Using Test Spots to Land Detailing Jobs
Oftentimes, oxidation of a boat happens slowly over time, and the boat owner barely notices the gradual color changes that are caused by the buildup. Then, when they realize the oxidation has gotten to a point where their boat needs to be detailed, they are faced with the sticker shock of getting their entire boat detailed. At first, it’s not uncommon to see customers back out of a detailing job because they don’t really realize how bad the oxidation has gotten. We recommend offering a free test spot to that customer in order to show them the difference detailing can make.
What are Test Spots?
Test spots are small patches on a boat that get detailed to show the customer the stark difference in what the vessel will look like after treatment. Many customers hear words like “compounded,” “polished,” or “forced rotation,” and they can’t visualize what it actually means. Conducting a test spot for free doesn’t cost the customer anything, but it will show them how badly their boat needs to be detailed.
What Products Should I Use?
For a test spot, you’ll be going through all the detailing steps, but in a very small area of the boat. It is important to note every boats condition is different. The steps you do on one boat won’t be the same as the next. That is why we do a test spot, to see what will work best. You’ll need all the products you would use for a detailing job. Since you’ll likely be meeting the customer somewhere outside your shop, use a flex rotary polisher for all the steps, cordless if possible. Then, as you walk through each step of wet-sanding, applying heavy-cut compound, and applying medium-cut compound, we’ll walk you through the necessary products. First, make a square with some tape; you want this to be large enough so the customer can visibly see the difference between the treated and untreated areas. Next, you’ll jump into the fun stuff!
Wet-Sanding a Test Spot
Take a 1,000 abralon disc and attach it to the flex rotary polisher. Be sure to use a little bit of water to wet the surface area that you’ll be sanding, then keep the polisher on a slow, steady speed. After this is complete, wipe the surface dry, and get ready for the next step.
Applying a Heavy-Cut Compound
Secure a wool heavy cutting pad to the polisher, add some heavy-cut compound to the pad, and begin working that into the boat. You’ll want to stay slow and steady here as well. After this step, you should see a major difference in the test patch compared with the rest of the boat, but we’ll go through the remaining steps to really wow the customer.
Applying a Medium-Cut Compound
Last, use the wool cutting pad to apply elevate medium cut compound to make the test spot shine. You don’t need to do much more after this, as this will usually get your customer’s attention and show enough gloss and color change to entice the buyer.
Closing the Sale
Test spots are powerful tools for detailers; you’ll find that showing often works better than telling a customer what you can do for them. By illustrating the stark contrast in the before and after view, you provide an illustration of how valuable your skills are. Additionally, doing a test spot for free is a great way to showcase your skills and customer-centric service; this will make you stand out from competitors!