Are You Actively Converting Your Counter Customers To Route Customers?

Wed, Aug 18, 2010

Advertising, Dry Cleaning Marketing

First of all, what is the purpose of converting and why would you do it?

You convert because a route customer will spend more money every month and stay with you much longer than a counter customer. This is a fact! I hear it all the time from my members.

So if you don’t convert, why not?

Conventional dry cleaner wisdom says, “They’re coming into the store now, why should I convert them?”

Conventional dry cleaner wisdom says, “If I convert at the counter, my store will look empty and that’s not good for business.”

Conventional dry cleaner wisdom doesn’t work anymore. Gone are the days when you open up a drop store and everyone flocks to it. Gone are the days when you didn’t have to do anymore advertising besides putting up a sign in front of your store. Those days are all long gone.

Here is “Today’s Wisdom”:

If You Don’t Convert At The Counter, Some Other Delivery Service Will Get Your Customers And Eventually You’ll Be Out Of Business!

I see it happening every day. I talk to thousands of dry cleaners every year and this is a common occurrence.

If you don’t convert at the counter, some other dry cleaning company will. You should be that dry cleaning delivery company, not someone else.

You MUST protect your home turf. How do you do that? Convert at the counter! And how do you convert at the counter?

There are several steps that I teach my members. The first one starts with you.

You must be convinced that this is a good strategy for your dry cleaning business. All my members tell me that they don’t see a drop in counter activity when they convert at the counter. For some reason, maybe that that your van is out and about, the store stays just as full and your volume doesn’t go down. So that worry of your counter customers seeing an empty store isn’t going to happen.

Once you’re on board, you’ve got to get your counter personnel on board to. You’ve got to come up with a very simple script that they can start using. Something like this:

“How would you like us to pick-up and deliver your dry cleaning to your home and it won’t cost you any more money?”

And then you’ll get some questions on how that will work. Take all the questions you get and come up with responses. Put together a little training manual for your counter people to study.

Now you’ve got to come up with an incentive plan for your counter people or they WON’T ask your customers to convert to the route. It’s human nature and that’s why you need an incentive plan.

I recommend $5 for every one they convert to the route. Pay them after the first pick-up from their home. And you can also have some contests or when they hit a certain number of converts, they get a bonus. Use your creativity and come up with something that all your counter people can get excited about.

What else can you do?

Get some buttons or t-shirts made for your counter people that say: “Ask Me About Our FREE Delivery Service”

Have a few signs made up for each one of your locations. Include a big picture of you (the owner) in front of your delivery van. And then start it out with this headline:

Ask About Our FREE Pick-Up & Delivery Service

And then go on to explain it.

Make sure and include a picture of you in front of your van. This is the most important part of the sign.

And the last thing you can do is prepare a handout that you can put on the counter explaining your pick-up and delivery service.

If your counter customers know that you’ll provide the same quality service as you do in the store and now you’ll deliver it, and it won’t cost them anymore, they’ll join your route in droves.

Converting at the counter is a very simple idea that all dry cleaners must adopt or they will lose customers to their competitors and eventually go out of business.

Start converting at the counter today!

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3 Responses to “Are You Actively Converting Your Counter Customers To Route Customers?”

  1. Tony Says:

    Hey Greg, Do you own a full service store?

    I don’t. I own a pick-up and delivery service. I sell dry cleaning.

    Thanks for all the emails. I read them all.

    You never discuss finding a full service dry cleaner that will accept

    an outside pick-up service. We would have to split the cost. Some don’t

    want to do that. They are happy with the little work they have.

  2. Greg Says:

    Tony–no I don’t own a plant. There are dry cleaners looking for business, you’ve just got to find them. I pay them about 54% of receipts and I get 46%. I can run a very profitable business with that. I really keep all my other expenses low. Thanks for commenting. Call me and let’s chat if you’d like.


    Hullo Greg;

    In Uganda its still hard to convert counter customers to pick ups. Main reason is almost all drying cleaning Businesses are in stores even the big ones like Spot Dry cleaners. I want to adopt it but i need more guidance for it will be an innovation in my business but i think it will require me to have more technical skills on board.

    Thank you for your emails they are of great use to my newly established business.

    Mulindwa Augustine

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