What are you selling to your customers?
Have you ever asked yourself this?
It’s quite an important question, as it can be what separates you from the crowd when turning a potential customer into your customer. What NEED is your customer looking to fulfil by using your services?
A clean car?
– It’s the simple answer, but they don’t need you for that. Sorry.
With perhaps medical or location issue exemptions, anybody CAN clean their own car, possibly not to as high a standard, but to a standard they can cope with in exchange for zero outlay.
So what else are you offering?
For a customer, the time cost of cleaning their own car may be the time they can then spend doing something they want or need to do elsewhere, and they are buying that from you. Make the point that whilst their car is with you they can be relaxing in the garden, spending time with family, or catching up on other important jobs, treating themselves then becomes more appealing.
Skill and efficiency.
Whilst a customer could wash their car, by the time they have got out their wash kit, you will probably be halfway through decon. Their three hours is perhaps an hour for you with your efficient techniques, meaning the car is available sooner, and going back to time, your one hour is saving them three!
Never underestimate how much you’ve learnt just by doing a job regularly, or the value of this knowledge to someone who doesn’t possess it. Not every customer knows the best way to remove all types of contamination, why a solvent tar remover isn’t suitable on certain surfaces, and how to remove bird bombs without damaging the paintwork. These seemingly small skills which are second nature to you may be the best thing in the world to them! I’ve had customers thinking a car needs a respray because of branch scratches down the side, which were removed with a mild polish. They think they’ve saved thousands – you’ve just employed your experience. As the Henry Ford story goes: Marking the issue with chalk – $1, knowing where to put the mark $9,999.
If they can have their car taken care of whilst they are doing something else – especially if it’s profitable – it’s a win-win for them. This is the reason supermarkets have car washers going around, it’s “dead time” for the car, so the customer is actually achieving two goals in one swoop. Target a market that you can achieve this for and you’re always going to have willing clients who want to save time later without hassle. Making the service as simple for the customer, even if it adds to their price, will always attract the best clients because they will see the added value and appreciate the service. This can include; Collection and return services, pre-booked regular maintenance with direct debit or advance invoice payments so they just see a consistently clean car when they need it, and even proactive suggestions of improvements and concierge arrangement, small things which take little to achieve, but mean the customer can get on with other things.
So what’s the point of all this?
It’s about how you market and justify your services to your clients. – “I can do it cheaper myself”, is a phrase you will hear many times as a detailer. To this, we say;
“Yes, you can! You just need to buy the equipment, buy your chemicals, spend your time that you could be using to do something you enjoy doing, hope you know the processes for best results in an efficient manner, don’t encounter anything unusual, and have the opportunity to do so when you don’t need the vehicle.”
It’s amazing how much better having a professional do it for you sounds when you put it like that…
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