What to do in Your PDR biz when it Slows Down this Winter
There are going to be times in your business where the work is just a hair slower than it could be. Use these tactics to get the phones ringing again and kill that winter dip for good.
There are going to be times in your business where the work is just a hair slower than it could be. Use these tactics to get the phones ringing again and kill that winter dip for good.
In this episode we are going to break down some real examples of sales won and lost and how a reactive sales process will enable you to ONLY give the right medicine for the right ailment (sales objection)
The Advanced Skills Seminar 2016 is SOLD OUT! Congrats to those who made it in and to those who weren’t able to take advantage of the chance this year, we are deeply sorry. We would like nothing more than to accommodate everyone, but the priority is the highest possibly quality of the event and we simply MUST limit the size.
Here is the link to the list for next years (2017) event if you don’t want to miss out next time register here
Shane: In the past when we have needed to repair dents in double panels, along edges or in seams, we’ve used rather imprecise, and dare I say ineffective, methods of tooling. Screwdrivers, awls, and hammers were all we had. Now, with the development of the Edge Jack from blendinghammerpdr.com, that has changed. Using the power and precision of a mini lifter we can now effectively repair these damages with control. It takes interchangeable tips, you can vary the tip that you need depending on the damage and what you need to lift. Again, crazy control, crazy power, you’re gonna fix dents in double panels and seams that you struggled with before in half, quarter, one tenth of the time. Grab these bad boys and start making some extra money fellas. Blendinghammerpdr.com.
Keith: I’m Keith Cosentino, he’s Shane Jacks and this is the PDR College Podcast. Coming at you live from two different parts of the country at the same time via the magic of modern interwebs, we are talking excellence when it comes to your paintless dent removal business. Not just your skills, but your business because that is the vehicle that makes the cash, that pays the bills, that buys the yacht, that gets the girl. Why do you need so dang much cash, Shane Jacks?
Shane: Well, Keith, we have – I have already gotten the yacht. That’s been checked off. Which helped me get the girl, that’s checked off. I procreated with said girl.
Shane: We have another girl, right? Now I have to pay for hair care products. That’s why I need so much money. You see, up until three days ago, they were using Dove bar soap in their hair. They got on my Facebook account and found out that your wife is using – that’s probably your daughter’s soap actually and your wife’s has probably got another one in front of it.
Keith: That’s like there’s actual gold flakes in it, like those cakes where you wanna eat the gold.
Keith: I love a lot of decadent things but I’ve never understood eating gold. Wait a sec.
Shane: Yeah, it does nothing for you. It doesn’t make you feel good, it doesn’t have fiber in it, that I know of.
Keith: I think I’d be more excited to eat like tiger talon or whatever they eat in China to try to boost their manliness. Then I would wanna eat some gold or shark fin or something. At least there’s a chance something could happen to me.
Shane: Tiger talon. I’ve never seen a tiger fly.
Keith: You could call it – what do you wanna call it? A fingernail? A claw?
Shane: I’m not sure. I don’t think it’s talon.
Keith: If it’s in your face it is. It’s a fingernail when it’s in the zoo, but when you’re trying to rip your eyeballs out it’s probably a talon. Yeah, those soaps are out of control. For those of you who don’t know what we’re talking about, we’re – is that in our PDR College Community? I don’t think it is because it was someone else’s topic we were talking on. But somebody posted the picture of their wife’s shampoo and the cost of it in relation – it was Paul Cordon, saying, “Hey, what we do here, what we sell is a luxury service. Price it as such.”
Example, my wife buys a product for ten ounces of anything and it’s $35.00 and it’s a hair care product and it’s like a one-time use. So it’s $35.00 a day or something for her to do her hair with the one product. So, hey, just because you think it’s a lot doesn’t mean people won’t buy it. And I said, “That’s pretty cute. You think that’s expensive? Have a look at this. This is the world I live in.” So we’re laughing about that. But, hey, momma looks good, she needs the right soaps, she can have them.
Shane: I was perfectly fine with my wife’s hair being lifeless and limp. Now not so much.
Keith: Lifeless and limp? Hi, Mrs. Jacks. I’m glad you’re listening to the podcast with your lifeless and limp hair. Besides telling a woman her womb is barren, that’s about probably the worst thing you could say to her. Lifeless, limp. Her womb is barren.
Shane: I can’t have kids. No, her womb is barren. Don’t let her fool you.
Keith: Just in case you thought this was a podcast about dent removal, it wasn’t. It’s about Shane and I, it’s the only time a week that we talk. So this is our conversation. Enjoy it. On a serious note, I am excited about today’s show because it’s a topic that has both saved me money, made me money, and cost me money. And that topic is reactive selling. Do you wanna do what we always do and then give the topic and then take four steps back and talk about the stuff we should have talked about a second ago? Of course you do.
Shane: You talking about me?
Keith: Yeah, I’m talking about you and me both.
Shane: Yeah, typically I take a nap at this point.
Keith: We need to say thank you to all the guys who registered for the seminar.
Shane: Yes, for sure.
Keith: Huge event for us. That was really big and – how did you feel that went, Shane? I was pumped about it.
Shane: Very well. Very well. I want to, again, thank you for the guys that signed up. No.1 thank you, No. 2 we’re super excited and stoked, No. 3 we are currently working on this thing and have been for some time, putting it together, and No. 4 get ready. For you guys that got in it’s gonna be insane. We’re gonna be sending you emails, giving you a phone call personally, each one of you, all that good stuff. And No. 5 sorry for the guys that didn’t get in. There are a bunch of you out there that really wanted in. We only had X amount of spots and really couldn’t go over that and keep the class kind of a homey feel, I guess you would call it Keith, or personal feel.
Keith: I’m really bummed out about that, honestly. I don’t like telling anybody no first of all, that’s why I run a service business because you like to make people happy. But second of all, a lot of these guys have been really loyal customers of ours, buying our products and super loyal listeners to the show and for whatever reason they just didn’t get on that list soon enough. And we sent the invitations out in the chronological order for people that had been on the list for a long time. And some of those guys have been on since the beginning of 2015 show and there’s not that many spots and it’s really popular so it sold out really quick.
And I really am bummed out that I can’t invite everybody who wants to come because there’s guys that are pumped, they have the money, they wanna come, just give me the spot and I gotta say no. So deepest apologies to you guys. I appreciate your listenership and your desire to come and be a part of it. I want nothing more than to be able to accommodate you, but to keep the level of the event high enough that we can interact with everybody and give everybody enough time to ask the questions that they have, we just have to limit it. We have no choice. So, bums me out, but thank you for being interested and I hope you stick around until the next one and make your way in there.
Shane: I guess now’s the time when we say that the one in Hawaii will probably be pretty popular, in May, in Hawaii.
Keith: You know, some of you might think Shane’s joking…
Shane: Actually I was joking. All the guys that signed up for this are like, “Wait a flipping minute. I didn’t know there was gonna be one in Hawaii.”
Keith: Well, we talked about that after the first seminar. It was so popular. We were so excited. It was such a good time we thought, “We’ve got to do this again before a whole year rolls around.” And we were really talking about doing one in Hawaii in like the early summer. And we kind of went back and forth, is it a great idea because it’s in the middle of the hail season, it’s in the middle of the busy season, if you’re doing retail it’s kind of a terrible time to leave work. But we can’t do everything in the winter all at once. We couldn’t do a Hawaii seminar in November and then turn around and do Mobile Tech Expo in January. Or maybe we could, I don’t know.
But if you guys think that’s a good idea, holler at us either in the PDR College Community on Facebook or send us a message on our SpeakPipe and just say, “Hey, do the Hawaii seminar. I’ll be there.” And if we get a handful of guys who wanna do it, maybe we’ll start looking at putting it together. But right now we’ve got bigger fish to fry and that is to get every last detail wrapped up for January. But I really would like to do an off location thing in a place that you could write off your vacation, you know, to Hawaii and you can legitimately write off the expense as a business expense, and learn something, and have a good time and hang out in a cool location with an elite group of guys. I think that’d be super, super cool.
Shane: It would be very cool.
Keith: Yeah, if you guys…
Shane: I’ll just go ahead and warn you. Classes will probably only be about two to three hours a day. Right? Spread it out over five to ten days.
Keith: Yeah, and Shane doesn’t even drink. Imagine if the trainers who were drinking guys it’d be well, one hour a day.
Shane: One hour of drunken training a day.
Keith: Yeah, so I don’t know. Maybe it’s not Hawaii, maybe it’s Mexico. If you wanna get all your stuff stolen or whatever we can do Mexico. We could do something different.
Shane: Flights to Mexico are cheap now. Southwest has started flying to the Caribbean for cheap.
Shane: Yes, they have. You know me, I’m a Caribbean guy, which I’ve never been to Hawaii. We’ve had this discussion, Keith.
Keith: Once you go there you’ll be Hawaii.
Shane: I know. That’s why I’m not going. It’s cheap to go to the Caribbean. It’s very cheap.
Keith: Well, if you could write it off in Hawaii, it might be even cheaper.
Shane: I get that, but everything with my wife and kids from then on out would not be cheaper.
Keith: No, it wouldn’t.
Shane: So, anyway.
Keith: Here’s what it’s like. It’s like they wanna go to a rainforest so you blindfold them and you put them outside in the backyard under a tree and then you spray the hose on the top and then they’re all excited. They’re in a rainforest and then they think that’s what a rainforest is. And then you bring them to a real rainforest. That’s the difference between the Caribbean and Hawaii. They think they’re in a tropical place and they’re all excited. They’re in a tree with a hose on top of their head. When you bring them to a real tropical place, you realize, “Oh, this is why they make the T-shirts and everything and this is why people keep talking about it.” It’s not from a dirty, rocky beach with people trying to sell you garbage, it’s from actual Americans in paradise. That’s Hawaii.
Shane: Oh, man. Come on now.
Keith: I wish I was lying.
Shane: Okay, let’s stop talking about this. I tell you what. You start the show, I’m gonna be looking for flights to Hawaii. If you need me just say my name and I’ll wake up.
Keith: So, the topic today, reactive selling. It’s a really, really powerful way of looking at a sales transaction and it’s basically a way of selling to people on a customized basis. And a lot of you are already doing this. If you’re selling and you’re closing a lot, you’re probably naturally already doing this. But if you’re not, or sometimes even if you are, if you become aware of it, you’re able to utilize this skill a little bit better. And like I like to do, I’m gonna illustrate the technique by telling a couple of stories that happened to me on both sides of the sales equation.
So Shane and I are in the process, well, we’ve hired a super, super high level consultancy for our business. So it’s gonna help us run a bunch of back office stuff and change some things around. So we’re excited about it, but it’s really high level stuff and it’s expensive. So…it’s the kind of thing that the price is not on the website. But if you listen to the guys enough and you talk to them, you know what the price is and it doesn’t vary.
So this particular thing is supposed to be $12,000.00. It’s the package they sell, right? So a lot of dough, but we were in. It’s a two day thing, you fly in a different state, you work for two days with these guys, and then you go home a mastermind. So we talked about it for a long time, didn’t we Shane, when we decided, you know what? It’s a big investment, but we’re in. And we agreed.
Shane: It’s been close to a year now, I would guess.
Keith: Yeah, yeah, we were on the fence for a while and then finally decided, you know what? This is the thing that we need to do to get to the next level so let’s do it. So I took the task of actually calling and making the appointment. You see what I say, the term there. I’m just calling to make the appointment. I’m not calling to negotiate or to find out more details. We’d already done our research, we know the details, we’re ready to purchase it. Very similar to you guys who just purchased the seminar. We talked about it enough, you knew what it was, you wanted to be a part of it, all you needed to do was sign up because we’d done a good enough job prior explaining.
And you could call it selling, but that’s all selling really is, is properly explaining what the benefits of a certain product are. It’s not trying to trick anybody into anything, you’re just explaining what’s available, what’s not available, and letting them know what it’s gonna do for them, maybe they do or do not know that. And then once you’re done, they either wanna purchase it or they don’t. And if they don’t you find out why. So we’re ready.
Shane: Can I stop you for just one second, Keith?
Keith: Yeah, of course.
Shane: Even within my service business…maybe I’m looking at this backwards. I don’t think I am. You can tell me what you think. Whenever I give someone an estimate, and sometimes it’s higher than I think they’re gonna pay, right? It’s just a high estimate, well, pretty much all of them are now. So I give them $800.00 for 8, 10, 12 inch crease, whatever, okay? It’s $800.00. They walk out and I think, you know what? It’s just not gonna happen. I can call them back, I rarely do, but I can call them back and say, “Hey, just wondering what you decided on your dent.” And they say, “Well, you know, I’m thinking about it.”
If they come back one year later and say, “Hey, I wanna schedule,” there is no way I’m coming off that price because I’ve given them time, apparently, to field their options, you know? So that’s kind of what was going on here. We went out and back for close to a year. We knew the price for the entire year and you called them back and say, “We’re ready to go.” So at that point, in my mind, in my business I go, “You know what? This is the price. That’s it.” Boom. You’re ready. You’ve been mulling this for a year, you’re either buying or you’re not.
Keith: Well, you’re exactly right, but the difference here is that we never made contact prior to. So this was a first point of contact for them with us.
Shane: Okay, I thought you had signed in. Okay, okay, I’m sorry.
Keith: No, I never did.
Shane: I apologize. I apologize.
Keith: I just looked at it and looked at it, read – yeah, but you’re completely right. Once you give it to them, they take it home for that long and stir on it and they’re back, you better stay where you are. Even if they make a run at you, you gotta stand your ground.
Shane: Okay, my apologies. I thought we had had contact – I thought you had had contact. ‘We’ would be incorrect, but I thought you had had contact with them several months ago.
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 AutoMobile 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. Guys, this is the way to do it.
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.
Okay, so we had decided to actually go ahead and purchase this consultancy package. So I call the guy up and I say, “Hey, we’re ready to go. We’re interested. We know about the product and we’re ready to book it.” I had a couple follow-up questions for him, but not nothing groundbreaking. I kind of knew all the answers, at least for the most part. And he said, “Okay, sounds great. When are you looking to schedule this? We’re normally about four to six weeks out.” And I said, “You know, we’re in the middle of putting together this seminar right now so we’re super busy until the end of the year so maybe February or March.” And he said, “Okay, great.”
So what he’s doing is the right things, trying to find out how serious I am and when am I actually looking to purchase. So that’s something that you need to do with your customers, or your prospects rather, when they’re on the phone with you and they’re talking about the repair and they’re not just ready to go right out of the gates. When can you get here, when can you do it? They’re kind of just floundering around a little bit. You ask them, “How soon are you looking to have the repairs done? Next hour, next day, next week, next year.
You know, next week, next month, next year, totally different scenarios for each one. Next month, next year, they’re just saying never, usually. Next day, next hour, next week, they’re ready to go, more so the sooner the time frame than later. With the exception of next minute or next hour, those are usually garbage jobs. If they need it done right now it’s because they smashed into something.
But anyways, he finds out how serious I am by scheduling or want to schedule me in and I’ll let him know when I wanna make the decision. So I told him a few months out he says, “No problem. We’re usually six weeks anyways, but let me just let you know about an opportunity that’s popped up. We had a cancellation. It’s in only two weeks, but it’s open and we could slide you in there if you want it.” Now, if he would have framed this offer differently, he would have had a completely different sales process. And not because I’m super slick on the phone, even though I am, it’s just because he put himself in a trap. And that’s kind of what we’re talking about here, with the whole reactive selling title.
So instead of slowing down and saying, “We have this opening. Are you interested in it, yes or no?” He just kind of went on and says, “We have this opening and if you’d like to take advantage of it, we’d be able to give you a discount.” “Okay, that sounds great,” I say, you know? Because I’m already in at the first price. And I said, “Coming in in two weeks is way out of line for us because we’ve got so much going on.” But it just so happened that Shane and I were both scheduled to be at the SEMA show in the same week. And it’s really close geographically to where our consultancy guys are.
So I thought, you know what? We’re gonna be close, there’s a possibility we can make that. So I said, “What kind of price point are we talking about with this discount?” So remember the price was $12,000.00. We knew that, we were sold on that figure. He didn’t know that. Why didn’t he know Shane?
Shane: He didn’t ask enough questions.
Keith: He didn’t ask that question, how much are you expecting to pay for this, right? Okay, so here’s how he started. He said, “The normal price is $11,000.00.” So he’s already $1,000.00 lower than what we are ready to pay. And that’s before he’s offering this discount. So he says, “If you can take advantage of this discount, I know it’s a short time frame, but we can do it for $10,000.00.” So I’m $2,000.00 ahead already. And I say, like a good buyer, because I’ve been on the other end of the negotiating table for so many years I know not to show all my cards right away.
I say, “Okay, that sounds very intriguing. I’ve gotta talk to Shane and make sure he’s okay with that and make sure we can move our plans. And that might be cost prohibitive and it might not be. Let me have a look and see what we can do and get back to you.” And this is a technique that’s called resorting to higher authority, saying the decision making power really lies with someone else. I’m only the intermediary so you’ve got to give me something and I’ll run it up the flagpole and it’s a technique for negotiating.
Shane: I don’t know. Let me talk to my wife.
Keith: Yeah, well, usually it’s a higher authority. So instead of saying, “Okay, that sounds great, Keith, what are the factors that you think are going to affect Shane with his decision?” And really digging down into the details of this deal, he says, kind of as a throw-away, “Okay, that sounds great. And listen, if you need me to sweeten the deal a little bit to help offset the travel costs, just let me know.” And I say, “Well, hot dog, you bet I will.”
Shane: Open door.
Keith: “Let me talk to Shane.” What’d you say?
Shane: Open door.
Keith: Yeah, wide open, right? So we’re in at $12,000.00, we’re in at $11,000.00, we’re definitely in at $10,000.00, and now he says, “Feel free to make another run at me because there’s a little room left.” So of course, I’m gonna try to buy the car for as little as I can, the same way you buy a car, right? So I talk to Shane. Yeah, you and I decide that we can make it happen and the price is amazing for what we’re getting. And we calculate the expense is gonna be about 1,200 and some odd bucks for us to move things around, might be a little less if we can sweet talk somebody at one of the other hotels when we get out of it and into the next one.
So I call him back and I say, “Okay, listen, it’s gonna cost us 1,250 and some odd dollars, that’s a lot and I appreciate your offer to help offset that a little bit. I’ll tell you what, if you can cover $1,000.00 of that, we are in. So if you can do it for $9,000.00 let’s get it scheduled. And he goes, “Ooh, we’ve never done it that cheap before. Let me run it up the flagpole to my boss and see if I can make that happen.” So then he’s right off the phone.
What do you think would have happened, Shane, if he said it a little bit differently? What if he said, “You know what, Keith? We’ve never done it that cheap before. Let me talk to the boss. But in the instance the boss says no, what price is the right price to get you to be able to make the decision to take advantage of the offer? If I can’t get him down to $9,000.00, how close do I need to get him?” He can play this higher authority game back on me. How close do I need to get him for you to be able to say yes? And quite honestly, I would have said, “You know what? If he can meet us in the middle…
Shane: At $9,500.00.
Keith: Yeah, that’d be just fine. Right? So if he runs that up and he comes down and says, “Keith, I’d love to have you out here. There’s just a threshold that we can’t go under. We’re willing to help you with your travel expenses a little bit, but we just couldn’t get to $9,500.00, but we can get to $9,800.00.” We’re still in, right?
Shane: Yep. Oh, yeah.
Keith: Sold. Because if he would have just given a little ground – but because he didn’t ask any of those questions, he just plowed right along through his whole process, they cost themselves basically $3,000.00. Now, would we have scheduled so quickly for the same exact price?
Keith: Probably not. But, he could have given us – if he would have said, “Okay, here’s the deal. It’s $12,000.00. We had a cancellation two weeks from now. It’s pretty fast, but I know you guys wanna implement the system. You’ve been talking about it for a long time,” because he should have asked me more questions about how long I’d been looking at it and all that. And he was a nice salesman. It sounds like he was a bumbling buffoon by the way I tell the story to you, he wasn’t. He was very attentive and a polite guy and he did make some attempts to close, but he wasn’t the world’s best negotiator.
He probably could do a couple years selling cars and come back and sell this product, but maybe that’s just the atmosphere there, who knows? But if he would have just said, “Listen, I know it’s $12,000.00 and you know it’s $12,000.00, if you can take advantage of this short time frame, what if I could cover your hotel and maybe some other travel expenses? If I could take care of that for you so all you’d have to pay for is the actual work that you’re excited to purchase, if I could make that happen, would you be excited about taking advantage of this opportunity in the next two weeks? Or would you rather wait the three months and pay for everything yourself?” He needs more information from me.
If I would have said, “You know what? That sounds intriguing. Why don’t you see if you can do it?” And he came back at me with that, I probably would have been inclined to go ahead with that purchase in that regard because Shane and I were gonna go anyways, we’d have another set of travel expenses to another state from our – Shane’s coming all the way across the country. It’s expensive. We were gonna be close by so we’d save some money. We’d lose a little bit on the move-around, but if they were gonna comp our hotel and maybe a car or something else that we were gonna pay otherwise, we probably would have taken advantage of it. We might not have jumped so quickly, but I bet we would have said yes.
But he didn’t do that. He went straight away and dropped his pants and cost the company money because of that. Trust me, I love him for it, but it was a great lesson for me. Because very seldom are we on the buying end. In this business we’re always on the selling end so you never really know what’s going on inside the mind of your prospect, but in this case I did because I was the prospect. So it’s always easy to Monday morning quarterback a deal and go back and say, “Well, if you would have said this, he would have said that.” But these are basic things that you’re going to incorporate into any selling process to make it a reactive selling process. It’s just getting more and more and more information.
Shane: Let’s talk about glue tabs. More specifically, let’s talk about Blackplague, smooth series glue tabs. These guys come in a variety of sizes and are specifically designed for maximum adhesion. They’re designed differently than other tabs and I can say with all honesty that they stick better than any other tab out there. From the itty, bitty tiny ones that seem as if they wouldn’t pull anything, all the way to the larger ones, these things pull like a tanker. And best of all, they pull with finite precision. They pull exactly where you want, in the exact spot you want.
I tell you what. Pair these guys with the Tab Weld glue and you’ve got an unbeatable combo. Visit blackplaguepdr.com, pick these guys up, pick up some Tab Weld glue and take your glue pulling to the next level.
Keith: So I have a couple other stories I’m gonna tell that go along with this, but…did you have a situation similar that you were talking about?
Shane: Yeah, I have a situation similar to that where I was on the buyer’s end and I kind of got ill with the guy, actually. He was so incompetent. So we bought my daughter a car last year, Keith? Yeah, a little over a year ago.
Keith: That’s before the Lamborghini.
Shane: Yeah, before the Lambo. We bought her a used car and I knew it had had some damage on the right quarter panel, okay? So I took it to a body guy and he looks at and he says, “Yeah, it’s not bad work actually. There’s no structural – or, actual structural damage. They put a quarter in it right here in the bumper. The door’s fine, the trunk’s fine.” So it was confined to the quarter panel, right?
Shane: Well, there was a little bit of water in the trunk when you take the trunk trim back in the right quarter panel area. So there was a hole somewhere where they put the quarter panel on. I figured out where it was. It was beneath the rear windshield, right? And it was fairly recent, there was no rust, so there was nothing going on there, where it was pulling up in the bottom of the quarter panel. So I take it to a glass place right down the road, right? And here is my statement. I knew it was the – I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was the rear windshield. It was either the rear windshield or the right quarter glass, you know they have that tiny little triangular right quarter glass in those Mustangs.
So I knew it was one of those two. So I said, “Okay, I need you to take the rear windshield out and I need you to take the right quarter glass for me and I need them reinstalled after I figure out what’s going on here when I seal it up.” “Oh, man, okay, the rear glass ain’t no problem because I can take that tool and I can zip around it and it’s no problem at all.” He said, “Those quarter glasses, you can’t get them out like that.” And I went, “Okay.” And he just stares at me. And I said, “Are you telling me you can’t get that quarter glass out?” He said, “Yeah, man, I can’t get that quarter glass out.” And I went…
Keith: This is a glass shop you’re at.
Keith: You didn’t go to an ice cream parlor?
Shane: I look at him and two of my guys are with me, we had to pick up a hail car. So I’m sitting there and I’m staring at him and my two guys are like, “Oh, man, this is not gonna end well for this guy.” And I just kind of stared at him and I went, “You’re telling me that you cannot get that quarter glass out of there?” And he said, “Yeah, I can’t get it out, man.” And I went, “It’s amazing. You reckon they paint these cars with quarter glasses in them and that they stamp those quarters with the glass in them?”
He goes, “Well, I’m not saying I can’t get it out, but man, I got to take that interior trim piece off and that’s gonna cost you more money.” And I stared at him and I went, “Have I said anything about money? Has it come up one time?” And he said, “Well, no, I just – I’m just telling you it’s gonna cost you a little bit more.” And I went, “I don’t care what it costs me, bud. You give me…
Keith: More than what?
Shane: At this point I’m being a total jerk, right? I said, “I don’t care what it cost, dude. Can you give me a price how much it’s gonna take to get that quarter glass out and put back in?” “Oh, well, oh, okay, just normally when we go to body shops and stuff they take that interior trim piece out for me.” I said, “I technically could do that, but it’s one bolt to take the seatbelt off of it and then it snaps out. You know that, right?” He goes, “Yeah, I know that, sir.” I said, “Okay, just tell me how much, okay?” So he comes back with a different attitude because he knows that I will pay now. And it was crazy how bad of a salesman he was.
So he comes back with a bill, he gives it to me kind of like, “He ain’t gonna pay this.” You know? I went, “Okay, can I have it done today?” “Well, yes, sir.” And he takes off. Horrible, horrible salesmanship. He was afraid to get money out of me. Completely afraid to take money from me. Now I flip that. There have been times where I’ve looked at, and I think the next story you’re gonna tell, Keith, kind of tells that same kind of story that I just said, except you handled it correctly.
Shane: Oh, yeah, you didn’t handle it correctly.
Keith: No, sir.
Shane: You handled a lot better than this guy.
Keith: Yes, better than this guy, but still not proper.
Shane: Yeah, better than this guy. This guy basically told me, “I can do this, but I’m gonna lie to you and tell you I don’t because I’m afraid of cash.” I mean, that’s basically what he was telling me, you know?
Keith: Do you remember how much it was?
Shane: The rear window I think they charged me like $125.00 in and out. The right quarter glass, it wasn’t even that much, even with the trim removal, you know? And I just didn’t understand it, you know?
Keith: Do you remember how much you were willing to pay?
Shane: Basically anything at this point, to be honest with you. My time is worth – I’d already spent ten minutes traveling up there from the shop, it was gonna be another ten minutes back, you know? Ten minutes back up there to take it back to put the quarter glass back in once I figured out what was wrong with the car and repaired it, right? So I’m an hour, hour and a half deep into this thing. I don’t wanna go – well, I was going to be an hour, hour and a half deep into it total. I didn’t wanna waste any more of my time. I can make up a couple hundred dollars fairly quickly and I just don’t wanna do that, you know what I mean? I just don’t wanna go there. So I was willing to pay way more than he asked. I can tell you that.
Keith: And because he didn’t ask any questions about what you think it should cost, what you wanna pay, what you hope it would be, where your pain points are, he just started with his own. All he had for reference was his own pain points.
Shane: Which was about $11.00.
Keith: So, perfect story. So what I’m gonna talk about now is a situation that I had where I was the bad salesman, okay? So I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and it’s always easy after the fact. So here’s what happened where I could have made better choices. I get a call from a fellow who’s a referral from a really good body shop of mine. And he’s like an 80-year-old guy and he says, “I’ve got a 2001 Honda Odyssey minivan and it got backed into a guy wire.” For those of you who don’t know what that is, that’s when you have a big telephone pole you have that 45 degree wire bolted 10 feet up or whatever then down to the ground, big triangular cross section of wire.
And he backed into that and put a crease in the quarter panel above the taillight. So a 2001 Odyssey. I’m thinking to myself, “What is this car worth? $3,000.00 maybe? It can’t be much more than that, right? And he backed it into a wire that’s under tension, this thing’s gonna be jacked up.” So I’m thinking, “Okay, let’s ask a few questions here and see if I can discount this thing right off the bat. I know I’m not gonna be able to get him to send me photos. The last 80-year-old guy I asked to send photos, literally took photographs and mailed them. I said, “Can you mail me some photos?” “Yes, what’s your address?” So I didn’t wanna ask for photos.
Shane: That’s the first time I’ve heard that story.
Keith: Yeah, it’s a real story. So I don’t wanna go that route because it’s gonna go nowhere. So I say, “Okay, did the fella at the body shop see your car? Did you bring it down there or did you just talk to him on the phone?” He said, “No, he saw it.” I said, “Okay, well, he has a real good idea about what I can and cannot do so if he thinks there’s a chance I can fix it, there’s probably a pretty good chance I actually can.” So I didn’t bother doing a lot of selling with him on the phone. He was close by to where I was, he was like a mile away from where I was gonna be on that morning, and he was a real gruff, short, old guy. You know, like just down to the point, he’d just give me the information like a military guy, you know? “Yep. Nope.”
So I thought, “You know what? I’m just gonna go handle this one in person because I don’t know what’s going on with this car. It could be smashed to bits and I’m gonna be spending half an hour on the phone with this guy trying to figure it out and then still gonna have to go out there.” So I just made the appointment with him kind of as a Hail Mary. I figured there’s a good chance I’m doing nothing here, but it’s close by so let’s rock it out. And I know that’s the opposite of what I tell a lot of you guys, however, some of these really old guys, it’s really tough to get through all the proper questions and conversations and get to a place that makes sense. Sometimes it’s easier to do it all in person. So I chose to go that route.
Shane: You can scratch that and put southern people in there also.
Keith: Yeah, so I get out there and it is in fact an ’01 Odyssey and the thing is rough, as rough as you’d imagine. It’s not the worst car you’ve ever seen, but it’s got a cracked bumper, a couple scratches, door dings down both sides, and the right quarter above the taillight, which is essentially like a sale panel, has about a 10 inch crease, like a soft wide crease running up it where they hit the top of the wire and then maybe they hit a buckle or something because there’s a 4 inch football below that, also above the taillight. So a decent amount of damage, you know?
But they’re pretty open and hollow in there and I’m gonna take the taillight out and buzz a hole right up underneath it and I’ll be all over this thing. So it’s not the hardest repair you’ll ever do, but the car is – the paint is matte finish now because it’s been so dilapidated and abused. Not beyond a polish and bringing it back, but it looks bad. So I get him out there and he’s just the typical 80-plus-year-old dude with the super sunglasses on that cover up a normal set of glasses. You know what I’m talking about?
Keith: Socks and sandals.
Shane: I’ve got some.
Keith: And turns out he had just had an eye surgery, but whatever, he kind of shuffles out with these glasses. And he’s not real friendly. He’s not rude or anything, but he’s not real friendly. He’s not giving me a lot to work with.
Shane: Was it Jack Nicholson?
Keith: Sure sounds like it, doesn’t it. So, we talk about it for just a little bit and I do say, I said, “Do you have any kind of idea what you’re hoping this would cost or what kind of budget you’re working with?” And he said, “I have no idea what this costs.” And what I didn’t follow up with is, “Well, did you get a quote from the body shop?” I didn’t say that. I just said, “Okay, you don’t know how much it costs, well, let me show you with our pricing guide.” And in my mind I have already decided it’s an ’01 Honda Odyssey. Nobody’s spending any money on this car any time soon.
However, his house was in really good shape. He was a woodworker so I knew he was into details and everything. He had made all the wood trim on the outside of the house and when you open up the garage he had all these lathes and everything and he’s turning down all these different, neat projects. So I knew he was into the details, but I just didn’t – I still was hanging on to the prejudice that I had built in my mind about what he would or wouldn’t do.
So I lay out my pricing guide so I can anchor this thing at full retail and I didn’t even go through with that all the way. So I measured it, the crease is about 10 inches and I can’t recall exactly what that figure is. I think it’s about $500.00 or something like that on the guide and then the 4 inch dent was $300 and something. So we’re $850.00-$875.00 and that’s before I go to any additional factors of it’s obstructed, in the back, or a deep dent, or anything like that.
So here’s how I presented it, which is clearly wrong, that’s why I’m telling this story. I said, “Okay, so if we measure it this one’s gonna be about $500.00 and whatever and this one’s gonna be about $375.00 so we’re gonna be $875.00-$900.00 normally.” And instead of just shutting up there, I keep on. Just like our salesman for the consultancy. You know, normally it’s this, but we’re willing to do this. I say, “It’s normally this, but we’re willing to do this.”
I said, “You know, the car is in great shape but it does have a couple little imperfections here and there. It’s got a couple of wavy door dings. I think if that kind of stuff hasn’t bothered you, I can get this repaired to the point that it blends in with all that stuff, looks just as good if not better and I can do all that for $500.00.” It’s still a profitable repair, right? But I’m just taking the easy way out on this thing and I’m thinking I’m still probably gonna blow him out. And he says, “Well, body shop said it was gonna be $2,200.00 plus up there so that sounds good.” I think, “Okay, let’s get started on it you stupid idiot Keith.” I did the same exact thing on the other side.
So if I would have just followed the reactive selling process and asked him about 52 more questions, I would have known exactly what the other price was, what he was hoping to pay, and then got out my pricing guide, showed him how that’s less than half of what he would have paid and he probably would have been fine with that. Now, maybe $500.00 just happened to be his maximum price he’d pay and I happened to land on it right away. That is a possibility, Shane, that I just magically came down to the price that was at the top of his range and he says yes because that’s what he was willing to spend and there really was no more money there. But if I would have gone through the process…
Shane: You don’t know that.
Keith: You don’t know. But if I would have gone through the process and asked him and presented the $900.00 repair cost to him and said, “How does that sound to you?” “Well, I don’t know.” “Well, what part of it are you unsure about? Maybe I can clarify it.” You just keep asking more questions so you can get more answers and the more they talk, the more you know about what’s going on. And with that information you can customize that repair scenario for that particular customer.
So just the way that the guy at the consultancy would have made another 25 or 30 percent more revenue for the same exact process and product by asking me more questions, I may or may not have been able to make more revenue on this job had I just asked more questions and been more interested in his scenario than I was in mine.
So if you wanna put this to work in your selling, what you need to remember to do is leave the pricing guide in your pocket, leave the discussion of price off the table, and just get to talking to the customer and finding out where they’re coming from, what the vehicle means to them, what kind of repair they’re looking for, what kind of price range were they hoping to be in. And even if you can’t get answers to any of these questions, even if they’re clamming up on you – Shane, you’ve had customers like that, right, where they don’t wanna answer a million questions.
Shane: Yes, it’s quite common honestly.
Keith: Yes, or they just make it like pulling teeth, you know? They’re giving you one word answers. As a side note, a combat to the one word answers is to ask open ended questions. Don’t ask yes or no questions.
Keith: You gotta ask questions that necessitate a sentence so you can get them out of their shell a little bit. But if you have a yes/no guy and you just can’t get him – he’s on his track and you can’t get him off, go through with the estimate full retail. Don’t discount anything. Get your light out, get the marker pen out to mark the reflection to see what’s damaged, slow the thing way down to a crawl. Really slow it down. Do the entire estimate process, make the figure, get all of your biases out of the way, make the figure and present it to him and shut the flip up.
Even if it takes two minutes for him to stare at it, just be quiet and listen. And he’s going to – he or she is going to give you something to let you know where you need to go next. But the next guy who speaks is the guy who’s gonna make a concession.
Shane: He’ll lose, yep.
Keith: Let’s talk a little bit about hot glue specific 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 go get some stuff from the craft store, you can get stuff from Walmart. In fact, I used Walmart glue for a long time. Before I really got into the manufacturing side of PDR, Walmart glue was my glue. You know what I thought? All these colored glues are fancy ways to trick me out of 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 that we stock – 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, super glue 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 melt glue. There’s a lot of glues out there that are made for construction and manufacturing that’d make this glue look like it doesn’t work, our 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 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 do a repair that someone else said couldn’t be done, you’ve got to have the best tools.
And glue is so stinking cheap for how much you use. I did a $600.00 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 almost no 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 got the right lights, you got the right tools, you got the right tabs and 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. Check out the website, tabweld.com. You can bop yourself on to your mailing list there. 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.
Shane: I’ve got a quick story, Keith, from this past week. This gentleman pulls up. He’s driving a Prius, it’s raining and it’s got a little black mark inside the dent, okay? It’s pearl white, all right? Rear door on the body line on the Prius. So you’ve got a visual of what it looks like, right? It’s not very deep, it’s got a little crown above it. It’s – honestly it’s 2 inches.
Keith: Upper body line?
Shane: Yes, the upper body line. It’s 2 inches long. The black mark looks worse than anything, right? But at this point I really couldn’t – it was actually more than a gray mark. I look at it and I’m like, “That’ll buff out.” And then I really look at it and I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know if that’s gonna buff out or not.” So I told the gentleman, I said, “Can you give me just a second? Let me run in and grab some compound.” I come out and I rubbed the mark off, right? He’s like, “Oh, that looks better already.” I’m like, “Oh, this is not good.”
So I squeegee it off, right, so he can see it well. I said, “Yeah, you’ve got like a 2 inch dent there.” He goes, “Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s still dented a little bit.” And I’m – these key words are coming out. It looks a lot better, a little bit. I’m like, “Crap.” So I mean, it’s pushing it to get it to 2 inches, but it’s still within that 2 inches on the body line, right? So it should be $250.00 plus 25 percent according to the pricing guide, correct?
Keith: Side note. Every fraction over, I go up to the next inch.
Shane: Yes, but this was a little less than 2 inches. So I went up to 2 inches. Right?
Shane: So it was probably right around one and three quarters, maybe a hair under one and three quarters with all of the crown and everything. But anyway, so I’m at 2 inches, $250.00 plus 25 percent, it should have been, whatever that is, right? I can’t think of what that number is. But immediately I’m like – he’s a Greek guy, too. Okay, don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m like this guy is going to try to hammer me, right?
Keith: Oh, yeah, he’s gonna try to trade you for euros or something.
Shane: Exactly. Not euros, euros. For you people in the south it’s gyros. So anyway, I bring him inside because it’s raining, right? We’re standing out in the rain and I bring him in the shop, in the office. And I said, “That dent right there,” and I immediately conceded. Immediately. Right away, Keith. I went, “That dent right there is gonna cost you $200 and…” I swear I got $200.00 out, he didn’t even let me finish. I was still speaking so I couldn’t stop, right? I mean, I couldn’t pause and then change it to $200,000.00. I said, “$200.00 and when can we do it?” When can we do it? Like [inaudible] [00:54:10]. “All right, let’s walk over here and get you scheduled.”
So, yeah, I know. I could have gotten close to $300.00 or whatever. No, it would have been over $300.00 with the 25 percent because of the body line. I just gave up. I didn’t ask any questions. I immediately thought, “He’s Greek.” And again, I’m not saying that in a bad way. They’re very good negotiators, very good negotiators. And he’s Greek, it’s white, I rub the black mark off, he’s happy with that. He’s halfway there already. He’s not paying for this, you know? And he scheduled, I fixed it, yeah, Thursday. That was Wednesday I believe he brought it in. He goes, “Man I’ve got to get this done as soon as possible.” I was like, “Okay, we’ll do it tomorrow.”
I showed up at the shop, he had been waiting 30 minutes before I got there. “Oh, I was just gonna make sure I was your first guy.” He was one of those guys. Dude, I probably could have got $500.00 out of that, honestly.
Keith: You probably could have. And, you know, a lot of you guys think that you’re dealing with master negotiators when customers are giving you stuff, like he’s saying it looks better, it’s very small and all that. They’re not, generally not, master negotiators. There are some out there, but they’re very few and far between. So just the little bit of stuff that we’re sharing with you on the podcast is enough for you to come out in an advantageous position in probably 80 to 90 percent of the transactions you’re going to have, if not more. So just get the idea that you’re up against an equal opponent out of your mind because you’re almost always in the advantageous position.
Because a lot of guys would say, “Oh, yeah, he said it’s small, he’s ready to pay anything, but he’s setting me up.” Maybe, but probably not. Probably not. I’ve talked about the wince before and that’s an almost an element of what he did. And the wince is when you’re buying something, somebody presents the price to you and you make a physical, audible wince at the figure. You can be as theatric as you want about it all the way to the point of grabbing your face and going, “Oh, man, $200.00.” You know, you can really go over the top with it, but a simple scrunch of your face and a, “Ooh.” And they say that and then you watch somebody immediately start lowering the price and that’s kind of what happened with you.
He said, “Oh, yeah, it’s really small.” So you’re thinking, “He’s already not concerned about it. I’m just gonna back this number…” I’ve done it, too. We’ve all done it. The wince is really popular and I’ve talked about this in the past, too, but it was just the other day that I realized that these two are the same exact closes from the opposite sides of the interaction. And it’s called the orthodontist. And that’s you’re in for braces, right, or your kids are in for braces or whatever, and you’re finally at the point where they’re gonna talk about the prices. And the guy’s – it’s a one-on-one situation.
The guy’s watching you and he’s selling you, right? And you say, “Okay, how much are the braces?” And he says, “Okay, so the braces come out to $2,700.00,” and they watch your reaction. And if you give them the wince, they say, “But we can break it up into 24 installments so it really is only this,” whatever and they sell on that level, right? But if you don’t give them the wince, the braces are $2,700.00 for the top and then $2,700.00 for the bottom, right? That’s the orthodontist. Or they could double the price based on your reaction. It’s kind of a joke, but it’s a legit strategy of watching the reaction and then dictating a response accordingly. And it sounds like a crook, that’s why it’s a joke, but it’s a funny way to remember it.
So in that same reaction they’re giving you the orthodontist, you hit them with the wince, and then you come back and you save 50 percent off the purchase price. So this stuff is really interesting to me. It’s a lot of the stuff we’re gonna cover in the selling and pricing training that Paul Cordon and I are gonna be doing together, which I’m really looking forward to working with him back and forth because we’re both nerds for this stuff. But this is the kind of stuff that’s gonna make you more money yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Learn to practice reactive selling. That’s your homework this week. When you have a customer interaction, I want you to listen, listen, listen, ask more questions, find out where they’re coming from, what they’re expecting and then ask questions about your offer before you actually present it. “If I could do this for your deductible or slightly higher, but save your paint, would that be something you’re interested in? If we could do this and save you from making that insurance claim, but you had to live with a little imperfection, would that be something you’re interested in?” Ask as many questions as you can, almost to the point where they’re gonna say, “Are you gonna give me the price or not?”
You know, if they get to that point, you’ve asked enough questions and you’re gonna have so much information it’s almost impossible to not give a scenario or situation that’s gonna make them happy and tick all their boxes. So I hope you enjoyed those stories and put them to work in your business making more money. Shane, you too, especially. You better get reactive on these Greek Prius drivers.
Shane: Man, I’m sorry. I just…
Keith: You’re supposed to come back with an Odyssey joke.
Shane: I know. I thought about it, but I let it go. On a side note, that repair took me right around, no joke, four and a half minutes.
Keith: You must feel terrible.
Shane: So, yeah, but I could have gotten more. I could have gotten more.
Keith: Likewise, Odyssey repair about an hour and 30. So still, not a bad repair at all for the figures, just fine, but did you leave money on the table? Yeah, both of us probably did. And that’s the point of this show. It’s not to say, “Hey, you’re doing badly.” It’s that you could do better.
Shane: Just think, Keith, you left right around three to six bottles of conditioner on the table.
Keith: That’s enough. All right fellas. We look forward to seeing you guys in January in person.
Keith: If you didn’t make it on there, make sure that you hop onto the website, pdrcollege.com, click the seminar and register to be in line for next year’s seminar so you don’t get bumped to the back of the list again. So again, we love you guys, sorry if you couldn’t make it in. But for those that did, look forward to seeing you. Keep your eyes out for an email, a bunch of emails between now and then so we can get everybody on the same page. But until then…
Shane: Get better.[End of Audio]
Duration: 63 minutes
Your price to repair that damage is probably very very low compared to a conventional repair. Why? Let’s talk about it
I’m Keith Cosentino. He’s Shane Jacks. And this is the PDR College podcast: your weekly source for the highest level training in the dent removal business. When it comes to running your business, your business is our business. We want you to make more money in less time. And we are going to share all of the stuff that we do: the techniques, the tricks, the contacts and the tools that we use in our businesses so that you can use them in yours and make more money doing the same thing. Of course, we want you to do great repairs. We want you to do phenomenal repairs. Better than you’re doing now, if that’s even possible. I know a lot of you guys are at the highest level or seemingly. Some of you are just starting out in your journeys.
We’ve got information for everybody. We’ve got a way to point you – a place to point you – a direction to point you – some tips to give you to level up no matter where you are. Because we’ve been on the journey and we’re still on it. We’re continually growing our companies and trying to get better, make more money, and have more of an impact. You know what’s something that we don’t talk about a lot? The intro’s a little cheeky sometimes; we’re talking about making stacks and stacks of cash. But honestly, I wanna help as many people as possible. If I help enough customers – prospects, turn them into customers – if I help enough people with dents, get them out, make them happy, I’m going to have just about everything I need in life or more – need and want.
You’ve got to have the goal on doing a fantastic job for a hundred billion people. When you can accomplish both those things, you will have all the money you need. You wouldn’t have to worry about it. But a lot of us focus on just the money and that’ll encourage you to do some things that you probably wouldn’t do otherwise. So if you consider your main goal is to help people and do something great, the money will be a byproduct. However, you’re gonna hear me quite often holding your feet to the fire when it comes to the pricing because we gotta keep it right. It’s too easy to give stuff away in this business.
And normally you’d hear Shane piping in here and we have a little banter and have something to say but it’s just me tonight. Just Keith. Shane is off. So enjoy your time off, Mr. Jacks. We are gonna talk a little bit about pricing – one of my most passionate topics.
But before we get to that, I wanna tell you about the software that I use to run my PDR business and that is ReconPro. Recently – well, let me take a step back – I’ve got three full-time technicians that work for me here in addition to myself, pushing dents. And recently, a couple hours away, we had a hailstorm. I’m too busy for me or any of my guys to go and do the work myself or ourselves, so I had to call a contractor in. And I found a fantastic technician who was able to come right on time, get cracking, and we had to figure out how are we going to invoice the cars. Well, pretty darn easy. I just have him download ReconPro into his phone. I go into my back office, I add another device and all of a sudden, he can write invoices and they’re in my computer. Done and done. It’s the future. Computers change your life if you let them or you can stay on paper and be retarded.
So I would suggest getting yourself ReconPro, especially if you’re trying to grow your company. Listen, even if you’re starting out and you are by yourself, there’s no need for you – once a week, once a month – to sit down at your table and go through stacks of paper with a calculator. That’s from the 1800s. There are phones that do magic things now that you don’t understand. But they make the screen show you things that you do understand and that’s what ReconPro does. So quit screwing around and get that done. Check them out online: AutoMobileTechnologies ReconPro. You will thank me later. There’s a lot of competitors to them in the software field. People are popping up with new apps, seems like weekly and I’m not here to tell you any of those are bad because quite honestly, I haven’t used any of them because I’ve been happy with ReconPro.
The thing I know about ReconPro is there’s a team of programmers behind it. It’s not one guy who’s also pushing dents in the daytime. Nothing to take away from guys who do that because, I mean, I have several companies that I run and I also push dents in the daytime. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not easy. If someone needs a question answered, sometimes it’ll go a day or two unanswered because I am busy doing other things. These guys are not. That’s all they do. And they know this is how you’re running your business and they take it seriously. So when you have an issue, they’re all over it. Check them out. See if they’re a good fit for you. It’s not expensive but it will make you a lot of money and save you some money and some heartache.
So pricing. Why am I talking about the pricing? No. 1: its crazy important. Because if you price things wrong, you’re going to work for half price or less. So I don’t want that to happen to any of you, although it will and it does. But if we know the decisions to make and the steps to take, we can position ourselves in such a way that we will maximize our profit for the time we spend on a car. Now the specific part about pricing that I’m going to address today is the discrepancy between a conventional repair and a paintless dent repair. The PDR repair is so easy on the outside looking in. You just push that dent out. That people tend to just leap frog right over what the alternatives are and what they cost and what they entail because they’re like, “Well, if – you know, yeah – if he can’t just pop it out then we’re gonna go this route.”
But the fact of the matter is – and you have to believe this in your heart – the fact of the matter is our repair is infinitely superior to an auto body repair. You longtime guys have heard me spout this off a thousand times, probably multiple thousand times. Because it’s the truth and I’m passionate about it. When you believe in what we do and that there’s no other repair that’s anywhere close to as good, as long as we’re talking about a dent that’s completely repairable – not a five-foot-wide smashed fender or something like that.
We’re talking about a normal dent that’s gonna come out under the right hands. Keep in mind – not something everybody can do. But with the right technician behind the tool, it’s a flawless repair. There’s not even a way to measure how much better that is than having Bondo spread on it and having it repainted to look as close to factory as it can look. It’s just not good. It’s bad. It’s a bad thing to do. Our repair is crazy good. Somehow, the correlation between what we do and what a body shop does — something’s lost in translation and people start looking at them through two different lights.
So you’ve heard Shane and I start talking in the last handful of shows about our Facebook community: the PDR College Podcast Community. So that’s a Facebook group. It’s a private group so you can find it and you can’t just join it but you can request membership. You do that and we’ll approve you and you’ll be in our group there. And eventually – hopefully shortly, we’ll have our own standalone community that’s outside of the Facebook environment where we can really jam it full of video and live streaming chat and stuff like that. So that’s happening.
But for now, where we’re talking, outside of the podcast, is in the Facebook group. I posted a photo there I guess about a week ago and it’s of a 2015 Infiniti QX80. Driver’s door handle got the lock cylinder punched in. Attempted. People did not get into the car but they screwed up the lock. And when you look in the right lighting, you can see the back half of the handle, where the lock cylinder is, was slightly depressed and it created a high ridge at the seam — at the pinch — at the back of the door. Everybody who pushes dents knows what I’m talking about. And if you don’t know, go join our group and check out the video. It’s posted there under me. Well, I asked everyone, “How much should this repair cost?”
And I left the question vague on purpose to see what people wanted to talk about and what they thought it should be and whether they were gonna talk conventional or PDR. And the numbers are all over the map. It’s not an easy dent to figure because you’ve got a lot of RNI involved that you may or may not understand about what it takes. Also, you couldn’t really tell the damage from the video so I wasn’t trying to crucify anybody by their response but I put it up there to see the idea that was going through a lot of people’s heads. And even the highest priced guys were somewhere around $400-500 to fix this car.
Now, the dent is not very big at all but it requires everything to be stripped out, in my opinion, to do it properly. Door handle’s out, fix the metal, fix the pinch and then put it all back together. That’s how I would do it. That’s how I will do it when I do this car and more on that later. But those were the highest guys and some guys were $75-150. You can probably do something decent leaving the handle in by going through the factory plug where they bolt the handle on and just kinda monkeying it out by pushing on the handle itself and pushing around it and then do the pinch line and get it close and never take the thing apart. But this thing has a busted lock cylinder so it’s gonna come apart no matter what. Well, this particular rig is my wife’s car.
So I have access to it and it’s not going anywhere. So I decided to run it down to the body shop around the corner from my house – which is a fantastic shop. For those of you in the U.S., it’s a Caliber Collision. They’re a big chain. They do – generally, do a really high quality repair. This shop and I work together quite a bit so I was comfortable with the number they were gonna put on it. Well, their conventional repair cost was about $1300. Its pearl white so they’re gonna blend the front and rear doors, they’re gonna take everything apart. And the parts for the lock cylinder replacement were around $150 – $144, if I remember right. I don’t have the paperwork here in front of me as I do the show. But $1300. So call it $1200, $1150 for the repair. That’s a far cry from $450 or $500.
Now a lot of guys who are telling me like, “Well, yeah, who’s gonna accept that price of $1000? Who’s gonna accept that?” Well, the insurance company is going to accept it; that’s what they’re paying to have this car fixed. That’s the quote. That’s the number they’re gonna do it for. $1300. The method of the repair is not as important as you think. Now, of course, if you tell an insurance company, “Well, I’m just gonna PDR it for this.” Of course they’re gonna give you a little bit of push back because they’ve been trained and programmed to pay less for a PDR repair. Because as an industry, we’ve accepted that.
But if we didn’t exist – or rather, if we existed – our trade, but nobody knew anything about it. And you came in and blew into this new dimension and said, “Hey, hold the phone here. I’ve got a new space age technology. This repair here? If I can take it, put it through my machine and bring it out, and it has all the original paint and the dent is out, there’s no added material, there’s nothing taken away or added to this car. It’s just removing a dent and it’s perfect. It’s flawless when it comes out. Would you rather do that if it’s the same exact price?” Everybody would say, “Yes.” Why wouldn’t you? It’s better. Everything you can say about it is better.
You would pay the same price. In fact, if time was of a concern to you or if the car was really a big deal to you, you’d probably pay more. But you’d at least pay the same and choose this process. So you have to believe that, in your heart, for you to even get any value from what I’m talking about today. If you don’t believe that, then just turn off the podcast now and play some classic rock. But if you believe that in your heart, that’s the first step. Okay, and then you have to realize what we’re bringing to the party. We’re gonna change the way they value it because we’re gonna show them how. So everybody would pick this better repair. We know that because people are choosing it all the time. They’re just warped about what the cost is gonna be.
So every customer isn’t going to pay the equivalent amount for a PDR repair unless you educate them on what they’re getting and why it costs what it costs. So my wife’s rig – I’m going to make an insurance claim on it just for the purpose of this exercise. I’m going to get paid exactly the same amount the conventional repair is and I’m gonna PDR the thing because I want to and it’s my car and that’s the repair I want. And they’ve agreed to pay the conventional price and I’m gonna convert it to PDR and nobody’s gonna have a problem with that. It’s better. There’s no reason it should be $100 or $50. So the guys that were really high priced or thinking they were really pushing the limit at $500, they’re still looking at the repair as an alternative to making a claim or an alternative to doing a “real repair”.
I know that because otherwise it would be priced just like a conventional repair. Why not? They’re doing a bunch of extra crap and it’s making the car worse. We’re doing less of that crap, but a very specialized new kind of crap that’s more expensive for the minutes or hours put in. So the second example I had of this was a Tesla. I wouldn’t call it light collision damage. It’s heavy collision for PDR type repairs, okay? It’s a right quarter on a Tesla and it’s ugly. I don’t know if I’m gonna fix this car but I believe it’s repairable. But a big project. Probably one of the nastier ones I’ll consider tackling in the last year, next two years hopefully. It’s gross. But I think it’s – I haven’t seen it in person yet but it looks like I can fix it.
I said I wanted to see it in person to be exact but I’m not excited about doing it nor do I want to do it. So I put a big, nasty number on it for repair. I said, “It’s going to be somewhere $3,000-3,500 to fix this quarter panel.” And I said, “Listen, I know it seems like a lot but that’s a huge repair. It’s all aluminum. I gotta cut the back half of this car and spend a couple days on it.” Give myself a couple days, hopefully finish in one. Keep in mind, as of this recording; I have not gotten this job. Haven’t even seen it in person. So we’re just using it as an exercise. So the estimator advisor that I was talking to said, “Whew. Wow. Okay. I’ll let them know.” Then he got back in touch with me and said, “Oh, okay. That’s not that crazy. Customer got a body shop quote just under $15,000.”
So you gotta know what this stuff costs to get fixed. So when you know these numbers — when you know what the cars are costing to repair at a body shop, you can bring yourself into a place where you can stand behind your price knowing the value that you’re bringing. And on that repair, I didn’t know it was gonna be $15K for a quarter panel. That sounds bananas crazy to me. I think they’re gonna cut it off for that price. On aluminum cars, they’re gonna gut this thing and cut the quarter out and cut the glass out of it. Anybody who would want them to “fix it” that way is crazy. I think, even if I can’t get it, I’ll get it close enough and send them to a shop that doesn’t mind putting a little bit of Bondo on a quarter and saving from cutting that quarter off.
But anyways, the body shop prices. They’re the ones that are setting the anchors – the anchor prices, if you wanna look at it this way. And we can riff off of their numbers and we’re gonna be in a much better place. And we’re doing – we’re getting closer to that when we’re using the pricing guide originated by Paul Kordon and variations thereof and other guys using the applications that have built in estimating elements. All to pretty great success. But you really want to consider what the conventional repair cost is gonna be and consider, if it’s a dent you can really fix, the value that you’re bringing. And I want you to forget about the time it takes and forget about all that doesn’t cost you anything. Forget it, forget it, forget it.
Just know that if the insurance companies are gonna pay off that number, if you can come in 10-15 percent cheaper and turn it around faster with a better end product, there’s no reason that shouldn’t fly. And if it doesn’t fly with a particular adjustor, you just gotta find yourself in front of the right person whether it’s the owner of the vehicle or somebody in between. I’m talking a lot about insurance. That’s why I said earlier like most guys, even those high end guys on the QX80 door were looking at our repair as an alternative to filing a claim. And there’s nothing wrong with that, that’s very common. I talked to a lot of customers and I present like that more often than I don’t. But you’re automatically pigeonholing yourself for a deductible-based price anchor when you do that.
You say, “Well, we’re gonna save you some money so you don’t have to make a claim. We’re gonna be X, Y and Z.” Then they’re right back to “Well, gosh, my deductible is only $500.” “Oh well, okay.” Then you have a new conversation. So in a lot of instances, yes, we are filling a need for the customer to get the car fixed without making an insurance claim. But when there’s a lot of damage, there’s a lot of damage. And what I mean by that is there’s no way to make a beat up, nasty dent a five-minute repair that just goes away quickly. You’ve gotta price them right and when you do that, you just can’t chop up a bunch of work into something cheap. And you’ve gotta – the customer has to face the reality that this is a nasty, expensive thing to fix. And I’m gonna make it easier to do and I’m gonna make the repair better, but it’s not gonna turn into a $200 scenario. It’s gonna be $900 or $1000 or $1200 or $1500.
And we’re gonna make it better than it could be and we’re gonna do it cheaper and nobody’s gonna ever tell this car was painted or fixed. But it’s gonna be expensive and we’re willing to help you work with the insurance company and get it handled the way that you want it handled. When you keep centering the repair around the deductible and not making a claim and all that, you’re pigeonholing yourself — taking what could be sometimes a $2000 or $3000 repair, and doing it for $300. Case in point against me is that Tesla repair. If you shrink those numbers down, I did exactly what I just said you shouldn’t do. Say that’s a – let’s just move the decimal point on that whole thing and take it from a $15,000 repair to a $1500 repair. Right? So now we have a $3500 estimate that I gave and move that down to a $350 estimate.
So it’s a $1500 body shop repair for $350. That’s not that great. You could do a lot better. But the numbers are so big on that one that you tend to overlook them and quite honestly, that body shop quote of $15K to replace a quarter is way off the charts bananas. That’s an outlier compared to a normal cut the quarter off price of a couple grand or something like that. But I was pricing that job for the amount of work that it was gonna take. That’s all – I didn’t care – I didn’t know how much the quarter was gonna cost and didn’t really care. I just needed to price that sucker nasty because I really don’t want to do it. But if they said, “Yes,” I need to make sure I’m compensated fair enough that I can spend the time it needs to be done to the extent of my abilities.
I guess what I’m saying here is remember not to sell yourself short on what we can do. Now I’m saying all this assuming that you’ve got expert level quality. I know a lot of you guys don’t and that’s not a shot at you because everybody is where they are in their journey. And if you’re not there, you need to keep practicing and pushing yourself on every single repair and trying to make it perfect because there’s guys out there that are trying to eat your lunch, man. They are practicing hard and they’ve got all of the newest tools, they’ve got Black Plague tabs, they’ve got Tab Weld Glue, they’ve got all the interchangeable tip tools, they’ve got LED lighting and they’re coming out to rip your face off.
So you better be making everything as perfect as you can. And when you get to that level and when you’re consistently turning out nice work that people are impressed by and you’re starting to hear stuff about “You’re the best guy I’ve ever seen and I didn’t think that was gonna be possible.” Then you know you’re swinging in the big leagues and it’s time to demand the body shop equivalent pricing. So that’s what I want you to do. I want you to consider the big picture with some of these repairs especially in a body shop environment, or a direct to insurance environment, where you’re going to be dealing with deeper pockets. Let’s make sure you find out what they’re getting first. What kind of number they put on it. Then riff off of that.
Let’s make a good living doing this stuff, guys. It’s hard to do. There’s very few guys that can do what we do. When I say “we,” I mean you and I – the guys who are listening to a dent removal podcast. You’re a nerd for this stuff, man, whether you want to admit it or not. If I’m in your ears right now, you’re a dent repair nerd and there’s very few guys in your town around you right now that are on the same level. They don’t care. They’re listening to classic rock. They’re listening to a hip-hop station and as soon as 5:00 p.m. rolls around, they’re not a dent repair guy anymore. But you are in this trade all day and all night and you’re doing what it takes to get better, so I know your repairs are on another level. And if you’re that kinda guy, let’s change the subject a little bit and talk about the advanced skill seminar.
Mr. Paul Kordon that I referenced earlier – he and I are going to be spending an entire day on this topic. We’ll talk about a lot of other things from body language and building rapport with a customer quickly, questions that you’re going to ask your prospects to help lead them and you in the right direction and how to close sales. He and I both close at a very high percentage, to the point that some people think that we’re lying. But it’s because we’ve paid attention over the years. And he and I are going to be able to share all that stuff with you in one full day. So now that’s one day of our seminar — just pricing, selling and everything but the physical repairs. If the seminar was just that, I’d be confident putting it together because I know it would teach a lot of guys how to make more money by closing sales and pricing things properly, of course. But it isn’t just that, there’s two more days. Its three days long.
We’ve got, of course, Shane Jacks, the Dent Olympic winner and the guy who’s basically brought blending from the myth status to “household name” in dent removal. He’s gonna be teaching blending. He’s gonna be teaching his sharp tool techniques that he used to win the Dent Olympics right off the bat. And plenty of other things that make him just an absolute beast when it comes to fixing metal and making big, big money doing it. In addition to Shane, we’ve got Sal Contreras, the current defending Dent Olympic champion. Two Dent Olympic winners in the same place, the same time. Unbelievable. Sal has such a unique style of pushing dents with his big, wide directional pushes and his Dent Dial and everything in between. He’s in a league of his own when it comes to the big, nasty smashes and he’s gonna be there teaching his stuff.
Brice Kelly, the guy from Florida a couple episodes ago — kind of a hybrid between the two technicians, I would say. He’s a lot of bare steel stuff but also a lot of Dent Dial techniques, a lot of glue pulling. He’s doing big smashes to a ridiculously high level as well. All of these guys in the same place teaching everything they know. This has never happened anywhere else. So if you’re a dent nerd and you’re trying to get where these guys are — and beyond because everybody’s on a journey. There’s nothing saying that you couldn’t pass any one of us up: myself, Shane, Sal, Brice, Paul. All of us are killing it both at work and personally, but there’s nothing to say that you couldn’t be the next guy to blow our doors off because everybody’s innovating. But to get to that place, you’ve got to at least get to where we are and then pass us there.
And there’s never been another scenario that I’m aware of, where you’ve got this much talent in this tiny little industry in one place at the same time all there for you to learn it. Really unique and I’m excited to be able to put this whole thing together, Shane and I. And trust me, it’s been a lot of work getting this thing – every little detail ironed out, put together in such a way that we maximize your time there, and makes it fun. It’s really gonna be exciting. We had a great time last year. If you’re interested in that, it’s coming up in January in Orlando, Florida. It’s January 26th, 27th, and 28th. That’s a Tuesday, Wednesday, and a Thursday at the same venue as the Mobile Tech Expo, the Caribe Royale.
Now apparently we haven’t been very clear because people keep asking us, “Is it sold out? When does it open?” It is not sold out because we have not sold one spot for it yet. We are still finalizing a couple of key details that will dictate how and when we release the spots – when we start selling spots. But if you want to be on the list, just pop over to PDRCollege.com and make sure you click the seminar button and then there’s a spot to add yourself to the email list. And what we do is we send out emails in order of people on the list. So the first 50 or 100 guys on the list will get the first email. They’ll get an opportunity to buy their spots and then we go on to group two, three, four, five, etc. – if we get that far. And as soon as we sell out, we sell out because we want to keep it a relatively intimate group.
We don’t need 5,000 people there – would be a different experience. We want everybody to be able to talk with the trainers, everyone to be able to participate, ask questions, and get to know everyone else there. It’s a little family so we are really looking forward to that. I’m excited, Shane’s excited, everybody participating is excited about it. And some of you guys are even more excited than me because you ask me every week: “Is it time yet? Is it time? Let us buy our ticket.” I’m so pumped that you guys are excited. And we’re excited too but we can’t take money until we have everything all set up and we know exactly what you’re going to be doing for every minute that you’re there. So let us just finish the last couple stitches then we’re gonna present everything out to you. So man if you’re the dent nerd, that’s the spot for you.
So think about your pricing when you’re going out this week and you’re looking at some big stuff. Just remembering to slow your estimate process down and ask a bunch of questions, get to know what’s going on with the car, what their thought process is, what they want. When you do that, you’re gonna know where you need to be for each job. It’s all gonna be variable; it’s never gonna be the same. But when you get to that point where it’s a job that they are gonna have an insurance claim — or they’re ultimately concerned about the quality – that’s their main component – there’s no reason you need to be less than a body shop repair. And those body shop figures are high. $1300 to fix a dent that even the most expensive guys were doing for $500. So keep that stuff in mind.
No matter how high you are, you’re probably still selling yourself short just a little bit. And I want you to capture as much money as you can for the hard-earned skills that you have. It’s not easy to do this stuff. You spent a lot of years trying to get good and busting your face against panels and busting your knuckles up just trying to get to the next level and you finally got there. Let’s get paid for it now because we’re doing great things for customers and great things for their vehicles and it’s worth it. It is worth it.
Speaking of worth it, it wouldn’t be a PDR College podcast episode without me telling you about Black Plague tabs. It’s crazy to me but there are still a few guys who are not using my tabs. Why not? People are rabid fans. Black Plague Smooth Series tabs with the smooth pulling face will hook up harder and pull everything better than anything else you’re using. When you combine it with Tab Weld Glue — check that out at TabWeld.com or at BlackPlaguePDR.com or probably at just about every other tool site you shop at, they should have Tab Weld. The glue is stupid good. When you put that with Black Plague tabs, there’s some magic that’s happening.
And there’s recently been some knockoffs to the Black Plague tabs. I’ll take that as a compliment, that someone thinks they’re going to quickly copy my design and everything’s going to be better. Good luck with that. It’s not always better. One of the things about the round Smooth Series tabs is the face and the face is the piece that glues to the dent itself – the round flat area if you’re talking about a round tab. The face is very thin on a couple of the tabs. That is not an accident. You can make that thing three miles thick like a Titan tab if you want – that’s a completely different pull, completely different.
Those have a thin face for a purpose and it is for allowing the tab to flex and snapping up the center of a deep dent. You don’t want to pull the whole thing from shoulder to shoulder; you’re gonna make a volcano out of it. That is not the right way to get a dent out. It’s not the way you’d work it. You wouldn’t get under that dent with the same big old blocky tip and push it up; it doesn’t work like that. You want to get in the center and move it and that’s what those tabs are engineered to do. So once you realize that – and the only one that doesn’t do that, by the way, is the 30mm, the BP30. It’s like a half dollar sized tab. It’s very thick and it doesn’t bend and if you wanna experiment, take that 30mm tab and grind the edges down until it’s small — 12 or 13 or even 9 or 10 mm and you’ll see, it pulls crazy but it’s not the same.
It’s not the snap and it’s not the same pull in the center of the dent. So just because someone knocks me off and makes the same exact tab in a different color with a super thick face, there’s more to it than that, guys. There’s more to it than that. You know, you can make something that looks the same out of Play-Doh but it’s not gonna function the same. And there are certain times when those style tabs will work better – when you want a really monster pull on a stiff panel and on a relatively deep dent but without a pit in it. Sure, that’s gonna be what you want. In fact, I keep a couple of turned down BP30s because it has that thick face but I don’t use them that often. There’s a couple times a year when I’ll choose to use them – after I’ve used the others and they don’t work. But you can’t just look at something and say, “I’m gonna make the same thing and change a little bit and it’s gonna be better.” Unless you’ve got some experience.
So just keep in mind, when you see knockoffs of my tabs, no one is stacking up 500 people deep somewhere else to tell you how great those are. But they are gonna tell you how great ours are and not because I’m some mastermind. It’s because they work and they make you more money. That’s the point of it. Less pulls, more money. It’s not rocket science, but it is dent removal. BlackPlaguePDR.com. If you don’t have them, you’re dragging your feet. Someone’s gonna come behind you and do the job that you didn’t think was possible. So let’s make sure, for the relatively nonexistent price point of a set of tabs, you’re in business. You’re now capable of doing dents that someone else says are impossible. Hard to beat.
I appreciate you spending this morning with us here on the PDR College. I apologize it was just me by myself. I’m a little dry when I don’t have Shane to bounce back and forth off of and make some jokes but I enjoyed talking to you today. You got a lot of places you can be and you chose to be here with me, so thank you. PDRCollege.com is the site if you want to go and look at any of the stuff I’m talking about here on the show. You find links to it there. Until next time, get better.[End of Audio]
Duration: 38 minutes