One of the first things that you need to wrap your head around is that body shops are not your enemy. In fact, if treated correctly and with respect, they could be your friends.
Traditional auto body shops definitely serve their purpose and certainly you could name a few that you think are excellent ones. If your customer has been in a significant collision that has changed the entire vehicle all the way down to the frame, well then you want to refer your customer to an auto body shop. If however, the damage is minimal, using an auto body shop is counter intuitive. You wouldn’t perform a frontal lobotomy if you simply scraped your knees but, using this same formula, you wouldn’t go to a PDR Technician if half of your vehicle is still on the highway. Your customers need to learn what is appropriate for PDR and it’s up to you to educate them. Why pay to have your whole fender replaced when a PDR Technician can fix that fender with minimal cost to the customer?
The only way a body shop can extend a lifetime guarantee is to repair and paint the entire panel even if it’s just a scratch or a bumper scrape. This whole procedure is often extremely unnecessary and in the end will cost you far more than it needed to be. As a PDR Technician you can save the customer so much more money and you have to make sure they are aware of your services.
One possible way of doing this is to get in bed with the body shop, so to speak. One favor returns the favor. If you are willing to send the seriously damaged cars to a chosen body shop, will they too send you their not so seriously damaged cars? It’s a question of trust and you may need to extend your olive branch first to get this to a profitable relationship for both of you.