Start Your PDR Business in a New Town
Links from the show:
In today’s show we welcome a new guest. He’s been an in-house tech for a while and is getting ready to move to another state to start his PDR co from scratch. We have him on to ask all his questions and we answer them all..(and then some)!
Blending can make you more money faster click HERE to see
ReconPro is the software we use to run our PDR companies click HERE
Still haven’t seen the new smooth tab video?!? Click HERE to see it now
The new Blackplague Steel Core KnockDown is HERE Click to get your today
Keith Cosentino: The time has come. The Black Plague Smooth Series Tabs are a reality. They are available for you now on BlackPlaguePDR.com. If you’ve been living under a rock, it is time to come out. We are making money out here with glue pulling and we’re using the Smooth Series Tabs to do it.
We are getting pulls out of these tabs that you cannot get from any tabs no matter the price. These things flat hook up, strong, snappy pulls every time. These tabs along with the green glue that we have also on the site are blowing people away. If you want to be a part of the movement, get yourself over there and get some tabs into your box. BlackPlaguePDR.com or DeadRatTabs.com.
Guys, the game has changed. Don’t get left behind. Stay on the cutting edge.
I’m Keith Cosentino. He’s Shane Jacks. And this is the PDR College Podcast your No. 1 source for paintless dent removal excellence. We are here to help you take your PDR career to the next level and jam your pockets full of cash.
Shane, tell these boys why we need so much dang cash.
Shane Jacks: Because you can’t hear my shoes yet, Keith. You can’t hear my shoes yet.
Keith Cosentino: Not yet.
Shane Jacks: Not yet. It’s happening. It’s happening.
Keith Cosentino: Are they going to be gator or croc. That’s what I can’t remember.
Shane Jacks: At this point, I’m really thinking alien skin. I may start with a gator. That’s the starter set for me.
Keith Cosentino: Baby gator.
Shane Jacks: Baby gator, yes. Maybe baby seal.
Keith Cosentino: Shane wants to have those super flat, super shiny shoes that you can hear them coming with the nice platinum buckle on the front and all that.
Shane Jacks: Dang Skippy.
Keith Cosentino: They’re slip ons. You can’t tie those.
Shane Jacks: No.
Keith Cosentino: You can’t be troubled with that.
Shane Jacks: No. And when you walk in a room – let’s tell a little bit of the back joke, Keith. My wife and I saw these shoes down in Charleston and she was like – they are Laffy Taffy banana yellow, gator skin Gucci’s and they’re $2,700.00 I think it is. And I was joking with her and said, “Yeah, I want to be so rich you hear my shoes coming” basically. Wait. Oh, yeah, here he comes.
Keith Cosentino: Here he comes.
Shane Jacks: So that’s the goal. That’s what we’re trying to do with ourselves, Keith and that’s what we’re trying to do with everyone else here.
Keith Cosentino: Level up your money, stack it up and spend it on stupid crap.
Shane Jacks: And never retire. You just keep spending, baby.
Keith Cosentino: Just keep on working and spending.
Shane Jacks: Oh, just keep working.
Keith Cosentino: So tell us about the show today, Shane. What are we doing?
Shane Jacks: We are going to be helping a fellow dent guy out here. This gentleman is actually in my market right now.
Keith Cosentino: You wouldn’t really help anybody in your market.
Shane Jacks: Why not? Actually this gentleman I’ve helped here. I’ve tried to help here anywhere and I believe he would say the same thing that I have helped him, at least try to up the money game, stuff like that, giving him some ideas and all. I don’t mind helping people in my area. If they’re a decent guy and a decent tech I’m not going to give them all the secrets right away, but I mean, we do it on the show here, so all they’ve got to do is click on iTunes and you’re learning pretty much all you and I know, Keith.
Keith Cosentino: Yep, it’s all out there.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, this gentleman is currently in my market, but he’s moving away, thank god. Less competition. So his name is Paul Whitehorn. And he is moving to Florida and basically what he wants, Keith, is he wants some help. He’s never set up a business before. He has always worked for someone else.
Keith Cosentino: Got it.
Shane Jacks: And these are his words. I don’t think he minds me saying them. He’s scared to death to start running a business and we’re here to tell him there’s nothing to be scared of. Just jump in and swim and get it going.
Keith Cosentino: There’s lot to be –
Shane Jacks: It’s one of my favorite terms: jump in and swim, tread water.
Keith Cosentino: There’s lots to be scared of, but we’ll talk about it.
Shane Jacks: Nah, just sharks.
Keith Cosentino: So we decided we’ll bring Paul on the show, we’ll talk about all this stuff and we’ll kind of get a dialog going and maybe – I would be willing to bet that he has a lot of the same questions that some of you guys have. So he’ll probably end up answering some of the questions you have. And if there’s a question you had that didn’t get asked, pop it in the comment section or send us a voicemail after the show and we will answer is on a follow up show.
Shane Jacks: Yes, sir.
Keith Cosentino: We are all about answering your questions as long as they don’t pertain to my actual physical size and weight.
Shane Jacks: His physical size would fit in a square box if you need to ship Keith.
Keith Cosentino: The box would be square. I was told that’s how I get the most hail.
Shane Jacks: It is. It sure is. I can say that only because I’m on a diet and trying to make myself feel better –
Keith Cosentino: All right.
Shane Jacks: About my limited success.
Keith Cosentino: Very limited.
So let’s just jump right into this thing. We’ve got Paul Whitehorn on the PDR College Podcast. Welcome to the show, Paul.
Paul Whitehorn: Hey, what’s up, Keith, Shane? How you guys doing?
Keith Cosentino: Fantastic.
Shane Jacks: Fantastic.
Keith Cosentino: Amazing.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah. So I’ve been out here in Greenville working for a large conglomerate. They own several dealerships out here and I kind of woke up one morning and said, “Man, I don’t own any of this. I mean, I got no – tomorrow they could just hire an hourly guy and even though I’ve built it and nurtured this thing, I’d be out of a job.”
I got two young kids. And so I want something that’s mine that I can invest my life in if I’m going to put all this labor and time and effort and anguish you know what I mean?
Keith Cosentino: Oh, yeah.
Paul Whitehorn: I want something that’s mine. And so I have an opportunity out in Florida and I’m going to take it. And I am scared to death.
Keith Cosentino: Well, let us understand a little bit about where you’re coming from so I can give you the best advice on where to go. How did you get into the business and how did you end up at that conglomerate?
Paul Whitehorn: Oh, well I started in this business pretty young. My dad, he got into the business a long time ago. I don’t really want to go into his story too much because it didn’t end well for him. He still pushes and stuff, but he has to be real careful. Without going into that too deeply –
Keith Cosentino: So he was in the dent business, not just the car business. He was actually in the dent business.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah, yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Okay.
Paul Whitehorn: And so I grew up in the summers having to push. I absolutely hated it. Wet sanding and just R and I basically. And then when I went to college it was a great job to have during college because I could push a couple of dealerships here and there and still make my class times and stuff. So for my undergraduate degree I put myself basically through that through pushing.
Keith Cosentino: Cool.
Paul Whitehorn: And started graduate work and man, I was almost $80,000.00 in debt.
Keith Cosentino: Just from school?
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah. And so what I ended up doing is I ended up joining the army. And so I went infantry, airborne, all of that stuff and did about eight and half years of active duty and got out. I was an infantry guy, right? I did a lot of combat time, Afghanistan, etc. I was a vet. I just was like I don’t want to be a cop. That was my option. Even with the college degree and everything, it’s not what I wanted to do. So I ended up going to work for – I hate to even say the name – Dent Wizard in my market there in Memphis, Tennessee. Great company, all right. Terry Cubby, great guy, Garrett and all of those guys are great.
I had personally a bad experience with some of the techs on the ground there and I ended up deciding that it’s not where I wanted to be, so –
Keith Cosentino: So when you get hired onto that company they’d test you and rank you, right?
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah. I went –
Keith Cosentino: Were you at their maximum ranking already because of all your experience or did you come in in the middle or something?
Paul Whitehorn: Well, it had been a while since I had pushed commercially and so I mean, I did, even when I was in the service I was in Germany. And so I was able – actually I met a German guy just randomly at a bar in Regensburg and he was a dent guy. And he let me push with him a little bit and do some hail in Stuttgart and also at some of the local dealerships. But that was far and few in between. I maybe pushed three cars a month, you know what I mean?
Keith Cosentino: Right.
Paul Whitehorn: I just kind of kept it. Actually, when I went to work for Dent Wizard, I know this is probably unethical, they were not looking for an experienced technician and they made that real clear. They wanted a guy that had no experience. And so I actually went through their full deal.
Keith Cosentino: Did you?
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah, I did. And I wasn’t even No. 1 in the class. I mean, because I ended up – I don’t know where I was at, but I did that. It was a good experience to get me back in.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I’ve heard their training program’s actually pretty good.
Paul Whitehorn: It is. It is and they cut heads. I’m telling you and how they do it is also kind of unethical, but I don’t want to go into how their secrets work. But they’ll hire a bunch of guys, these guys all think they have a job and then they’ll give them a couple of weeks. And if you’re not there, if you’re not making dents reasonably flat within a certain percentage, you’re out.
Keith Cosentino: Nothing wrong with that, man. You save everybody a lot of heartache. I’m speaking from experience there. If you’re not going to get it in two weeks, you’re not going to get it in two months or two years.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: I’m not saying glass dents in two weeks, but you know you look at a guy and go ooh, man. Don’t you remember what we talked about yesterday? Okay. I hit that big old giant red button my desk and that trapdoor opens underneath him and we’re on to the next guy.
But you made it. You did not go through a trapdoor. You made it through the training.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: And then they place you. So you worked for them for a little while. It didn’t work out. And then how did you end up at this conglomerate?
Paul Whitehorn: Okay, actually I went to work for a really good tech. He doesn’t go to the MT or anything, but it’s Quality Dent Repair in Memphis, Tennessee. The guy’s name is Kurt. I’m murder his last name if I try to mention it here. It’s kind of long. But Kurt, he really kind of got me on the track. Dent Wizard, not saying anything bad about them, but I was really – after three months then I’m on a Lexis in a lot, do you know what I mean? And I’m a new guy as far as they know, right? And I’m sitting here with a $40,000.00 car and I’m not saying that my work was the best. It was all about speed and making money, push as many dents as you can, quality is almost secondary in that. As long as you get it close enough kind of deal.
Keith Cosentino: That’s at a dealership or an auction.
Paul Whitehorn: Dealership, yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah.
Paul Whitehorn: And so when I got with Keith – correction, when I got with Kurt there in Memphis he taught me a bunch of things. First thing is he was pulling car doors. He was R and I-ing stuff. He wasn’t just drilling holes in everything. In fact, it was absolutely illegal in his shop to even own a drill or to drill any holes whatsoever and it was a great experience for me because I really got to be with a real, true craftsman. My dad was really good, too, but he did drill a lot.
But because he stuck to those standards, he really made a lot of money because he wasn’t messing cars up, but also he really taught me the power of glue to start with. Honestly, as a mobile guy I didn’t have the access to running two glue guns and having different colors and these other sorts of strengths and all these other options, which you kind of need if you’re absolutely not going to drill no matter what.
Keith Cosentino: Right.
Paul Whitehorn: And so my hat is definitely off to him for that. He really taught me that it’s almost quicker to pull that door off. You know what I mean? And get it absolute perfect than drill a bunch of holes underneath it, lay on the ground and try to get it as close as you can.
Keith Cosentino: I don’t know if it’s quicker, but I do agree that it’s probably a better repair.
Shane Jacks: It depends on the situation.
Keith Cosentino: No, for sure.
Shane Jacks: So Paul you worked with him for a while. How long did you work for him?
Paul Whitehorn: I worked for him for – it’s been a minute, but I want to say about a year. It may have been less.
Shane Jacks: Okay. And then what happened from there?
Paul Whitehorn: Well, he had a contact Sharon from one of his major accounts. Well, she came out here to work in Greenville as a body shop manager. She knew Keith; she contacted Keith looking for a dent guy. And look, I love Memphis, I grew up in Memphis, but we got robbed four times in the course of six months. And I was done with that city. And so I talked to Kurt. Kurt gave me a good reference, but in the same breath I was also looking at Myrtle Beach because Garrett needed a guy out there – from Dent Wizard. And so I was just going to kind of pass by Greenville, talk to Sharon for a second and then head on to Myrtle. And I got out here and they kind of promised me the world at this corporation and so I decided to stay.
Shane Jacks: And that’s where you’ve been for the last two years.
Paul Whitehorn: That’s right.
Shane Jacks: And let me throw this in there before we get started on the actual questions, Keith. Paul called me shortly after – I guess you had been here about six months when you called me the first time, Paul, and started talking about the overflow that was going to – this was a big, big conglomerate down here. How many dealerships are in that?
Paul Whitehorn: It’s got six in that group.
Shane Jacks: Six. Yeah, six in that group and I’m not going to say the names of them, but there are six dealerships in that and certain –
Keith Cosentino: I’ll go ahead and say them: Yugo, Daewoo, Daihatsu.
Shane Jacks: And Massey Ferguson was a tractor dealer. But Paul called and Paul really cared about what he had at that time, what he has now and what he’s leaving: a job. He cared about it and he really pushed it and he made it into something really nice. I’m not going to say really nice for him and I think he would agree. He was hoping for that and the promises were made, but it just never materialized. But Paul put everything he could into this and basically treated the PDR side of things in this conglomerate like it was his business. I mean, honestly, he set a lot of things in motion.
So Paul, a lot of what you’ve already is going to transfer over to what you’re doing to do in Florida, honestly. So I just wanted to throw that out there before we got started on that.
Keith Cosentino: Paul, tell if what I’m saying is true. I’ve never worked as an in house guy, but I’ve been in the business a long time and, of course, everybody who’s been in just a little while and does dealer work has been approached countless times by the management. And I know that you’ll never be able to make the decisions you want to make with any authority at a large dealer group because the management just looks at us the same as any other technician, just like a lube rack guy or a detailer. They don’t see the artistry. They don’t see the individuality. They just see here’s a guy who works on cars. Let’s get him in here. We’ll pay him $38,000.00 a year and he’ll be happy until his ponytail’s all the way back of his calves and then he’ll retire. Am I speaking the truth in your organization as well?
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah. I mean, they said they interview five different guys and I was the only who had my teeth and could pass a piss test. It was one of those deals.
Keith Cosentino: Cream of the crop. He has teeth and no drugs.
Paul Whitehorn: And me and Shane laugh about it, but that’s exactly what they told me. They were like, “We can put you in front of customers in America. Let’s do this.”
I mean, they didn’t see me push a dent. I could have been the worst dent guy in the world, but I was breathing oxygen, I could pass a urine analysis and I didn’t look retarded.
Shane Jacks: Wow, the stuff we preach actually works, Keith. How about that?
Keith Cosentino: Well, for those of you listening at home, make sure on your next interview you don’t look retarded. It will increase your odds.
Paul Whitehorn: I’m in so much trouble for that one.
Shane Jacks: Checklist for interview: un-retarded-looking-ness. Dang. Heck. Checklist to buy: false teeth.
Keith Cosentino: Smaller forehead.
Paul Whitehorn: What?
Shane Jacks: Oh, we’ve gone south quick.
Keith Cosentino: So when you first started you thought it was on there. It was going to be a great place. How long until you figured out it was not?
Paul Whitehorn: I made okay money there. It wasn’t an absolute horrible nightmare deal or anything like that. But this is – when –
Keith Cosentino: Let me ask you a different question.
Paul Whitehorn: Okay.
Keith Cosentino: For guys who are getting ready to go to that route, they’re getting ready to be the in house guy or they’ve been propositioned and they’re thinking a lot about taking that job, what is some advice you would give those guys, a question to ask or something to look at before they say yes or no?
Paul Whitehorn: Okay, this is the big one right here. This is the whole enchilada. Each one of those dealership groups, even if it’s a corporation and it’s all owned by one conglomerate, they’re all little pirate ships. So each individual dealership is its own pirate ship, all right, body shop included. If you’re being hired by one of the pirate ships rather than the whole thing, all right, look out because what’s about to happen is – it’s kind of like you get hired by a guy who knows a bunch of guys.
Keith Cosentino: Right.
Paul Whitehorn: You’re not being hired by a bunch of guys, all right? So they have to convince those other people to take you in. And here’s the kicker, that guy that owns that pirate ship, he’s looking at his numbers, right? So he’s not going to give any of his cut to the other pirate ships. That make sense?
Keith Cosentino: Oh, yeah.
Paul Whitehorn: They don’t have any vested interest. In other words, they’re paying the exact same amount the guy that’s been there for 10 years or whatever. So you don’t really have an in. Now, the company as whole still makes money, but they don’t care about that. They do, but they don’t.
Keith Cosentino: I know what you mean. You’re exactly right and I would not have thought to share that, but a similar thing happened here at a dealer group that I know. The one pirate ship brought an in house guy, was really pushing hard for him to be the in house guy for the entire dealer group and every other dealer gave him the finger and said, “We’ve got our guys. Thanks.”
Paul Whitehorn: Um-hum, right.
Keith Cosentino: And there he stayed stuck at the one.
Paul Whitehorn: Now – go ahead.
Keith Cosentino: No, I was going to say that’s an awesome tip and something to think about because guys get promised the moon, like you said, that they’re going to do the whole group. You’re going to be down the street. You’re going to be down in the Bay Area. You’re going to be doing all the stores. You’re probably not.
Paul Whitehorn: No, I’m not. And the ones that I did get outside of his group were strictly because the other guys that were doing it, they would send stuff back chewed up and I would go back in and make it right. And so just over time proving – the guy would say this can never be fixed by a PDR tech and then I’d pull it in there and I would be able to make the repair. And so over time they realized hey look, man, this guy is – this isn’t the same service for the same amount of money. So the higher end stores, without saying their names, the $100,000.00 cars, I started getting all of that stuff. And then over time after about a year in, I was able to capture the majority of the dealership group, but – go ahead.
Keith Cosentino: And how did they pay you? Did they pay you on an hourly or a flat rate or commission or what?
Paul Whitehorn: Actually, I got a percentage. So –
Keith Cosentino: Who made up the prices, though?
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah, I made the prices up, but there was still a standard. It wasn’t outrageous or anything like that. Basically my prices are the same as the guys down the road that are working outside with a board in the dark under a shade tree.
Keith Cosentino: So $65.00, $100.00 a car, something like that.
Shane Jacks: I’ll say this without him having to give away his prices. As far as wholesale, Keith, he’s competitive with me, but the same –
Keith Cosentino: $42.00 a car.
Shane Jacks: $42.00 a car no matter what’s wrong. Hail is $150.00. No, he does a rate per panel that is comparable to mine and after that if it gets over half dollar or palm size then he bids it pretty high. His prices are really good actually for wholesale.
Keith Cosentino: Well, that’s great.
Shane Jacks: I will say that. Paul, I was impressed with the car you showed me last week. You went over it and I could hear the trepidation in your voice when you were explaining the pricing to me and I think you were kind of going, “God, I hope this isn’t too low for him.” And I was like, “That’s what I’m going to bid it at on my wholesale, too, so good job, Bud.”
It was very comparable to my pricing on wholesale, which is pretty good on the wholesale side.
Keith Cosentino: Okay. But you grew tired of it and you’re ready to split. So how far away is your move to Florida? How much time do we have with you?
Paul Whitehorn: Well, 21 days. Correction, on the 21st of this month rather. So I got about 10 days from now before I leave.
Keith Cosentino: All right. So what do you have planned so far and then what kind of questions do you have for us?
Paul Whitehorn: I guess my first question going into business for myself, what do I need to know that I don’t need to know. I mean, I know that’s a huge question because how could you possibly know what I don’t – but what do you know now after you’ve been in business for a while that you wish you knew before you started?
Keith Cosentino: I got a couple of things. First, are you planning on hiring anybody when you’re there or are you going to work by yourself forever?
Paul Whitehorn: I am going to work by myself at first.
Keith Cosentino: Maybe hire somebody eventually.
Paul Whitehorn: Yes.
Keith Cosentino: All right.
Shane Jacks: Let’s take that maybe out of there.
Keith Cosentino: One thing you got to know – and hiring people is a big change. That’s where a lot of guys get hung up because it’s relatively straightforward to go work for yourself, but when you decide to actually build a company, that’s when it can get challenging. So one of the tips I would give you, something I wish I could tell myself or tell myself more strongly is that the people you are looking to hire, they are exactly who you know they are the minute you know them for 30 seconds. Once you get to know someone, you can talk yourself in or out of their crazy personality traits or undesirable traits, but they are how they are the minute you figure out who they are and that’s who they’re going to stay. And you got to decide whether you’re okay to have that person on the boat with you or not. Don’t talk yourself in or out of them later. They are those guys assuming they’ve passed a drug test.
Paul Whitehorn: And have their teeth.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah. I’d make the interview process long, but pay attention to the things you learn and make your decision based on the things you observe, but don’t let the emotion get the better of you in that transaction. It’s important. I wish I could tell myself that. I’ve got a couple others.
Shane Jacks: That’s hard to do.
Keith Cosentino: It’s really hard, yeah, because most of us are generally nice guys and want to make friends with people and you do and when you’re friends with someone, you don’t see their worst. You see their best. But the worst is what’s going to take you down.
Shane Jacks: That’s what’s going to come through in business. That’s what’s going to come through is the worst. One of the things that I wish I had known – I don’t even know how long it’s been together now – that I would do differently is not chase those accounts that don’t matter. And what I mean by that is – and you can chase a dime all day long and miss that dollar out there. And retail is a big one. That’s the dollar compared to the dimes. I wish I had started building my retail a little sooner than I had.
No. 2 I wish I knew Keith a long time ago for pricing on the retail side of things. I wish I knew sales. I know I’m going through them quick here, but I know you’ve got several questions, Paul. I wish I knew sales the way that I do now. And do I know everything? No, Keith is infinitely more wise in this area than I am, but I wish I had started listening to podcasts/books on tape/everything else and learning how to sell instead of yeah, $75.00. You don’t like it? Leave then, bye. I’m the greatest there ever was. Get out of here. Learning the sales side of things. So there’s a few that I wish I knew back then that I kind of know now.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, that’s really important. Really important is the selling. I wish I could go back as well and start my selling training the minute I could make a piece of metal flat. I would have been much farther down the road and the same thing with my retail. If I would have started retail right off the bat, my life would look a lot different than it does not. Not that it looks bad. It looks great right now, but it would look a lot different. I’d probably have a fixed location, I think if I started that early because the competition was really low and the rent was lower back then and it would have been easier to step in. The threshold is much higher to jump over now to get into that market. So I as well would have done that.
One thing you’re going to find out and some people already know before getting in, but if you don’t know dealers and body shops, they don’t pay for a long time, sometimes 90 days and there’s a lot of tactics you can use to speed that up, but left to their own devices the bigger the dealer group, the slower they pay generally. So when you’re starting out and you’re on a budget and you think you had a great month and that money doesn’t show up for another 60 days, you could be in trouble. So you need to know that’s a reality and the best way to circumvent that is to go to the business office and make a personal relationship with the gals – usually gals – there. There’s some guys sometimes, but it’s usually ladies. Make some connections with them. Say hi to them. Bring them a snack or whatever. Bring them some flowers on Secretary’s Day or whatever. Just make sure they know who you are and that you’re friendly because when your statement comes across their desk when they know you, it gets paid. When they don’t know you, it gets filed.
Paul Whitehorn: Oh.
Keith Cosentino: Trust me on that. And I got to give credit to a guy that trained me early on in my career by the name of Wade and he is actually the first guy who taught me that and it’s as true today as it was the first day he taught me 17 years ago or whatever it was. So that’s a big, big deal. That will get you paid much faster.
That and this is kind of silly, but if you’re still sending statements on paper, send them on a colored piece of paper. Also a tip I got from another guy. But if they’ve got a desk full of white papers and yours is pink or green, it’s easy to stick out. They look at it. Otherwise they’re getting so many bills all the time. They just get stacked up and they’ll eventually get to the bottom of that stack, but if they know who you are and they know your pink statement is there and it’s yours, much better chance it’s in their face. So you need to know about that.
Shane Jacks: Another thing that I was scared of in the beginning, everybody tells when you’re starting a business from scratch is stay lean, right? And you do. You need to stay as lean as you possibly can as far as expenses. So this one’s going to sound a little stupid when I say it. Stay lean, but don’t be afraid to spend money in the right areas. I went chintzy on my website to begin with and it was absolutely horrible and got me nothing, very little. Image is everything. Perception is everything. That’s the first thing when somebody does a web search and that’s where they’re looking now is on the web. That’s the only place anybody’s looking.
I did a review of my hits on my website and it was – I think it was 98 percent of my web searches were from a mobile device. So I had to make sure that – you’ve got to make sure that your website is –
Keith Cosentino: Optimized for mobile.
Shane Jacks: Optimized for mobile or adaptive. I believe they call it an adaptive site, so it adapts to any format and it will automatically size itself to the device that they’re using. So if you’ve got a standard website that is not adaptive and it’s not optimized for mobile, then they’re going to be enlarging the screen to click on the photos button. Then when the photos pop up they’re going to be the size of an ant. Then they’re going to have to enlarge – you know what I’m saying? And it’s really difficult for people to see what they’re doing.
So I didn’t spend money on that website to begin with and it got me nothing. I spent some money on my current site and have redone it recently and it is – I’m at the top of the searches. So staying lean, you need to spend money on the things you need to spend money on and don’t spend it on the things you don’t. No. 1 thing you don’t need to spend money on is a freaking Yellow Pages ad. The only people calling you from there are around 170 years old.
Keith Cosentino: That’s the truth. That’s a huge waste of time for that stuff.
Shane Jacks: Waste of money. Their prices keep going up because they can’t sell it. And they’re just hoping that some idea is going to – look at the size of phonebooks now.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, they’ve shrunk.
Shane Jacks: They’ve shrunk to a quarter of the size they once were.[Crosstalk]
Keith Cosentino: They still keep throwing them in my driveway.
Shane Jacks: Yep and I keep throwing them in the trash.
Keith Cosentino: I don’t know how they get it past my guard a quarter mile all the way up from the street in my driveway, but they make it.
Shane Jacks: Well, we don’t know how people get inside the White House gates, but they do.
Keith Cosentino: I’m going down a little bit of a rabbit hole here for just a second, but when you’re talking about optimizing a website for mobile – keep in mind I’m not a developer, but you can have an adaptive site which will using a computer program smash your website down into a little screen. Or you can have a completely mobile site. It’s a different site than your desktop site. And the website recognizes what kind of device is looking at it and serves up the proper website. I like that version better because some of the responsive stuff is out of your control like where the buttons end up and where everything smashes down and how it presents. It can look really slick on a desktop and not so hot on the mobile with a responsive site. And I mean, it will still look nice, but it won’t be presenting the message in the way you want it to sometimes.
So if you’re going to do a responsive site, just check it and make sure it squashes down the way you want it to. But I personally prefer a standalone mobile site. That’s me, though.
But I agree with that advice 100 percent. Don’t be afraid to spend money on the things that matter. That is high level tools, training if you need it, a website and proper professional services like a CPA and/or bookkeeper because kind of how you alluded to, the trouble your father got into, that’s really common for everybody in this business because it’s not like we come out of accounting school and we start a dent company. We don’t know anything about that stuff generally, so you need to get the right help right off the bat to make sure you’re lining everything up in your company in a proper way. Otherwise you’re going to get smoked, man. Everything is going to be for nothing and you’re going to go down in flames.
Same with your insurance, make sure you have the right insurance. It’s not expensive. It will seem expensive when you start until you burn a car down. Then it will seem like a great deal. So make sure your bases are covered there: professional services, insurance, tools and a website.
After that don’t spend money on other crap. And you don’t need to keep buying tools every time a new one comes out, but make sure you have as up-to-date of a set as you can afford.
Paul Whitehorn: Make sure you have the Black Plague and Shane’s jacks.
Keith Cosentino: Oh, of course. It’s stupid if you go into business without that stuff.
Shane Jacks: Those are the first two you buy.
Keith Cosentino: It’s like going to a buffet without a plate.
Paul Whitehorn: So last week I was listening to the cast, of course, and you all were talking about websites and everything and you’re not going to believe the website that I got. You’re like there’s a bunch of good websites. I was trying to think of a name: Dent Tide because it’s got tide and it’s got dent, all these different ones that that one’s actually horrible. I was thinking about Bravo Dent because I’m military and there’s a lot of military guys down there, etc.
Keith Cosentino: I think Bravo Channel.
Paul Whitehorn: Oh, yeah. Oh my goodness that would be bad.
Shane Jacks: Ooh, this guy has to be my man.
Paul Whitehorn: You’re crazy. But anyways, I got DentRepairUSA.com.
Keith Cosentino: I like it.
Paul Whitehorn: And that’s going to be the name of the company and everything, so I guess thanks for saying that because I would have never, ever guessed to look there.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s a great name and you could use it wherever you go, too. It’s not tied to a specific place. Have you looked into any domains that are tied into your location where you’re going to be working?
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah, I bought up most of them already, so I can – and actually Shane gave me this idea. Just buy up everything that’s kind of related and then whenever somebody types it in or whatever have it go to your website somehow. I don’t know.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, so very few people will just randomly type in the proper web address and land on your site. You’re going to pick one of those domains and hang your hat on it. That’s going to be your website. That’s what you’re going to tell people about. You can have the other ones just redirect if you want to give out that address to someone else like if it’s easier. Dent Repair USA is pretty easy to tell somebody over the phone and they can type it without you spelling it like with Zs for Ss and dash Is and all that kind of stuff. You don’t want that.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: But if you have X, Y, Z, Florida Dent Repair.com and that’s not the main domain for your site, no one’s going to land on it. But if that’s the site you want to use, you got to advertise that site. That’s the site you got to push everybody to. And you could use Dent Repair USA as a redirect back to the home page. So pick the one not necessarily that you like the best, but ask some people around there what they would search for and see if any of your domains are close to that and go with that one. But Dent Repair USA is solid. Nothing wrong with that at all. It lends itself to a lot of neat options for a logo, too, I think.
Paul Whitehorn: Um-hum.
Shane Jacks: I know, Paul, you were speaking to me the other day, it may have been yesterday, about your logo thing that you’re doing. He’s actually having a gentleman that is going to – if I remember correctly, Paul – he’s going to do a wrap on your vehicle and create your logo for you, correct?
Paul Whitehorn: That’s what he said he would do.
Shane Jacks: Yeah.
Paul Whitehorn: But he also wanted to do it for a really high price, so I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that right now.
Shane Jacks: Right. Yeah, get that logo created somehow, some way. We spoke about that yesterday and that logo is huge. Keith and I went back and forth on mine for quite some time. I used a web service to do that to get that thing created and it’s kind of like an auction type and these guys throw up options for you and you pick the one you like and tell them to tweak it and go back and forth and then narrow it down to where you want and then they win the bit and they win the money.
Keith Cosentino: That’s actually a really great website, 99Designs.com. They are not yet a sponsor of the PDR College Podcast, but we hope to get them onboard. But 99Designs.com is a really cool website for logos. I’ve used it. Shane’s used it. It works. I don’t know how you do it, but apparently if you don’t like it – any of the designs submitted – you can have your money back. But there’s so many designers that submitted designs, you’re going to find something you like. It’s way better than working with one guy because if that guy can’t understand your vision, he’s going to keep coming up with stuff that is ugly to you or ugly straight up.
A friend of mine just got new stickers on his truck. He’s not in dent repair. He’s in a different business. But it was everything I could do to not shake him down and tell him this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen glued to a truck including vandalism. But I just let him roll with it because it’s his company and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. But holy crap, there’s some bad stuff out there. So you probably will have a good logo if you use that website.
I think it’s for $200.00, $250.00, $300.00.
Shane Jacks: About $299.00.
Keith Cosentino: It seems like a lot, but it’s not a lot. Trust me from a guy who’s spent a lot of money on other logos.
Paul Whitehorn: I have to sell the PlayStation IV for that.
Shane Jacks: If anybody wants to sponsor Paul.
Paul Whitehorn: Actually, I’ve got some tools maybe you can buy off of me, Shane.
Shane Jacks: Hey, there we go.
Paul Whitehorn: Actually, I do have some stuff. But the question that I’ve been dying to ask is I kind of got a scenario, all right? So Shane and Keith, you guys wake up tomorrow morning in a mythical land with your own tools in the same town –
Keith Cosentino: It’s not that mythical. I couldn’t even have diamond swords or anything. I’m in a mythical land and I’ve got my own tools.
Paul Whitehorn: I mean, I guess we could add that. All right, so you got no employees, you don’t have a brick and mortar, all right, you got a truck, it’s a straight up fight for survival, only enough work for one technician, you can’t leave, you can’t join forces, it’s a match to the death for who would you choose, what would be your battle plan other than murder? What steps would you take to ensure victory over one another?
Keith Cosentino: Immediate public defamation of shame. I would talk about the power of repairs stemming from a smaller forehead versus a larger forehead clearly point to my superior skill level on that. I think that would pretty sew it up right there.
Paul Whitehorn: Okay. I think another company does that, a larger one, that’s all they do.
Shane Jacks: Since you took murder out of the situation, I would probably go Nancy Kerrigan versus Tonya Harding. Yeah, there would be a lead pipe involved. Keith can outsell me. That’s the bottom line, I think, in most situations. I think there are a few situations that I do okay in, but most situations on a one-to-one level when it’s outside of a dealership or manufacturing or something like that, Keith has me beat on that sales wise.
But I think worrying about anybody else is the last thing you need to do. I do not worry about anyone in my area. Again, I will help you, Paul, have helped you. I hope you would agree with that, correct? I’ve helped you.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah and honestly this whole scenario is why you do kind of help people, too a little bit. I got to know you. I know you’re a great technician. If anybody asks, that’s what I tell them, I mean, because I know it’s a fact. We do have some, what I call, some hacks around here. But –
Shane Jacks: Some is a really, really light term.
Paul Whitehorn: I’m trying to be generous here, Shane. I mean, you see their work as well as I do because we have to clean it up all the time. And so I do care about this place where I work. Actually I do care about the people there. I have a lot of friends there. I want them to have the best service. And so this past week I took Shane with some cards and we went through every GM, pretty much every contact that I have and this is the guy. You don’t want to go with those guys over there because I care about you guys and I promise you that Shane is as good of quality as what you’re currently getting for the exact same price or better.
And the funny thing is – well, I wouldn’t say funny, but I’ve talked to several other guys. Most dent guys are jerks. It’s just how we’re built for the most part. I don’t know if it’s the alpha male. Every dent tech I meet is the best dent tech in the world. I think we can all agree on that.
Keith Cosentino: Oh, yeah.
Paul Whitehorn: Which is a good attitude. You almost have to have that to be able to look at something that’s completely crushed and go you know what? Maybe nobody in the universe can fix this, but I can make this perfect. That’s kind of our mentality. But the negative side of that is we ostracize the other guys. And so anyways, I don’t know.
Shane Jacks: I don’t worry about anyone else. And Paul, I don’t badmouth anyone else, but when people come in here and you have to temper it, of course, but you have to be the answer to their problem. And it’s not – and Keith will tell you this. I’m sure Keith will follow up with this. It’s not just the dent that is their problem. We shared on here a few weeks ago where I was 60 percent higher than another guy and because I was more professional acting and it’s much more than just the skill. Keith has said it many times. Take an average tech with awesome sales skills and he’s going to kill it over a superior tech with average or less than average sales skills. You have to be the answer to their problems. Keith, what is it you say, we’re not selling dents, we’re –
Keith Cosentino: Making people happy.
Shane Jacks: Making people happy. Yeah, and there are many ways to do that. You do need to be able to fix a dent, but when you get down there in Florida you have to be the answer to their problems and all you’ve got to do is make them happy. And happy is – I mean, I do some repairs here that when I get done with them they are nowhere close to video quality, but you know what? The customer’s happy. And so you’ve got to be able to make the customer happy. That’s the bottom line. Keith is really good at that. I’m getting better at it.
So if I were to set down and Keith and I were competing against one another right across the street and we were the only two and it was a fight to the death match, I just got to become a nicer guy.
Keith Cosentino: Honestly, I gave you a goofball answer, but the real answer in that scenario is first of all I need to decide what type of work I’m going to do. And if I’m just going by what you say, there’s only enough work in the town for one person, we’re going to assume that’s retail and wholesale together just for the sake of this argument. So Step 1 I’m going to set up my presence. But as that’s being built, I’m going to make sure that everybody and every dealer and every body shop knows me and thinks I’m fantastic and not at repairing cars, but just as being a guy.
So I need to go around there and spend weeks or months building relationships with all these people. And sometimes that means just fixing a car for free just so you can show them what you can do. Just coming in there and shaking hands and seeing what they do. You got to try really hard to find something in common with these strange people in a matter of a minute and then focus on that and try to build a rapport with them.
I’ll give you an example. I just got a call to a new body shop for – how long ago was that? Three weeks ago. And there’s so many body shops in my town I don’t know even know half of them, literally never heard of them. And usually they’re smaller. Everybody’s heard of the big dogs, but these smaller shops there’s so many you can’t know about them, you don’t really want to know about them because generally they’re not that good.
So a guy calls me. Hey, I’m in this small body shop on Chicken Lips Street. And I say okay. So I’m not rude to him. I’m nice to him, but I ask him more questions than I would normally ask him. I want to find out what kind of work they do. And he said they do a lot of hot rod stuff. I thought well, okay. So I’ll go by there and check it out. And his price expectations were on par with what I would charge a body shop. So I said, “Okay, I’ll come out.”
Well, the car had two of the most gravy dents ever. One two push dent in the middle of the rear door on a G35 or G37 and then a real light maybe six inch crease in the driver’s quarter. So the door – he’s like, “I don’t know if you can get it flat.”
I said, “Well, let me see. I’ll do my best here and see what I can do.”
So, of course, that’s over and done before you ever start. Well, then the crease on the quarter panel we got to decide what we’re going to do. We’re going to drill it or we’re going to pull the taillight or we’re going to glue pull it. And I told him all the scenarios and he was probably thinking the guy would be all right with a hole, but he couldn’t get ahold of him because he only approved the door. So I finished the door so fast he couldn’t get ahold of the guy for the quarter, so he was saying, “You know what? We’ll just talk to him when he comes in and I’ll give him your card.” Everybody knows if you don’t know, that scenario never happens. You’re never going to get that call. It’s over once they take it home.
So I thought okay, I just proved to him I can glass a two push dime dent. Here’s a quarter panel with a crease in it. I said, “I’ll tell you what. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to repair that quarter panel without drilling a hole and if you sell it to the guy, if he is not happy, I’ll come back. We’ll square up, but I want you to see what I can do on a challenging dent.”
It wasn’t that challenging, but glue pulling it was more challenging than any other way you could have fixed it because it was in one of those organic creases that had a swerve to it. So I glue pulled this thing perfect with Black Plague Crease Tabs. Actually the 2.0 tab, that little inch and a half size, Shane, that you like so much.
Shane Jacks: Love that thing. That’s my go to on creases. It really is.
Keith Cosentino: I think it has the best combination of length versus rigidity and a thin enough shape to get into a tiny crease. So three, four pulls with that, done. So I blew this guy’s hair back and there was a really good chance I was doing that repair for free and I was okay with that. I ended up getting paid on it because this guy turns out to be a really cool guy. But had I not offered to do that car for free or on a whim, I don’t think I would have built a relationship with that guy that I did. And that’s like a demo dent. You have to do something to show them what you can do.
The next car he brought me was a totally caved, deck lid or lift gate on a 2-year-old Ford Escape with crowns and we had to completely disassemble the gate and everything. It was smashed up good. And I got that out, too. So now I’m his guy. He didn’t think PDR even worked hardly before and now he sees what I can do and he’s not going to call anybody else. He marched me up to the front of his shop and showed me where he put my cards in his little stack of cards.
So that’s the kind of stuff you’ve got to do at all these new body shops. You got to be willing to do a couple repairs for free and let them see what you can do and make friends with them. This guy and I, we’re not hanging out on the weekends, but we are friendly now. We’re on a first name basis and he says hi to me, stops what he’s doing and shakes my hand when I show up. So that 15, 20, 30, 40 even an hour of time that you put in, if you put it into the right place, it pays off dividends. So I would be running around town making those relationships happen, speed dating every body shop and dealer in town. And it’s harder at a dealership than a body shop, really hard.
Shane Jacks: And Paul has the skillset. I’ve seen his work. Paul has a skillset to make this work. He has the skillset as far as the dent repair side of things. The only thing that he’s lacking honestly is the salesmanship. And he’s good at it. I’ve seen him work at that, too. He just needs a little bit of tweaking here and there and that’s why we’re here. That’s why you listen to the podcast. And that’s why he asked to come on and for us to help him.
Paul, so with that a lot – Zig Ziglar, we go to him a lot. But one of the most poignant things he’s ever said, something that stuck with me and I’ve never had any problem with this whatsoever, but one of the things that has stuck with me is if you believe in what you’re selling, you’re going to be able to sell it. So if you believe in yourself and you should because you’re a good dent tech, then you’re going to be able to sell it. So that’s a part of becoming that guy. Keith has no problem with it. He’s a great dent tech. He believes in what he’s selling. That’s why he was able to sell it to that body shop guy. The freebie didn’t hurt, either, but –
Paul Whitehorn: Sure.
Keith Cosentino: I got paid on it, by the way.
Shane Jacks: Well, yeah, but it could have been a free –
Keith Cosentino: But I was willing to go for free.
Shane Jacks: Right, yeah. So be confident in yourself. That is huge, man. That is massive.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah, I mean, I know that I can do the work. I mean, I’ve been doing it long enough, especially since I’ve been out of the service. I know that I can do high quality work in a short period of time. I’ve gotten my speed up and my quality up. It’s going into a completely new-untouched area by me. I know I should worry about the other competition out there. Of course, I’m putting feelers out and looking at those guys, too. What I’m up against versus what the market can handle.
And so when I hit the ground down there, I want everything to be right. I need to get in front of the dent. That’s my scary part because everybody’s given me dents, right, up to this point in my life. I mean, I’ve been pushing for a very long time. Now, yeah, I’ve had to – basically it’s been spoon fed to me. All right, so now I’m the guy that has to go out there and drum up these leads, which I have really no experience with. And that’s the scary part. That’s where my real fear comes in. How do I work on that?
Keith Cosentino: So what I want you to do then is go into your experience bank and think about the things you know and make yourself a sensationalized list of the things that you know and the things you do. You already know the inner workings of a large dealer group, which a lot of people don’t know. They don’t know the difference between a GM and UCM and a desk guy and all that. You know all that already.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: So you have a huge advantage over someone else who’s coming right out of a dent school. So you need to use that quite a bit. You’ve got high end car experience. You need to use that quite a bit. You’ve got a military background that I’m a huge supporter of the military and everyone who chooses to make the sacrifice in their life and serve for our country, I’m behind that 100 percent. From a marketing standpoint, I don’t love it when guys make that the focal point of their company.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Like US Marine dent repair and it sounds like I’m double speaking, but as much respect as I have for that I don’t think that needs to be your focus because it takes away – I mean, marines aren’t PDR guys. They’re marines. Or infantrymen are not PDR guys. They’re infantrymen. So unless you’re selling a marksmanship glass, that’s probably not where you want to hang your hat, right? But I do love to see in your about us section to let people know this is what I bring to the table. Along with my superior dent skills, I know how to complete a task, I know how to follow a mission, I know how to do the things that a military man does.
So make sure people know that’s in your background, just don’t hang your hat on it in my opinion. But take the best parts of what you do and cram them down into a little elevator speech so that when you meet somebody in 30 seconds, you can convey to them where you’re coming from, what you do and what you can do for them. And the fact that you know how they’re operation works already and you know what they need, especially if your dealer group is large enough that people in the car business one state away would know who they are and you can tell them what you did for them and why you’re moving on and what you can do for them there, that’s something to talk about versus oh you’re a dent guy. How much do you charge? It’s going to be the question. They’ll never ask you how good are you. They ask you what do you charge.
Shane Jacks: Yep.
Paul Whitehorn: That actually leads me to another question. Should I drop my prices to get work?
Keith Cosentino: Well, so to drop prices they have to start somewhere.
Paul Whitehorn: Well, let’s say the market there is – let’s just say it’s $70.00 a panel, okay? And I want to get in that market. Undercutting and saying hey, I’ll do this for $55.00 a panel, you know what I mean? I don’t want to do that.
Keith Cosentino: Here’s my advice. Intentionally do not research what the quote/unquote market is for PDR there.
Paul Whitehorn: Okay.
Keith Cosentino: Because the market is whatever is between the two ears of the guy you’re talking to.
Paul Whitehorn: Got you.
Keith Cosentino: And if you anchor him in a number that he may not – you may know the market better than he does, especially if you know a bunch of other PDR guys down there. And you may know what they think the market is, but I’ll give you a case in point from my personal market.
A lot of my wholesale stuff is relatively low priced, even at my higher end dealer groups. And we upcharge for big stuff, but for normal door dings, it’s pretty cheap. It’s not dirt cheap, but it’s pretty cheap because they’re old prices, but they’re accounts I’ve had for 12, 14 years. I don’t change it on them. I do charge them higher and higher prices for the big nasty stuff because I know I can glass it and if it’s a good deal for them they’re happy with it, but I believe Dent Wizard to be the ultimate lowballer, right? They’re like price competitor extraordinaire because they can plug cheap guys in there.
Well, there’s a Mercedes dealer in town. We have one, but there’s three and they just got one of the other ones. And I went and talked to the guys because I know a lot of the guys over there. I used to do all the stuff the other guy couldn’t or wouldn’t do and now I’m doing stuff that Dent Wizard couldn’t or wouldn’t do. And I find out that they’re used car prices are actually like 15 percent higher than mine.
So here I am; I think I know the market in my local market and I don’t know the market. I didn’t think there’s any way that the Dent Wizard would kick out the independent and raise the price, but they did.
Paul Whitehorn: Wow.
Keith Cosentino: So you don’t know the market because there isn’t a market to know. The market is between you and the guy who’s going to shake your hand at the end of that deal. That’s it. So don’t go in there and try to figure out what the cheapest price is that’s going to get you in the door.
That being said, if you do your best for two or three weeks straight and you can’t get a dent in front of you, time to start lowering some prices until you do. And then once you can get in the door, you have a plan to get them back up whether it’s through big dents or R and I pieces and parts or whatever. But if that’s what it takes to get in, I’m not against it. But it probably isn’t what’s needed.
Shane Jacks: Using your experience with the big group that you’re coming from, Paul, right now and you’re going to probably a much smaller market. There aren’t big conglomerates down there that you’re going to be hitting up right away. If there are, man, you can use that experience with those conglomerates down there. You use it with the smaller guys, too. You come in and you’re not just a dent guy. What you did over here in Greenville if I were to term it, and again, this is coming right off the top of my head, so it’s not going to be exactly the way you need to say it, so you go in and you not only – they do care about – the price is the bottom line, but you need to throw out – if you’re competitive on pricing, you throw out there look, I oversaw day-to-day operations of the paintless dent removal for a group that had six different dealerships and six different service drives and basically let them know how easy you made it on that entire operation, okay, because time is money.
One of the guys that you introduced me to up here last week, you said this guy has 30 seconds out of his day to talk to us right now, the service manager we talked to. You know what? If you make life easier on some of these people because they’re running like chickens with their heads cut off, you make it easier on them and you’re competitively priced, that’s a big deal. Do you agree, Keith?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I mean, like I said a minute ago, it’s just like we’re selling in our retail businesses. When they ask how much do you charge, you got to start asking questions about what do they need and you need to find out from these managers what they need. I know the kind of manager you guys are just talking about. I’ve got a couple of them. They walk about nine miles an hour and they never stop moving and they never stop working and they probably work 80 hours a week some of these guys. That guy, he needs something that’s efficient. There’s another guy who sits at his desk almost all day. He is not in a hurry. So saving him time means nothing to him. He’s probably overanalyzing all the deals that he has to do and making sure he saves money or something like that.
But you’re not going to know the answers to those questions until you ask enough questions. And with the super speedy service manager guy, hard to ask those guys any questions. You got to use your instinct on some of the stuff. But you got to find out where they’re coming from, find out what they’re shopping for if they’re shopping at all or what they would like to change about their current scenario and then provide that answer. I mean, that’s a great question for them that says we have a guy and he’s great. Is there anything about the scenario you have that if you could change tomorrow with the snap of your fingers you would change? What is that thing?
Ah, well, nothing. Maybe you might get that answer, but somebody might say well, I do wish he was here more often. He’s hard to get ahold of. Well, you know what? I’m new in town. I’m going to be here every day even if you have nothing for me to do. I’ll bring you your coffee. Make a joke or whatever.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: But find out what their pain point is and try to fill that hole. And be prepared to hear a lot of nos. Pretend you’re asking out supermodels. You’re going to hear a ton of nos before you get a yes and out of the three yeses you get two of them are not going to pan out in the first 30 seconds, but that’s the sales game, especially when you’re getting into dealers, like you said that already have somebody. Every dealer worth having has somebody. If they don’t have anybody, that’s a really bad sign. It means they’re terrible to work for or the cars suck or all of the above.
If you stumble into a nice place and they don’t have a guy and you’re in a major city, be scared because somebody already turned into a zombie there and ran out.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah. I had a situation like that out in Covington, Tennessee. It was a huge, huge dealership and I went in and he had a lot of cars out there with damage and I asked him if I could have the work. And he said, “Yeah, come back in about four hours and we’ll talk.”
And I came back and he was on the phone, so I was waiting patiently. And then he goes, “You’re ruining this.”
Right? I’m like what? You said four hours. I came back in four hours. I was just waiting for you to get off the phone so we could have this conversation. And I just walked out of there. And I talked to some other dent guys and it was the same experience. And that’s the reason that they can’t get their dents fixed. Anyways.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah. That happens all the time and you have to deal with a lot of jokers if you’re going to run the wholesale business. There’s plenty of guys I would not want to hang out with that you’ve got to deal with and that’s just part of the game. So take what they say and just let it go and keep in mind the end goal is to get your tools on some steel and to get paid.
Paul Whitehorn: That’s it.
Keith Cosentino: So hang up your emotions for a little while if you want that work. I mean, you don’t have to do it. A lot of guys have a lot – like you said with the ego, a lot of guys say, “I’m not listening to this anywhere. I’m out of here.” And they have every right to do that, but if you’re end goal is to get work and there’s work there and he says you’ve got a good chance of doing it, you got to take some crap sometimes before you get what you want.
Paul Whitehorn: Um-hum.
Keith Cosentino: Keep in mind what the ultimate goal is. It’s like working out. The ultimate goal is to be in shape, but working out sucks and it’s hard. But if you want to get in shape you got to go through it. It’s the same kind of stuff when you’re dealing with these guys. The ultimate goal is to get paid, this guy’s a ballbuster or he’s just obnoxious or he’s degrading to women or he’s racist and they say crazy stuff to you and you could be a man of principle and say hey listen Bubba, I don’t like these jokes and I don’t like talking to you. And you have every right to do that, but don’t pretend that you’re going to be their guy tomorrow. That relationship is over.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: So you don’t have to play that game, but you smile and say, “Oh, man, that’s crazy. Anyway, here’s the list of cars.” You got to deal with that stuff if you want to keep working. It’s just part of the wholesale game. A lot of car guys are not that cool.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: A lot of them are super cool, but a lot of them are not cool at all. They’re the opposite of cool. I don’t know what it’s like over there in the south. Out here in Cali that’s what it’s like.
Paul Whitehorn: It doesn’t change. I’m pretty sure it’s a universal –
Shane Jacks: It’s universal.
Keith Cosentino: I hear a lot of their shoes and it’s not because they’re rich.
Paul Whitehorn: I don’t know. Some of these guys out here – some of these car dealers or salesmen, I know one that – no, I’m not going to name him or what dealership chain it is, but this month in our town he did 40 and I’m not kidding, Keith. He did 40.
Keith Cosentino: 40 K or 40 cars.
Paul Whitehorn: He did 40 K. That’s what he made this month.
Keith Cosentino: No, they can crush it.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: But for every one of those, there’s 8,000 guys who make –
Shane Jacks: At least, yeah.
Keith Cosentino: He did 40, the other guy did a – a thousand.
Shane Jacks: I thought you were thinking, uh.
Keith Cosentino: A thousand. Yeah, I don’t know a guy that’s done 40. Way back when, back in ’99 or something like that there was a sales guy at a Toyota dealership that was doing a quarter million and that’s stupid money back then. But he didn’t stay. He bailed to somewhere. I never heard of him again.
You got any other questions before we wrap up here?
Paul Whitehorn: No, I think we’ve pretty much covered everything.
Keith Cosentino: You know one thing I didn’t say that I think is good advice; go meet the other dent guys.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: Go find them and meet them in a friendly manner and tell them who you are, you’re coming into town. What you’re trying to do, to the cool guys who are good techs, make a decent working relationship, find out who the hackers are and who the jerks are and you’re going to have a good chance of knowing when someone says that we use X, Y, Z, what they’re getting and how to market against it or around it. And to the guys that are good, you’ll want to form some type of alliance with them and say, “Hey, I’ll stay out of your stuff. If you’re overloaded and need help, I’d love to help you. Send something my way. I’m in this part of town if you’re in that part of town.”
Those relationships are better than you think they could be. It’s really nice when you are out of town for a week to have a guy who’s technically your competitor that you can say, “Hey, when I’m gone can these guys call you?” And know that pretty good chance that he’s not going to try to take your store versus if you leave out of town and you’re a one man show, they’re going to call somebody for those dents when you’re gone. They don’t love you that much.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: You’re either going to get your guy over there who’s at least told you he wasn’t going to try to take it or you’re going to get somebody they call off of the internet who’s definitely going to try to take it and keep coming back. So I like that. A lot of the guys that I’ve gotten to know I worked with because I started with a relatively large company, but there’s a handful that I know that I never worked with at all. We just shook hands and made friends and that’s that. So I would recommend that. Maybe not every guy, but the top four or five if there’s that many.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, you can judge these guys. And Paul, one we’ve spoken about around here that works for a big company, he’s kind of a jerk and he thinks he’s awesome and he turns stuff down left and right and you’ve gotten a lot of work off of it. You have obtained some of the – the trust of some of these guys that are in these dealerships and in these service drives because you’re doing the stuff that he couldn’t. And typically the guys that are jerks and that are going to act that way towards you are either not very good or they’re not personable and that’s your target. They’re going to act the same way at times – they can change their attitude for GMs and for service managers, but it’s going to come out eventually and there’s a target right there. The accounts that that guy has because of the way he asks towards you is probably going to be the way he acts towards his accounts at some point.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: Yep.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah. I did have one other question. I don’t know how much it’s related exactly to what we’re trying to talk about here, but as far as actual money is concerned, my goals have always been around 15, that’s what I want to try to hit – K – a month. That’s what I’ve been averaging, which to you guys, you’re all probably laughing. You’re all like I do this a week in hail or whatever or less, but starting off my overhead is still there. I still got my car payments. I still got Gucci shoes to pay for. I’ve got two kids, etc. A guy that’s on his own, which I’ve never been, what should I be turning?
Keith Cosentino: Well, there’s two –
Paul Whitehorn: It’s a horrible question, I know.
Keith Cosentino: No, it’s not. There’s two answers to that question, though. The real answer to that question is as much as you possibly can.
Paul Whitehorn: Okay.
Keith Cosentino: Everything in front of you gets finished every day. That’s how I roll and I work a lot of late nights because of that. Shane works even more than I do because he can’t stand to see them go. But it’s nice to also set yourself a goal because everything you can possibly do might be $300.00 a day in the first couple days. So you’ve got to kind of set that goal to push yourself a little bit and once you hit that goal you got to set the next one to push yourself a little bit and a little bit and you keep stretching that goal. It should be hard all the time. It should be a challenge to get to. You don’t want to hit your goal at 3:00 and go home. If you’ve got two little kids and a family to take care of, for the first three or four months you’re not going to be home that much.
Paul Whitehorn: Yeah.
Keith Cosentino: And if you’re home that much, you’re picking them up from school and dropping them off and all that, you’re not growing that business the way you should be. You got to put in stupid hours and be a bad dad for a couple of months as far as being present and try to build this thing up to the point that it has some momentum and then you can back off and go home at 4:30 or 5:00, especially if you’re doing a lot of dealer work, it’s easy to home on time.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: But as far as realistic numbers, 15 is not a bad place to be as an average. If you can get back to that point you’ll be pretty happy. I’d like to see you do 20 on a regular basis. I think that’s totally attainable with the tools and the knowledge that everybody has now and with the mobility that you’ll have versus what you had stuck in one place.
Paul Whitehorn: Right.
Keith Cosentino: But if you did eight, nine your first month, I would consider that a huge win. And even if you stayed in the 10 range for the first six months or 10 months, I would call that a big win as well for a brand new market because it’s going to take you six months just to learn the layout of the town and to know what dealers are where, where the nice neighborhoods are and all that kind of stuff. So if you can stay at that pace, you’ll be in good shape. And if you have a good retail website, it doesn’t take too many retail jobs on top of what you’re doing to get you to that point.
Shane Jacks: I think Keith said something that is very relevant. If you hit that goal – let’s say your goal is a grand the first month and you hit that the first few days you’re down there and the first few days you’re making a couple of hundred, three hundred, four hundred bucks and then within two weeks you’re making five, six hundred a day and you’re hitting that goal and you say, “Man, that eight grand is going to happen.” Don’t give up, man. Just keep going.
Keith, there was a gentleman that you and I know really well out the panhandle in Florida, I believe and he did one retail job for five hundred and some odd bucks and he did it in a few hours and you commented on Facebook and said, “Yeah, I know the kind of person you are. You’re not going to lay back. You’re going to go find three more of those today.”
Don’t go to the movies at lunchtime. Keep pushing. That’s one thing that I – it’s a great thing. It’s a horrible thing to be a father and a good husband is I’m continually pushing, I’m continually worried about the next day when really there’s not that much of a need at this point in my career. Keith is the same way. There’s not much need to worry about tomorrow, Keith. You pretty much know what’s going to happen for the next two weeks. You’ve got it down in the books. We’ve got it down in the books and we’re going to make that kind of money, but if somebody pulls up and even if it’s a freaking wholesaler and I’m looking at it and I’m going, “I shouldn’t be doing this for $200.00, but I bet I can do that in about an hour and a half. I really don’t have the time. I’d like to leave at 5:00 today, but if I stay until 6:30 that’s 200 more bucks. Do I need that 200 more bucks?”
Does Keith really need that 200 more dollars? Nah, not really. But you’re not going to build something by resting. You’re just not going to do it.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I don’t advise working that much forever because your kids will hate you and your wife will find someone she likes better.
Shane Jacks: My wife has found many she likes better, she just hasn’t –
Paul Whitehorn: On Craigslist, back page.
Shane Jacks: She just hasn’t pursued any of them yet. Well, that I know of.
Keith Cosentino: But just know you’re in a building phase right now. This is the time to put in all the work. Again for it’s like back into the exercise analogy, but when you’re going from out of shape to in shape, you got to bust it really hard, but a guy who’s in top level shape, he can actually back off and work out a couple times a week and watch his diet and maintain that same level of fitness with a lot less work than a guy who’s working up from scratch. So it’s the same thing. You just got to bust it for six months or a year and make sure your significant other is onboard with this plan because if they are not it’s going to be really hard to pull off. But if they are, then it’s going to be easy and you’ll make it happen. If you keep grinding like that, you’ll make it happen for sure. It’s a guarantee as far as I’m concerned. And then you can back off. But don’t back off before you’re there.
Are you trying to stay on the cutting edge of paintless dent removal when it comes to your tools? Well, if so, you need to make sure you have two things in your arsenal. One is the Shane Jacks Jackhammer Blending Hammer. Find it at BlendingHammerPDR.com. If you want to learn blending, we’ve got an awesome tutorial to go along with the hammer right there on the site. You’re going to love it. You’re going to learn something. And you’re going to get better and make money.
In addition to the hammer, if you are doing any glue pulling, you need to have the Black Plague Crease Tabs. It’s a six piece crease pulling set. The two largest are absolute monsters. They are going to pull out collision damage like nothing else you’ve got available and the smaller sizes are going to be for the normal, everyday kind of door edges and minor, minor collision dents and a dog leg in the bottom of a door. I’m telling you guys it is going to change the way you do your repairs when you have the cutting edge tools. And these are two of them. BlackPlaguePDR.com, BlendingHammerPDR.com, check out the sites, guys. Bring yourself into the 21st Century.
Do not forget about Recon Pro, the software that we use to run our PDR companies. The stuff is phenomenal. You’re entering all the information on your device, which is an iPhone. You’re scanning the VIN with the camera of it. Everything’s populated in there for you. You buzz that little rascal off via magic off to a server somewhere. It’s all living on a server. You can dunk the phone in a bucket of water as soon as you’re done. You don’t lose any data. Everything’s paperless. The invoices deliver electronically. You can send duplicates at a moment’s notice. Guys, get off paper, quit screwing around, AutoMobileTechnologies.com. Recon Pro, get your business into the 21st Century.
All right, so moving on to our tool review for the end of the show. I’ve got a couple of exciting things going on. The first that some of you might have heard about already and, in fact, if you’re on our mailing list you inadvertently received an email from my glue, TabWeld. The email was the notification of our podcast, but they have two different user names inside the email account, I clicked the wrong box and the email said it was from TabWeld. It was not. It was from PDR College. But it turns out it was a ninja way of telling all of you that I have new PDR glue on the market, TabWeld.com.
Not quite ready to buy yet. We’ve got samples we’re sending out for free with Black Plague orders that come direct from my site BlackPlaguePDR.com, but so far overwhelmingly positive response for the glue. It’s all I’m using now. We’ve put the green glue on the backburner and me and all my techs are using TabWeld with great success. Sets up really quickly, cleans up really easily. My stuff is coming off clean. Half of that is the smooth series tabs. They’re easy to clean and the car is easy to clean, but this glue has been the go to glue for me and Shane I think you’re having a lot of luck with it as well, right?
Shane Jacks: Yes, it’s all I’m using. Okay, the green glue, we like it a lot.
Keith Cosentino: Love it, yeah.
Shane Jacks: And I’ve used it a ton, but the thing about the green glue and I’m going to get a little technical here. You know my theory on glue. The gray glue is solid enough and hard enough for mini lifter pulling. See, I have this theory that with a glue the more solid the glue and it’s typically more chippie when you get done, the better it is for a mini lifter, but the more spongy the glue, the softer the glue, the better it is for a slide hammer. This glue is optimal for both and it comes off pretty easily, too. The green is stupid strong. It doesn’t work as well on the slide hammer for me, nearly as well. It works more with the mini lifter. The gray glue is across the board and it comes off a bit easier and not quite as chippie and the setup time is about the same, but set up time from where you put it on the tab or you apply the tab to the car is about the same as the green glue, is where it’s solid enough to pull with a mini lifter or a slide hammer, but the green glue, the window after that where you can pull is a little narrower than the gray glue. Does that make sense?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, it’s absolutely true. It’s what I’m finding as well. I can leave it on a little longer. I typically don’t like to do that unless I’m doing hail and that’s the one scenario where you really would do that.
Shane Jacks: Right.
Keith Cosentino: Set a handful of tabs and go back and pull them.
Shane Jacks: Right, with the green sometimes it’s one or two tabs at a time and if you don’t pull it’s too setup, too chippie and it’s not pulling nearly as well. With the gray you got a much larger window there. You can set five or whatever that you want to put up there.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I guess I didn’t mention the color. It’s secondary to me behind the functionality of the glue, but it is a nice industrial gray color. So –
Shane Jacks: Yeah, I should call it by its name, TabWeld. Sorry about that.
Keith Cosentino: TabWeld glue. It will probably be the gray glue after a while, but it is TabWeld.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, I apologize for that, Keith. Terrible salesmanship.
Keith Cosentino: It’s TabWeld.com. There’s a little video there of Shane showing how he uses it on a deck lid and we’ve got a space where you can enter your email if you want to know about it as soon as it’s ready to be purchased. Otherwise, if you just put an order in at my site, almost everybody’s getting a sample. Sometimes I’m out and I miss a bag here or there, but I’ll tell you what. I’ll commit to sending a sample to everybody from here on out until it’s released, which will probably be four or five weeks until it’s got a full release. So keep your eyes on it. Get yourself a sample. Let me know how you love it. You are going to love it.
Now, the other thing I’ve got that I’ve been teasing for a while that I finally have in my grubby little mitts is our new steel core tap down, an interchangeable tip tap down. I’ve been using a lot of different materials for tapping things down over the past few years. When I started it was all Delrin. Sharp Delrin and make it happen. Then I introduced the rubber ball and then I introduced steel tips with leather, steel tips without leather, different kinds of plastic material and now I routinely have five different tap downs in my pocket and I use them all for different things. So there’s a lot of things that I liked about the current tap downs, a lot of things I did not like. One of the things I can’t stand about the current interchangeable tip tap downs is that you can absolutely murder a paintjob with those things, the top hex heads. If you’re not paying attention or it’s hanging out of your pocket or somebody draws your attention and you just barely swipe that thing across a paintjob, it’s over. They are dangerous.
Mine are all wrapped up in tape. They look like crap like that. So I didn’t like that. And I don’t like how light they are either. I like a little more weight behind the tap down. So I wanted a steel core tap down, but I didn’t want it to scratch anything, so we’ve taken the steel core and then we’ve had it dipped in handle material. So now it’s completely safe. You can set it on a car and it’s not going to scratch anything. It does roll around a little bit. It’s not quite round and it’s not quite square, so it won’t stay put like a square rod. It will roll a little bit. But I’ll take that over the fact that it won’t scratch anything.
So I’ve taken that tap down assembly. That’s all done. They’re red in color. There’s only one color. And I’ve said okay, what are the best tips I can put on there? And the best three tips are Jeremy Langton over at Dent Technology, his new plastic screw on tip. We’ve got those that come with the tap down. That’s that new material that stays sharper a lot longer.
Shane Jacks: It’s an awesome tip.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, it’s really great. Really, really dense plastic for plastic geeks. There’s a name of the plastic, but it doesn’t matter because the stuff works like crazy. So we’ve got that tip to come with it. And one of the biggest improvements I’ve made in my game for tap down work is using a steel tap down. And I never thought that would work. And it actually took you, Shane, to start down the path of blending to prove to me that modern paints are strong enough to be wacked with another piece of metal. I didn’t think that would work really in my career, honestly. But after you proved that to me then I started seeing other guys use smaller tips. There was a mutual friend of ours that we worked with out in South Carolina who used a smaller polished tip for blending. So I got one of those myself and started experimenting with it. And it turns out, I like that on a tap down quite a bit. And having a steel tap down is a lot different than having a plastic tap down. I didn’t use to think that’d be the case. I thought hey, if the shape is the same, the metal doesn’t know what you’re hitting it with, but it isn’t the case because the way it reacts with the metal is much different.
A steel tap down is going to drop that high spot right there versus a plastic tap down that’s going to kind of shock that whole area and drop a larger area, even with the same exact shape. The steel is heavier and more dense and it doesn’t flex it all and it will drop a small high spot right where it is. So when I’m glue pulling a really sharp dent, like a handful of guys at our seminar saw me glue pull a dent on a big dent in our training, I needed a steel tap down for that. I could not have finished that repair with a plastic tap down.
So I sourced the Dent Craft Polished Tips. I think they’re H-16. It’s a little hourglass shape with a slide dome. And I got those to go with the tap down. So we’ve got the tap down with the Dent Technology tip and a polished steel tip from Dent Craft, two of the best tips you can get. When they are back in stock, it will come with a rubber ball tip as well, but the price will go up when that happens, so right now it’s just coming with those two tips. I’m probably another month and a half out before I get my balls back in.
But these tap downs with tips are going to be on the site by the time you hear this. So if you’d like to be one of the guys to try it out, hop on there and get yourself one. They’re not very expensive. Like I said, it has steel core and it’s dipped in handle material. Depending on what you hit it with, eventually you’re going to rip the handle material off the head of it. It’s just the way the world works. The handle material is not bulletproof. If you hit with a plastic mallet, you’ll probably last longer. If you a guy that likes to hit it with a body hammer, you’re probably going to rip it eventually. It’s really thick, but I haven’t tested it for months and months and months. I just got them in and at the price point, I’ll be fine with mine if it tears eventually and I might just grind the whole tops of the steel is exposed and I whack on that.
But that’s probably the only downfall I can see. I may not last you a lifetime, but I’ll tell you what. I lose a tap down in three months anyway no matter what it’s made of and I got to get a new one. So that’s probably the only Achilles heel that I can think of with this tap down.
And I know, Shane, you’re not a huge tap down guy, but I’m sending a couple in the mail out for you and your team to start using out there as well.
Shane Jacks: Man, I’m using a little more. Man, this is hard for me to say. I’m using them a little more, Keith, after watching you do that dent, Olympic style dent with glue and using that knockdown you did, the metal knockdown on that dent and how clean you got that thing in the time you did. I’m using it – I’ve always used it when I needed to be more accurate, but I’m finding that I need to be a little more accurate in more situations. So I’m using the knockdown a little more.
Keith Cosentino: It’s complete Brue Lee style of balance being really good at everything and put it all together knowing when to choose what.
Shane Jacks: Yeah. And it’s not being hardheaded and being open to new ideas even if they’re not new, if they’re new to you.
Keith Cosentino: No doubt. So thank you guys for hanging around with us for such a long time today. Show went a little longer than it normally does, but I didn’t want to cut it off. I thought we had a lot of great stuff to share and thank you to Paul for coming on the show. And like I said early in the episode, if there’s some questions that you hoped we answered and we didn’t, put them in the comments or send us a voicemail and we will answer them.
Thanks for hanging out with us, fellows. Until next time –
Shane Jacks: Get better.[End of Audio]
Duration: 93 minutes