Looking Without Seeing

In my quest to get my garage/shop organized I am constantly moving things around.  I have three corded drills that I do not use that much, cordless drills are so much more convenient, and as part of my mission to organize, several months ago, I put them in a container so that they would be away and easily found when needed.  I bet I have searched my garage, storage area, and the back patio where I have the overflow, oh 5 or 6 times looking for those corded drills. I mean I searched, looking in every nook and cranny, every box or storage container, and those unlikely places using a flashlight, nothing.  This morning I again did a search to no avail, but I thought ok I will look one more time in the storage area and walk in the door and there in plain sight sitting on a shelf at eye level are the drills. I must have walked by those drills 20 to 30 times.  They are in a container, alright, but it is an open container and I was looking for a closed container.

When you stop chuckling, note that this is normal, we all do it, in fact our brain is hardwired to do this in the name of efficiency, if we actually processed (thought) about every piece of sensory information that we continually take in we would literally melt down.  So our brain filters, in effect we only readily see, hear, feel, taste, and smell what we expect, which greatly reduces the brain’s processing load.

I call this dad’s-vacation-road-trip thinking, i.e. no side trips or unnecessary stops, the shortest distPicture1ance between two points is a straight line, the goal being to get there with the highest level of time efficiency possible.  Dad’s-vacation-road-trip thinking may work for your family vacation (at least for dad), but when you are fulfilling the businessperson function it is very risky.

The primary responsibility of the businessperson function is to “see” those opportunities that will enhance your ability to achieve your long-term wealth creation goals and to “see” those threats (obstacles) to your achieving your long-term wealth creation goals. But if you are using dad’s-vacation-road-trip thinking you stand a good chance of “not seeing” either the opportunities or the threats, until it is too late.

In other words, as a businessperson, you have to consciously override your brain’s efficiency protocol to in order for you to “see” what you might have otherwise missed in the big picture. In fulfilling the businessperson function it is critical that you hone your “seeing” skills to be able to accurately observe the big picture. Unfortunately, most of our schooling and experience has focused on dealing with the small picture (detail) thus, as Sherlock Holmes told Watson in “A Scandal in Bohemia”, “You (We) see, but you (We) do not observe.”

So in my quest to find my drill, what might I have done to override my dad’s-vacation-road-trip thinking?  There are two things I could have tried; first I could have consciously decided to stop and observe, to “see” all of the possible places the drill could be hiding, rather than just relying on (being fixated) my preconceived notion of how I had stored it, secondly I could have asked my son to look for it, to get a new “set of eyes” on the situation.  Both of these are viable options for you as a businessperson, it is up to you to use them to your benefit.

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” John Lubbock

PDR Mobile…It Keep You Pushin’

How To Read People

It is not only FBI profilers that read people – you have to read people in order to figure out how to get from thePicture1m what you want and the better you are at it, the more likely will you be able to achieve your business goals. As a businessperson you have to read, customers, employees, potential employees, vendors, lenders, investors, etc. in order for you to figure out how to get them to choose behaviors consistent with achieving your business goals. So what is the secret to reading people?

We form an opinion about people we meet in the first 3 or 4 seconds of interaction with them, much, if not all, of this initial reading of a person is based on their physical presentation and body language, the rest on the first words out of their mouths.  In this time period we are assessing the person in terms of 1) threat level, 2) power hierarchy, 3) compatibility factor, and 4) malleability factor.  After we have the first impression we then, albeit mostly unconsciously, decide on how we will go about getting this person to choose behaviors that are consistent with our achieving our desires.

But do not forget and you should always be aware of is the fact that the person you are reading is also reading you and for the same reason, to figure out how they can get you to choose behaviors consistent with achieving their desires.

The other thing to remember is that we humans are complex critters; we do not just have one story, in fact we are like a section in the library with multiple books (stories) to be read.  The section of library is determined by our core identity which provides a template for every role we use in our lives.  The specific book you will be reading is determined by the role the person you are reading is enacting at that time. A role, in this context, is like a set of policies and procedures that a person has developed to guide their behavioral and attitudes choices in a specific area of their life. When you read a person you will need to do so based on the role they are using for a particular situation. Think about all of the roles you have, which may include being a spouse, a parent, a friend, a businessperson, manager, a customer and so on, for each of these you will have a set of policies and procedures unique to you, but to some degree shared by society in general.  And, for each role your story to be read has a different genre. Therefore to be accurate in your reading of person, means knowing the section of library and which book from that person’s library section (role) you are reading.

There are four ways to enhance our ability to read people:

  1. Have a real theory of human behavior,
  2. Improve your listening and observation skills,
  3. Use empathic thinking, and
  4. Use inductive reasoning.

PDR Mobile…It Keep You Pushin’

Pro Plan Update

In the spirit of our commitment to be a super value added partner, we are committed to FREE updates for all plan level feature releases. That is a promise. Not to mention, we will never the raise the price of any of our subscription plans. With that said, below is a list of our most recent Pro Level app update:

  • Full-vehicle price estimating: Super-fast way to write single price estimate
  • Additional vehicle colors: Added additional colors to the drop down menu
  • Official iPad/Tablet support: Download the app on your ipad or tablet with no additional cost
  • Support for company logo on PDFs: Customize your documents with a company logo
  • “Antenna” added to roof parts: Additional R&I and REPL part types added
  • Vehicle stock# added on PDFs: Stock number displays on your documents
  • Insurance info added to estimate: Easy to process insurance claims
  • Option to include/exclude photos on PDFs

Please note:
Some of these changes may require you to logout and log back into the app to take effect.

PDR Mobile – It Keeps You Pushin’

I Don’t Need No Stinkin Plan..

Yeah, you do.  Granted, it does not need to be a formal written document, but there is overwhelming evidence that having a plan increases the odds of achieving business success.  As we are all well aware of, striving for business success in the auto collision repair industry is difficult. So why make it even more difficult by not having a plan for your business success?  Your plan can be in your head or you can put it on paper, the real point is that you have done real planning.  As former president Dwight Eisenhower said, “plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

Planning has two primary benefits, first it forces you to think ahead (being proactive), rather than rPicture1esponding to things as they arise (being reactive), and secondly, and this is where a written plan comes in handy, it helps to keep you on track.  “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Alan Lakein

Success in business is driven by proactivity; while being reactive often means that you are like the ball in a pin-ball game, bouncing from one thing to another, having no control over your own destiny.  But to be proactive means you have to do your homework and in my experience this is why we humans are really not very good at planning, we are most often not willing to make the necessary investment of effort and time to do the homework.  It is easier to react to events and use our intuition to make decisions about what to do on the spur of the moment. “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein

Planning means that you have defined a specific goal to be achieved (long-term wealth creation goal), that you have identified the obstacles to achieving that goal, and the possible ways to overcome those barriers. Thus, if you use the “murder board” technique you can put your goal in the center, post the barriers to achieving that goal, and identify those ways to overcome the barriers.

Yes, this will take time and effort, but the investment is small compared to the long-term return on that investment.   “Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.” Alan Lakein

PDR Mobile…It Keep You Pushin’

Growing Your PDR Business is a Choice Part II

In Part 1 of Growing Your PDR Business I used the metaphor of growing plants and what happens if you do not nourish them.  To continue with that metaphor; let’s say you plant one kernel of seed corn, you feed and water that one stalk of corn, what do you get?  Well, there is a good chance you will get a return on your investment from 1 kernel of corn that yields 972 kernels.

Out of those 972 kernels, you have to sell 955 kernels to pay for your costs of doing business (break-even), leaving you with 17 kernels of corn.  As your business goal is to create long-term wealth, you understand that the costs of doing business are going to go up each year and that your machinery will have to be upgraded. As a wise businessperson you create a retained earnings account to be used only for reinvestment back into the business.  As a corn grower who wants to grow the business you may put 15 kernels into your retained earnings account, 9 to be used to plant and grow 9 additional stalks next season and 6 to cover the increased expenses of adding those 9 stalks and to make a down-payment on a purchase of a more effective and efficient corn planter. The final 2 kernels go to your dividends account.

To state the obvious, the key is to increase revenues while maintaining the most appropriate level of efficiency and I would be surprised if any of you has not worried about how to increase revenues.  From a businessperson’s perspective there are only 2 ways to increase revenues; 1) increase market share and/or 2) diversification. Both take significant resources and serious planning to accomplish.

There are three major issues that a businessperson must grapple with in order to effect the growth of his/her business; sacrifice, risk, and planning.  None of which most of us are very good at.  Sacrifice means not giving in to those short-term satisfiers, such as the new Corvette, the 5000sq.ft. house in the burbs, or the 63” flat screen TV.  Those funds need to go into your retained earnings account in order to grow the business to achieve your long-term wealth creation goals.  To grow your business you have to take risks and by design most humans are risk averse, especially in the area of taking financial risk. But sacrifice and willingness to take risks in and of themselves will not generate business growth, you have to have planning, note I did not say you had to have “a plan”, but you had better have charted a course based on the best evidence, the best thinking, and business intuition that you can muster (in my next blog I will discuss the concept of planning).

In “Growing Your PDR Business Is a Choice Part I” I said you have three choices, if you forgo the first two and choose to grow the business, you need to ask yourself: 1) How much am I willing to give up the short-term return for the long-term? 2) How much risk am I willing to take? and 3) Am I willing to take the time and put in the effort required to adequately plan for the growth of my business in order to achieve my long-term wealth creation goals?

PDR Mobile….It Keep You Pushin’

APP Feature Release Update

Lets step away from the “hoo rah” surrounding downloading the newest and greatest app on the market, that is PDR Mobile PRO if we don’t say so ourselves, and get down to what’s in it for you, the most talented PDR Techs on the planet. We want to provide you with the inside scoop on our new app update coming out next week. Here are a few of the items you will see:

  • You can add you company logo
  • Choose to include photos when printing or emailing estimates, quotes, or invoices.
  • Full vehicle price option allows you to enter a single price for the entire vehicle.
  • Tablet and iPad versions are available
  • Insurance information icon

We’re dedicated to your success and want to hear from you.  Feel free to contact us and let us help you in any way we can. Contact us.   Don’t forget to subscribe to our PDR Mobile You Tube channel and get all the latest PDR Mobile PRO training videos. We’re just a tap away.

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushin’

 

Growing Your PDR Business is a Choice Part 1

As we all understand, if you do not water and/or feed your garden plants they do not grow and flourish, by flourish I mean that they will not produce the vegetable or flowers that you seek. If I plant a tomato seed and then just give it enough care to keep it alive, my expectation that I will soon be eating a juicy home grown tomato will in all likelihood fail to materialize….ah,ah this has never happened to me. The same is true for a business, if it is not nourished it will not flourish, which means that your business will probably not produce those long-term wealth creation goals you seek.

It is no secret that many businesses, including the PDR industry, look like the picture to the left, does ywilting-leavesours? Of course the overall economy and those insurance companies are playing a role in that, but as much fun as it is to whine about them, they are not within your control. What you do have control of is how you grow your business. Developing a plan of action to nourish the business for long-term growth is within your control frame and if you want your business to grow, you better get to it.

You essentially have three choices. Choice one is to not nourish the business and leave it to fate, typically leading to its eventual dyeing on the vine. Choice two is to provide just enough nourishment that it continues to live, but does not flourish, known as hanging on day to day.  The third choice is to set out to grow the business to achieve those long-term wealth goals.  Any three of these are viable choices relative to your business goals. But to be in control of your and your business’ fate you need to make to make a conscious choice, not leave it up to the forces in the universe.

My focus in this blog and the next is Choice Three, which means making a commitment to growing your business to achieve your long-term wealth goals.  If you have not adopted long-term wealth goals, then your first step is to do some deep thinking about your long-term wealth creation goals and truly make them your guiding principle in all of your business decision making. Having adopted your long-term wealth goal or goals, now you have to give serious and informed thought to developing a plan of how your business can grow. Here is where business visioning, business model design and organization system creation come into play. You can take control of your business destiny; as I used to tell the students in my strategic planning class, you cannot predict the future, but you sure can give it a shot at creating your future.

In “Growing Your PDR Business Is a Choice Part II” I will discuss what is involved in making the choice to grow your business so that your long-term wealth creation goals can be realized.

PDR Mobile…It Keeps You Pushin’

PDR Mobile … The ONLY App Any PDR Company, Adjustor, Field/Local Route Tech Needs.

Companies, Adjustors, Field/Local Route Techs that work in the Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) industry know all too well that when severe weather strikes, those that remain mobile, taking full advantage of the most up-to-date industry technology and resources, win not only the day, but new business and new customers alike.

Catastrophic hail events can happen at any time. PDR Pros need an intelligent app that allows them the freedom to ‘Keep Pushin’; in the fields, at local dealerships and onsite with customers across the country. PDR Mobile is just that app! More than just part of our name, it’s your new way of doing MORE MOBILE business.

PDR Mobile is ‘The’ Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) app, setting the industry standard when it comes to the best PDR ‘Tech’; estimating, photo and document creation/editing and management. Developed by a team of seasoned automotive and technology experts with 30+ years of industry expertise and experience. PDR Mobile streamlines mobile estimating and photo management, keeping the busy PDR professionals Pushin’, saving the typical PDR Mobile app user 30% more time to do what they do best, repair vehicles. PDR Mobile enables and enforces reliability, professionalism, organization and more consistency, all of which enhances company image and reputation. PDR Mobile – It Keeps You Pushin’.  For more information, please visit our website at PDRMobile.com.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.32.02 PM

 

PDR Mobile … The Simplicity of a Robust Estimating App Engine.

Experience the ease and convenience of damage assessments with the PDR Mobile ‘All-In-1’ screen. Quickly access and update panel damage severity and repair fees regarding; add-ons, R&I ,etc.

The PDR Mobile estimating app engine ensures estimating flexibility and accuracy, with dynamic preview features to capture and verify all vehicle restoration damage requirements. Rapidly send a comprehensive PDF repair package, complete with estimate and embedded photos.  For more information, please visit our website at PDRMobile.com.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.06.25 PM

PDR Mobile … Innovative Photo Acquisition, Editing and Image Management.

With the PDR Mobile app, you can organize photos by category type; related damage, unrelated damage and/or by specific panels. Once organized, PDR Mobile users can add a note to an image identifying critical customer narratives and collaboration. Pre-formatted industry image templates are available for greater project estimate consistency and preview continuity.

Isolate image details with the PDR Mobile Zoom feature, allowing for greater scrutiny of project images prior to estimate sharing, simplifying the evaluation process and validating billable repairs found in the PDR Mobile estimate documentation.  For more information, please visit our website at PDRMobile.com.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.00.15 PM