Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Make a commitment to detailing

October 11, 2010

Have you ever wondered why some detailers are very successful, while others struggle day to day?

A lot of the most successful detailers who are superstars in the industry are, from a talent perspective, nothing special. So what has skyrocketed them to success? The answer is commitment.

Fear of commitment

Frequently questioning your decision to be in the detail business is a sure sign of a lack of commitment. A lack of commitment not only creates self-doubt, it is emotionally draining and ineffective.

Without commitment, you are defeated before you start.

A lack of commitment is one of the major causes of failure, and it's a weakness common to many individuals in the detail business. However, it is a weakness that may be overcome.

Historical example

In battle, the ancient Greeks established a well-deserved reputation for bravery, discipline, and determination.

They were successful because they were well trained, well led, and most of all, well motivated.

The Greeks understood how to instill commitment and prepare their soldiers for victory. To infuse their army with commitment the moment they landed on the enemy's shore, the Greek commanders would give the order to "burn the boats" that they had traveled on.

Imagine the psychological impact on the soldiers as they watched their boats being set to the torch — there was no turning back.

Once their boats were burned, they realized the only way they were going home was through victory.

The ancient Greeks understood the power of commitment. In your detail business you are not asked to commit to battle, but make no mistake, commitment is required.

Commit and don’t look back

The moment you become committed to your goals and your career, great things will happen. The true motivation for all success is a deep and steady commitment to the task at hand.

The detail business is a demanding and challenging career, but it is also highly rewarding and lucrative for those who are fully committed.

If you have a lack of commitment, it's time to "burn your boat" and become fully committed to the business. If you are merely detailing cars until something better comes along, it's time to find a new career.

For those of you who really want to become a professional detailer, the first step is to make a decision that you're going to be successful.

Get in one place, burn your boat, and commit to doing whatever it takes to increase your business.

Once you've made a real commitment to operate a successful detail business, write out a plan of action.

What will you need to do to reach your goal?

Once you've written your plan and are committed to it, the only thing between you and success is the execution of your plan. It's up to you to carry it out.

A winning mantra

Here are some strategies that top business people practice daily to achieve success:

  • Professionals avoid things that keep them from being successful. They don't wait around for something to happen, they make it happen.
  • They stay away from negative people.
  • They study to improve their skills.
  • They practice, role-play, and implement what they learn.
  • They make sure they are focusing on productive activities all day, every day.

That means they are either face-to-face with customers, on the phone talking with customers, mailing letters or sending email to customers, or outside of the shop prospecting.

Waiting around for the phone to ring is not a business producing activity.

Professionals program their mind with positive things, review their goals every day, and have a plan to achieve these goals. The truly committed will not let anyone or anything deviate them from their plan.

You should have a mantra every day that will help you reach and achieve your goals and reinforce your commitment to your business.

A mantra is something you recite on a daily basis, principles that you program into your subconscious mind.

I recommend that detailers use a mantra for positive programming similar to this:

  • I will sell "x" number of details today.
  • I will build value.
  • I will ask for the sale.
  • I will give 100 percent professional presentations.
  • I will give a 100 percent perfect detail.
  • I will follow my presentation process with 100 percent of my customers.
  • I will get complete information on every prospect I talk to daily.
  • I will follow-up on 100 percent of my customers.
  • I will prospect for five new customers today.
  • I will improve at least one detail or business skill today.
  • I will do whatever it takes to achieve my goals.

With commitment, ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results. Get started now, burn your boat, and never look back. Good luck and good detailing!

R.L. "Bud" Abraham is president of Detail Plus Car Appearance Systems, Portland, OR, and a 30-year member of the car-care industry. He can be contacted at