PDR College Episode 96 Hail Chasing Excellence
If you want to learn how to chase hail for your PDR business at the highest level, then you DO NOT want to miss this show!
Contact Tony or Max at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by visiting their site at http://www.thehailtrainer.com/
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Keith Cosentino: I’m Keith Cosentino, he’s Shane Jacks and this is the PDR College podcast, the most valuable place in the world to be if you are into the paintless dent removal business. If that’s you, you have found your home. This is the place where we are going to help you get better in the dent business. We’re gonna help you with your marketing, with your selling, with your techniques, with your tools. Everything that has to do with dent removal, we’re gonna bring you to the highest level.
What is the purpose of this endeavor? It is to make stacks and stacks of cash. Now normally I’d just hand it right off to Shane here and ask him how much cash he needs or why he needs so much cash, but instead I’m gonna take a little break and give you an idea about what’s coming up on this episode.
This is a special episode if you are currently a hail chaser or if you’re thinking you want to get into chasing hail or if you’re chasing hail and you’re not making the kind of money that you hear about or that you think you could. This is the show for you.
I really want you to key into the two guys that we’ve got on the show that are gonna bring you up to speed and give you an opportunity to change your hail-chasing life if you listen. And if you don’t know what those big numbers are that I’m talking about, what hail guys can do, I want you to listen closely because they’re gonna make you do a little bit of math to figure it out so get your calculator ready. But when you plug the numbers in, you’re gonna know what I’m talking about, big, big money.
So now that you know what you’re listening for and what’s coming up, Shane, why the heck do you need so much cash?
Shane Jacks: I wanna make more money, Keith. These new lime green tabs I keep seeing everywhere, dude.
Keith Cosentino: Yes, the new lime green tabs aren’t even new yet. They’re prototypes.
Shane Jacks: Yes.
Keith Cosentino: But we are redoing – well, we’re adding another version of the Smooth Series Tabs. I decided I’m listening to the complaints, the few complaints I’ve had about Blackplague’s Smooth Series Tabs that once they hit the ground they either turn into dust and disappear to another dimension or they’re the exact same color as the asphalt and they get lost.
So the new version is a high vis green. And I took the opportunity since we were making a new version to add some new shapes and sizes and reengineer a couple things. So pretty excited about them. You’ve got some prototypes.
Shane Jacks: Yes, I do.
Keith Cosentino: A couple other guys around the country have some prototypes, so far extremely promising, looking to make those debut at Mobile Tech Expo 2016. So come on down to the booth if you wanna be the first guy to have them.
Shane Jacks: Give me two seconds to talk about those things, if you don’t mind.
Keith Cosentino: Oh, I’d love it.
Shane Jacks: I didn’t notice. Actually Greg pointed out to me, he goes, “Oh, look at those super skinny ones.” You know, you’ve got them cut down widthwise on the Crease Tabs, the Smooth Series Crease Tabs? So yesterday was the first time that I tried them. I tried the little tiny, the BP – I know this is terrible, I don’t even know what the sizes are. What’s the smallest one?
Keith Cosentino: Okay. Well, it used to be the model numbers were on the shaft so they were really hard to see. Now they’re on the top of the head. So just right on the very top so when it’s glued on the car you can look down from the sky and see it right there on the top. So it’s a BP9.
Shane Jacks: BP9? I’m talking about the smallest round one, it’s small and it’s round.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, 9 millimeter.
Shane Jacks: Okay. Yeah, so the BP [inaudible] [00:03:36] its roof, it pulled stupid well. And then I tried the crease tab that’s cut down to width now. And I stuck it on a wholesaler’s car [inaudible] roof and commenced to really making a mess with that thing. I wasn’t using it on a dent. I was just seeing how well [inaudible] –[Crosstalk]
Keith Cosentino: Oh.
Shane Jacks: [Inaudible] [00:04:01]that roof now because it’s stuck extremely well, extremely well so –
Keith Cosentino: Awesome. So, yeah, there’s a whole –
Shane Jacks: — [inaudible] I was wondering with them being a little bit thicker if they would pull differently. And I haven’t used them enough to say definitively [inaudible] but really, really well so –
Keith Cosentino: So I’m gonna go ahead and apologize for Shane here. He is in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, no joke. He’s on vacation, doing the show on vacation and the signal’s not so great there. So we’re using Skype technology to talk and Shane is on a mountainside. So if he drops in or out, just have to deal with it today. That’s the way it’s gonna happen.
But Smooth Series Tabs are showing lots of promise with everyone who’s testing them. So I’m excited that we’re not gonna really be having to make any changes. They’re just gonna go into production so they should be here on time for the show, although it’s always a battle to bring new stuff to the MTE. Everybody – all the manufacturers fight their production times to get them all done at the show. For whatever reason, the universe fights you to get things done on a schedule when you’re manufacturing.
So are you still with me Shane?
Shane Jacks: I am.
Keith Cosentino: Excellent. And your –
Shane Jacks: I don’t know how well I’m with you but I am with you.
Keith Cosentino: Well, you’re in your digitized Max Headroom voice but we’ll deal with it. So today it’s kind of a cool show. We’ve had our guests on before but we’re having them on again because they’ve kinda got a new program. Our friends Tony Frasher and Max Vannostrand. They are two of our – two of the highest level hail techs that we could find, probably that there are because we know just about everybody. And these are the guys that are gonna come and teach with us at the Events Skill Seminar in 2016 in January. They are going to do an entire day on breaking your hail game down and building it back up. And that’s what these guys do.
` So they’re looking to work with some more technicians so I thought, you know what, let’s have you guys back on the show. Tell us some of the stuff that you do to fix guys hail games and maybe we can help some people around the country who listen to the show who are not gonna be able to make it to the Events Skill Seminar and can’t hook up with you, So welcome to the show, Max and Tony.
Tony Frasher: Thank you.
Max Vannostrand: Thank you.
Keith Cosentino: Where you guys at? Where you guys calling from? You guys are all over the place, right?
Tony Frasher: I’m visiting family in Oklahoma City for the holidays.
Max Vannostrand: And I’m at home in Tampa.
Keith Cosentino: We’re worldwide with this baby.
Tony Frasher: Yeah.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: You got the four corners pretty much covered.
Tony Frasher: Basically.
Keith Cosentino: That’s cool. So what’s going on in the hail world right now? You guys are not working, right. It’s at the off season?
Tony Frasher: Yep, season’s over.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, I just finished up. I guess it’s been two weeks now so it feels really good.
Keith Cosentino: That’s pretty late though, just two weeks ago?
Max Vannostrand: Well yeah, actually I took a few weeks off and then went back up and helped finish up a storm. Then they just ended a couple weeks ago.
Keith Cosentino: If you really wanted to work right now, is there still stuff hanging around there, or hanging around –
Tony Frasher: Yeah, there’s actually a pretty decent amount of work in Boston still.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah. And then is now the time when guys are usually starting to head to Australia and stuff like that?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, I don’t keep up with that that much anymore so I really don’t even know. I’ve been down there but it’s kinda off my radar at this point.
Max Vannostrand: I was thinking of going this year but there’re some issues that came up. And also having a really good year I’m probably just gonna stick around.
Keith Cosentino: Don’t need to.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, they’re gonna email the [inaudible] [00:07:47] saying they’re kinda waiting on the storms. And they’ve had a couple small ones but nothing major yet.
Keith Cosentino: So generally this is the off season. You guys are enjoying that. That’s the life of a hail tech, push hard in the summer and spring and then you kinda enjoy your time in the winter.
Max Vannostrand: Exactly.
Keith Cosentino: When do you guys normally kinda fire back up? When is it go time?
Max Vannostrand: I always kind of judge it by the Masters. I always like to try to be working by the Masters. I don’t know if all the listeners are into golf or know what the Masters is but I would imagine most people do the first week in April there. So that’s when I try to really start to push to get out on the road. If you really wanna work you can obviously probably work earlier but sometimes those first storms of the year leave a little bit to be desired.
Keith Cosentino: First week of April.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, for me if it’s hailed in March, I’m probably not chasing it unless it’s something that is a known-for-sure deal for me. April is kinda when you can start to pick your storms a little bit.
Keith Cosentino: Oh, because of the feeding frenzy at first?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, yeah. I’m not out chasing anything in March unless it just kinda falls in my lap and I get a good phone call, then it’s probably not for me.
Keith Cosentino: I picture like a salty old veteran with a young guy, they’re just watching some event that’s supposed to happen. And if something happens then the young guy’s like, “Let’s go, let’s go, boss,” and the salty old guy’s like, “Hang on, son. Just wait for the next one.”
Tony Frasher: Well, for those young guys, I mean, honestly they should be out there.
Keith Cosentino: At the first one.
Tony Frasher: They should be out chasing that.
Keith Cosentino: If you don’t have the contact list?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, exactly. I mean, that’s a story that happened this year. Max and I, we had a young guy that was fixing – or he was doing our R and I in St. Louis and he knew how to fix dents. And he was actually pretty decent but he just – he was waiting for people to basically kinda give him work, the guys that he had met in the industry. But the hail guys that he knew, they were always calling him just to give him R and I work, not to give him a hail spot because they had filled that with their buddies already.
So he worked with us in St. Louis and then our storm wrapped up. And there was a storm this year in kind of a random place way out west in Farmington, New Mexico. And so he was actually all the way in Charlotte, North Carolina and it hailed there. He gave me a call, he’s like, “Hey, what do you think about this” and I asked him if there was confirmed damage and he said, “Yeah, there is.” And I was like, “Dude, just drive out there and start talking to people.”
So he drove all the way from North Carolina to New Mexico and just started talking to guys and he had two offers in the very first day. And, I mean, this is in a season where guys are posting left and right on these Facebook pages that they can’t find any work.
So if you’re in that position where you don’t get those phone calls consistently, that’s what you gotta do. You gotta make that effort and just show up. And the guys that show up get the work. It just really is that simple.
Max Vannostrand: So many [inaudible] [00:11:15] –[Crosstalk]
Shane Jacks: Wait a minute, wait a minute. I’m sorry, go ahead.
Max Vannostrand: All right. It’s just that so many times, at least for me in the past, it’s just about being in the right place at the right time in the beginning, you know, until you really get that contact list locked down.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, you guys are saying something that’s foreign to a lot of people and that is that people don’t just throw money at you. It’s weird, huh?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, exactly.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, the posts on Facebook and everywhere else about wanting work and profile pics of sitting beside a swimming pool while they’re doing it, it’s ridiculous. So that’s a really neat story, somebody going after it and getting it. And you guys pushing him in that direction.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, yeah.
Shane Jacks: Just his knowing before that was just waiting on someone to give him a call.
Tony Frasher: Right.
Shane Jacks: And all he needed was a little push and a little education. It’s an awesome story. I love that story.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, and he stayed there for three months.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, good stuff.
Keith Cosentino: So was that one of the first guys that both of you coached together?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, probably. The other guys that I’ve helped have just kinda been on my own and the same for Max, I think.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, yeah.
Keith Cosentino: So how’s that fella doing now?
Tony Frasher: Good. He’s hanging out. He’s a young kid and he’s taken off for the season and snowboarding. And I’m pretty sure he’s out driving around California right now.
Keith Cosentino: And he made some good money this year?
Tony Frasher: Yeah.
Max Vannostrand: More than he ever made.
Tony Frasher: Yeah well, he made more money for his first hail year than I made in my first hail year.
Keith Cosentino: Nice. So was that the point where you guys had the kinda ah-ha moment that, you know what, there’s a lot of guys that need this help and maybe we can put it together for them?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, that was one of them. We had some guys – we had a couple guys ask us – Max and I worked a storm in Minneapolis this year and we had a couple younger guys that were kinda asking us questions about various things as well. And that was just kind of one of the other points that was like, yeah, you know, I mean, there are guys that have these questions. And it’s just – there’s a lot to it. It’s a lot more than just fixing dents, you know. And that’s really what holds a lot of guys up.
Max Vannostrand: It just kinda also seems, you know, we came to the realization a while ago that there’s just an abundance of guys that were just kinda thrown out there on the fly. They got a couple weeks worth of training, never really learned how to fix a dent perfectly and then, boom, now they’re just on their own just flooding the business.
And we’re just hoping if we can improve the pool of techs that’s out there, it’s probably gonna, well, we know for sure it will improve the business as a whole as well. So –
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, that’s every tech, isn’t it?
Max Vannostrand: Correct.
Keith Cosentino: Almost every tech gets some training and gets sent out to work.
Max Vannostrand: Exactly.
Shane Jacks: Was there a moment when you guys figured out, hey, we actually know what we’re doing, or have you known it all along? I mean, was there – did you think, well, we’re average, above average, well above average but we’re not that great, that smart, etcetera? Or was there a moment where you went, you know what, we really have something to offer? Or was it that kid from North Carolina?
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, I mean, you’re constantly told – or at least I know Tony and I have been constantly told, oh man, you guys do great work. You guys are the best we’ve seen. You know, I guess you hear that and you hear that and you hear that. But then kinda getting to go and work side by side on a deal earlier this year where we were around a significant amount of other techs and still being able to kinda stay towards the top of the class there, it was definitely a little bit of an eye opener for me.
Keith Cosentino: I’m drawing a lot of parallels to that story for Shane and I on the local side. You know, we started networking with other guys and everyone in our neighborhoods and our towns tell us that we’re the best they’ve ever seen. So we’re pretty certain at some point that we’re the best in the universe. And then get around other guys and one of us found out that in fact he was the best in the universe. I was close.
Tony Frasher: Congratulations, Keith.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, right. But that’s for actual skills and then I kept thinking, oh man, I think I’m doing pretty well here at home with this business but maybe there’s guys that do it better. And the more I looked the more I found, no, you’re pretty much at the top of the class there, Keith, so you better share what you know. So that’s when I started this whole deal.
It’s kind of a weird moment, isn’t it, when you know – you don’t really know where you stand with your peers, then you figure out that now you’re pretty much standing on the top. Oh.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, I mean, kind of for me part of it was I had the opportunity to work for a couple guys early on that had some real big deals. A guy specifically out of Dallas that had like 25 body shops in the Dallas metro area. So they got hit with hail all the time. Well, he called in some pretty big guys a lot because, I mean, he just had to. And that was really where I got my first – I mean, these guys, when I started, I mean, they were making double what I was making working the same exact storm.
So that was kind of it as well. I heard what those guys were making, year in year out. And when I got to the point that I was making similar money, that’s kinda when I thought, okay, yeah, I’m getting pretty good at this.
Keith Cosentino: Reaching the elite status. So what’s the magic – what’s the secret sauce? What are guys doing wrong out there? What are you gonna fix?
Max Vannostrand: It’s usually not anything major. It’s usually just a combination of small little adjustments that you can make. And you can really improve your speed. Specifically speaking, when I first met Tony, I definitely didn’t have the most organized tool cart in the world. I mean, I think I was still using a plugged-in glue gun. And I think it kinda starts as far as the speed of your repairs starts with having an organized tool cart.
That’s kinda like the grip and the golf swing, you know. If you don’t have a good organized tool cart, there’s no way you’re gonna ever be able to be an efficient quick dent guy.
Keith Cosentino: So that’s like the least exciting part of the whole thing but probably one of the most important.
Max Vannostrand: Yes, for sure. And Tony really showed me some different – and then from there it goes on to having the correct tools and so on and so on. But getting a nice organized dent cart, tool cart is for sure one of the first steps in improving your speed and your ability.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing, so this program that Max and I have put together, we’ve kinda broken it down. So there’s basically three ways in the business to make more money. You can make more money on the cars that you’re already fixing. So the way that you do that is by estimating better or by having a higher percentage with the body shop or the broker that you’re working for or anything. That’s the easiest way, you know. I mean, than you’re making more money on the same exact car that you would be fixing no matter what.
The other way that you can make more money is by getting paid – or I’m sorry, I lost my train of thought there. The other way [inaudible] [00:19:00] –[Crosstalk]
Keith Cosentino: Who – you know, Tony.
Tony Frasher: — work days per year.
Keith Cosentino: Tony.
Tony Frasher: — and that’s a big issue, you know, like I just said with the guys that are sitting at home. If you’re sitting at home for a week [inaudible] –[Crosstalk]
Keith Cosentino: Hey, Tony, can you hear me all right?
Tony Frasher: Yep.
Keith Cosentino: I have to interrupt you. We don’t do a group call very often. Who is doing dishes?
Tony Frasher: That’s not me.
Shane Jacks: That’s not me.
Max Vannostrand: I’m not doing dishes. I was getting a turkey ready but I guess I’ll stop.
Keith Cosentino: The multitalented Max Vannostrand can interview and prepare a turkey.
Max Vannostrand: [Inaudible] [00:19:40] sorry. That’s awesome.
Tony Frasher: I couldn’t hear it over my own voice.[everyone laughing]
Max Vannostrand: Oh, that’s awesome. I’ll stop.
Keith Cosentino: All right. But –
Max Vannostrand: Oh, yeah.
Shane Jacks: Maybe we should transition here, how to baste a turkey.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, there you go.
Max Vannostrand: I can give you some tips on that too.
Tony Frasher: He’s probably gonna smoke that thing.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I know with all my dent friends across the globe, there’s a couple of pretty strong themes. One of them is dogs, the other one is guns and the third one is barbecue.
Tony Frasher: Right.
Keith Cosentino: So I don’t doubt that tips on smoking a turkey would also be well received at this point.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, there you go.
Tony Frasher: That’s funny.
Keith Cosentino: So, Tony, I’m sorry to interrupt you. Pick up where you left off.
Tony Frasher: Okay. So the first thing I said was, get paid more on the cars that you’re already fixing. The next thing is working more days per year because, like I said, that’s a big issue for guys that are just sitting at home and posting on Facebook. And then the next thing is fixing each car faster. So it’s not just one thing. I mean, within those three separate groups, I mean, there’s probably 15 different little things that you can work on within each of those, you know.
So that’s kinda how our system is breaking down. It’s ten, ten and ten. If we can teach you how to be 10 percent faster and how to make 10 percent more per car and work ten more days per year, we can increase your earnings by over 30 percent. And that works for everybody, no matter what the money is you’re making.
Keith Cosentino: So each thing doesn’t sound – you know, it sounds – you know, when someone’s looking for a big breakthrough and like a magic tip or a trick, they’re expecting you – like when you’re training a guy from scratch and they say, “Man, I’m just having trouble getting to this X, Y, Z point,” and they’re looking for some input from you and they’re hoping you’re gonna come up and go, “Oh, dude, your board is backwards. There you go.” And like everything’s gonna be perfect. When you come and say, “No, what you really need to do is just hold this slightly different.” It’s not a big breakthrough.
It’s kind of depressing for the person you’re training sometimes because they’re thinking you’re just gonna come and flip a switch and everything’s gonna be magical. And it sounds like there’s a lot of parallels here. You’re coming and saying, hey, get paid more for the cars you’re already working on.
Well, if I’m listening I’m gonna say, dude, I’m already trying to get paid the most, Tony. I already tried that.
Tony Frasher: Right, yeah, and everybody thinks that they are, you know.
Max Vannostrand: Well, let –
Tony Frasher: I mean, you just kinda have to be open minded on this stuff. That’s really the key too is that everybody’s got a different tip or technique or whatever. I’ve got another good story about a guy just from this spring. So I got a call for a deal from a guy that everybody knows pretty well in the business. And it was a deal that was in Missouri. And he called me for a body shop deal. He already had one guy in the body shop that was there and he thought he was gonna need more help.
So he ran down what the deal was and everything and told me what he was paying. And I just literally – I asked him straight up, I was like, “Hey, would you pay me X percentage?” And he goes, “Uh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I would do that.” Well, he had to go back and tell the guy that had already signed on to the deal that he was going to pay him more percentage because he had agreed to work at a lower percentage.
So, I mean, that’s one of those things that it sounds – it might sound weird to some guys, I mean, but some guys will never ask for more money. And it was literally that simple, just saying, “Hey, you know, would you put me to work for this cut?” In my mind I know that it’s still a good deal for the guy that I’m working for because I’m going to be able to push out enough cars that it’s still really gonna make him a lot of money.
Shane Jacks: Right. And I’ve got a few stories on that. How many times have I said on this show and on social media, the percentage doesn’t always tell the story. Well, that goes flip also for the broker, you know. If it’s 30 percent of a guy that is only producing 2,000 a day versus 25 percent from a guy that’s producing 3500 a day out of the same slot in the body shop, you’re making a lot more money off the 25 percent. So it’s [inaudible] [00:24:37] –
Tony Frasher: Yeah, exactly.
Shane Jacks: — the percentage doesn’t always tell the entire story. And going back to what you were saying, Keith, about it not being this huge epiphany, you know, it being a bunch of different tiny things, your and my story together, Keith, about you basically just telling me to charge more in my retail market, it sounded stupid to me. I was like, “Keith, it’s not gonna – Keith, you act like it’s gonna be something simple.” And actually it was, you know.
And then back to – and I’ve told this story a few times, and then I’ll let you roll with it, Tony and Max, but when I met Tony, he showed me a few things that sped me up 5 percent or whatever just on a few tiny little tips. And when you’re talking 5 percent of a guy that’s producing a lot in the first place, you’re making a lot more money per year.
Keith Cosentino: Shane, tell us a little bit about that story.
Shane Jacks: The one with Tony?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Shane Jacks: Okay. So I get down to Jackson, Mississippi and I’d never really worked around anybody that was fast, as fast as I was. I was always – and I’m not saying that to be condescending. I’m just telling the truth. I never worked around anybody that was really fast.
I get down there and we’re working on – I remember like it was yesterday, Tony, so you can blush if you want to. We were working on a five series to begin with. I’ve got the aluminum hood and Tony’s got, what I found out later on that day, the rest of the car done in the same time that I did the aluminum hood. And I literally told Tony, I looked at him and I said, “I’ve found you.” And he starts laughing, he’s like, “What are you talking about?” He’s actually freaking fast at this. I had to pick my game up to speed back up to where I was to try to keep up with Tony.
And so then we’re doing – he and I had had a war on social media about a sharp tip versus soft tip. He proved me wrong. That’s really hard for me to say. He proved me wrong on many instances. And I learned a ton from him in that short amount of time.
Keith Cosentino: Both in the techniques and in strategies for pricing and dealing with the storm itself?
Shane Jacks: Really on the pricing and everything we were pretty much in line with everything. And as far as the tips, and again, this is gonna sound like I’m saying Tony didn’t teach me a lot, honestly Tony didn’t teach me a ton. But what Tony taught me makes me 5, 8 percent more per storm.
Keith Cosentino: Right.
Shane Jacks: And that’s huge. You know what I mean? And that goes back to what Tony was talking about – or Max was talking about, these little individual segments within this ten, ten, ten system that they have. These little bitty segments all add up to something that’s absolutely massive. So taking a guy like me who was already making good money at it and then just adding a small percentage is a big deal, is a huge deal.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, and I mean, I obviously – I would – I know it’s not the case unfortunately, but I would hope everyone out there is doing their best to get every dime they can on every repair. I mean, if you’re not you’re leaving money on the table. But at the same time, if you have an open mind with our system, there’s no doubt you’re gonna still learn how to make more money. Somewhere in one of those three segments, we’re gonna improve something.
Keith Cosentino: Shane, before I started working with you, were you doing everything you could to make more money as far as you were concerned?
Shane Jacks: Pardon the term but God no.
Keith Cosentino: But you thought you were.
Shane Jacks: No. No, not really. I mean, well, back then maybe I did think I was, you know.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah –
Shane Jacks: I guess I was –
Keith Cosentino: — because you said my pricing wouldn’t work. You’d already – you just knew it.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, you’re right, you’re right. And maybe – I mean, that was total ignorance and maybe it was cockiness on my part. Maybe it’s really deep down that I knew I wasn’t doing everything I could do. And I was just happy with where I was at.
Keith Cosentino: So a lot of you guys that are out chasing hail right now or are hail chasers, you’re home now, but you think you’re doing everything that you can do. Or else, I mean, if you knew there was something easy that you could do to make more money you would’ve already tried it. So you think that Max and Tony probably don’t have anything to teach you. But you don’t know what you don’t know.
Tony Frasher: Exactly, yeah. Yeah, for sure.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, that’s exactly right.
Max Vannostrand: And that being said, you know, I know I can speak for Tony and I both, you have to constantly have that attitude of an open mind and willing to try new things, or you’re just gonna get stuck in a rut if you’re not.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I’m sure you guys are continuing to evolve as you meet new guys and learn another nugget here and there or figure out a new strategy.
Max Vannostrand: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, for sure.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, you don’t get to this level without having that open mind, otherwise you just stay in your hole. I mean, that’s the transition Shane and I made when we brought our world online. You know, you’re in your own little town; you’re doing your own thing, fixing your own cars. And the only time you get a new tool is when you get a catalog mailed to you and you look through it.
But then once you start networking with other guys, if you keep an open mind magical things happen because somebody’s doing – everybody’s doing something a little bit different than you. Some guys are doing it worse but some guys are doing it better. And as soon as you can assimilate those techniques into your game, it just keeps getting better and better and better.
Max Vannostrand: Absolutely.
Shane Jacks: Something that I’ve heard from multiple people, even this year on the hail trail is I’m happy if I make X. And that is the dumbest statement. That’s fine, be happy with it but don’t stop with that. You know what I mean? And if that’s your attitude, if you’re okay with where you’re at right now, these two guys aren’t for you because –
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, that’s for sure.
Shane Jacks: — and really we’re not for you because you’ve gotta want to – I’m sure you two don’t go into the season – you’re not going into 2016 thinking, as long as I make 3 percent more this year that’s good enough for me. That’s bull crap, you know.
If that’s your attitude, you wanna make X percent more and then that’s where you’re gonna stop, these guys are not gonna help you because you’re gonna need to push those ten more days, the 10 percent faster, that’s what these guys are here for is to make you better.
Max Vannostrand: And just little things like taking a lunch to work and – you know, if you take your lunch to work you’re saving yourself a minimum of probably I would say 100 bucks a week in not going out to eat. On top of that, you know, it may take you 15, 20 minutes to eat your lunch. If you go out to eat you’re talking an hour, hour-and-a-half sometimes. So right there if you work six days a week, that’s an extra six hours a day. You start to add that up – excuse me, an extra six hours a week and you start to add that up over the course of a hail season, by the time it’s all said and done you’re talking yourself tens of thousands of dollars you cost yourself just because you wanted to go to lunch every day.
Keith Cosentino: I don’t know if you misspoke. I’ve seen some hail guys. I think they do eat a six-hour lunch. You’re preaching some PDR College stuff right there. That’s a theme here, do not take a lunch. We had a whole show on it. It kills your productivity, absolutely slaughters it. It doesn’t seem like it because you’re hungry but, man, it jacks you up. The accumulative effect is more than just the six hours that you miss, even if it’s five hours, it’s way more than that.
Max Vannostrand: Exactly. You take 15 or 20 minutes to talk to everyone about where you’re going and then you go. And then when you get back it’s an hour and 15 or 20 minutes to get yourself back in the groove and get started. You know, you’re destroying a couple hours of your day sometimes.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, it’s huge.
Shane Jacks: Thirty minutes on the can.
Keith Cosentino: Eating that southern food?
Tony Frasher: Yeah.
Shane Jacks: And barbecue.
Tony Frasher: Barbecue, yeah.
Keith Cosentino: We had – I can see how you could easily fall into that trap because, you know, you’re working away from home, it’s challenging, you’re in a crappy place sometimes or you’re in a place that you would rather be at home in your own house in your own bed. And everybody says, hey, we’re gonna go try – they’re telling us about this awesome local barbecue joint. We’re all gonna go eat lunch there. It probably sounds like a lot of fun and you wanna go. But –
Tony Frasher: Yeah, that’s what dinner’s for though.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, do it at dinner. Stay grinding during the day.
Max Vannostrand: I mean, there’s just little things that Tony and I have found overtime to stay motivated because without a doubt a couple months into a hail storm you’ve been going 12 hours a day, six days a week, it’s very easy to wanna take a break. But you’re just never gonna get ahead or you’re never gonna get to your goal if you have that mentality. You have to push, push, push, push, push until you just absolutely can’t push anymore.
Keith Cosentino: So give me an idea about the kinds of incomes we’re talking about with hail guys. When you have these new guys that you’ve helped here and there, what were they making before, what were they making after? What do you think an average guy makes and what does a guy at the highest level make? Where are we trying to get? If I’m chasing hail, what’s possible because I might be working as hard as I can, doing everything I can and I’m making 110 grand a year chasing hail in seven or eight months. And that sounds pretty damn good. I’m doing well. Give me an idea about what I should be expecting and what’s going on out there?
Tony Frasher: I mean, my opinion is that, you know, let’s say that you’re just in a normal body shop type setting. My opinion is that every decent hail guy should be able to fix a minimum of $4,000 in repairs per day. And that’s really a minimum.
Keith Cosentino: Okay.
Tony Frasher: I mean, if I’m in a body shop I wanna be in the 5 to $6,000 range per day. So the next thing that you have to figure out is how many days a week that you can work based off of that. So, I mean, if you’re just – you’re in that $4,000 range –
Keith Cosentino: Well, Tony, let me back you up just a little bit because that’s the first time I’ve heard somebody talk about a technician like they are a business asset, that this machine should be able to crank out this number per day. And I think that makes more sense than anybody because you take out the idea of, well, this dude’s fast or this was a good deal, this is a bad deal, this is gravy, this wasn’t. These are Subarus and those were Chevys. Take all that crap out of the equation because there is an average number –
Tony Frasher: Right.
Keith Cosentino: — that you should be able to get to with everything else mixed in the bowl.
Tony Frasher: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Forget about all the disclaimers. This is what you should do. If you’re functioning at a high level, not the highest level but at a high average, you should be able to crank $4,000 worth of repairs in a normal working day in a body shop type setting. So guys that are –[Crosstalk]
Tony Frasher: [Inaudible] [00:36:15] is really, really important for a lot of reasons. Oops, can you hear me?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Tony Frasher: That number is really important for a lot of reasons. One, if you’re a local guy, I mean, you need to know what you can expect from somebody that you’re bringing into work. But also you need to be able to know that number just for yourself so that you can work with the body shop to keep yourself consistently busy.
If you’re just expecting the shop to bring you cars, then that’s gonna be one of your biggest issues. You’re not going to stay consistently busy because they don’t know what you can do. To an adjuster – or, I’m sorry, to a service writer, a hail car is a hail car. So they’re not going to schedule properly for you unless you have a very, very good idea of what you can do day in and day out.
Max Vannostrand: And shop management is a huge part of staying busy.
Tony Frasher: Yeah.
Max Vannostrand: And it takes constant conversation, constant explanation, sometimes several different times with managers, adjusters, whatever it may be, to get that smoothed out to a way where you’re gonna maximize your earning potential.
Keith Cosentino: So let me ask you a question. We’re talking about 4K worth of damage in a day. The only variable – well, of course there’s a lot of variables in the technician and the skill and the work but we’re gonna assume that’s an average so forget about all that. But when we’re talking about dollars, we can’t ignore the estimate and how we arrived at the 4,000. Because if you’re low-balling cars, you could – I mean, if I’m writing crappy estimates and putting them in front of you guys and you don’t know what the numbers are, you might be doing $4,000 worth of work that looks a lot like 1500 at the end of the day.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, learning how to write a proper estimate is another one of those foundation things like an organized tool cart. Again, if you don’t have a proper estimate written, you can work as hard as you want but you’re still not gonna make the right amount of money. And there’s so many guys that think that, oh, I write great estimates, I write great estimates. And still to this day I really have a hard time finding someone that writes an estimate as good as I can write it. And not only write it as good as I can write it, but be able to justify it with an adjuster.
Because you can – again, another thing, you can write whatever the heck you want but if you can’t show reasoning why you’re charging these prices then what’s the point?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I was just gonna call you out on that. I mean, a good estimate to fixing the car is the highest one but if you can’t make them stick, you know, you write them and then have to renegotiate every single one, well, that’s a bad estimate. It doesn’t matter how good it looks.
Max Vannostrand: Exactly. [Inaudible] [00:39:06] same thing.
Shane Jacks: I went through North Carolina in a storm this year to try to secure some business at a dealership and it didn’t happen. I was helping a guy out. The guy that was there, he had a retail car come in at the same time to do an estimate on it. And he’s been doing this for close to 20 years now. And so he said, well how would you – he’s kinda nervously looking at me and he says, “How would you write this?”
I said, “Well, first I wanna see how you write it.” So he writes the car and he said, “All right, what’d I do wrong here?” And there were 20 oversize dents that he missed. He didn’t put a single oversize on the car and he’s like, “That’s not an oversize.” So I’d show him, dude, it’s freakin edge to edge. Your line is too far up. Take your line all the way down and far away. See, that’s the edge, that’s the edge. That’s bigger than a half dollar. He said, “Holy crap. I’ll bet I’ve lost $500,000 over the years.”
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, easily, easily.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, and this is not a selling point, Keith, because I don’t think you have any ready, the depth gauge. You know, there are so many different things you can use to justify higher prices. And these guys know them all –
Tony Frasher: Well, yeah, Max and I had that actually this year in St. Louis. We had a car that came in. It was a Nissan Altima with an aluminum hood and it had probably – it was that white one, Max. I don’t know if you remember it, but it probably only had ten dents on the entire hood. One of them happened to be a huge shot at the back of the hood. And we threw that depth gauge on there and showed the guy and told me that it was way beyond even a double oversize and he gave us full replacement for a hood that had ten dents on it.
Keith Cosentino: Nice.
Max Vannostrand: And, I mean, in our class we’re even gonna go into the catch phrases and things that you say to guys that just help build a rapport with them because that’s really what it’s all about. I mean, if you can get someone to know, like and trust you, you can get them to do anything that you want. And that’s just really the way it works.
Keith Cosentino: That stuff is powerful. I mean, I’m seeing so many parallels to the retail business in the hail business when you guys attack it with such a specific mindset like you guys have. It’s the same thing. You’re gonna try to make the connection with the adjuster the same way we are with the retail customer.
Tony Frasher: Exactly.
Keith Cosentino: Catch phrases like, do you like smoked turkey? How about them Yankees.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, finding something in common, making them feel like you’re helping them. Those are two really big things that can go a long way sometimes. You know, just learning how to sell really.
Keith Cosentino: Give me a couple of those. If I’m the guy who’s – I’m not gonna make it to your training, I’m not gonna make it to the Events Skill Seminar, give me a couple of things I can use when I’m working with adjusters that if I’m the guy and I’m – I’m giving you a softball here, but if I’m the guy who feels like every adjuster is fighting me and they’re all jerks, every adjuster’s a jerk, I can’t stand them, what am I doing wrong? What can I – give me some clues.
Max Vannostrand: I mean, smile first. You know, it all depends on the type of person you’re dealing with. That’s one thing that you have to identify immediately. If you’ve got a guy that’s being a hard ass, sometimes you can play the, “Oh, I see where you’re coming from. You’re right there, yeah.” Make the guy feel like an expert. Or if you’re dealing with – ideally that’s the guy that’s the toughest to deal with, right, is the guy that thinks he knows that he’s right.
Keith Cosentino: Right.
Max Vannostrand: So maybe if he hears from you that you think that he is right, he might be willing to budget a little bit more down the road. Sometimes it’s just about softening that guy up.
Keith Cosentino: How about you Tony, you got some tricks or tips to deal with adjusters?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, I mean, it is – like Max said, I mean, it’s just kind of feeling the guy out from the get go and seeing which way to take him. I mean, there’s just so many personalities, it’s just kinda interesting to see who you get.
I mean, my biggest thing is I try to be absolutely as helpful with every guy, even if they are a hard ass. I mean, you wanna start out initially trying to kill them with kindness.
Max Vannostrand: And it’s just such an individual basis depending on the type of personality you’re dealing with. But without a doubt, a great way to start any conversation and that is with a good firm handshake. Look the guy in the eye, you know. I mean, that’s one way to instantly get some respect.
Keith Cosentino: I’ve noticed, just like you guys, because I’ve done just a little bit of hail but enough that I’ve had to deal with some adjusters. I don’t travel so the areas that I work, the guys aren’t familiar with hail so they don’t know what they’re doing or they think they do but they secretly know they don’t. And I’ve never ever had a problem with any of them. And maybe that’s because I’ll easily give a concession because I will. But generally I start out the same way I start out with my retail customers.
Just like you’re saying, Max, I smile, I shake hands with them and I let them know that we have a common goal of getting this thing fixed quickly and efficiently without wasting time or money. And I say, “We’re gonna be able to help you on all these things.” So right off the bat I’m telling them, “I’m in a position of assistance to you, not opposition.”
And the guys that come in and they wanna argue, I immediately take that power away because I tell them, hey, we’re not gonna argue about anything. Let’s go over this thing and make sure we’re on the same page. And when they’ve written a terrible estimate and they think they’ve written a good one, I’ve got some things that I say to them. What do you guys say? The adjuster shows you an estimate and says, “Oh, I wrote a really nice estimate on this thing and the car’s smashed and the estimate’s 900 bucks.” What do you do?
Tony Frasher: Well, so I like to tell a story about last year. Our good friend Bob Coke who we work with a ton, we were in a shop that we had rented and we were getting cars from several other body shops. Well, one of the estimates we had written, the adjuster went to look at one of these cars at one of the body shops. The body shop manager called Bob up – hopefully this isn’t getting too convoluted, but the body shop manager called Bob up and said, “Hey, this adjuster’s really bad-mouthed your estimate. He says you guys make entirely too much money” and so on and so on and so on. So Bob says, “Hey, give me the guy’s number.”
Now, at the time Bob knew this insurance company was very [inaudible] [00:45:49] in the area, had a lot of claims and he knew mostly likely we’re gonna have to deal with this guy for the next four or five months. So he called him up and leveled with him. He said, “Look man, I’m here, you know, I’m just trying to make money just like the insurance company is.” And he just kinda leveled with the guy. And after that everything went perfectly smooth.
So it’s just about trying to get on the same page with guys, and that can be a challenge in a storm where you’re dealing with several different adjusters. But ideally if you can get to a place where you’re gonna see the same guy over and over again; you definitely wanna make sure you get started off on the right foot.
Keith Cosentino: He handled all that with a phone call or was there a follow-up meeting?
Tony Frasher: Nope, just a phone call. I mean, we eventually met the guy in person but the phone call is when things really started to smooth out.
Keith Cosentino: That sounds pretty strong to do just off a phone call.
Tony Frasher: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: I’d like to know what he said besides, “Hey, we’re just out here trying to make money.” I can’t imagine that was it.
Tony Frasher: Well, you know, he just said, “Look, I’d be happy if you wanted to come over” – just helpful, “I’d be happy – I know you don’t deal with hail a lot in this area. If you wanna come by the shop I’d be happy to go over your estimate, show you why we were able to justify these prices that we’re charging.” Just being helpful to the guy really made him realize, okay, this guy isn’t a jerk. He’s just doing his job.
Keith Cosentino: Got it. So it wasn’t as much about the pricing as it was, “Hey, we’re here trying to get these cars done, get them done right, get them done quickly. Come on down and we’ll explain everything to you if need be.”
Tony Frasher: Exactly, exactly.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, that’s one of those things – a quick example is something like a Honda Civic or a Honda Accord that has a sunroof. Those are – you know, they’re all braced up on the inside. There is no way that an adjuster is going to know that. I mean, they don’t take these cars apart. But if you’re not charging double panel on them, you’re selling yourself short.
So you might need to have your R and I guy yank a headliner or something before an adjuster shows up so that you can show him. And then it’s easy to show him that and there is no argument at that point in time.
Tony Frasher: And when you find weird access stuff like that, just to give yourself a little bit more of a battery, you can take pictures of that stuff and say, hey look; this is a car I repaired a couple months ago. This is what the inside of this panel looks like. This is why I’m trying to justify that I’m charging a double panel here.
Keith Cosentino: So it’s obvious that all the stuff that you guys have put together goes deeper and deeper and deeper. Everything that we talk about, you guys could talk about for another three days or three weeks just digging down to the nitty-gritty and the stuff that you guys pay attention to. And that’s why you’re functioning at the highest level.
And we talked a little bit about that dollars per day so you can do a little bit of math. How many hours – or how many days in a season is a guy working? Like how many days in a season will you guys work?
Tony Frasher: I worked 27 weeks this year.
Keith Cosentino: You mean five- or six-day weeks?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, I would probably say I averaged six-day weeks, maybe averaged five-and-a-half, five-and-three-quarter-day weeks, something like that.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, I’d say five-and-a-half for me. I made it 26 weeks this year.
Keith Cosentino: So you guys can do your own math and figure out what kinda production numbers that these guys are turning. But it’s ridiculously good when compared to just about every other income. Anyone that works for a living that does a job, it’s probably at the highest level that it could be. You got CEOs and stuff of giant companies that may be out-earning you guys but if you’re holding tools, I don’t know if there’s anyone that’s more well-compensated anywhere in any industry. So it’s extremely lucrative. And 26 working weeks out of the year doesn’t suck. That’s pretty cool.
Tony Frasher: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: So what have you guys put together? What are you gonna do for people if they’re resonating with what you’re saying. They’re saying, dude, I wanna function at this level. I wanna make these kind of, I’ll call them fairytale incomes because that’s what they are to a lot of people, but you and I both know the reality. If I wanna make a fairytale income doing hail and I’ve been chasing and I wanna get better at it, what are you guys doing?
Tony Frasher: So what we’ve got put together is a 90-day program. So it will start out, we’re gonna do a two-day class in St. Louis, Missouri in February on, I think, the 10th and the 11th. And that’ll be two full days. And that’s really something that hopefully guys that are interested in doing this will be able to show up with their tools because we’ll have cars to fix. We want everybody to get it set up just like they would be at a hail storm.
And then we’re just gonna start top to bottom. I mean, we’re gonna go through, I mean, just everything that we have written out, which is pages and pages and pages of stuff. At that point in time, once the two days is up, they’re gonna have access to us for the first three months of hail season because that’s kinda part of it as well. I mean, it’s easy for us to just go over these things but there’s always gonna be something that we miss, some sorta situation that pops up at some point in time that you might have a question on.
So at that point in time you give us a call over the next 90 days and we’ll be in touch with you every single week just to see how your week is going, what you struggled with, what you’ve done well on and just [inaudible] [00:51:29] through that 90 days to just make it all work for you.
Keith Cosentino: So how big of a class are you working with? How many guys?
Tony Frasher: We’ve got spots for eight guys. It’s gonna be pretty limited and very, very, very hands-on.
Keith Cosentino: That is super limited. Eight guys only. So this is really intense, personal instruction.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, I mean, and a lot of times we’ll be splitting the class up so you’re really gonna be working in groups of four. And with four guys, or eight and eight at that matter, we feel like we can really focus and really be able to fine tune. If we got any bigger, I think we’re not gonna be able to get that personal touch that we’re looking for.
Keith Cosentino: So if I’m interested in this, how do I learn more about it? Do I need to apply? How do I get in touch with you guys?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, it will be an application process because, you know, I mean, it’s not for everybody at this point in time. For the newest guys in the business they’re probably not gonna see the gains that they would. I mean, they need to get out there and just kinda learn from the school of hard knocks type of thing. And then once they’ve gotten beat up a little bit then we can mold them a little more, you know?
But guys that have been out on the road already for a few years that just have some things that they know that they struggle with and need to work on, I mean, this is gonna be ideal for them. So we got a little website set up and that is TheHailTrainer.com or they can shoot us an email at TheHailTrainer@yahoo.com.
Keith Cosentino: Okay. So that’s pretty exciting. Some guys are gonna be fast forwarded to another level this year in their hail. So you guys have set the timing for that class right before the time when you guys wanna get out and really start working so –
Tony Frasher: Exactly, yeah.
Keith Cosentino: – it’s really good timing. And plus, you guys who are gonna be at the Event Skills Seminar, you’re gonna get a chance to work with these guys one-on-one and have a chance to work with them again in the future. But by the time the Event Skills Seminar actually happens, those eight spots are going to be gone. So if you guys are really interested in hail, you might reach out to Max and Tony sooner than later and talk about getting one of those spots.
You know, speaking of coaching – by the way, Shane’s connection is lost so he’s off the call but Shane, we’ll see you next week. Enjoy your cabin. I’ve been doing a little personal one-on-one business coaching for other PDR guys around the country. And I’m not doing that anymore. It’s really intense for me. It takes a lot of time and a lot of energy. And I enjoy it but I’ve got a lot of things going on. But I do enjoy it and it’s fun.
So I’ve decided that I’m going to spend an hour with one or two or three of you guys, listeners of the show and just give you a one-hour coaching session. And we’re gonna record it and make it an episode for the podcast.
So if you want me to break down your business with you and you’re comfortable sharing your numbers and sharing your struggles and what you wanna work on in trying to get to the next level, if you’re comfortable sharing that on the air, shoot me an email PDRCollegeOnline@gmail.com.
We’ll talk about it, we’ll see if you’re a good fit and see if I think there’s something I can do for you. And then if you’re comfortable you’ll get an hour with me and we’ll share it with everybody else and maybe some of the things I’m helping you with, it’ll help other people around the world. So I think that’s kinda fun.
It’s gonna be a fun opportunity. I enjoy that very much. I just don’t have the time to do it on a long term basis so I thought this is a cool way where I can help some people. And it’s not a long term commitment for me. So shoot me an email if you’re interested in that and we’ll make it happen. That’s gonna be fun.
You know, one thing I wanted to ask you guys, what invoicing system do you use when you’re on the trail because at home it’s ReconPro. It’s killing it for me and I know a lot of hail guys use ReconPro. Do you guys, as contractors, have an invoicing system that you use or do you just assimilate into the systems that all the local guys have?
Tony Frasher: Yeah, you kinda have to assimilate just into what the local guy has. I worked with a guy that I’m pretty sure he was using ReconPro this year in Denver and it was a great system.
Keith Cosentino: I’ve had a lot of luck with it with my hail guys here that I’ve contracted with. It’s been really smooth so if you’re interested in checking that out it’s AutoMobileTechnologies.com. ReconPro is the product. And actually there’s – I should’ve talked about this early in the show but you’re here at the end still listening. ReconPro has generally been for the IOS devices, that’s iPhone, iPad, iPod. They are working on an Android version and they are currently beta testing.
So what that means, if you’re not a nerd, is that they think they have it figured out and they need to test it. So, if you have an Android device and you wanna try ReconPro, get in touch with Nick over at ReconPro. And you could just email me and I’ll put you guys in contact. Email PDRCollegeOnline@gmail.com and say, hey, I wanna test the Android version of ReconPro, and that will connect you with Nick over there. And you can help them work the bugs out of it.
So that’s kinda fun to be on the cutting edge of something. And there’s probably not gonna be a lot of bugs to work out honestly because these guys are wizards with the programming. But that’s pretty exciting. There’s a lot of Android holdout guys, especially with all these Samsung phones that are pretty good. Guys couldn’t do anything with ReconPro unless they bought into the Apple universe. So now you don’t have to so I’m excited to see how that works out as well. ReconPro’s taking over the world.
Fellas, thank you for coming and sharing your tips on making more money in hail. I’m excited for those eight guys that get to work with you one-on-one. If I didn’t have a family, I was a single guy, it’d be me. I’d be hitting the road and trying to make the hail money but I’m stuck here raising babies and remodeling kitchens. But for some guys it’s gonna be a whole new world at the end of 2016 as opposed to 2015.
Tony Frasher: Yeah, it’s exciting, for sure.
Max Vannostrand: Yeah, thanks for having us. We’re really excited to help some guys out.
Tony Frasher: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Fellas, until next time, get better.[End of Audio]
Duration: 59 minutes