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Yes, You CAN Overcome Your Fear Of Selling Your Cleaning Services! Part 3

In Part 2 I talked about 1) getting clear on the results you can achieve for your clients, 2) thinking of selling as a conversation about your passion, and 3) realizing that not everyone is a potential client and to be OK with that.

6. Learn from your failures. We put too much pressure on ourselves to gain every prospect as a client. If you think that way, then you might start thinking of yourself as a failure. What do you think THAT will do for your fear of selling? Make you even more fearful of course!

Very successful people have had huge failures. Thomas Edison's teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. And 3,000 failed attempts later, he invented the light bulb! Henry Ford's first two automobile companies failed, but that didn't stop him from incorporating Ford Motor Company and being the first to use assembly line manufacturing in automobile production.

Think of each failure as an opportunity to learn.
Ask yourself, "what have I learned from this experience?" Find the lesson in each failure and then move on. If you are willing to make mistakes, you will learn much faster. For example, if you lost a prospect, ask them why. If it was price, then find out how your price compared to your competitors'. When you track this information, you'll be better equipped to offer a competitive price.

7. Discovering your sales process. The final step to overcoming your fear of selling is understanding the process. I like to compare it to riding a bike:

- At first you were a little scared
- Your parents coaxed you to get on the bike and then taught you how to ride
- You tried on your own and fell
- You got back on and fell again
- You got back on and started catching on, but had to really concentrate so you didn't fall off
- You got back on and started looking around and enjoyed the scenery around you without even thinking about falling off!

The sales process is just like riding a bike:

- You studied how to sell
- You practiced selling to your first few prospects and probably failed a few times
- You kept at it and started getting the hang of it
- You started closing more sales and actually started enjoying the process!

Did this 3-Part series help you get on the path to overcoming your fear of selling?  Share your thoughts by clicking on the Comments link below.

Yes, You CAN Overcome Your Fear Of Selling Your Cleaning Services! Part 2

In Part One I talked about writing down your selling fears and being yourself when selling instead of being a "pushy used car salesman".

3. The third step in getting over your fears of selling is to get clear on the results you can achieve for your clients. Too often we only think of all the things we want to tell our prospects about our cleaning business. But your prospects really don't CARE about all that! They only care about their problems and how you might be able to make a difference in their lives or business if they choose your cleaning company.

People don't really buy CLEANING, they buy RESULTS, and that is why you need to focus on the results you can achieve for your clients. As you get clear on these results, you'll find your passion, energy and confidence growing. Because you KNOW you can deliver these results, you'll speak more from your heart than from your "sales" head. And when this happens, your fears will start to subside.

4. Selling isn't persuading or convincing someone to buy, its' simply a conversation. If you have it in your head that you need to persuade someone in order to close the deal, then it's no wonder you're fearful of selling!

Instead, think of it from this perspective; selling is a conversation with a person to see if they want and need the results my company can produce. And if we go back to being passionate about the results you can achieve, then think of this as a conversation about something you are passionate about. To narrow it down even more; selling is a conversation about my passion. Does this sound a bit less frightening than the thought of selling your cleaning services?

5. Realize that not everyone is a potential client for you and to be OK with that.

Sometimes we want a prospect so badly that we ignore the warning bells going off in our heads. You may think to yourself, "I don't really like the fact that they want us to clean on Sunday mornings, but I'll deal with that later - I really need this prospect!"

If you start taking on every prospect that comes along, you'll probably end up miserable because not all of them will be a good fit for your business. It's OK to say "No" to a prospect if it just doesn't feel right. Simply tell them you don't feel your company is a good fit for their needs and refer them to someone who is.

Do you know what results YOU can give your prospects? Are you OK with saying "No" to a prospect? Share your thoughts by clicking on the Comments link below.

Yes, You CAN Overcome Your Fear Of Selling Your Cleaning Services! Part 1

Most of us are not natural born sales people. What is that anyway? A used car salesman? That's not the kind of person I aspire to be!

If your fear of selling is holding you back and causing you to lose sales, then it's time to address the problem and learn to overcome your fears. Here are a few tips:

1. Write down all your fears. Go ahead, humor me. I'll get you started with a list of some common fears:

- fear of rejection
- fear of not being experienced enough
- fear of not knowing how to answer a question
- fear that they'll bring up price
- fear of being seen as "pushy"
- fear that they'll say "No"
- fear of not being liked
- fear of looking stupid
- fear of selling myself
- fear of saying the wrong thing
- fear of appearing desperate

Get the idea? Ok, now it's your turn to write down YOUR fears.

2. Realize that you can sell successfully and still be yourself. Just because you're selling cleaning services doesn't mean you have to think of yourself as a "used car salesman". What picture does that conjure up in your mind? Here are a few traits we commonly associate with pushy salespeople:

- manipulative
- aggressive
- won't take no for an answer
- arrogant
- obnoxious
- know it all
- rude
- sleazy
- dishonest

Does that sound like you? I sure hope not! Imagine how you'd feel if this person were trying to sell you a car. Wouldn't you want to just turn and walk away? This is how your prospects will feel if you act this way. Don't cave into the belief that in order to be successful in sales you have to behave this way. Instead, think about some of the characteristics you would want people to use to describe you:

- honest
- trustworthy
- a good listener
- warm and friendly
- informative
- generous
- authentic

By being yourself, your true character will shine through and your prospect won't see you as a pushy salesperson. The more honest, warm and friendly you are, the more you will sell.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts and tips on how YOU overcome your fear of selling by clicking on the Comments link below.

Overwhelmed In Your Cleaning Business? It Doesn't Have To Be That Way

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with all the stuff you've got going on in your business that you feel like hanging it all up just to get a break? I'm sure we've all felt that way at some point. In fact I've talked to some cleaning business owners who have thought about downsizing or going back to doing all the cleaning themselves just to get rid of the extra headaches of running the growing business.

I can relate to your pain as I've had those thoughts myself. By the time I put out all the fires during the day, trained a new employee while another one quit, scrambled to find someone to fill in for an employee who didn't show up, and came home feeling exhausted and unfulfilled, I too was ready to hang it all up.

What I learned over the years is that it doesn't have to be like that. Here are some tips for lightening your load and keeping your sanity while you run your cleaning business.

Do what you do best and delegate the rest. I know, I know, you've heard this before. It really does work, but it won't happen overnight. The first thing I recommend you do, is choose one thing that takes up a lot of your time, and that you're not very good at. Let's say it's training new employees. In order to free up your time from doing this task, you either need to find a person on your staff or hire someone who is great at training and great with people. Spend time training this person, making sure they understand your expectations, and then give them the responsibility for this task.

Now that you've freed up this time for yourself, use the time to do something that you love to do. If it's sales and marketing, then devote more time to that.

When things are running smoothly for a while, choose something else that you're not very good at or that you don't enjoy doing. If you don't like bookkeeping for instance, then it's time to hire a bookkeeper. Once you've found the right person, spent plenty of time training them into the position. As in the example above, use your freed up time to do more of what you love to do.

Delegating is not easy for everyone, and delegating doesn't mean you get to dump everything on the people you hire to do these tasks. You still need to supervise their work, and provide continued training. But if they love what they are doing, and you now love what you are doing, then it's a win-win for all.

What advice do YOU have for dealing with overwhelm in your cleaning business? Please share your thoughts or tips for delegating by clicking on the Comments link below.

Do You Use The Wrong Approach At Networking Events?

We recently had a cleaning business owner ask about getting business through networking. When I asked him to describe his approach when attending networking events he replied:

"I basically work the room introducing myself to as many people as possible, asking about their business, and telling them about mine. I usually ask open ended questions about their service provider and what they are looking for. Then I close."

Have you figured out his mistake? Here's a hint -- read the last sentence.

He starts out right, introducing himself to people and asking about there business. But then he starts asking about their service provider and attempts to close a sale. My response was:

"Networking events aren't the place to try and sell your services and close a deal. It's a place to get to know people and see if you can continue the conversation with a meeting for coffee or phone call. Also, keep in mind that the people you meet there may not be a good prospect for you, but that doesn't mean you should discount their value to your list of connections. You never know who they know and can connect you with. They could be friends with the bank branch manager you've been trying to get in touch with."

"Also, rather than trying to close the sale at a networking event, end the conversation by asking what a good referral would be for them. They'll appreciate the offer to refer their business and will naturally ask the same of you. Then you have the opportunity to let them know what a good prospect for you would be."

What is YOUR approach when attending networking events? Post your comments by clicking on the Comments link below.