Auto Laundry News - September 2013

The Menu — A Redesign Can Up Sales 30 Percent

By AJ Rassamni

Put me in any car wash in any city and I will increase dollar-per-car sales by 30 percent in 30 days.

Did that get your attention? What if you can increase your sales dollar per car by 30 percent in 30 days? I am here to tell you, you can. How much extra revenue would that be per month? How much extra revenue is that in one year? How much are you willing to invest to increase your revenue by 30 percent? Investment is not necessarily money; it can be time.

The fastest and easiest way to increase revenue and profit is by increasing dollar-per-ticket sales to existing customers. At every car wash that I managed, consulted for, or purchased, I increased the revenue by 30 percent or more within the first 30 days. If I can do it, you can too.

HOW TO

The question is: How do you increase dollar-per-car sales? The first step to improve sales fast is to redesign the wash menu and the detailing menu using the following as a guide:

  • Add a lot of value and incentives to top packages so that it makes no sense for customers to purchase the lower-priced packages.
  • Add and promote express detail services, prepaid washes, and club plans as part of the wash menu.
  • Train ticket writers to promote the best wash, detail services,
    prepaid washes, and club plans (or redesign the pay terminals to
    promote all the preceding offers).
  • Offer incentives to the cashier to upgrade customers’ purchases to the club plan, prepaid washes, or highest-priced wash package.

Before starting the redesign of the menus, consult the wash stats and determine the percentage of total sales attributable to each wash option; for example, Basic Wash – 50 percent, Good Wash – 25 percent, Better Wash – 15 percent, and Best Wash – 10 percent.

Now ask the following questions:

  • Why does the Best Wash record the lowest percentage?
  • How can you add more value and incentives to the Best Wash to make it more attractive?
  • Is the Best Wash the most visible wash option on the menu?
  • Is the ticket writer promoting and recommending the Best Wash first?
  • Is the ticket writer promoting the detail services?
  • Is the cashier trained to upgrade customers?
  • What is the best selling a la carte item?
  • Is the best selling a la carte item only offered with the Best Wash or is it also offered with a lower package?

Check the wash packages sales averages, and you will notice that the lowest-priced package you offer that also includes tire dressing is probably the best selling wash package.

MENU MISTAKES

Common mistakes when designing a wash menu are:

  • Promoting the basic wash as part of the wash packages
  • Offering too many wash packages, thereby confusing customers
  • Offering tire dressing in a lower-priced wash package
  • Offering labor-intensive services in a wash package
  • Ticket writers promoting the basic wash first
  • Ticket writers greeting customers and asking: “Wash only?” or “What can I do for you today?”

DESIGN RULES

Follow these simple guidelines when redesigning the wash menu:

  • Simplify the menu —offer a maximum of four packages for customers to choose from.
  • Promote unlimited and prepaid washes programs with the wash packages.
  • Offer tire dressing only with the highest-priced wash package.
  • The Best Wash package should be the most visible package on the menu.
  • Have visible signs of your express detail services and offer them to every customer.
  • Full service wash is not one of the wash packages — it should be offered a la carte only.
  • Do not offer labor-intensive services such as interior dressing at a discount in a wash package. Offer them a la carte at regular price.
  • Promote express detail services next to the wash menu.

Price monthly wash club plans (with automatic renewal) in such a way that it becomes a no brainer for customers to join. Revenue from every customer who joins the wash club may increase dramatically. For example, if an average customer usually purchases the $20 wash from you every three months and then joins your automatic renewal club plan for $40 per month that is a 600 percent increase in revenue from that customer.

TICKET WRITERS

Ticket writers may be costing you hundreds of dollars per day. Did you know that you could increase your dollar-per-car sales with your existing menus if you had properly trained sales people? I have been to many car washes as a customer to listen to how the ticket writer sells me. The ticket writer has about 15 seconds to present to the customer and upgrade them to the Best Wash. The common mistakes ticket writers make:

  • Not smiling or not being dressed professionally.
  • Shaking hands with a customer that they don’t know or recognize. Many customers don’t like to shake hands, and others may think, “Oh, here you go, a pushy salesman that will try to sell me something I don’t need.”
  • Asking a customer they don’t recognize, “How are you doing?” Do they really care how the customer is doing? They should instead say, “Welcome.”
  • Asking the customer, “What can I do for you today?” When I am asked the same question at a car wash, my response is normally: “I need a hamburger and fries. What do you think I’m here for? I want a wash.”
  • Asking, “You like to have a wash today?” The fact is that customers come to the car wash for a wash; if you ask them this question their answer will be: “Yes, just a car wash.”
  • Asking, “Wash only?” This is the worst pitch I’ve heard. With this question, the basic wash is the only wash the ticket writer will sell all day long.

A study by Harvard University concluded that if you increase sales dollars per purchase by 5 percent, youincrease profit by between 25 percent and 125 percent. The question is, are you willing to invest your time and/or money to achieve these results?

AJ Rassamni, author of Increase Business 30% in 30 Days, is a 27-year car wash veteran and owner of Great American Car Wash in Fresno, CA. You can contact AJ via e-mail at aj@30percentin30days.com or by phone at (559) 284-1919. You can also visit his website at www.30percentin30days.com.


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