John Thompson enjoys meeting new people and striking up easy conversations, making him a prime candidate for a variety of sales positions.
“PDR started in the 1980s, and I had a brush with it in 1999. Most of my family has always been hands-on automotive people so I wasn’t a stranger to that type of work. But, in 1999, I was just too young and not ready to move off in a completely different direction.”
Nearly two decades later, the stars aligned for one of those silver lining events.
Thompson was involved in a custody battle for his son, Samuel. He needed a job that was not sales and commission. He found one. It wasn’t his first choice, but it gave him what he needed at the time. With full custody of Samuel in writing, he fanned the embers of his former interest in PDR.
“I found a training school in California that offered classes in Texas,” he explained. “I enrolled for an 80-hour course. After that, I found a mentor and began working with him. I still had my full-time job, but I knew I was getting close to something really good.”
That “something good” was North Texas Paintless Dent Repair.
“I stayed with the full-time job until my mentor told me I was ready to fly and make money,” Thompson recalled.
Suddenly, his innate sales ability returned to full-force action.
“I started going to dozens of dealerships and asking if they had a PDR expert,” Thompson said. “Finally, after about two months, I stopped at a Subaru dealership that had a hail-damaged car but no PDR. They asked me to take it, and I said yes.”
Wonderful, but where would Thompson take the vehicle? He had no shop.
“I called my mentor, who said to bring it to his place. I did. We fixed it, and things started moving in the right direction for me.
“At first, everything I did was on a mobile basis. PDR doesn’t require large, specialty equipment. I use hand tools. That’s it. It was kind of a ‘Have-tools-will-travel’ operation.
“My first goal was to have a real, brick-and-mortar shop. I have one now, in Denton. I’ve also hired my first independent contractor. My plans call for hiring two more.
“I’m working with five dealerships, which gives me a steady workflow,” Thompson explained. “At this point, I’m actively seeking more retail and individual business. That, for the most part, is a function of time; of getting my name and my brand out there,” Thompson shared.
With the proliferation of franchises, Thompson notes he is the sole owner of North Texas Paintless Dent Repair.
“My roots are here in North Texas,” he stressed. “We don’t chase storms for our business. We’re here. We’re local. We’re here to stay.”
Are there specific advantages to PDR?
“Yes,” Thompson answered.
“For starters, it’s much less expensive. We seldom need to replace any parts, which means there’s no need to send the vehicle to the body shop. The factory paint is the best paint job your vehicle will ever have. That means we’re actually bringing value back to your car.”
Thompson is relentless in taking the necessary steps for building a solid reputation for NTX PDR. “I’ve brought in a lot of people to the shop as prospective employees,” he said, “but, in the end, they just don’t measure up to our standards. I let them go because the entire system must function at the highest level.
“I have no intention of ever giving up my mobile work. It’s a tremendous convenience for our customers and adds something special to our service menu.”
Thompson does admit to one shortcoming. “There are times when I wish for more business experience,” he said, “but I’m gaining more every day. I also have someone who helps out in that area.
“I have no regrets about my decision. And the best part? I’m happily remarried with a wonderful blended family with my wife Laura, my new daughter Savannah, my son Samuel, and my oldest daughter Madisun who has given us two grandbabies.”