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Collision Repair Industry Changing at Speed of Light

Editor Jason Stahl touches on his visit to PPG MVP Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., where speakers addressed need to react quickly to changing world.

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Jason Stahl has 28 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 16 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

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Yes, you have to see change before it comes and react quickly. But let’s not forget about fun. Former Olympic speed skier Vince Poscente, who also spoke at the PPG MVP Conference, reinforced that point by saying that "Have fun" was his final thought before embarking on his final run in the 1992 Olympic Winter Games.

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“The decision to have fun is powerful,” said Poscente. “When you have fun, you have peak performance. And you need to instill that emotional buzz into the people who work with you.”

Let’s say Facebook and/or Twitter are totally foreign concepts to you, and you’re more familiar with Mars than you are with them. What could be more fun than exploring these new marketing tools? How entertaining would it be to discover some of your repeat customers’ hobbies or interests? What if you found out that 75 percent of your customer base is cuckoo for NASCAR because every time you post how your favorite driver finished, you get dozens of comments? Perhaps this would give you the idea to put any customer who gets their car repaired in your shop in a certain time period into a drawing for NASCAR tickets. This is just an example, but you can see how this could be a lot of fun.

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But there is some caution around that fun. Perhaps Jim Berkey, director of PPG MVP Business Solutions, put it best when he said at the conference that it isn’t enough to be just passionate about your business today.

“It takes uncommon skill,” he said. “And the passion is essential.”

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