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August 2007
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October 2007

Who Are the People You Surround Yourself With?

I'm sure you've heard the phrase "birds of a feather flock together. We've learned that this is true from a very early age. After all, didn't you choose your friends as a child by finding the kids who liked the same things you liked and played the same games you liked to play?

This usually follows us into our adult life, but now we're probably looking for friends and business acquaintences who share the same values and have a similar history. But what happens if we continually surround ourselves with people who tend to be unhappy, negative, and angry at the world? It's been proven time and time again, that if you surround yourself with this type of person, pretty soon you'll also become unhappy, negative and angry at the world.

So what do you think will happen if you surround yourself with happy, upbeat people who are successful in life and business? Pretty soon you're going to find yourself becoming happier and more upbeat. And you'll also start to see more success in your business life too!

So you have a choice. You can choose to continue surrounding yourself with the negative people who perhaps are telling you there's no way you're going to have a successful cleaning business; or, you can choose to surround yourself with happy, successful people who will encourage you and celebrate your success.

The choice is yours. Who will you choose?

What "One" Thing Can You Do To Kickstart Your Cleaning Business?

Sometimes as we move along in the day-to-day of our business we get complacent. But have you ever considered the impact you can make in your sales volume by adding just one more task to your daily or weekly or monthly to-do list?  Here are some examples:

  1. What would happen if you made one extra sales call every day? That would mean you'd be making an additional 260 phone calls a year. How many more results could you expect by doing this? Would you be able to set up more potential client meetings?  How many of those meetings could you turn into sales?
  2. Start working one hour earlier. For many people, the early part of the day is their most productive time of day. What if you spent that hour working on projects you've continually put off because there's "just not enough time in the day"? Or what if you spent that time trying to reach the decision-makers? Did you know that early in the morning is often the best time to reach the decision maker?
  3. Read one trade magazine every week. Do you ever get so many publications that you end up with a big stack of magazines that are waiting to be read? Make time for reading and staying on top of what's happening in the industry.
  4. Spend one hour a week or one day a month developing your skills. You need to invest time in your own self-development if you want your business to keep growing, and if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition.
  5. Take at least one full day off a week from work. It's so easy to say, "I'm just going to do this one thing today", and before you know it, you've been working for 4 hours while your family is wondering when you'll be joining them. We all need time to re-charge if we want to stay positive and energetic for work. Taking time away is the best thing you can do - even if it's just for a day.
  6. Send one thank you card a week. Do you ever thank people for meeting with you or thank your customers for doing business with you? Take some time to connect with your network by sending thank you cards, hand-written notes, or even a quick email. Letting them know you appreciate the time they spend with you or that you sincerely appreciate their business goes a long way in developing the relationship. And they'll be more likely to refer you to others when they have a relationship with you.

What other "one" thing can you do to kickstart your cleaning business? Share your thoughts by clicking on the comment link below.

The Difference Between Sales Letters and Direct Mail Letters

One way to market your cleaning business is by sending sales letters. But did you know there's a difference between a sales letter and a direct mail letter? A cleaning business owner shared these differences:

Despite similarities, a sales letter is different from a direct mail letter in these important ways:

  • A direct mail letter is almost always a component of a mass mailing, whereas a sales letter is not. A sales letter can be aimed at as few as one or two prospects.
  • A sales letter is a more personalized form of communication. Sales letters are often used to follow-up with prospects after an initial meeting or telephone contact has been made.
  • A direct mail letter aims for immediate sales action on the part of the prospect, but a sales letter often attempts to lay the groundwork for future sales by assisting in establishing a relationship with the prospect.

Next you need to understand your prospect. What do they care about? How can your service fulfill a need for them? Understand the following 5 points and you will win them over most every time.

  1. Understand the difference between features and benefits.
  2. Anticipate your prospect's objections and be prepared to counter them.
  3. Decide what the main objective of your letter is, and develop an offer to help meet that objective.
  4. Make sure the person you're writing to is the buyer.
  5. Study samples of competitor's sales letters or advertising materials.
P.S You shouldn't try to tell a potential customer everything they ever wanted to know about your business all in one letter. Consider enclosing a sales brochure in your sales letter that provides supplemental information, or send it in a separate mailing. Remember, you're trying to interest your prospect enough to request additional information or agree to schedule an appointment with you.

Do You Pre-Qualify Your Cleaning Customers?

A cleaning company owner asked what we give to the potential client when meeting them for the first time. He takes a complete portfolio with his proof of business insurance, checklists that he uses in the company, and some of his company policies.

We don't provide this information at a first meeting or bid walk-through. Rather, we provide this information when we present the bid packet. The first meeting or bid walk-through should be a time to pre-qualify the prospect. What does that mean?

Sometimes cleaning business owners are so desperate for business that they never even think to look at how good of a fit the customer is for their business. We all know that the customer is taking a critical look at each cleaning company they're accepting bids from, but we should be doing the same!

I know the temptation is there, but you shouldn't bid on everything that comes your way. You want to make sure the potential client is someone you want to work with for a long time to come. If you've been in business for a while, you've probably already experienced taking on a new customer that turns out to be a big pain in the a**!  How does it make you feel when it comes time to service their account? Do you dread going there? Do you get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you see their name come up on your Caller ID?

There is no need to take on a client who isn't a good fit when there are plenty of other prospects who ARE a good fit, and whom you'd thoroughly enjoy working with!

Start changing the way you think when meeting potential clients. Look at the meeting as an opportunity to get to know the client and start building a relationship with them. You'll soon realize that even though this prospect may not be a good fit, it doesn't mean they won't refer you to other people they know. As long as you present yourself with integrity and professionalism, they will understand if you have to pass and will remember you when they talk to someone who just might be a great client for you.

In the end, you'll find that if you pre-qualify your cleaning customers, you won't get every account, but you'll be much happier because you'll be working with your ideal clients!

Tell us about the last time you turned down a potential client because you didn't feel they were a good fit for your business. Click on the Comments link below to post your story.