Sweet or Unsweet, It's Still All TEA!

July 1, 2020

Choosing the right additives for your business and how to build that bottom line. Adam Tatum breaks down the strategy.

Over the last few months, I have received a few emails regarding additives and how they can upgrade your business. So rather than just respond to each one, why not just write a column about them. The biggest questions that I get are “what” to carry and “which” company.

Now, I can lead you towards my preferred vendor in electric blue, but these are decisions that you need to make on your own. Also, what to carry really comes down to how you set up your business. Are you doing just oil changes or are you doing fluid exchanges? Are you doing mechanical repairs?

Answer these questions before you move forward. Now that you have determined that additives could be the next step in your business, what are some of the best things to carry. In my opinion, customers like packages. Put together a fuel and oil additive, add a conditioner to a transmission fluid exchange or radiator service and you add $20 to $30 to that invoice. If you are jumping into the arena, simply choose three things to start and add on from there.

Get yourself a good engine oil treatment, a good fuel additive (especially for GDI motors) and a good oil system pre-change cleaner. Make them  reasonably priced, and watch them fly off your shelves. From there, add the stop leaks, the service conditioners and more. 

After you determine the what and the who, we move to the most important part of the additive business, what I call the TEA method. If you haven’t noticed before, I like acronyms. Below, I will outline the method and get you  on your way to making more money for your bottom line.

T – Teach your staff. If your customer facing employees do not understand what they are selling, then they will fail in adding the value that you are seeking. Some of the additive companies have online training modules; others may have videos on YouTube with helpful information. My brands of choice have in house training that they can send to your markets to get hands on training. Net Net, no matter who you choose, you need to teach your staff.

E – Educate your customer. Now that you know what you are selling, repeat that information to your customer. Develop multiple plans of getting this
message out, as well. How many of your customers, or your staff for that matter, know that GDI motors require fuel cleaners every couple thousand miles? It's in vehicle manual. Every one of these engines is an opportunity to grab that fuel additive sale. Maybe think about finding that info online and laminating a copy to show your guest. Knowing their mileage habits helps out as well. If you see that they are going consistently over their oil change intervals, drop in that clean and protect package on them. More sales!

So now, you know what you are selling and what triggers you are looking for from the vehicle. It is time for the absolute most important thing that you must teach your staff to do. Are you ready for the key, the holy grail of sales?

A – Ask for the sale. And there you have it. I really can’t even go much further in this section of my acronym, because it's just too simple! I used to have a boss that made a joke regarding sales. He spoke of when he was younger and at the bar. If you wait until the end of the night to talk to a girl, you are likely to go home alone. He’s a big guy. So, he used to tell us that you got to go around and Ask. What’s the worst that can happen? You get a no. But what if you don’t? He will read this and laugh out loud knowing that I’m talking about him. Go ahead and sign that page and send me a screenshot!

I hope that this helps you understand what you are looking for in a vendor and how to make it successful in your stores. If you want to get contact information from me to get my vendors, feel free to reach out and I will send you some electric blue and lime green websites and the digits! Keep reaching out and emailing me. I just might write a column on what you are looking to improve in! Remember: Teach, Educate and Ask!

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