I just fixed a car in 3 min for $13. How do I help the customer feel good about this?
Keith Cosentino: I’m Keith Cosentino; he’s Shane Jacks and this is the PDR College Podcast where we are here to help you with your PDR business. We want to teach you how to double your income, triple your common sense and quadruple the likelihood that ladies will throw themselves at your feet due to your sheer greatness.
Now, I can’t guarantee all of that but we’re going to deliver a lot of it. Normally, it’s Shane and I here on the line but we are missing Shane tonight, which is all right. We’ve got some technician call-in questions we’re going to answer. But I’m sure you’re curious. Where is the man? Where is Shane?
Well, he doesn’t do a lot of training but he got a call from a certain Chuck Norris who wanted some help with his roundhouse kick so Shane is currently in Nepal schooling up Mr. Norris and anxious to hear about that goes soon.
Before we get deep into the meat of this thing I want to remind you about the software that I use to run my dent removal company which is Recon Pro and that’s AutomobileTechnologies.com. Fantastic company. They put together a great program for us. You know, we’re a tiny industry. There’s not a lot of people who aren’t technicians putting software together and trying to make it work and these guys have done it.
And it’s a fantastic program if you want to get out of the stone tablet and chisel invoice business and into the electronic age, I highly recommend Recon Pro. Check them out on line, AutomobileTechnologies.com. Tell them we sent you.
So wow, you know what? I want to say thank you to all of you technicians worldwide that have been listening so intently to every episode we’ve put out and have been so diligent about contacting us personally and through the PDRCollege.com site to share your stories about how much more money you’re making. I mean, you guys are blowing me away.
There are a lot of guys that have had their best days, their best months, you know, their best weeks. And these are guys with 10, 12, 15 years’ experience. So it’s been very humbling for Shane and I. We’ve been really impressed and excited for you guys. I mean, how cool is that? After 10, 12 years to go out, get something in your head, to have it flip a switch and come home with your best week or your best month ever? That fricking rocks.
You guys are killing it. Keep killing it and keep sharing your questions with us because as you bring us new questions we’ve got to rattle them around in our melons and come up with something that we think is going to work and it helps us dig deeper and get a little bit better at this stuff ourselves.
You know, we’re both really, really good at this stuff but, man, the sky’s the limit. There’s a lot more that we can learn and you guys help us with that personally as well. So I want to say thank you to you guys.
I want to remind you if you haven’t been to our Facebook page make sure you go there. Facebook PDR College and Like our page because we are going to be pumping out some exclusive content to our Facebook guys. So stay with that.
Also, make sure you are on our e-mail list by opting in on PDRCollege.com. That will give you access to the – also to pointers and e-mails or videos that we send out that way. We’ve got to know who you are if you want to get that stuff.
So get into our network. Make sure we know who you are and you know who we are and we can keep getting better together.
I also want to thank everyone who’s taken Shane and I up on his offer to either buy a hammer and download the blending tutorial video or just get access to the video. Maybe you have the hammer or whatever. But there’s been a lot of guys that have taken us up on that offer. We’re thankful for that and we’re excited to help you guys get better with blending and make some more money with that skill.
If you missed the episode when we talked about that that’s Episode 18 when we talk about blending and if you want to check it out, it’s on Shane’s Website, BlendingHammerPDR.com. And of course, almost everybody knows about my crease tabs at this point, BlackPlaguePDR.com. If you can’t spell that, DeadRatTabs.com. Check those out. If you’re not using them you are a year-and-a-half behind the times because that is a must have tool in your glue pulling kit for sure.
I still have tabs. I never got rid of any tabs when I created those crease tabs but I certainly added those and I use them just about every day. If not, for sure every week on something. So make sure you get your hands on those.
A lot of guys know that I have another set of tabs coming out. Those are getting closer and closer. I’ve got prototypes in my hands now. Some of those tabs we knocked it out of the park the first time out. A couple of them I wanted to tweak a few more things. So we’re going back in there. We’re tweaking the tooling a little bit and we’re going to – I want everything to be home run when it hits the market. So be patient and give me a couple more weeks for that and you guys are going to really enjoy those tabs as well. So keep your ears out for that.
So let’s get into the meat of this thing. We’ve got a couple call-in questions. The first one we are going to deal with here is from Justin in Michigan.
Justin: Hello guys, my name’s Justin. I live in Michigan. I cover about four counties, four or five counties, whatever and I’m really the only tech in the area. There’s, you know, Dent Wizard that comes out of like Toledo once a week to a couple dealerships and all this stuff. But I advertise for retail in the paper and all the stuff like that and the thing is, around here, is now our people don’t quite understand what PDR is. They don’t get it.
But it’s strange because every time I talk to someone about PDR I magically drum up – they always seem to have something. I just don’t know how to reach out and, you know, get everyone to understand, you know, what it is we do.
And on top of that, trying to get wholesale’s been like pulling teeth. I mean because a lot of places they literally – they don’t care. They’ll go, you know, because I’ve got a lot of small little lots around here but they’ll go to an auction and buy something, you know, dented to hell and that’s how they want it. They don’t want to put a dime into it.
So if you could just kind of – I don’t know, maybe help me that going it’d be great. Thanks.
Keith Cosentino: All right, Justin. Thanks for taking the time to submit that question. Awesome question. I’m sure it’s a question that a lot of guys have, at least parts of it. But what you’ve got going there that’s unique is the fact that you are one of the only techs, if not the only tech, in the area. Dude, I would kill for that problem. It’s a fantastic problem. You’ve got an education problem, not a competition problem, which is easy, so easy to fix. If you do what I tell you, you will start killing it but let’s talk about it a little bit.
So you’re the only tech. There’s about four counties, which assuming the counties – I’ve never been to Michigan myself, but assuming the counties are similar to the counties here, that’s a lot of ground to cover so there should be plenty of work there, even if some of them are a little more broke than others.
But what you’ve got to do if you’re going after the retail business – this might not surprise many people who’ve listened to me for a while but you’ve got to make sure your Web site is dialed. This is what you’re going to use to educate people.
Now, you might say okay, great, Keith. They don’t know about PDR here. Perfect. You’re going to teach them. What they don’t know about is great. So what are they going to search for then when their car is damaged? They’re going to search for body shops or dent repair, which is kind of a generic term. We know it as paintless dent repair but people might just search for dent repair.
So when you make or remake your Web site you want to make sure that you’re coming up in a search for body shops. And I did a little looking around your area based on the knowledge that I had from where you are and I’m fairly certain there’s just a lot of generic stuff that comes up. I could be wrong about where I think you are but there was a lot of like the YP sites and those generic kind of listing services that nobody clicks on. You don’t click on them; I don’t click on them. They’re there. They help you kind of reinforce that a company exists but they don’t excite you enough to click on anything.
So you have kind of fertile ground right there to really just start crushing it but you got to go out with a purpose if you want retail. If that’s what you’re after get after it and make a plan. So the first plan is to make sure people with a computer or a phone can find you, learn a little bit about you and, in your case, about PDR and they’re going to come your way.
So here’s what I want you to do. Fix the Web site, if you have one at all. If you don’t have one, please make one tomorrow. But if you do have one, fix it. Make sure it’s relevant and make sure it’s coming up for searches for body shop and for, of course, paintless dent removal and in those specific counties. And if that’s too broad, then pick the three or four most affluent areas within those counties that you want to work and target those. Because that’s – your chance of closing in a higher income area are two, three times what they’re going to be in a more average or depressed area. That’s just the reality of what we’re selling. It’s a luxury service.
So find those expensive areas; target those towns. And once you’re getting them to your site you need to do a good job of educating. You can do that with a real simple video showing somebody what you do for a dent repair.
I have one that I’m embarrassed to say I kind of just made it on the fly, on accident. I didn’t have a real purpose for it. I mean, I knew what I wanted to do but I didn’t really script it out and make a big deal about it. But it was slow one day because it was raining so I busted out the camera and made a video of me fixing a dime dent in a 9/11 door and I put that on my website and man, so many of my customers say, hey, I know how this is done. I watched your video. I saw you fix that Porsche. A lot of them call that a Porsche. But if you say to the owners they’ll smack you with their Porsche hat so you’ve got to call it a Porsche.
But anyways, that was really simple and it educates a lot of people. That’s on YouTube so do a few of those in different scenarios on YouTube and make sure you tag them with your area and body shop or your area and dent removal or both. So, when somebody – if you say they don’t know about PDR, and that’s probably true, a lot of them don’t. They are going to still damage their car; they’ll look for a way to fix it. So they’re probably going to look for a body shop.
If you think they don’t, they’re not going to look for a body shop, the next thing to go to is the dealer. So try to tag the high line dealers in your YouTube video with their name and the area. So your video will come up in a normal Google search for that stuff.
If you really don’t have any competition and I think you’re right, dude, this is going to be amazingly easy for you and amazingly productive, fruitful. You’re going to kill it. But you’ve got to do it. Please do it because you’re going to try to fly out here and tongue kiss me after this. It’s going to be simple.
So make a couple of YouTube videos showing basic repairs. Talk to the camera. Make sure you’ve got your best food forward as far as, you know, your work shirt and be shaven and clean cut, you know. Sounds like a joke but I’m serious. Remember what we’re selling. We’re selling an image. We’re selling a better image so we’ve got to bring one to the table when we’re doing that repair.
Show a moderate dent, show a nasty dent if you want to, if you want that kind of work. You’re going to get it in retail whether you want it or not. If you want to be in the retail business you’re fixing smashes unless you can cherry pick enough then knock yourself out. I wish I could but I’m still doing some big ugly stuff.
So if you want to put one of those put it up there but get those videos up. Get them tagged properly so in a Google search they’re going to be on the front page because there’s nothing else. So that’s going to give you tons of exposure right there. Make sure you’re Yelp reviews, your Yelp profile is up and accurate with a photo of your logo or, you know, something relating to the company if you don’t have a logo, maybe a big dent, you know, before and after.
Make sure that links back to your Web site, of course, and if nobody has reviewed you yet you’ve got to hit your network of friends that you’ve done work for hard like everybody on Facebook and have them, the people who you’ve done legit repairs for, you don’t want fake ones. But if you’ve actually fixed some cars for some of your people and if you’ve been doing this long enough, of course, you’ve fixed your mother-in-law’s car, your mother’s car, your brother’s car. Have them spend ten minutes and go write you reviews, legit reviews. Don’t fake them; make them real.
But you’ve got to get that ball rolling because once there’s some activity there that’s going to be on the front page, too. Once you do all these things and people are just kind of searching for something you do, they’re not going to help but find you. And once they’re on the phone it’s a done deal because you sound like a nice guy and you want to do a good job and close these guys.
So, man, that’s going to be your main route to success right there. If people don’t know what PDR is all about, spend some extra time and educate them in that video. Now, when they land on your site you want to do some educating there, too. Not everybody’s going to watch YouTube videos. Some people might bump straight to your site. I’m assuming you get the site done and get it up, okay. Of course, this kind of goes without saying, but once you’re there do a little educating on what can and cannot be fixed on your Web site.
Show some smashed up stuff. If you’ve got some photos of some bad repairs throw those on there. It’s nice to show people why they don’t want to use someone else or what happens at a body shop. Show some dents stud welded or grinded down. Show that and a nice little video of what you do. Or just photos like I said.
Write a couple paragraphs – it doesn’t need to be, you know, 40 pages long – telling people what it’s all about. Make it short and sweet and get them on the phone. Remember that. It’s the goal of the whole Web site is to get them on the phone.
Make sure you have a contact page if they’re ready to go already and they don’t want to – they don’t feel like they need to call. Schedule a repair link with their contact form so they can fill out everything about them, where they are, and just send it straight to you and wait for a call back to schedule the actual time.
This is a good time for me to remind you, too, you do not need prices on your Web site especially in this scenario where nobody knows what you do. The world is your oyster. Don’t paint yourself into a corner with some stupid prices on your Web site. I don’t know why any of you guys do that. It doesn’t make any sense to me because no two dents are alike.
How are you going to price, you know, dents one inch to two inch are X. Maybe if you go back and average all your dents out over the last five years you’ll know what that number is and if you want to just stick there that’s great. But it’s not making anyone call you who wasn’t going to call you before. Leave it open. You can set the pricing better when you talk to them and tell them.
They want to know your specific scenario so I can give you the most competitive quote possible while still doing a fantastic repair. How hard is that to say? It’s not hard; it’s easy. But why you need to put how much the stinking dent costs on the Web site – I don’t know what the problem you’re trying to solve is, guys, with that. I don’t know, Justin, if you have that or not but if you have it my advice is to pull it off. If you don’t have it, leave it off.
And that’s almost as bad as the freaking approximate time for the repairs. What do you guys think you’re accomplishing when you put approximate time to repair, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes or under? What is that doing? You think people are so busy they’re not going to call you because their repair is going to take two hours they think or three hours?
We know the repair is going to be done in 30 or 60 minutes. They don’t need to know that because when you tell them it could be three or four hundred dollars the universal response is, wait a second. You said it’s only going to be 30 minutes. How could it be $400.00? Don’t give them the stuff to make that calculation. You’re not selling the time. You’re selling the result. The time is insignificant. Take the times off of there. It doesn’t help you; it can only hurt you. So that’s my advice on that.
I don’t have the times anywhere. I don’t even answer that question directly when somebody asks me because truthfully you can’t answer it, right? If you’re going to get a dime size dent out of a door in the meat of the door where there’s no brazing, that’s a five-minute repair. Move that dent up to the roof between the sun roof and, you know, like right behind the sun roof where you can’t get it unless you drop the whole sun roof cassette and you’re going to glue pull it and it’s nasty and sharp and you’ve got to pound it out flat and pull it 50 times. That’s not a five-minute repair. Why would you put the times?
I’m done ranting on that but the second part, that’s easy. That stuff is really easy. It may seem like a lot of work and if you haven’t done it, it probably is a lot of work. But it’s such an easy payoff. You’re going to spend a week working hard on that and it’s going to pay you hundreds of thousands of dollars for years and years and years. It’s the best investment you can possibly make. And remember; hire a pro for the Web site. Don’t do it yourself.
So that’s what I want you to do for retail. It’s a basic plan. You just have to do it. I promise you’ll kill it after that. Let’s talk about your wholesale because that was the second part of your question. You said a lot of the small lots; they just don’t care about PDR. That is absolutely true. Everywhere. It’s not just your part of town. What you’ve got to do is more banging on doors and more shaking of hands if you want wholesale work. If you do the retail thing right you won’t need it. I can promise you.
I don’t know anything about your area but if you’re in four counties and there’s nobody – if you get the retail presence up you won’t need the wholesale guys. But let’s assume it takes you nine months to get through the search engines and showing up on line and you need to fill that time with retail, or with wholesale, rather.
Here’s what you need to do. The guys you’re talking about that don’t care about PDR, just ditch them. They’re not your guys. Don’t worry about it. There’s a lot of those – we call them pot lot guys that they don’t care. They’re not even really selling cars. They just want to get super high price loans to people who can’t afford them so they can get the cars back and do it again. Those aren’t your guys. Shake hands, smile and tear up their card and move on somewhere else.
Just keep shaking hands because you will find the guys that are car guys. They might have a lot that looks small but it’s clean and there’s not a lot of cars there but they’re nice. Those are the guys that care and once you show them what you can do – like you said, once you talk to people they always seem to find something for you to do. Once you find the right guys you’ll stay busy and you’ll have a nice relationship with them. But you’ve got to churn through a lot of those rascals before you find a couple of good ones because they are few and far between. But they are there.
So if you really want the independent lot, wholesale business shake a lot of hands, meet a lot of guys and don’t try to make something out of nothing. Just look at the cars. If they suck or they’re all a, you know, bunch of Sebrings and Dodge Intrepids, just bail. Those aren’t your guys. But you want somebody with a few German cars, a couple nice trucks. I hate trucks but you know what I mean.
You look at the lot. If the cars look decent then meet the guy. If the guy is decent you might have something worth talking about there.
I would advise you, too, if you’re just starting that side of that relationship stick with the panel price if you can. It’s going to pay off a lot better than a per car price for these smaller guys and they’re not going to call you for, you know, one beat up car for 80 or 50 or 150 bucks or whatever.
You need some flexibility there. So if the market really is that slow go with a panel price. Now if you really want to do wholesale the pot lots are going to be where you start. You’re going to end up at a large franchise dealer because there’s more cars, just more business. So I would not have the independent lots be my end game. They’re always and I think they should always be your stepping stone to a franchise store.
Why? Franchise stores have many more cars and the guy writing the – the guy signing your invoice, it’s not his money. It’s the owner’s money. He’s just trusted to make good decisions and make money with his money on the lot. And he is making money when he has dent removal done on all of his cars. They look nicer and cleaner and they’re going to sell better and for more money. We know that’s true. I know it’s true with all my heart. That’s why I can sell it.
But these independent guys, when they write you a check, that’s their money. That’s the money they made yesterday and they’re paying it out again. That’s why they’re so tight with it. You would be too if it was your money.
But the other place is better. He’s writing someone else’s money. So as long as he likes you, you do a good repair and the prices are fair that you’ve agreed on that’s going to be an easier sell. Not to mention there’s more cars. Not to mention a lot of these – I think every dealer now has a — or every manufacturer has a certified used program that they are audited on, on the vehicles and the conditions of those cards can’t have dents in them at least above a certain size so that’s where you want to be.
So if you’re serious about the wholesale business you need to get in front of a couple of these lots. So do some research. If you know any painters or interior repair guys network with them because they can give you a lot of kind of ear-on-the-ground information about these other stores, telling you who you really need to talk to and what stores are kind of open to switching.
So then there’s a lot of information I just kind of threw at you, Justin. But you really have a fantastic situation where you’ve got – you just need to educate customers. That is easy. You’re going to love it. So just get into it. Get excited about it. Do this stuff and start printing money over there.
Fantastic. Please let us know how it goes and if you want to share your Web address and have everybody look at it or have us look at it, I’d be happy to look at it for you and give you some personal advice so you can reach out to us. PDRCollegeOnline@gmail.com or you can just leave it in the discussions on the PDRCollege.com site which by the way is going to be changing a little bit soon.
The way it’s displaying all of our old podcasts and the discussion comments with them is not ideal. They’re kind of getting garbled up and it’s hard to find an old episode. So we’re in the process of reformatting that to make it easier to navigate so please stick with us. If you’ve been frustrated with that I apologize but we’re going to get it straightened out and thanks to some of our close buds who have had the stones to tell us that it sucks. Because it was really good when we had, you know, just a handful of shows and now that we’ve got – this is our 20th episode, awesome.
We’ve got this many, though. They’re kind of getting lost in there. So we’re going to fix that. So stick with us on that.
Okay, we’ve got two questions today. That was the first one from Justin and the second one comes from a guy I know personally, Gene Fetty and Gene is an absolute stud in PDR. So to get a call like this with the compliments that he has for us is just fantastic. So Gene, thanks for the compliments and taking time to put this question together and we’re going to get to an answer for you and here is Gene.
Gene Fetty: Hi, Keith and Shane. It’s Gene Fetty. I have a twofold message for you here. First, I wanted to thank you guys for the podcasts and everything you’ve put together. I wanted to let you know that you’ve helped me step up my sales game, my retails are working out way better, my Web site’s gaining traction and I’m closing more deals at a higher dollar amount.
You also gave me the courage to get rid of an account I’ve had for 11 years that’s slowly gone downhill and turned into a real time suck. It was hard to walk away from the all but guaranteed money every week but it certainly a weight off my shoulders knowing that I don’t have that big block of my time that gets taken away every week and I can concentrate on more retail jobs. So I wanted to thank you guys for that.
So here’s my question. I guess it’s geared more towards Keith since he’s an on-location retail guy. How do you deal with customers that have smaller damage? You know, you get out there and it’s a hundred or a $125.00 job and it’s literally a dent that, you know, under the gun you could be done within two minutes. I wanted to see how you or you guys handle those situations. I ran into it plenty of times where I go as slow as I can and I get done and I hand the customer a bill and they don’t say anything but I definitely get the look, you know, the I can’t believe you charged me that much for 15 minutes of work look.
I wanted to see how you guys recommend dealing with that and some tips and tricks to maybe make the process go a little longer and sell the sizzle a little bit more than the steak. Thanks guys. Keep it up and get better.
Keith Cosentino: All right, Gene. Bring in a slogan at the end. I love it. Get better. We’re all trying to do it. So man, this is a funny problem because it’s common. I’ve had plenty of these scenarios, as you have. Thankfully, I mean, this is awesome. It’s a great problem to have that you’re done so fast that you’re worried they think they’re getting ripped off which kind of goes back to my original point of don’t put the stinking’ time on the Web site. You don’t need to worry about the time.
But in this scenario, you are kind of worried about the time because the only reason you feel like this is because you are feeling like you’re ripping them off. Think about that. They might give you the look and it’s just a look. You’re putting the feelings behind it. You think you know how they’re feeling because you know how you might feel.
So step Number Zero for the steps to rectify the situation is to believe that what you’re charging is worth what you’re delivering. You’ve got to believe that in your heart. Once you believe – like I think in one of our first couple episodes we talked about this just a little bit. I talked about how – I kind of made it sound like a joke but I’m serious. I feel like my skills are worth $800.00 an hour. Do I get that? Almost never. That’s a ridiculously high amount of money. But when the scenario happens – as a matter of fact I just had a job last week where I did that and I was fine with it because I’ve accepted the fact that that’s what it’s worth.
I had to think about that myself, own that feeling and believe it in my heart. Now once I got that done, now I can work on selling that to somebody else. But until you believe it yourself there’s no way you’re going to sell it.
So now you’re curious, what was my $800.00 an hour job? I’ll tell you the story even though it has nothing to do with Gene’s question which I’m going to answer. But I had a customer who had a brand new Hyundai Elantra. They were parked at Walmart and they parked way out in the middle of nowhere because they loved this car. It was their – they were real excited. It was a brand new car. I think it was a three-stage red. Kind of a pearly, metallic red. And they parked way out in the middle of nowhere, next to a cart return with two carts in it.
And the guy walked all the way in the store and as he was walking out he saw the dude with the cart corralling machine or whatever you call that cart-pushing machine and he’s thinking, oh, man, this guy’s heading right out to that car return by my car so he’s probably going to hit my freaking car.
Well, lo and behold, he didn’t hit the car with the cart machine but he ran the whole cart corral into this – like all the way down this Hyundai and it drug a plastic garbage can down the side of it. Left a bunch of vinyl smeared on the car and a bundh of light creases, like really light. I didn’t even see a couple of them until I got the thing cleaned off. But there was two of them a foot long; three of them four inches; another one four inches. A glue pull in the dog leg of a four inch crease; black plague, two pulls, by the way. And then just regular tool work on the doors, you know.
Not hard work to do if you’re a good technician but you’ve got to take your time and make it right and they want it perfect. Well they had already gotten a body shop estimate with a week’s worth of rental car. The chick used to work in the body shop business so she kind of knew the game and she got a full-boat estimate with rental reimbursement and got the check got to her which she told me because I asked the right amount of questions.
And she said, “We’re hoping to just have you do it, keep the original paint and walk away with some cash in our pockets.” I said I think we can pull this off.
So when I got there, you know, you’ve got three different sections of creases. You start adding them up, it gets expensive; 250 here, 250 here, and $300.00 here. That’s not a lot of money for each individual section but you add it up, that’s 800 bucks done in an hour and 15, 20 minutes maximum and glass perfect. You know, like I said, if you’re a good tech that’s not hard work to do, you just have to be on your game and that was it. An hour and 15 or 20, 800 bucks.
And I was happy to tell them the price and look them in the eye and shake their hand and they were happy to cut it because, of course, they’re writing a check from someone else’s money, just like the dealer del we were talking about earlier but nonetheless, they loved the repair and they were happy to write that check.
So if I would not have taken the time years ago to really convince myself that what I’m bring to the table is worth what I’m asking, that would have been tough to do, you know. Other guys, I know, would have said oh, gosh, it only took me an hour and 15, you know, 300 bucks. That’s great money. And it is. There’s a lot of jobs I do that don’t pay $300.00 for an hour and 15 but this one paid $800.00 and everybody was happy.
So you’ve got to believe that first. So that’s my little story. So, back to Gene’s question. He’s saying I’ve got a job that’s $100.00 or $125.00, Gene, I’d like those all to be at least $125.00, first of all. Why? It’s 25 percent more than $100.00 and it doesn’t make any difference to the person paying, hardly. It’s 25 bucks. If they’re in for $100.00, they’re in for $125.00 and you made 25 percent more money. Ditch the $100.00s and get to the $125.00s if you’re driving to them.
If they’re bringing it to you, different story. You can cut them a good deal. But if you’re driving, $125.00, Gene. Don’t tell me anything about $100.00 anymore. I’d like it to be $150.00 but that’s going to be a big jump for you mentally. So $125.00 and go to $150.00 even for little tiny stuff.
So let’s take it step-by-step. We already believe now what we’re selling is worth what we’re asking. We’ve got that done. That’s out of the way. Now, you get to the job; you see it’s a five-minute dent and usually, the people who are calling you for these, they are more spun about that dent than someone who has a big crease down the side who’s price shopping.
The people who would take the time to call, talk, make an appointment, be available, meet you, all for this little tiny dent, they’re nuts for the car. Okay. So it doesn’t matter as much as you think that you’re going to be done fast. But we’ll get to that.
So you need to spend a couple of minutes and I just happen to know Gene, you know. I would answer this question differently if I didn’t know you but I know Gene so I know he’s spending a couple of minutes with the customer beforehand and getting to know them and talking about their car. But that’s an important step that make sure you guys don’t skip. You get there, talk about the car. Ask about the car. How have they liked it? This is stuff you don’t think it matters. But it does matter. You need to build a rapport with them and you need to build a rapport quickly. And you’re only common ground right here, until you ask more questions, is the car.
So ask them how long they’ve had it. How do they like it? Give them a compliment on the car. It’s probably a decent car if they’re having you fix a dent on it. Find something you like about it and tell them, you know, what’s so great about it. Spend that couple of minutes building rapport, getting to know them. And if you’ve got to go back to our recommendation for Nicholas Boothman to work on your body language and read theirs, do it if you haven’t done that. Because that’s going to help you really fast in that couple of minutes build a nice comfortable rapport with them.
Why are we spending so much time building a rapport with them? It could be as much time as fixing the dent. Because when people like you they don’t like to complain. They think you’re great. But if they already were kind of neutral on you, then they might feel like they got ripped off, like Gene’s alluding to. But if they like you, you’re friendly and you’ve made a connection they might make a joke or a comment at the end if they feel that way but they’re not going to be feeling like they got burnt.
So spend a few minutes that you would normally do to kind of stretch out the repair and make it take a longer – if you want to do that later, fine. But take that time and put it in the front end building a rapport with the customer and making sure they like you before you ever start the repair. So you’ve gotten the price out of the way and they’ve agreed to it.
That’s why you started working, right? I hope you’ve done that because, like I said, I’m sure Gene has but there’s some of you guys who will start the repair without talking about the price and I’m not immune to this either. Sometimes you get a really comfortable scenario with the customer and they just say, “Hey go, man, fix it.” And they go inside and you feel like wait, I haven’t even talked about the price. They’ll just throw the work at you and usually those go fine. But it’s really important to talk about the price first.
So assume you already have done that. That’s why you’ve gotten your tools out. And then I want you to remember, you told them what the results were going to be and you told them what the cost was going to be and they’re fine with that. Okay? Just remember that so there’s no way you can feel bad if they’ve agreed to the price and not, you know, a range, but a number. This is exactly $125.00 and this is what it’s going to look like. It’s going to look perfect.
If they’ve agreed to that you’ve got to remember that because that’s a little ammo for your brain when you’re second guessing yourself about them feeling like they got ripped off. They agreed to the results. They agreed to the price and you produced both those things.
The time is inconsequential but sometimes you’ll still encounter a little bit of an argument. So let’s just take it down this path. So we’ve believed in ourselves. We’ve made some small talk and built rapport with the customer. We’ve agreed on a price and an outcome. And now we’ve got to fixing the car.
Now when you do these dents I personally look at it as a scenario where I get to really challenge myself to do a literally perfect repair. So I’m going to take a couple extra minutes. I’m not going to try to blow through it like I would on a car at a dealership lot and get it to 99 percent in 99 seconds. I’m going to try to make it as perfect as I can.
So if normally I wouldn’t have got my light out, I’ll get my light out. And if I normally wouldn’t have heated it because it’s probably fine, I’ll get heat out just to make it – I’m going to pull out all the stops and make this repair as perfect as I can. I’m going to treat it like a little dent Olympic competition. So that will help you – I mean if you’re feeling like you really don’t want to do a 99 second repair it will help you stretch it out to 10 or 15 minutes which is still almost no time and it’ll give you the secure feeling knowing that you did everything you could possibly do to make this dent right.
And it’s kind of fun to do because you don’t get to do that very often. Most of the time you’re under the gun. You’re trying to do a great repair in a quick or small amount of time as possible and frankly, there’s always something you could do a little bit better, especially if you’re working on big smash dents. But on these little dents you can make them as perfect as you’re capable of and that’s kind of fun to do I think.
So sometimes right when you’re getting started the customer will say, “Well, how long do you think it will take?” And I always answer that question this way, which is honest but maybe I’m omitting some facts. I’ll say, “I never know exactly how long it’s going to take me because I don’t know what I’m going to encounter back there but it shouldn’t take long. I should be done in under an hour, probably faster if there’s no bracing or anything gets in my way. Maybe the same time or a little longer if I have to use a less than ideal tool. But I promise you I’ll get it one way or the other. I just don’t know which tools I’m going to attack it with yet.”
That’s an honest answer. It may not be completely truthful. You may have more than a better idea of what tool’s going to get in there and how quick it’s going to take but it’s true. There’s plenty of dents you think are going to take five seconds. You throw the tool in there that you think is going to be the right one and you realize well, guess what, you’re fixing this whole thing with a wire tool now not a big giant window tool.
So I’ll say that first of all and then I’ll do my perfect repair. If there’s a scuff I’ll polish it, wax the panel. I mean, perfect. As perfect as you can make it, do that repair. So that when the customer comes out and it’s done quickly there’s, I mean, there’s nothing you could say like, well, you didn’t clean it. You didn’t do this; you didn’t do that. So what I’ll say is, “Wow.” They’ll say you’re done quickly and I’ll say, “Wow, that repair went so smoothly it was amazing. I mean, that repair’s perfect. It’s one of the repairs I’m most proud of” this week, month, year; whatever.
Who’s going to complain to you after that? You know, you get excited about it like it’s your own car. Don’t feel sheepish like you’re handing over the bill and it’s like a death sentence to them, to their checkbook. Because the fact of the – you’ve got to remember this, Gene and everybody else who might have the same scenario. They called you and they got a guy who knows what he’s doing. You know plenty of technicians who are in the business who have no business being in the business. They could have gotten that call and they’d have been on that dent for an hour and a half and it still would have looked like a mangled up piece of dog crap at the end and it would have been the same price.
So it’s still a great deal for them. They just happened to get a stud behind the tool and it’s okay to tell them that. You know, I have a lot of smart aleck answers that I use with my customers to kind of make them laugh and build some rapport with them. You know, you can, can that stuff and use it over and over again because you’re generally not dealing with the same people.
I don’t even think this is originally mine. I think somebody else told me but they’ll say, “How long did it take you?” Or, “That didn’t take you too long.” Or something like that. Or they’ll say, “Well, that didn’t take you too long.” I’d say, “No, it took me 16 years. That’s how long it took me to get this fast.” And I kind of laugh and smile and give them a little, you know, elbow or I smack them on the shoulder, or something like that. I don’t get like an attitude about it but I use it to make a joke and tell them, “Listen, I’m really good at what I do so it looks easy.”
So there’s that little scenario that I take it from the top to the bottom and the whole thing really is predicated on the first Step Zero that I talked about and that is believing that the repair is worth what you’re asking. Once that’s done, this other stuff’s easy and you could switch it all around and change it and it’s still right. But if you don’t have that first one, it’s a house of cards. You’re not going to get it right.
You’re going to feel bad and you’re going to do a repair for next to nothing and if you’re having trouble getting over that first hurdle, determining that what you’re asking is worth it, you’ve got to remember this: If you’re a mobile guy this job starts the minute you turn the key on your truck from wherever you’re coming from. So, okay, it’s a ten-minute repair, it’s ten minutes of transaction with the customer, maybe ten minutes before, maybe ten minutes after. We’ll just assume it’s five minutes before and five after so it’s 20 minutes of engagement there but you’ve got 15, 20 minutes to get there and another 15 minutes to get somewhere else.
And if you don’t want to count the second half because you’re on the way to the second job, fine. But assume it’s 15 minutes to get there and 20 while you’re there. That’s a 35 minute job, not a 10 minute job or a 5 minute job. That counts. That part of your day that you don’t get back that you used specifically for that job. So if you remember that, a lot of these jobs that you think are real lucrative because well, I was there ten minutes, I charged them 80 bucks. I mean, that’s 500 bucks an hour. Yeah, great. While you’re holding tools but that means you made nothing while you were in the truck.
So you’ve got to remember that’s part of your day and needs to produce and you’re obviously not producing any money in that time so that’s got to be pushed over onto the job. Remember that. That’s important to think of when you’re determining what the cost should be. You’ve got to determine your hours and how much you think you need to make that day or week, month; whatever. So, consider that.
Oh, you know, one thing I do that doesn’t really affect the job but something I’ll do when I’m done with a job like this and I’ll tell you why I just remembered this is I’ll make sure that whatever I was fooling with in the car is still functioning. And that may seem like overkill because we hardly ever break stuff but when you’re at a retail customer’s home or work or what have you, you don’t ever want to come back unless it’s for another repair.
You don’t want to come back for my window doesn’t work or my tail light doesn’t work. So I’ll check that stuff and if I check it when they’re not in front of me I’ll tell them I just checked it. And if they’re out there I’ll say, “Hey, could I ask you to go back there and just make sure that tail light is functioning the way it’s supposed to? I unplugged it and plugged it back in so let’s make sure it’s working.” You go through all the lights and yep, it works. Great. Now, we both know and I’ll see you later.
But that’s really important to do. Make sure the window goes back up and down the way it’s supposed to and show them that you’re checking that. At first, you’ll think, oh, why – they’re going to think I break everything; that’s why I’m checking it now. And some people do think that. But I just explain to them I don’t anticipate any problems here but let’s just make sure the window works the way it’s supposed to work before I go home. Yep, zzt, zzt, it does, great. It leaves them with some peace of mind and most importantly you. So you’re never going to get that call, hey you were here and my such and such doesn’t work now. You’re not going to get those calls if you do that stuff.
So that’s another thing you can do for your five-minute repair. Just make sure the stuff still works and show them that and it leaves the impression that you’re a more thorough technician, you care about the car and you care about making everything perfect and it saves you time from having to drive out on something stupid like my window lockout button is pushed and I didn’t know it.
But I said the reason I brought this up I was going to tell you. Here’s what happened to me. I was doing a crushed ’06 Accord driver’s quarter panel last week. The guy’s selling the car and this thing was just smashed on every quarter, collision damage on the quarter. And I said, “Listen, we’ll get it real close and we’ll help you sell the car.” And it was a fine repair. I had to take the bumper and the tail light out because you guys know about that car. The bumper and the tail light are hooked together at the back. But no big deal. That’s about the easiest bumper cover ever to take off.
Pulled the tail light, did the repair, put it all back together, checked the tail light, everything’s fine. You know, the customer loved it. We shook hands. That was the end of that. Well, the next the next day he called me and he said, “Hey, Keith, the repair looks great but my gas door doesn’t open.” Oh, crap. I really – the dent was right next to the tail light. It wasn’t even near the fuel door. But I had that trim all the way out and he said, “You know what, I’ve got to put some gas in the car and the door won’t open.”
And I said well, did you try this, did you try that? Yeah, yeah, I tried all that. It’s not working. I said, okay, well, I don’t think I did anything as far as breaking anything because I would have felt something break and I would have come and told you and that didn’t happen. So if it’s not functioning we’ll get in there and we’ll figure out what it is and we can fix it.
And he said, “Well, do you think it’s just coincidence?” It was a pretty honest question, you know, from a guy. Normally, the people are upset with you when that kind of stuff happens but I said, “Honestly, it can’t be a coincidence. The thing as working and then I got in the quarter panel and now it’s not working. I’m sure it’s something I did but I don’t know what it was.”
So I got to the car. Actually, believe it or not, the guy brought it to me which is really cool but there’s a cable actuator that actuates the plunger mechanism for the door release and there’s like a coupler and there’s a little cap on the coupler. It just had been like pushed up and over. So you can get the last eighth inch of the cable movement when you pull the lever and it just wasn’t releasing. So it was like a four second fix. Just clip that clip back on the cable coupler and everything was fine and he was back down the road.
But it was embarrassing for me because it seems like I don’t know what I’m doing and I thought, okay, how could I have rectified that situation? Well, it would have been to check everything. Well, I checked everything that I fooled with but I was just close to that fuel door. I didn’t get anywhere near it. I was just close to it. I was eight, ten inches away but I touched that cable. I just have grabbed the cable with my hand or with one of the tools or something and I didn’t check that fuel door.
So I’m going to be checking all the fuel door operation now when I’m in a quarter panel even close to the fuel door and that would have saved me an hour worth of time that day. Well, that customer an hour. It took me five minutes but normally they’re not going to bring it to you. That guy was a nice guy.
So it helps me sometimes to teach these lessons because I remember them myself and that’s big one. Check your stuff when you’re done and make sure everything works. Make sure everybody knows you checked it. If you’re really anal, make a checklist that you give back to the customer. I don’t do that because I’m not as anal as I could be but a lot of you guys are. If you’re a paperwork dude make a sheet. It’s pretty cool to say hey, checked everything. It all works. Here’s your sheet and your signature and mine and we’re going to part as friends.
So those are my steps, Gene. That’s what works for me. Once in a while you’ll have people make that crack and I just, you know, they’ll say something and I usually use that scenario to make a joke and make light of it and just keep on going. I don’t give a discount. I say hey, if you wanted it to take longer I could send one of my new guys. They would have been here all day if that would make you feel better. And you kind of laugh and they laugh and, oh no, you know, you’re the guy. You did a great job. That’s what we wanted. Yeah, fantastic, I knew I was. Okay, see you later and that’s that.
Don’t feel bad about it. Make light of it and it’s not as big of a deal as you think it is. I can promise you. If you did a great repair there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
All right. I want to say thank you to both Justin and Gene for taking the time to submit those questions and for the compliments. Thank you guys. And you guys listening that would like to submit your own questions you can go to PDRCollege.com. There’s a little gray bar on the side of the page. You click that guy. He opens up and says hey, leave us a message. And you can do it right from your computer. So it’s pretty cool.
Most every computer has a little microphone built into them and you can just leave a message right there and we’ll get it. And if it’s a good one or a really bad one, we will answer it on the show. But you guys have sent a ton of them in. Sorry have not been able to get to all of them but please some people we’ve been able to correspond with personally and help them out with their issues but everybody who submits a question we’re going to get back to you and we’re going to use it on the show if we can. But we’re going to answer it for sure, one way or the other.
So thanks for taking the time. It’s fun to do those. Keep sending them in. They’re a lot of fun.
So at the end of the show here, we like to do the tool review and the tool I’m going to talk about today is the slide hammer that I use for 99 percent of my glue pulling and that is the Dent Dynamics Slide Hammer by Anthony Spencer. Anthony’s a tech and he’s put together a couple of really neat tools for the industry. The one of his I use the most is the slide hammer and it’s a really cool piece of equipment.
It’s aluminum and stainless steel. It’s got a stainless steel shaft, stainless steel weight and a stainless steel stop at the end and then the adaptor or the receiver, whatever you want to call the part that hooks to the tab, that’s aluminum. If it just to be about the perfect size and weight. It hasn’t fallen apart on me through years and years of use and the stainless steel doesn’t corrode nor does the aluminum. So it still looks really nice and pretty even though it’s got some scratches from me. I’m kind of rough on my tools.
But really awesome, awesome tool. I use that all the time when I’m slide hammering. I prefer to use a Mini Lifter most of the time but some repairs need a slide hammer. Mini Lifters aren’t going to pull it off. And when I need it that’s the slide hammer I use.
So you can find that thing on Anthony’s site which is DentDynamics.com and then he’s got a button for Tool Store and you find the slide hammer at the top of the page. It looks like when you buy it he gives you a six-pack of Atlas Tabs on the house, Atlas Olympian Glue Tabs, six piece assorted set. So a decent tab to go with it, too.
So cool tool. I’d recommend you guys use that if you’re in the market for a slide hammer. Buy it. On occasion when I’m using the giant Black Plague tabs, the big ones with the three different pulling points on them – I use this all the time on that – sometimes when you’re on some real nasty stuff you need a little more muscle and I don’t come across that scenario very often but when I do I’ve got this five-pound monster slide hammer from Keco and they call that thing – let’s see what they call that thing here. It is called the PDR Slide Hammer Five Pounds.
Not that fancy of a name but this thing’s a monster. I mean, it’s really long, super heavy. You would never use it for a normal glue pull but if you’ve got something crushed that you’re trying to bring out and you want to put the hurtin’ on it, this is the slide hammer to do it. And that’s on Keco’s site and a few other people who carry, or companies that carry Keco products have the slide hammer as well. But here’s the part number, C806 on Keco’s site which is KecoTabs.com. That one’s 150 bucks and Anthony’s I believe 125 bucks for the Dent Dynamics Slide Hammer. Yeah, 125 bucks. So, the Keco one’s a little more expensive for a big, giant, heavy slide hammer that you’re not going to use that often.
But it’s the kind of tool that when you need it nothing else is going to get the job done. You need that monster. So if you’re the kind of guy who wants a tool for everything you need them both. And come on, 275 bucks total for both of them – if you’re doing a repair that you need one of those pulls, like a big giant crush you’re going to double the price of those two slide hammers on one repair. Then they’re paid for.
You guys that are hung up on the price of PDR tools, you’re stuck in your own minds. There is no tool that’s overpriced if you know how to use it. I mean, you look at – talk to some of the mechanics that you work around at these dealerships. These guys have 30, 40, 50 grand in tools and they’re making 55, 60, 70K a year. We have it so good with the price of our tools. If you’re cheap on tools you’re a retard.
Spend some money. Get the right tools and make some frigging money. Get better with them.
So those are my two slide hammers. I recommend both of them.
All right, thanks for spending the time with us today. It’s awesome to help everybody get better. Again, keep yourself in the loop by getting on our PDRCollege.com Facebook page. Make sure we’ve got your e-mail on our PDRCollege.com page and just stay wired in with us because we’re going to do some awesome things in the upcoming months and we want you guys to be a part of it and we’ve got to be able to find you.
So make sure you do those things. Oh, also, an update on our Web site case study that we did a few episodes back where we’ve got a lot of stuff going behind the scenes there. That’s a big project and everybody’s got primary projects we’re working on so, you know, nobody’s been banging that thing out full-time but we’ve got a lot going with it already but it isn’t finished.
So we’re still working on it. We’re going to share that with you as soon as it’s done. I’m excited to show you guys what we do and how we turn that site around. So don’t forget about that. That’s going to be a lot of fun and it is coming up soon. Sooner than later.
All right, guys. Until next time. Get better.
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Duration: 55 minutes