Kar’l B Klean’s Operation Money $uck!

I talked ever-so-briefly about Kar’l B Klean in an earlier blog.

Let me describe for you WHO they are after (what kind of client they aspire to get) and what they REALLY sell. In reading through this, look at WHO you are really after and how are you getting that and what do you REALLY SELL!

OK, let’s get going.

Their operation is on a main drag here in Salem, Commercial Street. They take up a few lots and the building is big – white and red striped – fun-looking. There are three drive-up lanes. You drive up, a young fella approaches your car, helps you select (translation: sells you a wash job from the menu of services) the service you want, the “scent” you’d like in your car (they give you a nice laminate menu to choose from), extracts you from the car and then…sends you inside to pay. Strategically placed between you and the cashier are mountains of Gift Shop type stuff. Small presents, stuffed animals, cards, little trinkets for decoration – you know, stuff your mom would like in her house! Then, when you DO get to the counter, they assault you with mochas, lattes, and the like. Oh, and did I mention this CAR WASH has Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity, or Wireless Internet for us mere mortals!).

OK, now you thought you were just going to get your car washed, right? No way. That’s just part of the trip. You can get it waxed (by hand), detailed, vacuumed, blow dried, towel dried (extra!), goop on the dash, goop on the tires, goop on the engine and the list goes on and on. Now, get this…Their Average Sale is $29.00.

They are selling Car Washes for crying out loud! Most folks would look at that and think “They are in the car wash business.” It’s like saying McDonalds is in the fast-food business! (Wrong! By the way, they are in the real estate/location business! Just check out their locations!)

NO. Absolutely not. They are in the CUSTOMER ATTRACTION BUSINESS. They just happen to use dirty cars as an excuse for you to visit. They offer repeat rewards, and get this, a “48-Hour Rain Guarantee” (in Oregon of all places!), and more.

They have a staff of about 15 or so that I can see at any one time.

While waiting for their car, I’ve yet to see ONE SINGLE PERSON leave without at least buying a darn candy bar or a coffee of some kind.

This is the part I find interesting. They have a big seating area that overlooks the cars as they are driven by the employees out of the wash. It’s so funny. Because, everyone, just like me, is looking around and thinking “Now I wonder who’s car THAT one is?” I find myself doing that, too. It’s like a chance for the average guy or gal with a nice car to show off! It’s literally hilarious!

Now, don’t miss this important point: The customer they are after is a woman with a Mercedes or Cadillac with a big house or grandchildren. They’ve defined that by including their gift shop and making that a mandatory stroll to get to the cashier. (what do you force YOUR patients to walk by – good or bad – that induces a sale or worse, REPULSES a sale?!)

They are of course, after guys who HATE washing their car and who bring their daughters/sons with them and drag them through the gift shop.

I can’t really do the experience justice in a page or two. However, you get the point. There are several very valuable lessons. Apply what you can and profit!


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