Keith & Shane in Vegas: Retails Lessons from the Strip
In this episode we expose some errors in the retail experience during a trip we were on in Phoenix and Las Vegas for the 2015 SEMA show.
Some major retail lessons are in this show. Very important if you are looking to build your retail PDR business and the experience your customer has.
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Keith Cosentino: I’m Keith Cosentino, he’s Shane Jacks, and this is the PDR College podcast where we are coming to you every week with fantastic, new, useable information for your paintless dent repair business. That is all we are talking about here on the PDR College. We are dedicated to success in PDR. Everything from marketing to tools to business strategy and everything in between. We do it to make stacks and stacks of cash. Shane, tell these boys why you need to make so much cash.
Shane Jacks: Because Vegas. Vegas, baby.
Keith Cosentino: That’s where we are.
Shane Jacks: Yes, we are. I’m staring out the hotel window, I’m staring at an ugly mug to the right and a hotel window to the left, it’s pretty mountains, and that’s the best part about Vegas.
Keith Cosentino: Yes, there’s also a race track and an airport right in our view, because we are able to pick probably the nicest room on this corner facing the airport, maybe. But the cheapest one.
Shane Jacks: Yes, it still wasn’t that cheap. It’s a nice hotel.
Keith Cosentino: I kid, but we don’t mind spending a little money when we travel.
Shane Jacks: So you might wonder what the heck are we doing spending time in a room together.
Keith Cosentino: It is the SEMA show. So we decided we’ve got to be out here for SEMA to see what’s new and see what’s going on.
Shane Jacks: Yeah Keith, we’re out here at SEMA. We had planned on coming out here to begin with, and then plans changed just a bit. Right before this, we were just across the state, I guess, and we’re doing some work to get the community ready.
Keith Cosentino: Yes, sir. But we are in studio. It sounds terrible in here, so apologize. It’s like we’re in an office. The hotel is really modern. They’ve got all kinds of really cool furniture with hard surfaces that all my kids would bust their foreheads open on. I walk in here and think, “Oh, this looks nice. They’re all going to get hurt on this stuff.” Thankfully they’re not here.
Shane Jacks: It’s a marble, angular metal, glass, all that good stuff.
Keith Cosentino: In retrospect, we didn’t need the entire top floor. It’s a total waste of space.
Shane Jacks: Yeah. It’s nice to have though. We poured some water out in the hallway and turned the air down real low. We’ve got an ice skating rink out there now. Invite some Vegas showgirls up.
Keith Cosentino: No we didn’t.
Shane Jacks: Keith is really quick to point that out. I think his wife may listen to these every now and then.
Keith Cosentino: We certainly did not. Although I’ve never really been here. I’ve been here once, and I cannot believe how everything is Vegas showgirls, topless this, but we saw the sign the other day. They have such clarity in advertising here. There was an advertisement for a topless show, and it was a sexy topless review. I thought, “Man, that’s a good thing they clarified that for me, that it’s going to be the sexy kind of the topless review. I could have gone in there thinking it was going to be more of a medical or experimental show.” It’s the sexy kind, so we got that straightened out.
Shane Jacks: It’s really a, Keith, you and I have talked about it’s a terrible city.
Keith Cosentino: It’s gross.
Shane Jacks: It is gross. I’ve lost nothing here. So we don’t gamble, we don’t drink, and –
Keith Cosentino: We do not go to any of the reviews.
Shane Jacks: No, we did not. And everybody here, it’s kind of, we were talking about that also. They kind of get ingrained into the culture here, I guess, when they get out here. They become what this is, and it’s kind of gross, honestly.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, it’ll swallow you up. Like you were asking me, “Is it required that the women dress like hoochie mamas when they go out on the strip at night?”
Shane Jacks: I think it is a requirement. It is a requirement.
Keith Cosentino: You’ve got to look good.
Shane Jacks: Ish.
Keith Cosentino: The best you can.
Shane Jacks: The best you possibly can.
Keith Cosentino: Right. So in our travel out here, we’ve had some great service and some questionable service and we’ve seen some processes, and some are great and some are terrible, so we thought, we’re always looking at different business strategies, business styles, so we look at these processes and think, “How can I keep from making the same mistake at my company and how can I learn from this expertise that I’m experiencing and adapt it into my company?” So we’ve got a couple of scenarios where companies crap the bed, and some where they knocked it out of the park. The first one, Shane, is probably your favorite. We’d been traveling all night.
Shane Jacks: Yes, night before last. What was that, Tuesday night that we got in?
Keith Cosentino: Driving in circles, because I thought this place was one street, the strip, and everything was either on the left or right. Turns out it’s like a bowl of spaghetti all over the place, with different roads that some go here, some go there, there’s a freeway that parallels the strip, and then it also turns around. So we were all over the place, and the navigation was not correct. So we followed it into the back of a parking lot, like a receiving parking lot of our hotel, and we couldn’t just go around the front. We had to go around four blocks. So we were spun. It was like midnight. We finally get to the hotel and it’s a 50 story parking structure, and I said, “You know what? I’m worried about the Lambo anyways. Let’s just valet this thing.” So we pull in and then tell us what happened, Shane.
Shane Jacks: We pull in. Now mind you, we’re 1,000 yards from the airport, Keith. We can see everything going on there, and it took us, what, 30, 45 minutes to finally get into this place? So we pull up a little bit frazzled after the long day, and flying from the east coast all the way out here is not fun, even when you are in first class on the leer jet. That doesn’t even make any sense. It’s all first class on that thing. All right, so flying all the way out here, kind of, we were a little bit frazzled. We got in here, Keith says, “Let’s valet this thing.” We pull up to a sign that says –
Keith Cosentino: “Wait here.” “Valet, wait here.”
Shane Jacks: Typically, that would mean that you wait right there for the valet to show up, take your keys from you, introduce himself, greet you, “Welcome to the penthouse suite of Trump Tower,” whatever. So that’s what you expect. That’s what it said. That was our direction. That is not exactly how it goes up here at midnight at this hotel.
Keith Cosentino: No. So we waited there for what seemed like 15 minutes. I’m sure it wasn’t that long.
Shane Jacks: It was three minutes, tops. Maybe four.
Keith Cosentino: But we were ready to valet, and the sign just said, “Valet, wait here.” So like idiots, we’re just sitting there waiting. And it’s Vegas, so even though it’s midnight or 1:00 a.m., there’s still people all over the place, but not valets. Nobody came out to tell us, “Hey, you probably don’t need to be waiting here,” or to greet us and take our car, or to engage with us in any fashion. We looked over to the left. We could see there was a valet office with a live person inside.
Shane Jacks: Staring at us.
Keith Cosentino: Or one of the uncanny Vegas wax figures, I guess if it’d been in there.
Shane Jacks: Only if it had animatronics on it. He moved. Not much, but he did move.
Keith Cosentino: So he’s real probably. Yeah, but he never came out. In fact, we had to drive near that office to get out, and he didn’t flag us down. I have a feeling he saw us sitting there.
Shane Jacks: Oh I know he did. There’s no way he didn’t.
Keith Cosentino: And maybe he was prohibited from leaving his booth at that hour. Who knows.
Shane Jacks: But what did I immediately think, and probably yourself also Keith? Driving by him, I’m thinking, “Pecker-head could have come out and said something.” He may have, that may have been his post and his responsibility that he can’t leave that.
Keith Cosentino: It’s possible.
Shane Jacks: But there was no instruction for us to do X. What was instructed of us was, “Wait here.”
Keith Cosentino: “Valet, wait here,” which we did. So a simple instruction on when to wait, what times they’re opened and closed, would be easy peasy. We would have known what to do and how to change our behavior. Or if someone came out to greet us and tell us, “Hey listen, I know it says wait here, but we’re closed.” Nothing. No feedback. So why does this matter to a PDR company? Well what happens next is we park the car ourselves and next time we come back with the car I said, “Do you want to valet it?” And what’d you say?
Shane Jacks: I said, “Heck no.” My actual words were, “They done pissed me off.”
Keith Cosentino: Shane was done. I got 1,500 extra steps because Shane was mad.
Shane Jacks: It’s a principle thing. You should know me by now. Everybody listening should know me by now. My feet could have fallen completely off walking back.
Keith Cosentino: So a lot of your customers are principle guys too, and when they look at your hours on your website and they call you up and they get voicemail, they are waiting in that parking lot with nobody coming to greet them. Some of them don’t leave a message, because they don’t understand why you didn’t pick up the phone. You must not want their business. They’re pissed.
Shane Jacks: Now I have a personal, actually it’s still ongoing Keith, I shared with you before we started the podcast this morning, which is on my office door, I have the hours of operation.
Keith Cosentino: Facing the exterior?
Shane Jacks: Facing the exterior, correct. I have hours of operation and the hours are there. I do not have a sign up there if we go to lunch, okay? And that happens sometimes, probably more than you want it to, Keith.
Keith Cosentino: Back this thing up. What is this lunch business? We’ll tackle that later.
Shane Jacks: Yeah. We go to lunch, we’ll take off and go grab a three-minute lunch, and someone will show up at that time, and of course I’m going to get the phone call, because they either called me before – the phone number is also on the door. I will say this. If we are not here, we are probably very close by servicing another customer. Give us a call and we can head back. 99 percent of the time, it is as soon as I have left or I’m three minutes down the road and then I have to tell them I will be back in X amount of minutes or hours or days. So I need to rectify that, throw a magnet on the door or whatever if I do go to lunch, “Be back in 30 minutes.” I love those signs by the way, because it’s 30 minutes from any time. You can stay gone as long as you want as long as someone doesn’t pull up right behind you.
Keith Cosentino: “Hi, what time are you going to be back?” “What time did you see the sign?”
Shane Jacks: Exactly.
Keith Cosentino: “Did you just see it, or have you waited for 10 minutes? You waited for 10 minutes? I’ll be back in 20.”
Shane Jacks: Yeah. So I need to rectify that situation, because there’s not a guide there for people to understand what is going on or what they need to do at this point. I do have, “Call me. I am probably close by,” so that does kind of rectify the situation.
Keith Cosentino: It says it on your door?
Shane Jacks: Yes, on the hours of operation. I say, “If we are not here, give us a call. We’re probably close by.” So we don’t have to run to the body shop or be accurate to any dealer. We do go away for two or three hours at a time sometimes. It’s rare, but it does happen.
Keith Cosentino: So at least you have some instruction, like valet, wait here.
Shane Jacks: “If we are not here, walk over to the valet.”
Keith Cosentino: “If no one is present, see both.”
Shane Jacks: Right. Nothing.
Keith Cosentino: Done deal, and we would have just walked over to the booth, given him our keys, and we would have been on our way.
Shane Jacks: And you wouldn’t have had to walk last night.
Keith Cosentino: And I would not have been upset.
Shane Jacks: Exactly, because there’s instruction there.
Keith Cosentino: I would have thought, “Ah, it’s midnight.”
Shane Jacks: So the opposite of that, what happened, same hotel. The funny thing is both of our examples, positive and negative, Keith, are at the same establishment. So the positive in one, there was a huge, the negative in this one was at this hotel, and our positive experience was also at this hotel.
Keith Cosentino: And we joke around a little bit about opulence and how we has it and all that kind of stuff, but this is a really nice hotel. We purposely decided to stay at a nice hotel, because I’ve stayed at crappy hotels and I hate it. I can’t stand it. My house is nice, and I want to stay in a place as nice or nicer when I travel. So this is a nice hotel. So one of the nicer hotels in Las Vegas. So they have, you would think, everything dialed, processes for everything, well-trained personnel, and for the most part, all those things have been true. There’s just been a couple of things, like the valet, which we’ve been down there during regular business hours now and it’s humming. It’s running, there are people all over the place, and they’ve got a well-oiled machine in place. But in the middle of the night, it’s probably just not that popular a thing to do.
They don’t have a system for that, or maybe some dude was in the crapper, right? Who knows. But the lack of information, the lack of communication is what blows everybody up. I don’t think we talked about this last time, but, you know sometimes you’ve seen those text logs that people put online that are funny, like images of people texting their moms and stuff like that? And sometimes you see the one where, pardon me, someone is texting like a loved one, and they get no response, so then they text something else back and no response, and there’s never a response, but they just dig themselves deeper and deeper into this argument and at the end they’re getting divorced and they’re keeping the kids and all this stuff, and then it’s like, “Oh hey, sorry, phone was in the car.” But when we have no response, no communication, we build up our own ideas about what the heck is being communicated to us.
Shane Jacks: We create our own reality, and I created a reality the night before last over no valet being there. My reality was, “This place sucks.” So we’re walking, like Keith said, we recover greatly.
Keith Cosentino: And we really did though, we really did thing, “This is going to suck.” Because it’s a parking garage. We had chicken and waffles for breakfast, which was awesome.
Shane Jacks: Yes, it was. That’s a new delicacy for Keith.
Keith Cosentino: So this was an expensive, nice hotel, right? So we had never seen it, we’ve never been here, so we’re expecting kind of a grand lobby entrance where you pull up into a circle drive and people greet you.
Shane Jacks: We could have done that, right?
Keith Cosentino: No.
Shane Jacks: No, no, no, no, that was the valet. It was the parking garage.
Keith Cosentino: Right, that doesn’t exist here. It’s just kind of a new, hip place and they don’t have that old school opulent circle entry that I was expecting. So we’re immediately thinking we’re in this dirty parking garage, and we’re thinking, “Crap, dude, this is not a nice hotel,” you know? “This is not going to be – there’s no white-glove service. There’s nobody here helping us. I don’t even know what door to walk in.” There’s some doors that are wooden, as opposed to all the others that are steel, so I figure, “Okay, that’s probably where we go in.”
Shane Jacks: But we know now that it’s just a product of Vegas. You have no idea where anything is, how to get anywhere, it’s pretty much a free for all. We walked around last night like idiots, completely turned around, walked through a mall, walked ¾ of a mile away from where we needed to be.
Keith Cosentino: And I’m pretty astute when it comes to direction.
Shane Jacks: Oh I’m horrible,
Keith Cosentino: I’m usually pretty good, but I crapped the bed big time this place. But anyways, that’s how it is here. There’s doors in places where you don’t think they should be, because everything’s on top of everything else. It’s like a really tight little city. So we park the car and go through the entrance. Well once you go through this entrance, you’re transported to a different universe. Really nice place. Everything’s posh, everything’s clean, it’s like you stepped out of one world and into another. They just needed to carry that out a little bit. But since they didn’t communicate with us out there in the parking garage, we think that’s what’s going on on the inside. So the reason we’re spending so much time talking about this is because that’s what you’re doing in your biz when you aren’t nailing down those first few steps of communication with your retail customers, and I know not everybody does a lot of retail so you don’t really have a system, but you build the system first and then hopefully, if you keep listening to us and do all the other stuff we said to do, you will have the customers, they will be calling, and you’ve got a way to handle them.
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Keith Cosentino: So you were saying that the good experience that we had was when I called for room service. So normally when you’re answering the phone, you’ve got the thing you say, probably, and Shane you mentioned to me, you’ve got a body shop back home. What do they say when they pick up the phone?
Shane Jacks: “Body shop.”
Keith Cosentino: Now believe it or not, that isn’t the worst thing they could say, because at least they are saying –
Shane Jacks: At least they’re saying this is a body shop. Whether you’ve contacted the correct one or not, you have reached a body shop.
Keith Cosentino: You reached a body shop, and if you need auto body –
Shane Jacks: The worst thing is, “Yeah,” or, “Yellow.”
Keith Cosentino: But I think what’s worse than yeah is someone who had the vision of a system and said, “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to identify yourself, identify the business, you’re going to tell them it’s a great day, you’re going to ask them if there’s anything you can do for them, and then you’re going to complete your statement.” So the girl that answers the phone 900 times a day does her own remix and it goes from, “Hello and thank you for calling the Vegas hotel. I’m Diane. How can I help you today?” “Hello thank you for calling Vegas hotel this is Diane how can I help you?” That’s what it turns into, and it just sounds, it’s mumbo jumbo on the phone, so you can’t do that. So it’s somewhere between that perfect ideal and what you’re really going to do is where you’re going to end up, and that’s what I want you to figure out.
Make sure you just cover a couple of bases, let them know that they’ve reached the right entity, that it is a dent removal company, who you are, and that’s it. You don’t really need to say, “How can I help you?” You can if you want to, but I think that’s just a given that you’re there to help them, as long as you have the attitude that sounds like it. “Dent repair, this is Shane,” is not the same as what you’d really say on the phone. Okay?
Shane Jacks: I do run it together. When you answer the phone 100 times a day, I’m pretty guilty. I’m pretty transparent with you, Keith, and pretty much with everybody. “Dent Pro, this is Shane.” That does run together. I am in the south, so I’m going to write it off. Everybody kind of expects that. It’s not the truth, but that’s what I’m going to say. We have, I was sharing to you, Keith, abut the Acura and Infinity dealership back home, the girl picks up and this is her intro, or her, the way she answers the phone, the way she addresses people is, “Acura and Infinity, how may I direct your call?” It is that way every single time. I put it on speaker a lot so Greg can hear it, you know, but it’s funny to me but it is the same every single time, it is clear, and I know what I’m getting. So you had that experience today with the, let’s go through what happened on the phone this morning.
Keith Cosentino: So I called the room service, and she says, “Opulent Vegas Hotel room service. This is Jan speaking. What can I do for you today?” Instantly I knew exactly that I got the right person, she’s there to help me, and I was happy to be on that phone call. We had a great conversation, and while she was saying it I thought it was painfully slow, to be honest with you. And she sounded like an older gal, so I thought, “She’s going to speak so slowly through this conversation that I am going to end up eating my socks instead of the breakfast that I want.” But as soon as I spoke in my cadence back to her, she picked the pace right up and held pace with me. We had a great conversation. I ordered, I made a couple of jokes, and they brought the breakfast up here.
Shane Jacks: She didn’t see him? Let’s go ahead and –
Keith Cosentino: She’s an experienced woman too, just by speaking to her. She knows quality when she hears it.
Shane Jacks: She probably knows it when she sees it also. You’ve got to weigh all the pros and cons here.
Keith Cosentino: Sharon is going to break up with me, is what you’re saying.
Shane Jacks: You’re done already.
Keith Cosentino: Done before I ever started. But it’s very simple. She just slowed it down, it was clear and concise, and I knew what to do. She put me in a place where I knew how to interact with her, and I didn’t have to ask a bunch of questions, “Did I get the right place?” If you’ve ever stayed at a hotel and tried to call, nine times out of 10, I’ll say five times out of 10, you try to dial what you’re looking for and you get somebody else and they say, “Hang on I’ll transfer you.” But you’ve already gone through, “I’d like to order something something,” and they go, “Okay, hang on,” transfer you, and sometimes when they say that, “Hang on transfer.” You know, they just blow you out because they’re on the phone too much. But these levels of communication can be glossed over if you’re not the boss, if you’re not the owner of the company, you just work there, you don’t care. But most of you guys, it’s your company. You work there, then that’s it. You’re on the phone.
So you’ve got to care. There’s no one else there. So slow down, identify yourself, identify what the company does, and listen to what they say. And at that point you can take a note from Jan, and I told you to do this as well. You’re going to try to match their pace when they’re speaking. If they talk fast, talk a little faster with them. If they talk slow, slow yourself down. If you’re a fast talker that’s hard, because you don’t realize you talk so quickly. I can be guilty of that myself. I can kind of talk quickly when I have clarity in my mind and know what I want to talk about. But when someone talks slow, you have to consciously slow down so they can understand what you’re talking about. Because you’re not going to jive with them, you’re not going to resonate with them, if you’re, “Boom boom boom boom boom,” and they are slow, turtle speed talkers.
So that’s one example of our trip, good versus bad service. You can apply it in your business, but there was one more, wasn’t there, Shane?
Shane Jacks: Yes, there was Keith and this was yesterday for lunch/dinner, whatever that was that we had at 4:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon.
Keith Cosentino: You want to start with the crappy one in the airport?
Shane Jacks: Oh yeah. I’m sorry. So there was a hostess in the airport, the Phoenix airport, when we were traveling from Phoenix to Vegas here, and we went into a restaurant. Nice place for an airport restaurant. So the hostess up front, we see her.
Keith Cosentino: At first, she’s not at her desk or her post or whatever you want to call it. It’s her pillar. And we’re just kind of sitting there. We don’t know if they’re open or closed, and then two gals kind of walk up from the side.
Shane Jacks: They were both dressed in something different. One really doesn’t even look like she’s working. She’s got a striped blue and white shirt on, I believe it was, and it was kind of confusing and they kind of looked at each other, and then one of them finally spoke.
Keith Cosentino: I half expected both of them to come out and say, “No, they’re closed. They didn’t seat us either.”
Shane Jacks: But that wasn’t the case. They finally, and there was very little, “Just two of you?” If I remember correctly, she just asked, and then just walked away, or did we follow her right away?
Keith Cosentino: No we didn’t. She kind of came around and said, “Okay, come on over here.”
Shane Jacks: Yeah, and then that was confusing. I’m used to it and I kind of pass it by, Keith. I really don’t even pay that much attention to it, but you’re an attention to detail freak on stuff like that and you are constantly analyzing and criticizing the good and the bad in those situation.
Keith Cosentino: I’m praising the good and criticizing the bad.
Shane Jacks: There we go. There’s a good example right there. You guys knew what I was meaning. I tend to over – I do, Keith, I think you found out whenever something’s good out here I say something about it being good, but when it’s bad I just kind of gloss over and let it go and don’t really think about it. Maybe that’s because that’s what I am. I want to be good, so I notice it when it’s good. When it’s bad, I don’t want to talk about it.
Keith Cosentino: So there was confusion, and we were talking about, when we sat down, what could they have done? What kind of process could they have put in place to give clarity and start that feeling? Because we were talking about the product of a restaurant. It’s not the food, it’s the feeling. If it was just the food, everybody would eat at McDonald’s because it’s fast and it’s easy. But it’s not about the food, it’s about the feeling, how you feel when you’re eating this nice food. Why are they so opulent? Why do they spend $1 million designing the interior of a restaurant with fireplaces that float to the sky and all this kind of stuff? It’s because it’s not about the food, it’s about the feeling. Right? You can’t have an awesome feeling and they don’t actually serve you the food, because you’re going to go hungry.
Shane Jacks: It’s touching your emotions, and we had a candid discussion yesterday about emotions and how they affect your onset on many different subject. But it’s touching an emotion when they build stuff like that.
Keith Cosentino: And you’re doing the same in your PDR company. As much as you think you’re just fixing dents, you’re not, because the dents don’t really need to be fixed. It’s just because somebody wants them fixed. So all you’re doing is satisfying their emotions when you’re carrying out a repair. Now wholesale guys do it different because they just market a car different. That’s more of a binary decision for them, but there’s still an element of emotional connection that they’ve got to have with the feeling that the car that’s going to transfer to the buyer, and as a representation of them as managers. But on the topic of this restaurant, if she would have just had a system of greeting that someone had told her, “Here is exactly how you greet a customer. You stand here behind this pillar, not over there.”
Side note. My wife likes this store called Nordstrom. I don’t know if they’re all over the country, but in your town if there’s nothing called Nordstrom, it’s whatever is the highest end big box retailer that would be in a mall. So for us it’s Nordstrom. I don’t know what the other ones are in other parts of the country.
Shane Jacks: They don’t shop there.
Keith Cosentino: Everybody has that market; the position is occupied in every market. I just don’t know if it’s a Nordstrom. But at Nordstrom, when you buy something, they have the items in a bag and they have to walk around the side of the counter to you and hand you the bag in your hand. They can’t hand it over the counter. And it kind of kills me, because it takes longer, but they will not hand you that bag over the counter. They can probably be fired because I’ve never seen somebody break protocol. They walk around, hand it to you, hand to hand, and look you in the eye and say, “Thank you for shopping,” or whatever they say. But it’s a protocol that somebody had a manager meeting and said, “Okay, here is how we deliver bags. No questions. You don’t do it, you go work somewhere else.”
So in this restaurant if you were to put a system in place and say, “Okay, here is how you will greet a customer. You will stand here in this box behind your pillar. Not on the side. Don’t come all creepy from the side over there, because later on we saw her using a mop bucket and mopping up the restaurant floor. And I said, “Man, plus one for being a go-getter, do it all employee. Negative one for the management when your hostess is mopping the floor. It’s not cool, and does not convey,” granted, we’re in an airport restaurant, so there’s some rules that are just going to be broken. Like they have an arm band with a nametag on it because that’s the airport protocol. You have to identify yourself. But she didn’t have that, so she came from the side and kind of freaked us out. We didn’t know who she was. We didn’t know if they were open or close.
And then so if it wasn’t bad enough she wasn’t in her box behind the podium, she did not have a script. If she would have had a script, even if it wasn’t hers, that she was programmed or instructed to use, “Welcome to Chelsea’s Kitchen.” Anything after that is fine. “I’m whoever. Welcome to Chelsea’s Kitchen. We’re glad you came.”
Shane Jacks: This stuff is not a skill, either. It is a method. Everything we’ve talked about. The valet, yeah, you can be a people person as a valet, but if they had had – The guy could have walked up and if he had walked up, if they had a system there or if they had said, “Hey, pull around to the valet building, or the valet booth over there,” I would have pulled over to the valet booth, he would have walked over to me or I could have walked my keys in there, he could have said, “Hey, I’m Jim Bob. Hand me your keys. I’ll take care of your car. Here’s your ticket.” That is a system. That is something anyone can do. Then there are people that are gifted in other ways so they can create their own systems. There was a waiter in a restaurant that I went to Keith, back home, a pretty nice restaurant, and this dude, he can take a crumb off the table with one of those little stick things in the napkin, he could take that crumb and he could put it into orbit.
And he would hold his napkin out, that waist napkin, in the hand, and it didn’t matter. He would be two feet away from the table and flick it from the inside part of the table and it would land in that napkin. It was impressive. And when he walked up he had the napkin over his arm and he was standing straight, so he had skills, but he also had personality and he knew what to do. You don’t actually have to have skills to do this stuff, just a method and process and put it in place and follow through with it.
Keith Cosentino: I picture that guy, unfortunately, losing that job and then filling out a resume and then like, “Other notable skills.” “If there is an errant crumb, I am able to flick it with a modified butter knife. It’s not your standard. I’ve got a tool, my own implementation, then I can flick it in a position where I hold it in my left hand, and I’ve got pretty much free reign over where I put that left hand. I’ll get the crumb.”
Shane Jacks: Kind of talking about hockey.
Keith Cosentino: “Anything else you can do? While that sounds amazing, Jim, we’re kind of looking for a guy who – “
Shane Jacks: “I’ve got this guy’s phone number. His name was Shane. He was amazed. He’ll give you a good review.” But the guy was an absolute stud as a waiter. If you’ve got that kind of skill and you can do that kind of time, you’ve got everything else going on also. So he was crushing it as a waiter, I guarantee that.
Keith Cosentino: He had his shtick, and if you add everything else, that kind of stuff is over the top. So if this restaurant would have put a small system into place, we would have already gone into the dinner feeling great. “She’s communicated with me effectively, I know that I’m welcome here, and I’m feeling good, I’m feeling important.” There’s a business guy that I like to listen to. It’s the – you know who it is? It’s Nicholas Boothman, the guy who does body language that I say you guys should listen to, “How to make people like you in 90 seconds or less.” I think it’s him. I listen to a lot of books and sometimes I jarble them up.
Shane Jacks: I think Boothman is the body language touch.
Keith Cosentino: I know that, but he had a statement about restaurants and what they do and he said, “We make hungry people feel important.” That was their mission, or like their core value. Instead of, “We strive to be the industry leader in blah blah blah while treating people with respect.” Nobody knows what he was supposed to be doing, but “We make hungry people feel important.” I thought that was the most concise, beautiful thing I’ve ever heard for a mission statement for a restaurant, and I started thinking, “That’s exactly it. You ought to feel important when you eat. You want to feel like you matter and people are there to help you.” And it’s a silly thing, because really you’re just hungry. But all the other stuff, it’s all emotion and that’s why you’re looking to spend money, more than you would at McDonald’s or with a package of Land O’Lakes ham or whatever you can get at the supermarket for $.99.
That will fill you up.
Shane Jacks: And if you want to take it to the Nth degree, what grocery store you shop at, that’s an emotion thing also.
Keith Cosentino: Sure is, like if you’re emotionally sad because you’re broke, you go to –
Shane Jacks: Aldi.
Keith Cosentino: What is yours called?
Shane Jacks: Aldi. A-L-D-I.
Keith Cosentino: Ours is Food for Less I think.
Shane Jacks: We’ve got a ton of what’s called Bilo, B-I-L-O.
Keith Cosentino: Is that the one with the pig on it?
Shane Jacks: No, that’s Piggly Wiggly. You’ve never heard of Piggly Wiggly?
Keith Cosentino: No I have. I’ve seen it somewhere.
Shane Jacks: So the Bilo, that runs the gamut. There are some what we call ghetto Bilos, they’re in the bad part of town, and then there are some super Bilos, and they are nice, ish. I mean they’re not crazy, but they’re nice. They’re nice.
Keith Cosentino: Where does the Piggly Wiggly fit in that line up?
Shane Jacks: Some of them are decent. It depends on what area they’re in.
Keith Cosentino: When, like if you’re going to tell your wife where to shop, do you just show her to the Piggly or the Wiggly?
Shane Jacks: The Piggly. We don’t go to the Piggly Wiggly. I don’t think there are any around to be honest with you, in our area anyway.
Keith Cosentino: 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 Recon Pro, 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 want to run specials, you want to 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 Recon Pro. 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. Recon Pro.
Shane Jacks: We also had a positive experience for a hostess yesterday, Keith.
Keith Cosentino: Oh that’s right. I’m all focused on the negative but we did, we had a good one. It wasn’t over the top, right? But we decided, “We’re in Vegas. We’ve got to eat at a buffet.” The Vegas buffet, I’ve heard that’s where you eat buffets is in Vegas. In fact, we saw a sign for one that had a price, not just for the meal, but for 24 hours.
Shane Jacks: Which I thought was pretty awesome. How many people are actually going to go back a second time?
Keith Cosentino: None.
Shane Jacks: Very few. Some people are. This is Vegas. Some guys are broke and they’re going to eat for 24 hours.
Keith Cosentino: If they have Wi-Fi, you can just stay there all day. Go there and do some work or watch some YouTube cat videos. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, $54.00.
Shane Jacks: I’m sure you can come back. I’m certain of it. That’s not where we went. We went to a $60.00 buffet.
Keith Cosentino: I wanted to go to that one for 24 hours just to see what the marketing plan was.
Shane Jacks: It didn’t have the greatest reviews in the world.
Keith Cosentino: It didn’t. But ours, we picked up ours because it had the highest reviews. So we said, “Okay, if we’re going to go to a buffet, let’s go to the nicest one we can.” And the check in process looked like it was designed to handle 5,000 people, but we were eating dinner at 3:30 p.m. or something like that. Because we ate breakfast really early and then we didn’t eat at all, and we didn’t want to eat crap food. They had a taco stand or something, so we wanted to go someplace nice. And by the time we figured out how the heck to get around between renting a car, using an Uber, and riding a monorail to travel a total distance as, like, a total as the crow flies a distance of about 1.7 miles, but by the time we did it –
Shane Jacks: Travel time was three hours, at least. It’s ridiculous around here. Have I mentioned I don’t like this city a whole lot?
Keith Cosentino: Yes. But we were at weird hours so it was not busy at all. There were people eating, plenty of them, but it looks like this place is geared up to handle a line of 100 or 200 people to eat. So one of my pet peeves is when they lay out a back and forth, like a Donkey Kong line or a Pac Man line where you have to go up, down, up, down, through all the little ribbons, but nobody is there, I just can’t do it. I’m not walking through these ribbons by myself. I will always go around. In fact, I got busted at the airport because they had all these ribbons, up and down, there’s nobody there, so I just walk around the front and I’m halfway there, “Excuse me sir. Sir. Sir.”
Shane Jacks: This is the airport. You’re going to get strip searched if you’ve got a Tic Tac in your pocket when you go through.
Keith Cosentino: So I got busted. I had to go back and go through the ribbons on that one. But here at the restaurant, Shane walked through the ribbons and I walked around, and we ended up at the same place.
Shane Jacks: I don’t know why I walked through the ribbons there. I think it was just fatigue. I was just following whatever someone else told me.
Keith Cosentino: Ironically we showed up at the same time at the end, so I don’t know if it really made a difference.
Shane Jacks: I said, “You rule breaker.” He said, “I’m not doing it. I’m just not.”
Keith Cosentino: So the check in process was a little wonky, I think because the amount of people they were geared up. If there was a ton of people, there would probably have been someone directing you, “You go here. You go there,” at the end.
Shane Jacks: So let’s stop right there for just a second. That is a method, right? And it is a method to hold 200 people. Had we walked up at dinner time and there was 100 people in a straight line and there were six cash registers and nobody knew where to go, we would be pissed that they didn’t have a method. We’d be pissed if the turn styles weren’t up. So at this point, it was a little, like you said, it was a little wonky. It was kind of not classy at all, but they honestly have to have that method to make it roll correctly when it’s busy.
Keith Cosentino: Ands then once we got up there to deal, there were plenty of gals working cash registers and she was really polite and sweet and she said, “Go right here, go right there.” They had one gal at a podium and another gal coordinating with her and they sent us right away with one of the gals. And it’s a big long buffet, kind of in a –
Shane Jacks: In an S. It was in an S.
Keith Cosentino: I was going to say like a staggered stairs. Like it started high and we just kept going more and more to the left, to the left, to the left. And as we walked down to our table, she was saying, “This is our this station. This is our that station. This is our this station. This is our that. We have this, we have that, we’ve got this, we’ve got that.” And you could tell that she wasn’t really personally enthusiastic about going through it, but she was faking it, which was fine. She smiled and she said everything she was supposed to say. And because of that, when I was seated, I knew exactly what each station was and I knew where I wanted to start. And it was a happy start. It was a good meal. The food was good. For a buffet, it was pretty good. But no buffet is amazing, but it was good. But because they used that system, I was happy. I sat down happy and the waitress came really fast. She wasn’t great, but she was there, and she was very attentive.
It’s a buffet. It’s at a Las Vegas Casino.
Shane Jacks: It was basically, “How fast can I get these plates off of the table so you can get another one on there?”
Keith Cosentino: Which was fine. If you’re really hungry you’d probably appreciate that, or if you had kids and they just wanted this crap out of the way. Let’s talk a little bit about hot glue. Specific for paint less 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 some 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 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 then pink glue, and we stock both of them on blackplatepdr.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 want to leave the paint on the car. So we need something that doesn’t have maximum adhesion for a hot meld glue. There’s a lot of glues out there that are made for construction and manufacturing that would 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’ve got to squeeze the last two, three, five, 10 percent of performance out that everyone else is leaving. It’s just like racing cars. Everything has to be dialed if you want to go faster than the other guy. And if you want to 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 glued bold 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 short-sighted. Buy the glue that’s going to 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 going to make more of it, I can promise you that. You’ve got the right lights, you’ve got the right tools, you’ve 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 pop yourself onto your mailing list right there so you can be notified the minute 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. So that’s it. Use a system. Think about how you interact with your customers, prospects and your customers, and what we do is not rocket science, but it is important to have a programmed set of answers and questions and statements for all of your people, and everybody’s going to be on the same page. They’re going to understand what you’re there to do, they’re going to understand that you’re there to help them, and you’re going to make more money. That’s the basis of all this stuff, making more money.
Shane Jacks: That’s it.
Keith Cosentino: That’s it. It’s pretty simple. Today is not about fixing dents per say, but it’s about getting to the place where you can. So look at your own system. What do you say on the phone? Is it concise? Is it polite? Is it clear? And then after that do you have a phone script that you have certain questions that you ask? We’ve talked about that before. Go back and listen to the older shows if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Put a phone script together. Start using a phone log so you can track who’s calling, what they’re talking about, and what you say to them. I just had a customer the other day, when I showed up at his house, it’d been two and half weeks since I made the appointment. I thought he was going to cancel, honestly. I guess I thought it was too expensive just on the phone with my range.
When I got there I had to look at my book and say, “What did I quote this guy? Ah, $250.00 to $300.00.” It was a little door ding on a Porsche, but I’m not working on those cars for nothing. So I get out there and I say, “Okay, here’s the options. Blah blah blah blah. We have a lot of stuff,” and condense it down here into this tiny little phrase. And I said, “If you go this route it’ll be $275.00.” And he said, “Oh, that’s a lot more than you said on the phone, between $200.00 and $250.00.” And I immediately looked him right in the eye and smiled and I said, “No, between $250.00 and $300.00.” I knew exactly what I said because I have a system. I wrote it down. So get some systems for yourself. I sold that job for $375.00 by the way. Get some systems, get everything in place, and make more money. Until next time –
Shane Jacks: Get better.
Duration: 50 minutes