AuthorTodd Sudeck

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PDR Technicians: Show And Tell ALL!

You need to make every effort to have your customer’s watch what you are doing. Show and Tell is the best business practice that you can add to your long list of marketing ideas. If your customer takes an interest in what you are doing then be sure to include them when you are using your light to see the dents, or any other practice that you are doing. If they are even slightly interested, then you have just taken on a salesman. Oh sure, you didn’t intend to do that, but you will never have a more dedicated customer than you will have with one who was made a part of and understands the work you are doing. If they understand it then they are more likely to go out to their friends and share their experience. They will be well equipped with the knowledge you have given them and be able to explain it in depth. Be careful not to get so caught up in conversation that you are taking twice, even three times, longer in completing your work. In spite of the fact that customers are impressed with the sharing, they will quietly judge you if you take up their entire day. For you? Time is money! It’s a fine line but you will need to learn to walk it very quickly to be successful at this.

The fortunate end of this type of working is that not only have you gained a loyal customer but in some cases, you may have gained a friend. Make this technique a part of your marketing strategy and you will see your business boom. Customer’s are curious, take advantage of that curiosity and tell them what they want to know. Why not? Questions? King of Car Care.

 

 

PDR Technician: Women Customer’s, An Untapped Demographic

The PDR Industry is not just for men! For some reason PDR Technicians gear all of their marketing and printed information towards an audience of men. You couldn’t be more wrong. Women in the automotive industry have moved up to the 50% mark. This means that gone are the days of the pretty woman staying home and letting the big burly man take care of man things, like car restoration. Women are worth more money than they ever were in the past and corporations paying men more for the same job done as the woman is doing, are being called out and forced to change their perception. This is a new world people and women have become empowered, and rightfully so.

Think long and hard about this before naming your business if you haven’t already done so. Using names like Big Man Jake, Dent Stud, Dent Man, Dent Terminator, Studly Dent Remover, or more should be avoided at all costs. Women aren’t impressed by these terms and will usually pic someone with less make testosterone. Men, generally speaking, tend to talk down to women. Yet another thing you should avoid with your life. The one thing you can count on from women is that there is nothing that passes their radar. Absolutely nothing.

Making a woman feel stupid and assuming that they have not done their homework before contacting you is a huge disconnect. They research, study, and decide long before they take the time to contact you. Considering this should be your first response. In addition, and I really hate to mention this, women are not sex objects to be stared at by the likes of you. Don’t do it. Finally, never show up to any job in sweats and dirty clothes. You are a professional, dress like one.

Questions? King of Car Care.

 

 

PDR Technician: Leather Care Part IV

 

Conditioning Leather Types:

How to condition leather and the whys of conditioning if it is a water/oil repelling, is subject for the great debate. In this post we are going to get down to business and leave the great debate to others. It’s simple, just do it the way that I say and trust that I have read and understood all there is out there about which is the best way.

The most important fact is that you cannot use the same conditioners for the Pigmented (Protected/Coated) as you would for the Aniline or Semi-Aniline leather.

You would be making a big mistake to use what you would use for the Aniline leather. These types do two different things, so if you were to use an Aniline Oil on a Pigmented leather it would simply sit on the top with no penetration. The same is true if you were to use the oil meant for Aniline and used it for Pigmented. It too would simply sit on top. This means in both cases that it’s not penetrating or conditioning. It’s a waste of product and time.

With that said, stay away from products that contain Neatsfoot oil, lanolin, mink oil, collagen, or aloe these types of conditioners for the Pigmented type of leather, they will leave a very greasy film on the surface. You will need to get very familiar with products that don’t have these ingredients.

Some Tips:

  • Don’t allow grit, dirt or dust build up to excessive levels. These are the things that accelerate the degradation of the top-coat.
  • When cleaning leather, use mild pressure and, if needed, a soft nail brush, never rub hard on the leather surface.
  • Maintenance is key. Wiping the surface on a regular basis, every week or two, with a damp cloth will remove surface dust and dirt.

 

 

 

PDR Technician: Leather Care Part III

Now onto the last type of leather that you will have to work with. Pigmented/Protected/Top Coated/Painted Leathers are the most commonly used leather in the automobile industry. 95% of all manufacturers will use this type of leather. Most likely, this is probably the leather you have in your car now. It’s top grain or corrected grain leather that is pigmented (painted) and has a finished top-coat. This is the type of leather that can withstand changes in temperature, body oils, sweat, UV radiation, rubbing, spills and more. In addition, you won’t even notice leather markings like scars, cuts and more.

The overall look of the leather is a semi-gloss or matte. It also has a nice uniform look and color all over except for the fact that it will have a grain pattern, well-defined, which usually means it is an embossed grain.

How to Clean it is simple.

  1. Saturate a sponge in a bucket of lukewarm water.
  2. Squeeze the sponge so it is moist and put some product on the sponge.
  3. Work the product into the sponge until you have a foam to work with.
  4. Apply the foam to one panel at a time – this is important…work in small sections. Gently rub the sponge over the panel for agitation – in some cases you may have to use a soft-haired brush (such as a nail brush).
  5. Wipe the panel clean with a microfiber towel to remove the soap residue and suspended soils.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for the entire seat/section of leather. Keep in mind that those areas of your upholstery that get exposed to skin will require special attention.
  7. After you are finished wiping down the leather with the cleaner product you should buff the leather with a dry microfiber towel to remove any excess cleaner from the seams and cracks as well as dry the surface and prepare it for the conditioner.

You will note that the process is the same because it’s a good process. All three of these types will use this. Next we will cover conditioning.

PDR Technician: Leather Care Part II

In Part I we discussed Aniline Leather and what it is and how to clean it. Now we are going to discuss Semi-Aniline Leather:

Semi-Aniline Leather is leather which has been dyed, very similar to Aniline Leather, except that there is a protective coating on top. This coating is usually extremely thin allowing the leather to feel very natural and supple. With this type of coating it can be clear, tinted, or dyed. Unfortunately, this thin coating does not hide defects of any kind so only a few are treated this way. For instance, if the hide is dyed red, then the coat used over it will be clear.  The dyed clear coat is very unforgiving so you will need to be very careful.

With this type of leather you will need to keep it treated by frequently cleaning and vacuuming it. You can find Semi-Aniline leather in, for example, the Ford King Ranch. This type will repel water which protects it from stains but as mentioned above it will show scars, cuts, natural surface grain and more. This would be exactly like what you would expect for Aniline Leather.

How you would clean it:

  1. Saturate a sponge in a bucket of lukewarm water.
  2. Squeeze the sponge so it is moist and put some product on the sponge.
  3. Work the product into the sponge until you have a foam to work with.
  4. Apply the foam to one panel at a time – this is important…work in small sections. Gently rub the sponge over the panel for agitation – in some cases you may have to use a soft-haired brush (such as a nail brush).
  5. Wipe the panel clean with a microfiber towel to remove the soap residue and suspended soils.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for the entire seat/section of leather. Keep in mind that those areas of your upholstery that get exposed to skin will require special attention.
  7. After you are finished wiping down the leather with the cleaner product you should buff the leather with a dry microfiber towel to remove any excess cleaner from the seams and cracks as well as dry the surface and prepare it for the conditioner.


PDR Technician: Leather Care Part I

Interior leather comes in three specific types. You’ll want to become familiar with these differences because they can make a big difference on how you care for each type. The three types are: Aniline, Semi-Aniline, and Pigmented (Coated/Protected).

Aniline leather is almost never found in cars today but you could find it in high-end European vehicles such as the Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, Ferrari, Lotus, Lexus Range Rover, Rolls Royce, US Cadillac, and then in German Automobiles like Audi, BMW, Daimler, AG, Mercedes-Benz.

This type of leather is the strongest and most supple part of the hide, which is best suited for upholstery. The leather is treated in chemical solutions that are used to stabilize the hide and changes the chemical structure to keep it from deteriorating.

Aniline dyes are permanent and will not rub off after the leather has been used because the method is completely different than others. They are dyed while the leather is still on the drum after chemically treating it  because at this point of the process it is absorbent, also the color will permeate the entire hide, which makes the process more permanent.

True Aniline stains very easily so any lotions, body oils, or spills will not come out. Especially hard on this leather is just skin to seat. Our bodies produce moisture that is acidic and these stains are almost impossible to get out. You should cover your seats with towels if you intend to be in summer clothing that exposes the skin more than usual. However, with the new pigment treatment that it gets, it is possible to have stains and still remove them. The way to treat this type is with foam products designed specifically for this type of leather. If you are wanting to have a shine at the end you can buff it with a 100% cotton micro fiber cloth.

Overall, this is the most beautiful type of leather so you may still get customers with it. Be prepared.

Questions? King of Car Care

 

 

 

Calling All PDR Technicians: It’s Time To Spring Clean

If you are a current PDR Technician, about to graduate, or just looking into becoming one; this is a perfect time to get a Spring Cleaning Checklist together and make them a part of your marketing campaign. Sometimes you just have to lead the potential customer to the idea of spring cleaning even though I absolutely believe that we are born with that gene somehow. We may not all answer the call but yearly during Spring and Fall, it’s cleaning time.

So how does this affect your business? Well think about it, there’s money to be made here just lying in the wait, all you need to do is scoop it up. So your flyers should be a quick checklist of what needs to be done. Not all of the work to be done will have anything to do with you. The idea is to get their minds thinking about it, you’re basically tickling the brain.

Your checklist should have:

Clean out the trash

vacuum the entire inside

Scrub carpet and upholstery-This is you. Offer a Spring Cleaning Special.

Power wash the floor mats

Swap tires

Get rid of winter windshield wipers

Lube the car door hinges

Clean the inside and outside windows-This is also you. Once the windows have been cleaned they may notice those pock marks in their windshield. You can fix them.

Wash the car-This too is where your services may be needed. A lot of people refuse to wash their cars in the winter, especially states where there is a lot of snow. Your customer may soon discover that they have small dents from the sand or mag chloride laid out on the streets for bad winter weather. Whatever the reason for the dents, you have the opportunity to make some money here.

You can add anything you want to your checklist. It could be geared towards all of the services you offer.

Questions? King of Care Care.

If You Have a PDR Business; You Should Be Blogging Part 2

Blogging is as important as any advertising that you could possibly do. You don’t have to pay anything to do it unless you hire a firm to create a website for you. You can contact a Marketing firm like 3rd Street Marketing to design and host your site, and they will give you a very professional look without you having to lift a finger. You could also opt to create your own but be aware that if you don’t know what you are doing it will look like a child did it, and you don’t want that.

When considering your content, it’s easier when you think of it like food groups. Let’s say that on Monday you write a post about the services that you provide. This is the meat of your business. If you’re a PDR Technician and have taken the Total Recon package, then you have a lot of meat to offer. Your next post should be on the vegetables. The vegetables post would be about case studies or basically helpful information. Your grains would be your How To posts. For instance, you could talk about the fact that it is Spring Cleaning time and provide a checklist of the things that a client could do to get their car ready. This list would of course include your services that you can provide them and a coupon code that can be applied to their order with you.

Next you have your condiments that go with your food groups. In this type of post you will be providing helpful links or even offering your opinion on products or services. You could even write about hailstorm damage. Finally you have your dessert, for some of us this is the main meal. But for the purpose of posts, this would be a light post. You could use humor, like the funniest video you saw this week.

The point is to stay engaged with your clients and the public. If you have any questions just let us know, we’re here to help. King of Car Care.

If You Have A PDR Business; You Should Be Blogging

As an entrepreneur, you should be just as invested in blogging as you are in driving around trying to drum up business. This is the one place that you can continue developing your customer base after the First job has been done. Cars get dents on a daily basis. Your client may feel that they have had all of the work they need, but the truth is “Life Happens.” Your client may have been hugely happy with your work, but will they remember you in a year or so? This is where blogging comes in, your posts are a constant reminder that you are alive and ready to jump to action anytime they need you.

How do you do it? Each time you take on a new client, you will be getting their information, why not also get their email address? You will need to let them know that they will be receiving periodic emails with interesting blogs and specials that they want to take advantage of. You can put this in your disclaimer contract that they will need to sign prior to your starting the job.

Blogging is the very foundation of your business. It’s your advertising. Even if you don’t think that anyone is reading your information, more often than not you are wrong. So you are probably wondering what you should blog and how to come up with the content that people will stop and read. The first thing to remember is that you want to remember to always check your spelling. You would be amazed at how many blog posts are out there that have either a misspell of words or they make absolutely no sense. This is in many industries, but I have to be honest, most of the blog posts that I read in the Paintless Dent Repair Industry are annoying because of this.

Follow me over to the next post and I will help you figure out what to write. If you have more questions, you can always contact us at King of Car Care.

Paint Chip Repair: Easy, Quick Money

Paint chips are one of the most annoying eye sores that there are on a vehicle. I paid good money for a brand new car not so long ago, and two years in, I had paint chips on my hood and roof. The cost of fixing it was off the charts and way out of my budget. So I was stuck with a high end car that looked like I bought it at the Swap Meet or an Auction. It was a humbling experience and maybe it was a lesson to not feel so uppity because you can be knocked of that throne pretty easily. I was no longer pimping my ride, as a matter of fact, the downtown pimps had better looking cars than I had and I’m sure they didn’t pay nearly as much as I did. I got rid of the car.

You can add this class separate from the entire Smart Paint Repair for just over half of the cost but if you are looking to do more than just one piece of the big puzzle, then you will want to get the whole package. The secret to success is to be able to offer more than just one service. This especially applies to working as a vendor for a Used Car Dealership. What you can’t do, they will sub out to another PDR Technician who is able to do everything. If they like that vendor’s work, then you stand the chance of being phased out of their vendor list altogether. It’s nothing personal, it’s business. Do you really want to be at the butt end of that comment?

So how much can you make? Here’s the breakdown: You would charge the client the Retail Value which is $75. If you were offering this service to a Used Car Dealership it would be Wholesale at $50. Your cost of supplies is a mere $2 and the average time that it takes you is 15 minutes. Now imagine if you had four of these jobs at one stop? It could add up quickly. Of course only you will know the cost of gas and travel to consider.

Have questions? Contact us at King of Car Care, we’re here to help.

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