had a few months there, and what happened with – basically, I took over all the accounts I had left, which I had given to my uncle and another guy to run while I was doing the Fort Wayne thing. When I came back and took them over, I was there for a couple of months, and then, what happened was, Tom Wood, the dealer-owner, he passed away. Gave the dealer group to his son, and his son, of course, had a friend from high school, that owned some PDR tools. And, it took all of a week for me to get the news that I was no longer the servicing technician, right?

And, that’s when Dent Wizard came to me, and said, hey, we have seven options for you, we do not want you to leave the company, we don’t wanna fire you. But, you can’t stay here, there isn’t enough room. All of the other guys in the area were tenured, they were 10, 15, 20 year techs, and they needed the money more than I did, right? So, they gave me seven choices, and I went to Atlanta, and –

Keith: Was one of the choices back to Fort Wayne?

Derek: No, no, no. Hell no. That was not an option for me, it was not an option for them. So, I wanted to get out of there, I was ready for a change. I had just gotten through a pretty bad relationship, and was going through a divorce, and just needed a change of pace. So, I chose Atlanta, and, real quick – it only took about three or four months of me being in Atlanta before all of the Tom Wood stuff was our again.

Keith: Wow.

Derek: And that guy got kicked out. Not my uncle, he runs pretty much all of those accounts still, to this day. And does really, really well, obviously. He’s a great tech, so those ended up getting – we ended up getting those back, which was really nice. I wish I wouldn’t have moved halfway across the country before that happened, but it is what it is, and I love living in Atlanta, so.

Keith: You know, that’s what a lot of guys need to remember, when that happens, because that scenario happens – not the death and the friend from high school. But, the management change, and they bring in somebody else, or they go in house. Just be patient, because it’s all gonna fall to pieces in five minutes. And, if it lasts three months, it’ll probably last forever.

Derek: Yep.

Keith: But, almost none of them make it that long, because they butcher a couple of nice cars, and it takes, like one or two vocal managers, to like, stand up at their meeting and go, what the heck are we doing here? We had no problems with this, now we have problems. Why are – why did we switch this? And they go, all right, we tried this, but let’s get Keith, let’s get Derek back here.

Derek: Yeah, absolutely.

Keith: And get them back, let’s get back to selling cars, because that’s what we do, we don’t even – we figured out, we don’t know what we’re doing.

Derek: I think that gets kinda looked over a lot. I see a lot of guys complain about, so-and-so stole my account, I lost my account to this person, I lost my account to that person. Usually, it’s a pricing thing, usually, the cheaper guy wins, which is horrible, but that’s how it goes, it’s a business. But, in my opinion, if you were any good, you’ll get it back.

Keith: You will.

Derek: You’ll get it back, and you’ll get some –

Keith: It also depends on how tenacious you are. You know –

Derek: Yeah, absolutely.

Keith: Like, if you look at it like the dealership is a girl, and you were going out, and she says, you know, I’m thinking I’m gonna see somebody else, and you’re like, I’m out, then. I’m never gonna see you again in my life.

Derek: Right.

Keith: But, it’s those – you know, we’ve all got that one friend, who’s like – he’s so persistent with girls, you’d think, like, how come no one’s stabbed him in the face yet? But, the dude always has a lot of girlfriends, because he just won’t give up. Like, they say no, and he asks again, and again and again, and if you treat the dealership the same way, they say, you know what? We’re going with somebody else. I understand, I’ll see you tomorrow.

Derek: Yeah. He’s a facilitator.

Keith: You just show up again.

Derek: You just show up again.

Keith: And, it’s like, just making sure you guys are taken care of. Let me just – did you know this was going on? And they just, they don’t go away. I have – I don’t actively pursue wholesale accounts here, but I get pulled into them, once in a while, when someone can’t or won’t do something. And then, I’ve been given a couple of accounts, and I’m not gonna turn the work down.

Derek: Sure.

Keith: I’m not really in the business of going and trying to take guys work, because I don’t really need it, but my phone – someone says, hey, will you do this franchise store? I’ll say yes. But, the couple of times that’s happened, the incumbent guy has gone in and done what I probably would never do, and it’s like, literally cry, and complain and yell, and they give them the store back.

Derek: Right. You have to be willing to sit outside their house, at 3:00 in the morning, with the headlights off, revving your engine, day in, day out, day and night, throwing bricks through the window. But, like I said, you can get it back.

Keith: You can, it’s been amazing to me, and this happened at one particular high-end dealer, and I thought – I said, dude, I don’t really need your work, but I’m perplexed. Like, why did you go through all this effort, of calling me out here, and then making the switch, and now you’re switching back again? Like, like, that’s the same girl that cheated on you, right? You know that, right? But, they stay, so that’s the lesson. If you’re on the verge of losing an account, dude, get nasty. Go in there and start –

Derek: Get greedy.

Keith: Yeah, start crying. Lay down in front of a car they just sold, and don’t move.

Derek: Yeah, you know, just show up, kick in every panel on every car, and see how the other guy handles it. You know? Don’t do that, that’s not good.

Keith: 6:00 on a Monday, nobody’ll be there.

Derek: But, yeah, you know, as long as you’re worth it, get it back. If you’re the guy that needs to be their technician, figure it out.

Keith: Yeah, and you can.

Derek: Absolutely.

Keith: So, they move you down to Atlanta, how did they entice you to take that move? What did they tell you about that place?

Derek: It’s funny, they said, we’ve got this account – you know, they gave me seven choices, like I said, I narrowed it down really fast. It took me maybe five minutes to say, nope, nope, nope, nope, yeah, maybe. And yes. I drove down to Atlanta, I drove down on a Sunday, showed up Monday, met the technician, met the management, and I walked into that dealership, and it’s huge. It’s huge, it’s insanely – it’s the biggest dealership I’ve ever seen. It’s three buildings, three parking decks. They have offsite parking for the employees, you have to be shuttled into work, It’s a beast. And, I went on the service drive, you know.

I had come from, my service drives were predominantly – my Porsche-Audi store had three service advisors. My Lexus store had five service advisors, my Mercedes store had seven service advisors. This place had 18 service advisors.

Keith: Man.

Derek: And, they’re doing 150 ROs a day on the service drive, they’re selling 300 used cars a month. And, I looked at this tech, and we went out that night, to dinner, and I was like, dude, so, what’s wrong, man? Because this is insane. Why would you ever leave? This place is like a goldmine! He was like, you want it, take it. I can’t do it anymore. He was just having problems getting along with management, he was a really reclusive guy, he was never a part of the dealership. He went and did the dents, never built the relationships. When I went there, the GM at the time pulled me aside and said, “Hey, this is so-and-so, she runs the show.” This lady, she owned the paint operation, paint and wheels.

And, he said, “She’s in charge, do whatever she tells you to do.” And, I said, “Okay, that’s fine.”

Keith: So, she worked for the dealer?

Derek: No, she owned her own company.

Keith: Oh.

Derek: But, she was the main vendor. And, I’ll tell you now, that woman now works for Dent Wizard.

Keith: Got it.

Derek: Her company went under while I was there, and she is now employed by us. But, that’s how it went. I said, “Okay, that’s fine. She reminds me a lot of my mom, so I know how to handle this type of person.”

Keith: That’s pretty, that’s kinda strange. They have a vendor, and he’s saying she runs the show here?

Derek: Well, reconditioning wise, I mean, basically –

Keith: Yeah, but that’s weird, right?

Derek: Well, you know –

Keith: It’s unique.

Derek: I guess.

Keith: I’ve never had a dealership tell me, check in with this other vendor to do it.

Derek: Oh, that’s how it goes here, because now, I’m that guy. Now, I’m – they send the new people to me, and they’re like, oh, here’s the new detail team, if you have any questions, here’s Derek, he does the dents. Ask him if you need any help.” Now, I’m that person.

Keith: Oh, just like, where do I put the car, where do I get the keys, and all that.

Derek: Right, right, where do I – well, a little bit of that, but moreso what cars need to be done?

Keith: Interesting.

Derek: Where is my work approved, and that’s completely different now, I changed that really quick, but that’s how it was. I went in there, and the guy that took, I basically took over for, he went in there and said, “Okay, here’s the deal. Do all the certified pre-owned cars. BMW only. They’re gonna go through every process, and then, at the very end, before it goes to the lot, they’re gonna be parked here. If it’s a CPO car, just fix it. Don’t touch any off-brand cars, don’t look at any non-CPO.” And, I said, “Wow, that sucks. You’re missing a lot of work.” So, I did that for a year, and then started just pushing my way into other stuff. And, I was really fortunate, I’m at the point now, I’ve been there so long, I have more time at this dealership than any manager that works there.

I’ve gone through four GMs. I’ve gone through, like, ten UCMs, I’ve gone through inventory managers left and right, and blah, blah, blah, And, how I’ve done it is, is every time someone new shows up, - like, I just had a man, the GM got fired two weeks ago, and they brought in this new young guy. Super cool guy. So, I go in, I always – I try to be the first person to introduce myself from the vendors. Because there’s still another paint company there, I just do all the PDR. There’s still another paint and wheel company, interiors, etc. I go in, I try to be the first one to hand my card out, and I say, “Hey, my name is Derek Reed. I work with Dent Wizard; I do all the PDR here. This is what I do, and this is how I do it.”

I basically lay down my pricing structure, I tell them I work on everything. I do this, and I do that. As long as you’re okay with that, you won’t have any problems. I will make sure that PDR is never an issue in your office. You’ll never hear anybody bring, come in here with a PDR complaint. And, they always go, okay, that sounds great, keep doing what you’re doing.

Keith: Cool.

Derek: And, every time I’ve done that, I’ve added something to the list. So, the first time I did this, I said, “Okay, my name’s Derek Reed, I do all the CPO and non-CPO BMWs, and this is what I charge.” Okay, that’s great, keep doing what you’re doing. Next time, I said, “Okay, Derek Reed, I do all the CPO, non-CPO and all of the off-brand cars, under 100,000 miles.” Okay, that’s great. Keep doing what you’re doing. Next guy came in, I said, “Hey, I’m Derek Reed, I fix everything.” He said, “Okay, keep doing what you’re doing.” So, I just kept adding more and more and more cars to my list, and now, I’m involved in processes, so I get to – I get to fix everything. It’s phenomenal. I don’t even have to ask questions; I just fix cars all day. It’s great.

Keith: Yeah, that’s how my best accounts were, they’re just happy that you’re there, just show up and fix stuff.

Derek: Yeah.

Keith: And give us a bill for it.

Derek: Yeah, you know, and it, you know, I made a list about the topic, how to make more money at these mega dealerships. Number one on my list was time, dedication, and patience. If you want – at this level, this caliber, if you want to be at this level, to where you can fix anything, it’s gotta be a full time thing, it’s a marriage. And, I tell a lot of people, when my – Dent Wizard managers, if we get a new management or something, they’ll come to me, and they’ll say, “Hey, is there anything I can do for you? I hear you’re the guy in town.” I say, “Yeah, you can leave me alone. Don’t call me, don’t ever ask me to go anywhere else. I’m married to this place, for better or for worse. I might have a bad day, but I know I’m gonna make it up the next day.”

Keith: Yeah.

Derek: Like, I know the work is here, and it’s consistent. Don’t try to pull me out anywhere else. Don’t – just leave me alone. Let me live here. And, I do, I’m there 7:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon, every single day, no exceptions. I work inside with the shop technicians, I’ve got a spot, I’ve got a box of tools, just like all the shop guys, you know. I mean, I’m integrated, I’m a part of the dealership. It took a long time, but that’s part of what it takes to really maximize a dealership of that level, is to really be a part of it. Not just show up once or twice a week, and fix some dents and leave.

Keith: Yeah, I’m sure at this point a lot of guys are saying, yeah. They sell 300 used cars, that’s pretty unique. Not many stores do that kind of volume, and that’s true. But, it’s the same principles that work at a 300 used car a month store work at a 100 or a 150 car store.

Derek: Yep.

Keith: You may not be there as many hours, but you’ve gotta be all in. Everything else is the same, except maybe you’re there 7:00 to 2:00 instead of 7:00 to 4:00, you know?

Derek: Absolutely. It takes dedication to really maximize a big account like that. And, it’s – some days I go to work, and have a ton of work. I'm doing 10 to 15 used cars a day, plus all of my service stuff, on average. Some days, I go to work, and there’s like, two used cars on the trade walk. And, I’m like, oh, man, today is gonna suck. But, I might not bill a ton of money that day, but that’s when I’m building that relationship. That’s when I’m going to meetings, you know. I’m at the point now where, if they have management meetings, they say, hey, something’s going wrong. We need to solve this process, or come up with a solution. I’m in there, at that conference table, with all the other managers. Because I’m the only Dent Wizard person there, so I’m the representative for my company, right?

So, I go in, and I sit down, and at this point, I’ve had my hand in developing the protocol. I specifically came up with a protocol for the dealership a couple years ago, that said, when the cars get traded in, they get parked right here. When they get parked here, then we do a trade walk, which, the trade walk, I wanna talk about that, because I don’t know if many people know what that is, or have one. But, if you’re not involved in it, if your dealership has one, and you’re not involved in it, you’re an idiot. It is where all the money is made.

Keith: All right, well. Let’s talk about that.

Derek: Okay, so I work at Global BMW in Atlanta. It’s a Sonic Automotive Company, and they have a very – of course, a dealership of this caliber, is gonna be some sort of dealer market, you know, dealer group. So, Sonic Automotive, and they have this playbook. Everything is supposed to run by the playbook. Every day. We have what we call a trade in, or a trade walk. It’s the day before’s trade ins are all parked at one location, this bullpen. Every day, at 10:00, all of the vendors show up and say, this is what’s wrong with the car, this is how much money it’s gonna take to get this car sellable.

I show up early, and do it every day, before any other vendor. I always wanna make sure my price is the first one on the window. I write it on the window, I put PDR=this, and then the paint guys come in, say bumper, wheels, etc. etc. So, then, at 10:00 every day, all of the managers and all of the sales associates that are available come out, and we walk around these cars. And, they say, okay, we have a 2012 X-5 with this many miles on it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We paid this much money for it, it needs $150 in dents, it needs $200 in wheels, blah, blah, blah, blah. What can we sell this car for, and make money? So, they add up all of the vendor costs. The CPO costs, the wheels that need to be replaced, or the tires and the windshield. Everything that goes into this car to get it on the lot, they add it up, and they say, okay, to make this car sellable to our qualifications, we need to spend $4,000.

We paid $19,000 for it, what can we sell it for and make a profit? And then, everybody gets to decide what the car’s gonna cost on the lot. So, obviously – and I’m involved in that, too. I’ll be like, aw, $43,000! It’s like The Price is Right for me. I have no idea what it takes to sell a car, so I’m just always the highest guy. And, they’ll look at me like a fool, and then they’ll say, “Okay, we can get $26,9 for this car.” But the most important thing with doing this is, I don’t care what they sell the car for, they are gonna make their profit. That’s what their goal is. And, I have already been added into the markup of the car; to make sure my money’s in there. If you’re coming in after the car’s hit the lot, it’s said and done.

Like, if you’re walking around the lot, saying, all right, well, this car has got $100 in dents in it, they’re gonna say, oh, well, we spent $4,000 in other stuff, before you got here, and there’s not enough room.

Keith: Yeah, nobody’s a strange – if you work in the wholesale world at all, you’ve heard it 100 times. “We’re buried in this one, smoked in this one, upside down in this one.”

Derek: Yep. You have to make sure that you’re what buried them in it. You have to be ahead of the game, man, and like I said, I wanna be the first cost on that car. So, when they come up, they’ll say, okay, we have an inspection for this much. And, their inspections have various tiers of inspection, depending on the miles on the car, and the value of the car, and then we need a detail. And then we need – what else do we need? I mean, everything needs an inspection, service and a detail. Every car. And then, they’ll say, okay, what else we got? We got PDR for $200, we got a front bumper for $165, we got a rear bumper for $200. Whatever. And then they’ll say, sales guys, what do we need to fix on this car to make it sellable?

And, it’s up to the sales guys to decide where all this money’s being spent, because ultimately, it’s their profit.

Keith: Interesting.

Derek: And, if those sales guys hate my guts, you better believe they’re gonna be like, we don’t need to do the dents. It doesn’t matter about them selling the car to the customer at that point.

Keith: No.

Derek: Because I know for a fact, they don’t like the paint company very much, and they’re always like, oh, man, we’ll just touch that bumper up. The bumper’ll be hanging off the car, and they’ll be like, just buff it and touch it up, but let’s fix all the dents for sure. Because you know, I’m there every day. I eat lunch with these people. I buy them lunch sometimes. I hang out with them, I’m part of the family. So, my cost is first. And, I know, as it gets added up down the window, and it gets further and further, they’re like, “Do we really need to paint these wheels? Do we really need to do this bumper?”

And it’s always paint. Do we really need to do the driver interior? It’s always interior. It’s all one company that does all that stuff.

Keith: Yeah.

Derek: It’s never do we need to do the dents? Because I get my money in there so fast. And, I’m also at the point right now where I’m involved in appraisals. So, if a car – my pricing guide. I know, some people have seen my pricing guide, I know you guys talk about it all the time. I took my pricing guide, and I gave every single one, my retail pricing guide, to appraising managers, for wholesale work. And, I said, “Listen, this is what I cost, for me to do my job. Take away the fact that you guys get a crazy deal on the wholesale end, but this is what I cost, this is what my time is worth. So, when they do the appraisals, they’ll take my retail guide out there.

And, they’ll say, “Oh, man, we’d love to have this piece of car in our inventory, but look at this big dent in the quarter panel. And, they’ll hold my guide and say, “Oof, that’s gonna cost $1,000 for our PDR guy to fix. Gotta make some room in the budget, you know?”

Keith: That’s a great tip right there, just using that.

Derek: It’s huge, it’s huge, and it’s gone a long way. Man, they love it, because they can show the customer, this is why we’re not giving you this much money for this car. If it’s something really crazy, they’ll call me. I’m always there, I’m always available, so they’ll call me and say, hey, I’m doing appraisal, and you come up here and take a look at this car? And, that is the perfect opportunity, I can make as much room as I want on this car. I can go up there and say, “Yeah, I can absolutely fix that, it’s gonna be $1.200.” At this point, we’re talking to the customer, so I’m customer pricing.

Keith: Right.

Derek: So, it’s gonna be $1,200. It’s gonna be $800, whatever. And then, we’ll walk back inside, I’ll go sit down in the office, and the manager will say, “Okay, what are you really gonna charge me?” And, I get – it’s a win/win for me, because I go, “Well, I just told you it was gonna be $1,200 for the customer. I’ll tell you what, because of our relationship, I’m here, I’ll do it for $600.” And, they’re like “Oh, so we don’t have to pay?” I’m like “Nah, come on, man, you don’t – I don’t know if I told you, I was number one in my class.” And I get my money right then, because they build it into the cost of the car, instantaneously. And then, the next day on the trade walk, when we’re trade walking that car, it’s not a question.

They’ve already added it into the price, they’ve already taken it into consideration. So, they’ll say, okay, we’ve got an inspection, we’ve got detail. Derek’s gonna do the dents for $600, and then we’ve got all this paint stuff. Do we really need to paint this bumper? Do we really need to paint these wheels? And, it’s a great opportunity to just get ahead of it. Build the room in the price to start with, and I know a lot of places don’t do trade walks. Everybody does. Every dealership does something like that, but most people aren’t involved in it.

Keith: Yeah, sometimes, it’s just one manager doing all of that by himself.

Derek: Yeah, exactly.

Keith: He’s looking at it, he’s appraising the damage, he’s deciding the sale price, etc.

Derek: Right. And, at the very, very least, if that guy, or woman, not to sound sexist. If that person doesn’t understand what they’re looking at, or how much it’s gonna cost, they’re never gonna leave enough room for you to get what you want.

Keith: That’s really a great tip. I’ve been in this business a long time, and no one’s ever presented that scenario to me like that.

Derek: It’s so valuable. I’ve been able to raise my prices so, so much since I – I started doing the trade walk at this place, probably four years ago. Before that, it was set pricing, you know, it was panel pricing. I averaged about $100 a car back then, to go around a whole car. And, I – the cars would show up after everything was said and done, and I was like, the last person on the list. I was the low man on the totem pole, and I would have to show up and just fix it, and if it was over $100, I would have to go beg for forgiveness, and feel like an asshole.

Keith: Right.

Derek: You know, like, oh, man, I just, I don’t know, man, it’s pretty nasty. And they’re like, we’ll give you $110. But now, since I’ve been involved with it, my prices just go up and up and up and up, because I’m smart enough to make it a part of the process. Now, I can say, well, maybe you should bump this car a grand. Instead of wanting $25,9, let’s ask $27.9, because I’m gonna need $1,000 to do all this hail damage on it. Oh, we didn’t even see the hail damage. Yeah, well, it’s there. So, before we get to the pricing, let’s have that built in already. And then, they can go out and say, well our PDR guy says it’s got hail damage on it, and he’s gonna charge us $1,500 or $2,000. And, the appraisal goes down.

So the customer, unfortunately, gets less money, but the dealership has more room to work with.

Keith: And, you know, it’s a great parallel to the retail business, because what you’ve done is you’ve – by being involved in all of these processes, by meeting all of these managers, and by doing – I mean, you’ve told us about a lot of stuff you’re doing, and none of it is fixing a car, yet.

Derek: No, that’s – honestly, most days, that’s the least of my concern.

Keith: Right, so –

Derek: Because I know I can fix dents. It’s – getting the most money is the hard part.

Keith: So, you have taken the focus off of the price – what is the cost to fix a dent, which is what everyone thinks a dealership is hung up on –

Derek: Yep.

Keith: And, you’ve brought value in all of these other areas. You’re helping appraise cars, you’re helping move, you’re helping coordinate the reconditioning. You’re there alongside the used car manager, or inventory manager, when they’re appraising stuff in the back and the front.

Derek: Lease turn ins, everything. The lease, especially –

Keith: Everything.

Derek: When she’s got a lease turn in, she’ll call me and say, “Derek, come take a look at this car.” Okay, perfect. Because I don’t wanna have to do this for wholesale prices. If we can get it priced appropriately, I know BMW charges – like, our account, charges about $400 for anything over golf ball-sized. So, if I can come in there and say I’ll do it for $389, they’re gonna save $11 or whatever, they’re gonna save a couple bucks, and then I can get the retail job, as opposed to getting a trade in the next day, where I’m like, I’ll do

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