Sales is what brings the money into your cleaning business, and the money is the blood of your business… But how exactly do you get the money in your business by making the sales so you’re business can not only survive but thrive in any economic condition? It all happens by doing one thing… That is what we are going to discuss today.
Getting new customers for your office cleaning service all starts with an estimate. Giving out estimates is what you should be working on. Many office managers and business owners are interested in getting an estimate from you. When you first speak with them, their only interest is in the estimate. They don’t change services or hire a new one until they get your estimate in writing.
They are not ready to get rid of their old cleaning service even if it’s a bad service. They are not quite ready to employ your cleaning service and they are not ready to give you the key to their office. You are ready but they are not.
A common response from decision makers either over the phone or in person is that “we already have a cleaning service”. Many people in the cleaning business are too quick to give up when they encounter this negative response. Whatever their response may be, you still want to mention that “you would like to give them a competitive estimate to keep on file… Because things change.” Things really do change too. Bad cleaning services don’t last. They get replaced or fired. Some cleaning services don’t stick around for various reasons. Once a decision maker agrees to your estimate, you got the ball rolling and the wheels are in motion.
You show up and do a quick walk through of the office or building. You take a little tour of their office or building to see what there is to be cleaned. Take note of how many restrooms they have and ask them what the total square footage is. Ask how many times a week they would like the cleaning to be done. Once you have this information you can determine the price to put down on your service agreement.
Discuss the price with the decision maker before putting it down on paper. Clarify who is paying for paper products. If they insist that you pay for paper products then you want to find out how much in paper products did they purchase over the last 12 months and add that amount to your estimate.
Your estimate is for the regular routine cleaning. The routine cleaning does not include window cleaning, carpet cleaning or machine scrubbing of floors.
When an office manager is going to hire a new employee they don’t do it over the phone. They do it in person and before that employee ever gets hired they fill out an application. Your written estimate is similar to an employment application and should always be given in person and never over the phone. They have interest in your cleaning service or they would never agree to your free estimate but never give an estimate over the phone.
The more estimates you give out the better. Estimates result in contracts and new customers. One estimate at a time will result in new monthly clients and growing your cleaning business. It is not uncommon for a potential new client to contact you 3 or 4 months after you give them an estimate.
So, don’t wait for your phone to ring. Increase your list of contacts. Work on putting out the next estimate and making more new contacts. The best use of your time is to think in terms of putting out estimates rather than getting new customers. New customers will be the result of your estimates so work on giving out those estimates.
Remember, it won’t cost you anything but a few sheets of paper and time. You don’t have to do any expensive advertising at all. Go direct to the decision makers who can actually give business to you. Make contacts and develop your list of potential customers. You’re not trying to get the keys and a new contract just yet. That’s putting the cart before the horse. Your objective should be to give out free estimates for your cleaning service.
Office managers will typically take 3 bids and normally they do not select the lowest price. If 2 of the 3 bids are much higher than your bid, they will just think that you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t make that mistake. Price it where it should be priced at. If everyone in the cleaning business thought they had to be the lowest price around, then the prices would be driven lower and lower but it’s not that way at all. Most office managers want a professional cleaning service and they expect your price to reflect that too.
Stay focused on making new contacts with potential customers. Grow your list and submit estimates. New customers will be the result. After you get the contract all you have to do is perform well, and you will have a long term client, and therefore long term money coming in month after month in your business.
Leave a comment below and let us know how you work on getting estimates out to your clients.