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Up Selling Auto Detailing Customers

headlight-restorationMost auto detailing service providers these days are happy as clams to just book daily appointments for basic auto detailing and hand-washing services. What they may not realize is that they’re leaving a boatload of money “on the table.” That’s because basic hand washing, buffing, polishing, interior shampooing and detailing barely scratch the surface of the services that you should be providing — and actively promoting!

We here at Detail King offer an array of “value-added” services that you can easily provide that won’t eat up your bank account with inventory and additional supply costs. These services can be performed in a reasonable amount of time and generate additional revenues on just about every vehicle you detail.

I highly recommend that you perform a walk around on every vehicle that you plan to detail. The best time to do the walk around is during the customer interview. The customer has stopped by your shop to get an estimate or he or she is dropping it off for an appointment. You may have already given a “price range” to this customer, and now it’s time to firm up that price based on what the customer wants — and what you might recommend the vehicle needs. Always “listen” to what the customer is asking you to provide, then propose a solution. Your customer may have originally contacted you because his puppy vomited on the back seat and he needs it cleaned and deodorized. You presented a solution to that problem and now it’s time to up-sell to a complete interior detailing with ozone service. Hey, maybe even an exterior polishing service, too.

Be prepared to offer any of these services at the drop of a hat: Rock paint chip repair, headlight restoration, plastic trim restoration, glass water spot removal, even wheel restoration. Except for the wheel restoration, the initial investment is low for the other reconditioning services mentioned. Just about every vehicle that has been driven for a few years will have many of the above issues. And they’re all easy corrections and can generate extra revenue besides the basic detail service.

plastic-trim-restorationYou can generate an additional $25 to $100 per restored headlight; $60 to $90 for a complete paint chip repair; $20 to $50 for restoring plastic door handles and mirrors; $30 to $60 for glass water spot removal. This is real money that many of you are “leaving on the table” because you don’t know how to perform these easy to do reconditioning services. Not only are they easy to learn, but also most of the supplies will only cost you a couple of bucks per car!

Another up-sell tool is to have vehicle evaluation sheets on hand, making sure to bring one along for each customer interview. Walk around the vehicle with your evaluation sheet attached to a clipboard and check off what you think the vehicle needs to make it look good as new again. The exterior portion of your VE sheet might have these items listed: Oxidized Paint, Environmental Fallout, Cloudy Headlights, Rock Paint Chips, Faded Door Handles, Faded Plastic Trim, Spotted Glass, Medium to Deep Scratches, Dull Chrome, Soiled/Stained Convertible Roof.

Just check off what you think it needs and determine what you will need to charge the customer for these value-added services. Do the same thing for the interior:

  • Foul Odor
  • Faded or Badly Stained Carpets
  • Cigarette Burns
  • Vinyl or Leather Tears
  • Heavily Soiled Seats
  • Soiled Headliner
  • Pet Hair

You can easily remove odors once you have cleaned the interior with an extractor by using an ozone generator. You can purchase a good ozone generator for about $400 and it will last for years and pay for itself quickly. Most detailers charge $50 to $75 to provide ozone odor removal.

If you provide carpet dyeing for faded floorboards and mats, it will only cost you a few dollars in supplies, take anywhere from a half hour to an hour to complete, and can yield an extra $60-plus per vehicle. Once properly trained you can repair most rips in vinyl and leather in less than 20 minutes and charge $50 to $100. Carpet and upholstery cigarette burn repairs take only a few minutes and you can charge $10 to $20 per repair. Cigarette burn repairs only costs you pennies! There is a ton of money to be made in this business. You should strongly consider offering these very profitable auto-reconditioning services. Whether you have a shop or are a mobile detailing operator the products used to perform these services will not take up a lot of space and are initial low investment.

You can sit back and watch others increase their bottom line or you can move forward now and start building revenue. Detailking.com can provide the products, systems, training and even the evaluation sheets so you can provide these profitable services to your prospects and customers.

Thanks for reading and good luck,

Nick Vacco, Founder

Detail King LP and Detailking.com

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