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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    I was posting in another thread and just posted this,

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips
    I don't ever try to tell people how to run their business, but instead just try to offer some balance to the conversation because as a detailer, one of their goals is to make a profit and multiple step buff jobs take more time and if your customer doesn't know the difference between a swirl and a squirrel then just make their paint clean and shiny and move forward.

    And seriously, I don't want to tell anyone how to run their business but I often times see a trend that goes like this,

    • Person gets interested in detailing, starts reading forums and gets the bug.
    • Takes the leap and starts purchasing pads, products and tools to start detailing for money.
    • Loses focus, probably because of one segment of the type of work shared on forums, (show car detailing), and decides to start out doing show car style detailing where they're using a multiple step system to create show car finish.



    Nothing wrong with the above scenario except if you're buffing out daily drivers for people that are not really into their car as a hobby, then you're e not matching your services to their needs.

    Most people only want 4 things and they probably don't even know they want these 4 things. All they know is they want their car clean and they don't want to do it.

    Here's the 4 thigns most people want,

    1. Shiny Paint
    2. Clear Glass
    3. Black Tires
    4. Fresh Clean Interior


    They don't know the difference between a swirl and squirrel.


    For clarification...

    This is a Squirrel



    These are Swirls





    If you spend too much time on the paint for someone that probably won't appreciate your efforts as much as you, and probably doesn't want to pay for your efforts, then you're doing them a disservice and you're doing yourself a disservice in your pocket book.

    If you have a customer that wants to pay for a multiple-step process then by all means go for it. But if your customer fits the daily driver description, then keep your focus and do a great job but do a fast job and by fast I mean wash, clay and use a one-step cleaner/wax.

    Make sense?

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  3. #2
    Senior Member loudog2's Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    I know what you mean!! I do my mom's car twice a year. Every 6 months it looks like it has never been polished. So from now on I just do a couple spot area's(M105) and a full one step(power finish) to make it look better. Followed by some DGPS. I got tired of busting my butt for nothing. Of course it's a freebee, can't charge mom.

  4. #3
    SELF BANNED ASPHALT ROCKET's Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    That is why I do not deal with squirrels.

  5. #4
    Senior Member JohnHenry's Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    Great post, Mike! Wish I had read it about three years ago. I'm gaining a new appreciation for cleaner waxes.

  6. #5
    Senior Member ziggo99's Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    I think I have a new quote to go by when it comes to detailing cars now.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Blake's Mobile Detailing's Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by ziggo99 View Post
    I think I have a new quote to go by when it comes to detailing cars now.
    I was just thinking that. Great post might, I had the same thought that you talked about( if the customer doesn't really care then y try to do a multi step polish?) I just got tired of busting my but and some of my customers not know the diffrence between the service I gave them and the service that could have taken me way less time and money. Im not saying that I want to cheat my customers but why spend all that time when they really want like you said.... shiny tired, clear glass, and shiny paint with a clean interior.
    2009 Red f250 4door powerstroke fx4

  8. #7
    Senior Member Matt S.'s Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    Great post Mike. These quick jobs make for some fast, easy money. I usually get $100 for a wash/clay/wax and vacuum/wipe down interior. If I work fast, I can usually finish this in under 2 hours using Klasse AIO or something similar, and the customer is always happy. A simple job like this makes a world of difference in the appearance of a car (and paint slickness), so it's a win/win IMO.

    That said, I always prefer doing full paint correction...but when my schedule doesn't fit an 8 hour job, the simple ones are perfect.

  9. #8
    Senior Member ziggo99's Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by matt@autogeek.net View Post
    Great post Mike. These quick jobs make for some fast, easy money. I usually get $100 for a wash/clay/wax and vacuum/wipe down interior. If I work fast, I can usually finish this in under 2 hours using Klasse AIO or something similar, and the customer is always happy. A simple job like this makes a world of difference in the appearance of a car (and paint slickness), so it's a win/win IMO.

    That said, I always prefer doing full paint correction...but when my schedule doesn't fit an 8 hour job, the simple ones are perfect.
    AIO's, in my opinion, seem to becoming more and more popular. It's nice to have one chemical AIO like Meg's Cleaner Wax and then one with some actual cut, like Klase or the PRC from Meg's or 180 from XMT.

  10. #9
    Junior Member mrvelvet's Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by matt@autogeek.net View Post
    Great post Mike. These quick jobs make for some fast, easy money. I usually get $100 for a wash/clay/wax and vacuum/wipe down interior. If I work fast, I can usually finish this in under 2 hours using Klasse AIO or something similar, and the customer is always happy. A simple job like this makes a world of difference in the appearance of a car (and paint slickness), so it's a win/win IMO.

    That said, I always prefer doing full paint correction...but when my schedule doesn't fit an 8 hour job, the simple ones are perfect.
    How in the world do you wash, clay, wax, vacuum, and wipe down interior in UNDER 2 hours?!?!!! This took me 5 hours today on my wife's car, granted it was my first time claying and waxing. I suppose it is just practice? Could you lend me some tips on your process?

  11. #10
    Senior Member silverfox's Avatar
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    Re: The difference between a swirl and squirrel

    I think too many people who frequent car detailing forums (there are many) have seen the video of the British guy who gets $10,000 per car....and they think...man, I can do that.

    Well, let me tell you that it takes years of practice and experimentation. Even though you finally figure out the best products and equipment to use....it all come down to 2 things:

    1) Technique (without proper technique...that only comes from experience...you're done).

    2) What the "real" market will bare....(and that's assuming you already have made a name for yourself...and that alone can take years).

    Its nice to dream, we all do it...but for me, its not about the money. I'm a successful businessman and have owned a few businesses along the way...and I never went into any of them saying to myself..."man I can make a killing doing that"....I went in thinking, "God, I love doing this"...and the money always takes care of itself.

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