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September 2007

Going Beyond Having a Nice Personality

This is a guest post from Jon Betancourt of Selective Cleaning Teams of Salinas:

Have you ever met someone who walks into your office or met at a business function for the very first time, and either you remember something very good about the person or you remember something very bad about him or her?

It goes beyond having a nice personality, or how brilliant you might think you are. If you do not register a good first impression in the first few seconds, in a prospect or customers mind, they will feel you have nothing to offer them of great value.

Take a look at the following example:

Bidder # 1:  He has a killer presentation contract offer in his hands ready to present to the prospect, but the first thing the prospect notices is, he's wearing a wrinkled shirt, his hair is greasy, and he has bad breath.

Prospect's first impression: Mr. Bidder #1 is lazy because he didn't bother to iron his shirt and he has poor hygiene because of his breath and hair. He doesn't seem to have a high self-esteem, or interpersonal skills.

Bidder #2: Mr. Professional is well groomed and dressed very professionally, extends his hand to shake the prospect, with a warm smile. The prospect is so impressed by his appearance and can't wait to see the bid proposal.

These are common examples of how a prospect will perceive the cleaning professional, and many times how the prospect makes his/her decisions and judgments based on their first impression of them. That first impression is just as important as the bid itself.

You can improve your chances beyond just knowing your market. Dressing professionally and having a positive mental attitude with a warm smile will help make a good and lasting first impression.

Have you ever done a competitive cleaning bid where you walked through the building with your competitors? How was their personal presentation? Or perhaps you'd like to share an example of how you won the bid based on presentation? Click on the Comments link below to share your thoughts.

New Vehicle Signage Nets New Cleaning Customer

We read an article in the business section of the newspaper about a couple local guys who started a sign company. We decided to check them out because it looked like their work is much more creative than the company we've been working with.

We gave them a call and had them come up with some new designs for a couple of our vehicles and we're very happy with the new look.

After only a couple weeks with the new signage on the vans, we had someone call to ask us to bid on cleaning their building. When we asked how she heard about our company, she said she saw one of our vans on the street and it really attracted her attention. So much so, that she said she "stalked" the van for a while to make sure she got the phone number and website url written down!

What do you think...are these attention-getters?
(Click on the pictures to enlarge. Post your comments below)



I Thought They Replaced the Floor!

Granite floors are everywhere - homes and commercial buildings alike. We have a client who has a 50,000 sq ft Class A office building, with a granite floor in the entry. A couple years ago we cleaned and re-sealed the floors and they looked great. Two years later, the floors were again in need of work so they asked us to take care of it.

About month after we did the floors, we were talking to a fellow Chamber member who knew that we cleaned this particular building. She said she walked into the building one day and the floor jumped right out at her. She said, "I thought they replaced the floor! It looked brand new!"  When they told her they did not replace the floor, she said she immediately knew who cleaned it because we do such a great job.

Here are the Before and After pictures (click on the picture to enlarge it):



What do you think? Does it look like a new floor? Post your comments below.

Tips for Making Telephone Sales Calls for Your Cleaning Business

Selling cleaning services by making phone calls can be tough. Here are some tips that will help you become more successful:

  • Sales calls are all about numbers. The more calls you make, the more appointments you'll get. However you'll hear a lot of No's before you get any Yes's, so don't take it personally and don't get discouraged.
  • If it takes you 25 calls to get one appointment, then you can use that to plan your days for making appointments. As you get more comfortable with telephone sales calls, your number should get better - maybe you can get that down to one appointment for every 15 calls.
  • Do you dread making introductory calls? If so, then your fear or apprehension is probably evident in your voice as you make your calls. This doesn't help your situation, as the caller will be less receptive to you. To help alleviate this, try visualization. Before making the calls, or even the night before you're going to make calls, visualize yourself making the calls, feeling happy and relaxed. The prospect is pleasant on the phone and receptive to your request for a meeting. This exercise can give you more confidence and put you in a better frame of mind.
  • Get rid of negative self-talk. Do you say to yourself things like:

    1. People are rude - they hang up before I get a chance to get my message across.
    2. What's the point? Everyone always says no.
    3. I won't get through to the decision-maker so why bother?

    Replace this negative self-talk with:

    1. Yes, some people might be rude, but not everyone is, and I'm going to talk to pleasant people today.
    2. Not everyone says no, eventually I'll get a YES!
    3. The decision-maker is not untouchable - some of them do take my calls.

Start putting yourself in the right frame of mind, think positively, and visualize your success. Before you know it your skills will improve and you'll find it much easier to make sales calls over the phone!