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The Power of Relationships


Rodney Polishing
This article was originally published in the IDA The Detail Dialogue August 2023 Newsletter

In business, relationships really are a key element of success. I am referring in part to networking but also how you interact with clients and people in general. 8 years ago, I asked a group of people about the qualities of a detailer they liked. One response stood out to me. He said although his detailing was not as good as others, he kept going to him because he liked him as a person. Although I set strong boundaries and make the booking process more arduous than most, the people I provide a service for are treated like family.

With regards to reaching out on social media, it can be a troll infested crapshoot. I often get to skip that by reaching out to some of the world’s most recognizable detailers. Advancing in terms of credentials and word of mouth amongst clients and fellow members of the industry often was a product of how I presented myself. Being a decent person and working on being a good person means adding value to others (without compromising yourself).

To my surprise I made it on television twice for detailing, many years ago. I doubt Mike Phillips looked at me and said, ‘he is the best’. I am not by a long shot. But I liked sharing and helping people with detailing. My many posts got noticed. The rest was history. From detailing events, to the interactions in the community, to especially how you connect with your client, I can really tell you a lot about your business and how people perceive you. I am not referring to how good of a detailer you are. This also means being known in your community.

I recently booked a detail, which the inquiry begins with research about me on social media and continued with a longer conversation in person. The last step of this process was a conversation with multiple clients of mine who spoke to the gentleman about the person and detailer that I am. Those past clients messaged, to inform me that they raved about my passion for the service I provide. This was the last step in this process.

Word of mouth is deeper than what you do with a polisher. It does not mean serving everyone, as I am not shy about communicating that I am a premium provider for a select individual. What it means is embracing those conversations about the history of the car during the consultation process and at times during the work. It means learning something and sharing something beyond detailing with your client. Not everyone likes me. I am very open about setting strong boundaries, saying no and turning away many customers. I have little tolerance for drama and stress. The few times I worked with someone who was difficult, I made a note for our working relationship to end. I also have helped people who realistically could not afford a detail and have taught many others (answering questions). Some of these people I have been responsive to were competitors trying to find their way.

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
YouTube | Facebook

1 comment on The Power of Relationships

  1. Ross Wilson says:

    Rodney, you had me at troll infested crapshoot. Great article again. If this is a picture from your garage, then I have some work to do. Much appreciated.

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