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June 25, 2009 / jasonpinto

Oh, while you’re here

Have you ever been on the receiving end of the Jiffy Lube up-sell?

The first time I went there, I was totally caught off-guard. As far as I knew, they only changed your oil. I expected a quick and inexpensive process. But, within a couple of minutes after my car was pulled into the bay, they called me to immediate attention.

They were holding materials that came from my car:

  • a filter that looked like it had been in buried in the woods for three years
  • a windshield wiper that had been shredded by a mountain lion
  • also, news that one of the belts was “horrible”

Along with discovering these problems for me, they also presented a solution: they could fix all of those for me right then.

Well, I have zero mechanical skill. So, their news brought panic to my every action – and thus, I agreed to have them fix everything right then.

I’ve since gone back to Jiffy Lube for an oil change – and yes, they did find some other things wrong. So far, I’ve held off on having them fix anything else. (of course, I probably just doomed myself to a breakdown on the highway tonight)

The bottom line is this: they do a great job of up-selling. They certainly change a lot of oil – but there is only so much you can charge for that.

Thus, they take advantage of the following things:

  • their real estate (the bays where you drive your car into)
  • the mechanical skills of their employers

They also know two things about their oil change consumers:

  • they don’t have the knowledge or¬†circumstances to change their own oil – and thus, they probably can’t fix other little things
  • they care about their cars

They take advantage of these ingredients to create increased revenue opportunities for their business.

So, next time you are looking at your cash flow with clenched teeth and sweat on your brow, don’t be afraid to look at Jiffy Lube for a little up-selling inspiration.

Think about the the resources you have — the skills of your staff, the power of your product, or perhaps your location.

Then, think about your customers. What else might they have a need for, that you could solve.

If you can find the answer to that question, then you may well have created a new revenue stream.

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