Auto Detailing: The Law of Maintenance

Auto Detailing: The Law of Maintenance

Very few people will argue that auto detailing is a lot of work. It can take countless hours of labor to return a vehicle to its former glory. Spending too much time on certain vehicles just doesn’t make sense.

T Harv Eker, author of the bestselling book, “Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind”, talks about “The Law Of Maintenance” as it pertains to deciding whether or not to pursue certain activities, based on the rewards or results possible from that activity.

The Law Of Maintenance and the Law Of Diminishing Returns are both very relevant to the auto detailing industry.

Auto Detailing: Vehicle Evaluation

For example, let’s say you have a customer that has a daily driver. It’s a Black 2006 Ford Fusion that is driven to and from work and the customer washes it every other week by driving it through the corner car wash. The paint is pretty hammered from the drive through car washes, but a good compound and polish will get it back in decent shape.

Remember, this is only an example so I don’t want a bunch of bullshit emails saying, “but my basic detail includes, blah, blah, blah and I only take x hours to finish.” Just insert your included items and time calculations and hopefully you’ll still get the point.

Let’s say you have several auto detailing packages. Your Basic Awesome Auto Detailing includes interior carpet shampoo, interior cleaning and conditioning and a paint rejuvenation that includes a clay rub, compound, polish and sealant. You figure the whole detail will take between 3 to 4 hours and your hourly rate is $60 so the total is approximately $240.

You also have a More Awesome Auto Detailing that includes an extra compound and polish step adding 2 hours and $120, for a total of approximately $360.

Your Super Duper Most Awesome Auto Detailing includes either a wet or dry sanding technique that no one else in the area does and it will flatten the paint so you can floss your teeth, every morning, in the reflection. It takes 12 hours, over 2 days because you have to let the special carnauba wax you use harden for 24 hours before adding a second coat. Because you have to come back the next day (if you don’t have a shop), it costs a little more and will run them $800.

Auto Detailing: Client Evaluation

What do you think the chances are of a client with a Ford Fusion spending $800 on a detail twice a year?

Does it make any sense whatsoever to sell that customer on your Super Duper Most Awesome Auto Detailing Package? The sealant is going to last the same amount of time in each package so it will still require a visit twice a year minimum.

Do you think the average person, who isn’t an automobile enthusiast will even notice the difference?

What are the chances of you ever getting that customer back again?

Aren’t you better off putting them into one of the first 2 packages and turning them into a recurring loyal client, that has their car done twice a year? Let’s look at those numbers, shall we?

What happens if you sell them on the $240 and then suggest that they have a hand wash done every other week to properly maintain the paint? If they wash their car every other week, that’s 26 washes at $35 or $910 and a $240 detail for a total of $1,150 for the year. Pretty nice for one client.

Even if they decide that all they can afford is a car wash once a month, your total comes to $240 plus $455 or $695 a year, from one client. Not too shabby!

Auto Detailing That Makes Sense

It’s alright to sell a client on a high end package if they own a high end car, rarely drive it and only have hand car washes done. If your client absolutely has to have your Super Duper Most Awesome Auto Detailing Package, then by all means go ahead and do it.

If your client owns a daily driver, may take it through an egg beater style car wash when they can’t afford to have you do it and sets their briefcase on it while showing real estate? You are wasting your time and the client’s money and are operating against “The Law Of Maintenance.”

Serve your clients well, fellow auto detailing professionals. Add value to your client’s vehicles and they will beat a path to your door.

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