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You put in a lot of work to fill your calendar with new detailing appointments. But have you put much effort into making as much as possible with each appointment? If you could improve profits 10 – 20 percent, and in many cases not spend extra money, would you be willing to shuffle your service menu?
Here’s four tactics I used to increase per-car profits at my Beaverton, OR, detail shop.
Method 1: Separate and upsell some of the services in your complete detail package.
How many restaurants give you an appetizer, beverage, entrée, and dessert for one price? Almost none. It’s no secret that restaurants lose money on entrees and make money on all the other stuff.
Take a look at your complete detail package. What’s essential, and what would the customer accept as optional?
Here’s steps you can remove from your detailing process and sell as optional services, as well as a price I’ve found customers willing to pay for them:
Method 2: Don’t hesitate to stretch your price boundaries.
First, don’t offer flat rate pricing because someone always loses. If the car is a “cherry,” the customer is overpaying. When the car is a “dog,” you’re selling your work short.
Price your detail packages to have a range of $80 from the low end to the top end (ie, $200-$280 for a car, inside and out). Customers will try to “pin you down” on a final price over the phone, but I found an $80 “fudge factor” makes them comfortable enough to book an appointment and discover the final price when you meet later.
However…there will always be the occasional “nuclear bomb.” These have dog hair, food stains, mold, paint in the carpets, flaked paint, fire damage, mice, and more.
In my first 2 years in business, I stuck to my pricing menu and charged these “bombs” my max dollar amount. We lost money putting 12+ man hours into these. Very stupid.
Later, I didn’t hesitate to ask $100, $200, or $300 more for “bomb” cars and was delighted with how understanding most customers were about offering exceptional pricing for exceptional jobs.
Method 3: Create an “ultimate” package that groups all your special services, at a discount.
Bundles are appealing to your customers because:
Your “bundle” might look like this:
Bought individually, this might cost $325. But as a bundle…$265.
Can you imagine a lot of your customers saying “yes” to that?
Method 4: Offer something more than detailing.
You can do so much more to make your customers’ cars beautiful. Here are some examples of profitable services and the prices you can charge:
About a third of customers who booked details opted for these “add on” services because they found it convenient to get the whole car freshened up in one appointment. You can buy “add on” systems from many companies online, and learn to use it at home, with DVD training.