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BIG IDEAS from Jay Posadas

His classmates in RITC (the Retailers Training Course) called him Papa Jay, being the second oldest in the batch. With his shock of white hair, the name seems to stick on just fine.

Julian Cesar "Jay" Posadas, who operates the Caltex service station along Canaynay Avenue, has been with Caltex Retail for just more than a year. But within that short span of time he has shown that he is no ordinary entrepreneur. An avid learner and one who drives himself to excel, Jay has been a consistent awardee in the quarterly Customer Service Awards. A financial analyst by profession, this De La Salle University graduate and CPA did consulting work for Asian Development Bank and some Philippine Government agencies, as well as for private firms andindividuals before joining the Caltex retailers team. Before that, he was a Financial Analyst / Account Officer with Bank of America.

Ask Jay for help with your accounting systems and he will surely sit down with you to share what he knows. For this issue, however, we wanted Jay to share with us his management style, what initiatives he has taken to help improve the station's sales. We are sure many retailers will find Jay's account helpful.

Initiatives to help boost sales:

On staff / crew / attendants:
1. Suggestive Selling
In the Star Mart. I tell my staff that all customers, including those that come to station to use CR or redeem coke vanilla (Globe-Coke promo), buy prepaid phone cards, etc., are prospects for additional sales if they are already customers. Suggest that they need specific merchandise. Make the offer. You don't lose anything if you do. You might lose something if you don't.

In the Forecourt. My attendants are trained to pop the hood, look for possible needs (products or services) of the car or motorist.

In the Xpresslube bays: I remind the crew to offer EWDs, which are required for LTO registration; car accessories; and complete wash not just body wash. They push our 22-point preventive maintenance service. This not only impresses customers, but has the potential of boosting sales because defects and worn-out parts that need to be repaired and replaced show up during the service.

2. Commissions.
To the Xpresslube team, I give 2% on gross sales (net of VAT) extra income for lubes and parts sales that exceed the daily break-even amount, and 6% on gross sales (net of VAT) on all services undertaken that exceed the daily break-even amount. I copied this practice from a successful Caltex retailer, who I won’t identify. He knows who he is.

On customers
1. For every P400.00 of fuel purchased, a customer gets a free brownie, or cookie; for P800.00, it is a slice of chocolate cake.

2. Tricycle drivers comprise about 37% of all my fuel customers or about 350 drivers. With the help of Lubricants through the DMP, I support their basketball tournament, through donations, e.g., a basketball or team jerseys. I also established good relations with presidents and ex-presidents of the tricycle drivers and operators associations in my area because they can influence buying habits of the members

3. Taxi drivers get free black coffee for every P500.00 worth of fuel purchased during the rainy season.

4. Employees (yes, they are my customers/consumers also!) are allowed up to P600.00 in ‘signing privileges’ for Star Mart purchases, deductible every payday.

On retailer-operator
1. Calls. I visit prospects and make personal presentations. Big companies with large fleet of vehicles are offered Star Card program. So far I have not been able to succeed on this initiative because most of them already have either a StarCard or Shell's card , but I keep on plugging.

2. Flyers/streamers. I use these to call attention to special services or offers like undercoating, calibration of diesel engines, complete body wash, foam wash - car shampoo with wax, free tire black and vacuum. I also undertake house-to-house distribution of flyers.

3. Tie-ins. I tied up with an LPG distributor and shared 50-50 on the discount extended to customer. Caltex LPG provided the flyers and streamers free of charge. For every purchase of 11 kg LPG, I give P20.00 worth of discount on Star Mart items or fuels and lubricants.

4. Promos. As soon as the station opened, I wrote all my neighbors, announcing that Caltex Canaynay Avenue (4 kilometers away) and its Star Mart was already open, and described quality products, services, and promos that are available. For example, five full tanks get a free body wash, vacuum cleaning and application of tire black.

5. Sharing ideas. I talk to fellow retailers and learn from them. They invariably have success stories that inspire me and are worth adopting.

6. Rapport. Finally, I make it a point to maintain good relations with my FM and DM, calling and talking to them regularly. I view them as teammates and partners.


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