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A FEATURED ARTICLE FROM
Its Connection to Detailing
Passion in a car wash magazine? Could this be a piece about the tunnel of love with a shouted warning, "Keep your mitters off!"?
Well, no. So, don't look for an article about the romance of detailing. The February issue has already passed. Consequently, a Valentine's Day theme can't be used. What then, do passion and detailing have in common? And why is passion so important? This month we will consider these questions. This exploration may explain why you have chosen detailing - or whatever you do - and how others succeed in supplying detailers with products the detailers need. In addition, helping your employees to develop a passion for detailing will increase work quality and potentially reduce turnover.
What Is Passion?
For example, Mario Andretti is credited with saying, "If
everything is under control, you're going too slow." Andretti was
one of the greatest racers in history with wins at both the Indianapolis
500 in 1968
Where do passion and detailing meet? Detailing, as you
know, is both a craft an art. The craft portion entails the techniques
and procedures used to solve specific problems encountered on a job.
It is possible to reduce detailing to pure process. This might occur,
for example, at an auction where throughput and lowest cost are paramount
concerns. There is not much time for art. In many auctions,
The level of "art" increases as the prominence of the owner increases. Usually this means that you work to meet the expectations of the person who actually drives the vehicle. When the owner has an intimate involvement with the vehicle, the desire for "art" increases.
By art, I mean seeking ways to perfect - and improve - the vehicle's appearance. This entails more than just cleaning and applying wax. The detailer sees each vehicle as a canvas upon which he or she can work his or her particular magic. The art and passion are linked. When you have a passion for detailing, you are keenly aware of the challenges you face, and you look forward to meeting those challenges.
If you view detailing as a job and have a dispassionate attitude, you treat each vehicle the same. You have a procedure; you follow it. Your attitude toward products is probably the same. Products must enhance productivity and give predictable results - all the time. The problem is that many detailers burn out because they can't handle the repetitiveness of the work.
A passionate detailer often sees things differently. Products
are the tools needed to meet a particular challenge. As a result, this
kind of detailer looks for new products that will help the detailer
Why Is Passion Important?
The second reason why passion is important is because
it is infectious. When you enjoy what you do, you communicate your enthusiasm
to both your employees and customers. For new employees the search for
excellence can make you a bit of a pain, because the employee does not
have a complete
Passion produces progress. This is the third reason why
passion is important. Many of the innovations in detailing are the result
of professionals seeking a better way to resolve problems encountered
while working to improve a vehicle's appearance. This becomes a search
for products, tools, and techniques that satisfy the passionate detailer's
desire for improved quality and appearance. One of the reasons why there
is no truly dominant supplier of detailing products is that many companies
have been formed to provide specific solutions to detailing problems.
Also, I suspect that many manufacturers don't have a complete understanding
of detailers' needs. This results in a proliferation of products that
try to approximate a need. If people buy it, then it must be right.
Hmm, I'm skeptical about that. There are companies that are passionate
about detailing. You can recognize them by their willingness to partner
with a shop to help realize its ambition for better work and increased
profitability. (Remember I
The fourth aspect of passion is value. Passion is a source of value. It is that something extra that makes a difference. In past articles, we have discussed value and how it relates to your business. One of the sources of value is your ability to exceed your customers' expectations. When your passion motivates you to excel, everybody - including your customers - will see the results.
Finding the Passion
The challenge is finding the passion not only for yourself but also for your customer. The most important question you can ask is: Is this what you want? Do you want to be a detailer? If you answer yes, then you are on your way to discovering your passion for detailing. If your ardor is focused on technique rather than art, perhaps your focus should shift toward wholesale detailing (for example, working closely with dealerships) where value-oriented work is favored.
Earlier, I stated that passion is contagious. Associate with others who share your passion for detailing. You can find others who wish to share their ardor at trade shows and on detailing forums.
It Starts with You
Passion must be real and not a pose. Some "artists" affect passion; they are to be treated with skepticism. When you have worked with those who are driven by their desire to excel, those who pose can be recognized. When you display your passion (and you should strive to be a part of your community) by sharing your dedication to detailing with others, you will find more customers who seek your expertise.
Detailing is an exciting art and business, and it truly is what you make of it. Your passion or desire to restore or improve vehicle appearance is a valuable and needed service. When you realize the value of your contribution, your passion for detailing will grow.
John Lamade has extensive experience in the marketing of detailing products and is a contributing editor to Auto Laundry News. Contact John via e-mail at email@example.com.
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