Retail Red Flags: Be aware of these things and increase PROFIT!
After THOUSANDS of retail repairs, Keith and Shane share the list of things to be on the look out for that could potentially trip you up and cost you thousands per week in lost time.
Learn these for yourself and never drive to a ‘bunk’ call again!
Keith Cosentino: I’m Keith Cosentino. He’s Shane Jacks. And this is the PDR College Podcast, the only place in the world dedicated to your success in the dent removal business. We are here every week sharing everything we know to help you put some more dough in the pocket because that is what this endeavor is all about. It’s not about being fancy. It’s not about fixing cars. It’s about – what’s it about Shane?
Shane Jacks: Putting money in your pocket, baby. Money in the pocket.
Keith Cosentino: And as much of it as possible.
Shane Jacks: As much as possible.
Keith Cosentino: So to that end today we are talking about the retail business because there’s a lot of money to be made there. It’s not utilized well enough by most techs around the country. And Shane and I have been doing it for a long, long time. And dealing with thousands and thousands literally of customers over the years we have developed what we call retail red flags. And what these are, are things you hear or see that you need to say, “Whoop, red flag. I may not need to engage with this customer anymore” or “I need to take a step back and go down a different line of questioning and make sure this is a real job or there’s a good chance I’m going to get burned.”
Shane Jacks: Absolutely. Red flag doesn’t mean it’s a definite no go, but it means back up and make sure what you’re getting into is smart, is profitable for you.
Keith Cosentino: Speaking of being smart and profitable, you need to be using Recon Pro for your invoicing. The smartest thing I did for my business on the business end. It doesn’t help me meet a customer, it doesn’t help me talk to them on the phone, but once the transaction is happening, it changes my world. I got everything on my phone. It’s synced through the air to my computer. And it works the way it’s supposed to work to run a backend of a company. It’s not paper. It’s not some dude in a barn in chicken lips that put the software together and it just does what he thinks it needs to do. It’s a team of guys all over the world. It’s the real deal. Check them out: Auto Mobile Technologies dot com, Recon Pro. Get on it.
So Shane I’ve got my list here of red flags and you’ve got your list I think. A lot of them are the same, but a lot of them are different because sometimes there are geographical differences, demographical differences I guess I could say.
Shane Jacks: Yes. I mean, oftentimes I can – maybe it’s the same pretty much anywhere, but I can listen to the tone of their voice and how they’re saying the words and kind of this guy is not wanting to fix something. He’s not wanting to pay me what I will want to get this repair down. And you can tell it over the phone.
Keith Cosentino: Yes.
Shane Jacks: Can I give you a quick example?
Keith Cosentino: Please.
Shane Jacks: Okay. Two years ago I had a gentleman call me. I believe it was two years ago. We were deep in hail here at my shop. And he calls and he says, “Hey.”
And just that hey –
Keith Cosentino: Right. I know exactly – yes.
Shane Jacks: Seriously it was enough. And I’m immediately on the defensive. And he says, “You all give free estimates, right?”
Let’s see, we all give free estimates right. That’s five words and those five words were the most grating words that I had ever heard at that moment. We were so deep in hail. And yes, we do give free estimates, but immediate red flag and basically this gentleman blew up on me when I told him I was going to charge him $30.00 that was refundable for an estimate. It was refundable if he got his car repaired with us. And he started cursing me and everything else. So –
Keith Cosentino: Because he wanted you to come out there and give a mobile estimate.
Shane Jacks: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah. That’s an easy way to make people go away is to charge for estimates. We’ve talked about that before. Some guys who have weak phone skills across the country and they get tired of getting burned, they move to this paid estimate program. It’s bad business, man. Nobody – just think about it. Would you like to pay anybody just to come out and look at something at your house? Even if it’s $30.00, which seems like nothing if you’re the guy getting the check, but if you’re the guy paying it, I mean, they’re just going to come out and look at something. “Yep, that’s broken. That will be $30.00.”
Shane Jacks: Yeah, I could tell by this guy’s voice he was wanting an insurance check. That’s all he wanted.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Shane Jacks: Now, Keith one thing, how long does it take you to do a true hail estimate?
Keith Cosentino: Man, a good one, me and maybe some guys are faster than me, but it takes me minimum 30, 40 minutes.
Shane Jacks: Exactly. So I’m not doing that for free right in the middle of a hail season. There is no way. I mean, I will – let me take that back. For a gentleman that calls me and says, “Hey, you all give free estimates don’t you?” I ain’t doing it.
Keith Cosentino: Yes, we do. That will be $10,017.00. Done. Would you like it in writing?
That’s definitely a huge one, is the limited communication right off the bat. Or just bad communication is a red flag in and of itself. And I’ve broken it down a little further here in my list, but generally the people who make enough money to buy your luxury service – and don’t forget that’s what we’re selling, right? It’s a luxury service. You don’t need this done. You just want it done. The people who have the disposable income to decide to have this done, they also have a decent way of getting that income: a good job or a good business. And people who have a good job or a good business, they have good communication skills and they have a proper command of the English language.
I mean, it sounds funny, but that is one of my red flags. Poor command of the English language. Sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it? But think about it. Think about all the people that you deal with on a professional level. How many of them use – have real heavy slang use or don’t have English as their first language? Can you think of any?
Shane Jacks: All of them.
Keith Cosentino: So it’s different in South Carolina.
Shane Jacks: It’s definitely a difference in South Carolina. I’m not going to say all of them, Keith, but it’s a lot of them, boy.
Keith Cosentino: But what you’re talking about is just a southern dialect.
Shane Jacks: Oh, no, no, no, no. I know what you’re – I understand what command of the English language means, Keith. If anybody understands that, I would hope that I do.
Keith Cosentino: Well, I’m saying don’t look at your good old boy customers with my California glasses on.
Shane Jacks: No. I’m exaggerating. Seriously half of them are – have some issues with the English language, their given language.
Keith Cosentino: But these are English speakers.
Shane Jacks: Yes.
Keith Cosentino: A lot of what I’m talking about are people who have English as a second language. And trust me; I do business with plenty of them. And like Shane said initially, these are just red flags. Did you say that, yeah?
Shane Jacks: Yes, I believe we did.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I think so. If we didn’t say it, these are just red flags. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to do business with these people. It just means you got to look closer.
Shane Jacks: Correct.
Keith Cosentino: So when someone calls me and English is not their first language, I’m not going to just trot over the book and make an appointment because they might not pick up on the nuances of my conversation when I’m saying are you sure you want to repair the car when I come out there? And I might say it in a different way that’s clear to you and I, but if English is not your first language they might miss it. So I need to be extra clean and clear that when I come to your home, I’m going to repair your car and you’re going to pay me money. Do you understand that? Are we on the same page? And that sounds silly, but that’s the truth, man.
Shane Jacks: Si.
Keith Cosentino: If they call me with a really heavy accent, that conversation’s going to get five times longer.
Shane Jacks: What if it’s Italian?
Keith Cosentino: I just do whatever they say, man. Those are my people.
Shane Jacks: Or Russian. How about Russian?
Keith Cosentino: You know what? We have a huge Russian community here and I’ve done business with a lot of them and they have heavy, heavy accent and you got to be on your guard initially and make sure you’re communicating because this whole thing is a communication. They’re calling for information and you’re trying to make a sale over the phone. And if they don’t understand 100 percent of the words you’re using, you’re not going to be able to get that point across that well.
So an accent is different than somebody who just doesn’t speak the language that well.
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: There’s a lot of guys with accents here, but –
Shane Jacks: Nice. So is that one of your red flags, Keith?
Keith Cosentino: Poor command of the English language.
Shane Jacks: All right, so one down.
Keith Cosentino: What’s one of yours? Let’s go back and forth.
Shane Jacks: Okay. There won’t be many back and forth. I only have three that I’ve written down. So Keith, how many do you have?
Keith Cosentino: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.
Shane Jacks: So you only have three times more than I do.
Keith Cosentino: I’m only three times more articulate and intelligent.
Shane Jacks: We will let that rest right there.
Keith Cosentino: Basically we have the same amount.
Shane Jacks: Oh, it’s all relative, huh? I got you.
Keith Cosentino: Yes.
Shane Jacks: Here’s one.
Keith Cosentino: “You all give free estimates, don’t yah?”
Shane Jacks: All right, here’s one that I have. Whenever this comes out of their mouth, I’m immediately on guard, is I just want blank. And that, what it tells me – a lot of the time what it tells me is I just want – if they say, “Well, I don’t want it perfect. I just want blank,” it conveys to me that I don’t want to pay X amount. I’m looking for a deal because I only want it halfway done.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, so that’s an interesting one because I don’t hear the same thing when somebody says that to me.
Shane Jacks: What do you hear?
Keith Cosentino: I just want. So what I hear when they say, “I just want X,” I usually think it’s a really big dent and it’s smashed, it’s not going to come out, but I still might be able to make them happy. So in a sense it’s a red flag for me because I’m going to ask for photos, which I don’t normally do, but if they’re saying something like, “It doesn’t need to be perfect. I just need to get it so the door will still open” or stuff like that. I think okay, well, I may still be able to help you. And like we said before, it’s just a red flag. It’s not a deal killer, but I’m going to ask a few more questions. But I’m looking at it in a different light.
I’m not looking at it like they have a dent that can be fixed and they don’t want to pay for all of that. I look at it like it’s smashed so bad that I got no business fixing it. But maybe I can make a few hundred dollars and make this guy happy or this lady happy, make her door open or trunk close or whatever she’s asking for.
Shane Jacks: Okay, fair enough. Again, that may be a difference in the areas. You know what I mean?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Shane Jacks: Different people convey what they’re trying to say differently in different areas. And I just want – oh my gosh. It seems like 90 percent of the customers that say that to me are wanting a deal. But there are times, Keith, where it’s – and maybe you’re just looking at it as a half glass full – half glass full – glass half full and I’m looking at is as glass half empty.
Keith Cosentino: Either way there’s the same amount of water in there.
Shane Jacks: True that. And either that way you’ve got to figure out how to fill that glass back up. And maybe I’m just pouring the remains out and you’re filling it back up.
Keith Cosentino: You’re pouring it right out on the customer’s head and kicking him out the door.
Shane Jacks: Leave now.
Keith Cosentino: Take your little glass of water with you. So what you hear in that one is actually one of my red flags and that is, “Looks like I could just pop it out myself.”
Now, why is that a red flag? It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal because there are some dents that people think they can pop out themselves. And I do plenty of repairs with people who initially say that. But here’s why it’s a red flag. If they think that they can just pop it out themselves –
Shane Jacks: It’s relative little value to them.
Keith Cosentino: That’s exactly right. They have no value in what you’re bringing to the table. The opposite of looks like I could just pop it out myself is I have no idea how you’re going to be able to fix this because there’s no way you can get to it and it looks terrible. That’s the opposite. That guy thinks you need to have Godlike powers to make this look like it was never here. That’s the guy that’s going to pay whatever you’re asking. But the person that’s saying looks like I can pop it out myself, they’re expecting you to go there and put a suction cup on it and pop it out and charge them $42.00.
It’s an uphill battle already once you hear that. And I’m always quick to tell them how it isn’t popping out and how we actually repair them and there’s no amount of popping that’s going to be happening there. And I’m listening intently to their answer when I say that. I want to make sure they understand that and if they’re not buying, if they still come in with, “I don’t know, man. It just looks like if you just get something in there, you’re going to pop” we might even be done pretty soon after that if they’re not speaking my language. So keep your ears out for that one and ask some more questions if you get it.
What’s your next one?
Shane Jacks: I don’t care about dot dot dot. It kind of goes with I just want. I mean, it’s pretty close. But I had a customer – I didn’t even respond to them. They sent me a repair request on the form over the internet to my email and it said, “Few smallish” – if I’m remembering correctly, “A few smallish dents on hood, trunk, doors and fenders.”
Keith Cosentino: Got you.
Shane Jacks: The make was like a ’90 some old Saab I think. And in comments it said, “Don’t care about the rust.”
So this isn’t just a red flag; this is red flag, red light, dump truck running the other way in your lane. Yeah, I didn’t respond to that one. But again, a lot of it comes down to how they’re talking to you.
Keith Cosentino: It’s a big deal. You’ve got to listen. See, when you’re on the phone with these people, with your potential customers, you need to listen to every word, every pause because they’re giving you the only information you’re going to get to determine whether you’re going to drive out and fix this car or not. So every little thing they’re communicating to you you have to pick up on.
Just saying something like, “I don’t care about the rust,” if you’re not listening and you don’t hear that and you start asking more questions about the dents, that might be the only time you hear that every freaking dent is busted up and has rust pouring out of it, but you got to key in on that stuff and ask them, “Tell me about that rust. Where is it?”
“Well, it doesn’t matter so much. I’m not too worried about it. I just kind of a well, we sanded it down because we were going to repaint it three years ago and now the whole car is rusty.”
If you don’t ask that stuff, you’re going to be driving out looking at some junk. And I’m pretty proud of the fact that I almost never drive out to a place and don’t make a transaction. Almost never anymore. And I’m busy all day every day. There’s no waiting around for something to do. But I attribute that to my phone work. I’m really meticulous about the questions I ask and the answers I get and I write them all down and I don’t drive out on jobs that suck. I drive out on good jobs all the time. So that’s what I’m trying to get you to do.
All right, so the next one of mine is “Oh, I’ve had this type of thing done plenty of times before,” but this customer is new to you.
Right? So if you’ve had a guy that’s had PDR done 15 times and this is the first time you’re ever hearing from him and you’re not new to the area and neither is he, well, somebody’s not telling the truth or he’s burned everybody else so hard that he’s now moving on to you.
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: It’s your first time with this joker.
Shane Jacks: Another quick story here. We had a lady pull up. It was actually on a Sunday. We were still working on this stinking hail down here at the shop. I was helping Buddy.
Keith Cosentino: This stinking hail. A few weeks ago it was manna from heaven, now it’s this stinking hail.
Shane Jacks: It only takes a couple of weeks. And she pulls up. She’s got a rental car and she has smashed the vendor in on it. And I say smashed. It’s a two hour repair maybe.
Keith Cosentino: Okay.
Shane Jacks: And she – I told her $450.00 and her eyes started blinking. She started blinking. And she said, “Wow, I had no idea it was going to be this much.”
She said, “I’ve had this done before in a few different areas with great success, but they were little door dings. And it was typically between $20.00 and $40.00.”
And I went, “Ma’am, where did you get that done at?”
And at this point I’m guarded and the gloves have come off. “Ma’am, where did you get this done?”
“Well, down in Anderson there was a guy that had a tent shop, a detail shop and he did dents, too.”
And I said, “Is he open?”
“No, he closed down.”
And I went, “There’s a reason for that, ma’am.”
So she sits in her car. I said, “If you want us to help you, we’ll be more than happy to help you.”
And at that point I knocked it down $50.00. I said, “We’ll do it for $400.00, all right?”
And she says, “Well, let me think about it.”
She sits out in her car for about 30 minutes, come back in and tells us she wants to schedule it for the next day because she has to turn it in.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Shane Jacks: And so we’re fitting her in. It’s not a good situation all the way around. So –
Keith Cosentino: No show or did she show up?
Shane Jacks: You know what? I wasn’t even here, so I have no idea if she showed up.
Keith Cosentino: When you said she was out in the car I pictured all the windows rolled up so you can’t hear anything and you can see, you’re looking in the windshield and she’s just shaking her head forward and backwards as fast as she can and smashing the steering wheel with her hands like a monkey just going crazy. And then she opens the door and walks out real calmly and says, “All right. I’d like to schedule it for tomorrow.”
Shane Jacks: She was a nice lady, really calm and really – but –
Keith Cosentino: Bad driver.
Shane Jacks: No, it was her – her sons were horse playing and she was just talking like this. Her sons were horse playing and she said, “They barely touched it.”
One of them was in the car. Dude was probably 6’3” close to 300 pounds. And I’m like, “Well, all he has to do is lean on it and it’s crushed.”
And it was.
Keith Cosentino: All right, what’s I guess your last one?
Shane Jacks: Yeah, this is kind of a different angle right here. It’s more of a tip for what we – the lady that came to me and a lot of times when somebody says, “I’ve had this done a lot of times before,” a lot of times they’re trying to play you.
Keith Cosentino: Yes.
Shane Jacks: And they’re bargain shopping. They’re trying to make you cave without them having to ask you to cave. It’s really cleaver. I have no problem with them trying it.
Keith Cosentino: No, knock yourself out, but people don’t say that if you’re the cheapest. They don’t say, “Wow, I’ve had this done lots of times before and you’re the cheapest.” They don’t say that.
Shane Jacks: Ever. So and it’s a red flag. Okay, a bargain shopper, they come in and then you close them at full price or you give them a little bit of a discount. Let’s say the $450.00 and I caved and I gave her the $400.00 deal, right? Oftentimes those are the ones that are going to, even if you collect your money fully, they’re going to bite you in the rear because they’re going to be the worse, pickiest, most critical, give you a hard time about everything person. Come back and their check engine light’s on three days later. That kind of person.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah. Yep, I mean, difficult people are difficult people. They’re going to be difficult from the start to the finish.
Shane Jacks: And if they don’t believe in – go ahead Keith.
Keith Cosentino: Sometimes you can turn them. And I’ll give you an example I just had happen yesterday. I had a customer who called me. He called me about a week or two prior to our actual appointment that we made, but he said, “Hey Keith, great to hear from you. I had you out here earlier in the year or last year and you did three or four of our cars.”
And I didn’t remember him at that point. And he said, “Everything looked great, but on one of them the dents have kind of come back and I want to see if you can come out here and see what’s going on with it.”
You just take a big deep breathe. Oh, okay, this is going to be a three hour conversation now because the dents don’t freaking come back, but you can put them back. It’s not dent proof, dude. So I composed myself so I’m not frustrated when I call him. I think I waited a little while and called him back. And I mentioned to him the dents don’t come back, but we are creatures of habit and sometimes the things that caused the dents in the first place have not been eliminated or rectified and you happen to re-dent the car in a similar fashion.
I said, “It’s never going to be in the exact same spot and I can probably see where I did the repair, so I’ll be able to show you that it isn’t exactly in the same spot. The dents haven’t come back. But nevertheless, I’ll come out and look at it and make sure I get you straightened out.”
So my intent is to go out there and make another transaction with him. Do a paid repair. I can’t guarantee that’s going to happen, but what I’m trying to do is salvage my reputation that he could slander at any moment if I just tell him dude, dents don’t come back. You want me to come out; you’re going to pay me to fix those dents. You can’t say that. I mean, you could if you want to be out of business or have a bad review online.
So I treat him nice and talk to him nicely and thinking I’m going to have a pretty hard uphill battle, but he was a sensible guy once I got there. I showed him what we did and where we did it and I showed him that these dents are a foot apart. They’re new dents. It’s not the same. And explained to him how they probably happened and what could have happened. And I end up doing $300.00 worth of work for him and he was happy to pay it and even made me take a couple of beverages out of his refrigerator in the garage to take with me on the road.
So you can turn them, but that’s why these are red flags. They’re not just red stop signs. This is stuff you have to pay attention and speak a little bit more.
Shane Jacks: Right, yep.
Keith Cosentino: So one of mine that is one of my favorites because it can really trick you, especially if you’re new and here is what it is. You pick up the phone and the first thing they say is, “Hi, I’d like to schedule an appointment.”
When you’re new in business you’re all excited. Hey, cool, man. I’m going to make an appointment. They’ve seen my website and they’re already sold. This is money in the bank. But check this out. That’s because they’ve been to nine body shops and it’s $10,000.00 at each shop and they know you’re going to be less so they’re like, “Let’s do it. Let’s fix this thing.”
You always take 30 steps back when you get somebody that wants to make an appointment without asking you any questions. They haven’t asked you how much does it cost. They haven’t asked you what can you fix, what can’t you fix, nothing. They just say, “Hey, I’d like to schedule it.”
You say, “Fantastic. Tell me what kind of car it is.”
Just take it from the top and I’d say nine out of ten times you’re going to see why they just wanted to make an appointment. It’s something you have no business fixing or they have no business paying for. Do you see that one true in your business?
Shane Jacks: Yes. The only thing I was thinking. You know what? Keith, I don’t know that I’ve ever had anybody say, “I want to schedule a repair” just right off the bat.
Keith Cosentino: Oh, man.
Shane Jacks: Now, except for hail damage. When it’s hailing and there is a – I mean, I’m sure I’ve had it a handful of times.
Keith Cosentino: You might already be preprogramed to just blow over it and start over with the questioning and not even listen because when it comes that fast, you haven’t even really gotten rolling yet in the conversation.
Shane Jacks: Right. And you may be right. I may not see it as a red flag, you know what I mean? And I’m going to start consciously listening for that. Now, again, with hail damage it happens quite a bit because their neighbor had it done. You know what I mean?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah. Yeah, that’s different.
Shane Jacks: It’s completely different, but I know that’s not what you’re talking about, so –
Keith Cosentino: It’s not, but it’s still a red flag when they say, “I want to schedule a repair,” you’ll say, “Great, tell me what’s going on with the car.”
And they say, “It’s hail damage.”
And then you say, “Okay, great. Let’s get you in on this date.”
Shane Jacks: Right.
Keith Cosentino: And you probably don’t even realize it started that way.
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: But it does cause you to ask the question. You have to because if you are going to schedule it, assume everything is great. It’s a car you can fix, you want to fix, the price is right, you need to schedule it properly. You don’t know if it’s a two minute door ding or a two day hail –
Shane Jacks: Right, correct.
Keith Cosentino: So you got to ask more question.
Shane Jacks: Yep. Normally, it comes in, “Hey. Bob my neighbor had a hail damaged car. You fixed it. Can I schedule a repair?”
So normally it’s not the first thing out of their mouths.
Keith Cosentino: And that’s not the red flag. The red flag is, “Hey, I want to schedule a repair.”
Shane Jacks: I find that odd.
Keith Cosentino: It’s super odd.
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, it’s a red flag.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, point taken. I guess I’m confused because I don’t know that it’s ever happened to me. I don’t know.
Keith Cosentino: I get it a lot.
Shane Jacks: It’s because you’re awesome.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, see I’m super awesome.
Shane Jacks: Because you’ve presold them you’re so good at sales.
Keith Cosentino: We’ve laughed before about customers always giving me tips. One of my technicians always busts my chops about it. He’ll have a difficult guy and somehow he’ll punt him over to me and I end up leaving with the same amount plus a tip. And he’s like, “What are you saying to these people? They’re just like, ‘Here, Keith, please take more money. Take more than we’ve talked about.’”
Shane Jacks: Take more than I argued with your other guy about.
Keith Cosentino: I’m just nice, man. I’m nice. It’s not my looks. I can promise you that.
Shane Jacks: Amen.
Keith Cosentino: So here’s another one of mine, which kind of goes along with one of my first ones. It’s really easy to access it. How do you know it’s really to access?
Shane Jacks: A lot of times when those come in, they’ve got screwdriver marks in them.
Keith Cosentino: Yes. You can get right to it. Tons of leverage. First of all, why are you saying leverage? You’re watching too many YouTube videos. Secondly, why do you know how easy it is to get back there? Where you back there monkeying around with it? So the half of it are the guys that are screwing with it themselves and that’s a job that’s going to take you three times longer now because you got to redo this garbage.
But the other half is just like the first guy that said, “Looks like I could pop it out myself.” It’s really easy to access. His perceived value of what you’re going to do is now just lower and you’ve got to work really hard to build it back up and you probably won’t. You’re not going to convince him at that point.
I had a guy the other day, repeat customer, so I gave me a little bit of slack, but he said, “Oh yeah, there’s four spots. They’re all really easy to access.”
I didn’t bother arguing with him. I’m rolling my eyes on the phone going, “Yeah, great. Here we go. Real easy to access. Okay.”
So I get there. It’s an old Sequoya. Driver’s fender up high about four inches in front of the door. That’s not my favorite to work on, but okay. You probably got your fingers back there. Easy to access. Right front door in the bottom section of the door. Okay, I guess that’s easy to access if you have tools. And then left quarter in the pillar, the C pillar between the glass in the door and the glass in the quarter.
Shane Jacks: Really easy to access.
Keith Cosentino: Super easy. So I had to call him out on this one. I’m like, “Listen, this is the least easy part of the car to access. There’s no access to this.”
He just popped his panel off. How do you think this thing is made? Do you think it’s just a piece of exterior sheet metal and on the inside it’s a piece of plastic? Man, have you ever held a piece of sheet metal? Do you think that’s what’s holding your roof up is sheet metal bent in the shape of a C and then the roof is just bolted on top of that?
I’m like, “Your nonsense is now causing me to give you nonsense in return. This is not an easy part to access. You could talk all that stuff off yourself. You’re still not going to touch that dent.”
So I had to kind of put this guy in his place because he was walking around the car touching a spot and then he kept on walking, super easy, super easy. Okay, champ. Come on back here, sport. So that’s a red flag. Did that deal, but that guy was a ballbuster. His red flag was a real one.
Shane Jacks: You still got it though.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I got it. You want to hear the whole story? It’s kind of funny.
Shane Jacks: Sure.
Keith Cosentino: Shane doesn’t, but you do, so here we go.
Shane Jacks: Remember when you said you were rolling your eyes on the phone?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: All right, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. The guy left for work and I was going to deal with the wife as soon as I started the work and I didn’t meet her. She came out while I was halfway done. Said, “Oh, man, this is looking great. I love it.”
She’s like, “Did he talk to you about this dent?”
And I said, “No, he didn’t.”
She’s like, “I know my car. He doesn’t know the car.”
And it was a little sharp dent right between the handle and the edge of the door with that little fold crease line at the back edge.
Shane Jacks: Super easy area.
Keith Cosentino: Super easy. But she was sweet, so I told her what was going on. We were having a nice conversation talking about our kids and stuff. And I told her, “I’d have to drill a little hole here because I’m not taking this thing apart. It’s an old Sequoya.”
And I said, “I’ll do it for an addition” – I think I told her $40.00 or $45.00 and it’s another 10 minute repair.
So she’s like, “Well, let me call him and see what he says.” And whatever, so I’m continuing to work on what I’m doing. And then she comes out and she goes, “Ah, I hate when he does it to me, but he says, ‘We have a Prius and a Jeep. So you could do it for $20.00 or just walk. We’re done with the other ones.’”
And I was like, “Okay, we’re done.”
If this guy was here in person I would just punt him to next week. And she was so embarrassed she kind of walked away because I didn’t say anything. I just kind of smiled and stared at her for a second because I didn’t know how I wanted to respond. I have so many different options. So she kind of walked away and she was embarrassed. I’m surprised she said it at all.
And then she’s like, “Oh, don’t you just love my husband?”
And I said, “No, I don’t like him at all, but I like you, so I’ll do it for you.”
Shane Jacks: You didn’t say that.
Keith Cosentino: I promise I did. I did. We laughed about it because who would make their wife say that?
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Some freaking douche-y ass move, man. And I was telling the truth. I certainly did not like him. You have a Prius and Jeep? What the hell does that mean?
Shane Jacks: What does that even mean?
Keith Cosentino: And honestly, I didn’t have this written down, but that’s one of my red flags. Well, I got several cars out here for you to look at.
Shane Jacks: Oh, yeah, it is. That is a really good one.
Keith Cosentino: Several cars to look at.
Shane Jacks: Even not even to look at is I’ve got lots of friends. I’ll hook you up.
Keith Cosentino: Yes.
Shane Jacks: That is a huge one.
Keith Cosentino: It sure is. I get so tired of hearing that, too. And I know lots of people.
Shane Jacks: Hey, you need more business? And this is before you even talk price with them.
Keith Cosentino: Right. They are the ultimate connector. I mean, once you do business with them and you are going to do business with thousands of broke rascals all over the place, out of work real estate guys.
“I do sales and marketing.”
“Yeah man, I get all these cups printed up and get your name on them and get people drinking them and seeing your business name and then they’re all full and they’re happy to come back.”
No, man. You don’t do marketing. You print names on stuff. That’s not marketing. I don’t want your cups or your pens or your Frisbees. I don’t need Frisbees with Dent Pro on them.
All right, here’s one of my favorites that a lot of people invite – you invite this red flag into your business life. First contact with your prospect text or email. Bad, bad deal. It’s going to bad. 90 percent chance it’s going to go bad. Not all of them, but 90 percent. Why Shane? Why is that a big deal to me?
Shane Jacks: Why is that a big deal – what?
Keith Cosentino: Why is that a big deal to me when someone starts our conversation off with text or an email?
Shane Jacks: They’re trying to stay disconnected from you. It’s kind of like when you want to tell your wife that she’s gaining weight but you don’t want to tell her to her face, so you send a text.
Keith Cosentino: Hopefully you don’t.
Shane Jacks: It’s avoiding confrontation.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, it’s a way of staying disconnected. They’re not really engaging.
Shane Jacks: Right.
Keith Cosentino: So they don’t really want it fixed. I mean, if your plumbing is leaking, do you use the email contact form on the plumber’s website or do you text him?
Shane Jacks: You call him because it’s urgent.
Keith Cosentino: When can you be here? This thing is leaking all over the place. And that’s the customer you want for the dent repair. Obviously a dent is not leaking plumbing, but do you want the guy who sees that dent and can’t freaking stand it, wants it out of there and wants it out of there right now, today if you can be here. Not some guy that starts off with a text, “Hey, how much to pop dents?”
If you even grace it with a response, which I don’t usually, it needs to be, “What is a good time to call you and talk about how much we charge to quote/unquote ‘pop dents.’”
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Any time you hear that kind of language, “Hey, how much to pop a dent?” that’s another red flag. If you’re seeing the theme here, these are all the same things somebody with a mullet and a Camaro in an apartment would say to you. These are not the people you want to do business with.
Shane Jacks: I’m trying to sell a truck right now online. Well, in various forms, of course. But a guy texted me, “Still have the truck for sale?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Will you come down on the price?”
I said, “Can I give you a call in the morning and you can come take a look at it and we can negotiate?”
Dead silence. I haven’t heard from him yet. I sent him another text, “Would you like for me to call you?”
Keith Cosentino: Nothing.
Shane Jacks: So this guy’s not – or girl. I don’t know. It could be a female, but not ready to do business.
Keith Cosentino: No, it’s a great example. It’s just like my red flag about the guy who wants to make an appointment right off the bat. “Hey, will you come down on the price?”
They haven’t seen the truck. They haven’t driven the truck. It could be a pile of bolts. They’re already negotiating on the price. They’re not real buyers. They haven’t even seen the truck. They don’t care about it. They just strictly want a truck for the cheapest price they can find and then they’ll worry about the details later. Uneducated buyer, idiot, we’re not going to do business.
Here’s a red flag that’s true for everybody. We’ve talked about this before on the show: old, crappy cars.
Shane Jacks: Yes.
Keith Cosentino: They could be saying everything that’s so sweet to your ears that if you don’t ask the question you’re going to get burned. Well, it’s my car – they can say everything perfect. They could be really well-spoken, tell you they think the price is fair, describe the size of the dent and everything is great, but then you find out the type of car later. And something’s wrong because say you’ve got a – like your fender dents that you had a $400.00 repair, that makes perfect sense on a brand new car. It’s a $30,000.00 vehicle. A $400.00 repair on a $3,000.00 vehicle is a disproportionately high cost to pay for the value of this vehicle overall for a cosmetic repair. They’re not going to do it. You wouldn’t do it. It’s stupid. It doesn’t make sense. The car is a piece of junk. Why would you spend the money on it?
So you got to find that out initially and then go backwards to all the other steps and make sure they’re on the same page. You’ll still do them once in a while. Some people just keep their cars forever and they keep them real nice. I had a guy with an old Acura Legend and it was the cleanest freaking car you’ve ever seen. It was like a show car. He would have me come and fix just whispers in it. The thing was nuts.
And then some dude rear ended him while he was shaving in the car. Totaled it. The guy was so mad. He was fighting mad because they gave him hardly anything for the car because the book value is worth nothing. And he could never replace it. There was no other Acura Legend as clean as this one. It was ridiculously awesome. Bummer that it got wrecked.
But ask that question. How old is that car and what kind of car is it? Very important. Make sure it’s not a refrigerator.
The last one that I’ve got – no, I’ve got two more written down here. You go through everything, right? Everything seems great. The person’s nice. Dent seems manageable. They’re okay with the price and then you get the address. There’s an apartment number in it. Why is that a red flag?
Shane Jacks: People with apartments typically don’t have a disposable income.
Keith Cosentino: That’s why you live in a damn apartment.
Shane Jacks: Yep.
Keith Cosentino: You’re broke.
Shane Jacks: You’re broke.
Keith Cosentino: I mean, like we keep saying, this is just a red flag. It doesn’t mean stop, but it means you need to ask some more questions, make sure they know the payment terms and make sure they’re going to be there. There are some people with plenty of money who live in an apartment because it’s cheap, but it’s not common.
Shane Jacks: Also, Keith, I had one like a red flag, but it was actually kind of the beginning of my PDR career outside of the plant, so I was willing to do anything. And this guy calls me and he’s living in an apartment and it’s a townhouse. They’re really more like an apartment situation. They’re crammed together.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Shane Jacks: I go out there and the guy’s got a freaking brand new Mercedes – gosh, what was it? It was the convertible. Man, this thing was cherry. It’s an $80,000.00 car.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Shane Jacks: And I was kind of taken aback. I didn’t know what the situation was because around here you got people that will drive BMWs and live in single wide trailers and that is the God’s honest truth.
Keith Cosentino: I’m sure.
Shane Jacks: So anyway, he was just in town on business for six months. So there’s that – yes, it’s a red flag, but just giving a little example about it’s not always a stop sign.
Keith Cosentino: Nope, it’s not, but it better cause you to pay attention and ask some more questions.
Shane Jacks: For sure.
Keith Cosentino: And you got to be good with your questions. You got to be good with people. You’ve got to be in command of the English language if you’re going to do business on the phone. And don’t forget that. You’re doing business on the phone. It’s not just a means to get a dent repair done. This is where you’re doing 90 percent of your business, on that telephone. You got to be good at it. You got to be well-spoken. You have to pay attention to how you’re speaking. You have to be cognizant of the words you’re choosing to use and the things you’re saying back to the customers and how you treat them.
That’s why when I get to these jobs they’re all down deals because I do the work on the phone, but you can make appointments with real bad phone skills, but you got to start over once you get there in person. And that’s when all these other red flags are going to come up and then you’re going to realize this isn’t a job that’s going to happen. And now you’re smoked. You could smoke a quarter of your day driving out to some place, talking to some nice old guy who won’t stop talking, but you’re not going to do work with him. You could be two hours there. That’s a way to put yourself right back into minimum wage territory, so you got to get the stuff done on the phone.
One of the last ones I have is in a similar vein to the earlier ones, but when they say something like, “It’s just so small you can hardly see it. You can just barely see it.”
Now, sometimes that’s a glass half full scenario like hey, that means I probably will be able to fix it. But the reason it’s a red flag is because they’re saying, “It really is almost not worth me calling you about. It’s so small. I mean, I don’t even care about it that much, but I would like to have it fixed.”
And I always think well, you cared enough to go look me up, find my phone number, dial it into your phone and talk to me. So it does matter to you to some degree. And sometimes I’ll call them out on that when they keep going on and on about how small it is that it doesn’t matter. But generally what they’re saying is it doesn’t matter $200.00 to me. It matters $50.00 to me or something stupid.
So when you hear that, you got to make sure you explain how much it’s probably going to cost and ask them point and blank does that sound like something you’d like to go forward with? And they say, “Yes.”
Okay, we’ll do it. But if you don’t have that conversation, you’re going to get there in person or they’re going to bring it into your shop if you have a shop and then they’re going to say, “Well, it’s just so small. It does really concern me that much. It just seems like a lot of money to spend on a little dent.”
And here you’re going back on a merry-go-round of nonsense. So if you hear that one, make sure you guys are clear on what’s going to happen next.
Shane Jacks: Unless it’s immediately followed by – I mean, this happens a good bit. You can barely see it, but it’s brand new and I love this car.
Keith Cosentino: Yep. That’s exactly right.
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: That happens a lot, too. It’s so small, but I just can’t stand it. I stare at it every time I walk out.
Shane Jacks: That’s where dollar signs start appearing to me.
Keith Cosentino: I say, “I know exactly how you feel. That’s why I’m in this business. I can’t stand them and I can’t believe somebody would do that to my brand new car and not leave a note.”
Shane Jacks: Yep.
Keith Cosentino: So what I’m doing there, I’m just building a little rapport letting them know they’re not crazy because other people in their life have told them they’re crazy. That’s crazy. You can’t even see it. I’m not telling them they’re crazy. I’m telling them they are right on. I feel the same way. This is thing is one dent away from being absolutely perfect and we’re going to make it perfect again.
So those are just some of the red flags that I’ve put together over the years. I’m sure there’s a couple more. I’m sure there’s some that you guys have that I haven’t heard of, but pay attention to this stuff. Every one of these that you catch before you go to the next step, just consider it a couple hundred bucks in your pocket because that’s what it is. That’s what you’re going to lose if you miss them and go out on these quote/unquote “jobs.”
So keep your ears open, every little pause, every little word you hear, it means something. Take note and make some more money with it.
Shane, at this point we normally review a tool in the show. Do you have anything you’re working with right now that you’re real excited about?
Shane Jacks: I have a few things that we are in the process of reviewing. The jury is still out. Let’s say that.
Keith Cosentino: All right. I will tell people that the prototypes for my new tabs are in the hands of a few selected technicians.
Shane Jacks: Me.
Keith Cosentino: Not the least of which is on the other end of this phone. And everybody’s been giving me some really good feedback about those. There’s a couple of things we’re redoing, a couple of things came out and I didn’t like what they’re doing. Shane’s not using those, but a couple of the tabs are right on the way they’re going to be. And he’s been having a lot of success with them. I’ve been fixing a lot of cars with them myself. I’m excited about them. So they’re getting closer to being real, fellows. Keep your ears open.
Shane Jacks: They’re nice.
Keith Cosentino: All right. Episode 23 is in the books. Catch us every Monday, guys. That’s when we put out our new shows. And please, if you’ve used the things that we’ve shared with you, we’ve asked for nothing from you, but we’re trying to help you make some more money. If you’ve made money, if you think we’re adding value to your life as a PDF tech, give us five minutes of your time and go onto iTunes and leave us a five star review. We would appreciate it. It helps the podcast build some credibility with people who may not have heard of it otherwise. And help us grow our audience and we all grow together. The more of us there are, the more information is going to be shared and it’s going to raise everybody’s game.
So as a favor to us, we’d appreciate if you would do that. It would be awesome. Until next time –
Shane Jacks: Get better.[End of Audio]
Duration: 52 minutes