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Selling Your Cleaning Services - It's Not About YOU!

I read a quote from Barry Farber a few years back that has always stuck with me and I hope it does the same for you:

"People don't care how much you know until they see how much you care about them and their goals."

When selling your cleaning services, don't fall into that trap of making it all about YOU. It's NOT about you and your company, it's about your customer and their needs. The more you focus on that, the more successful you'll be.

Try this test. Go to the home page of your website and count the number of times you say I, we and our. Then count up the number of times you say "You". Did you discover that you're talking all about you and your company instead of focusing on "You" (your customer)?

Make a pointed effort to get what you sell out of your thought process and start focusing on the results your customers are after. And the best way to do this is to listen and learn from what they're saying. The more you listen, the sooner you'll begin building trust, which makes selling much easier.

When you focus on the prospect and the results they're looking for, it becomes easier to think of ways your cleaning service can help them get to that end result. And that's what they're looking for - RESULTS!

What Is The Average Price For Cleaning?

Huh? Average price? Seriously?

This is a question we get almost every week. Most people who ask, want to know what the average square foot price is or what the average hourly rate is. Or, they ask what the "going rate" is in their area.

I'm always amazed at how many people think there is a document or chart out there somewhere with all this information. Boy, a document like that would be worth a pretty penny! Sure, there are surveys done every year that the trade magazines publish, but they are nowhere near accurate. They simply give broad averages.

Think about all the different variables when it comes to cleaning:

  • type of account (office, medical, educational, industrial, retail, etc, etc, etc.....)
  • frequency of cleaning (monthly, bi-monthly, weekly, twice a week, three times a week, 5 times a week, 7 times a week)
  • location
  • specifications and level of cleanliness desired by the client
  • employee productivity

I could go on and on with this list, but you get the point. When this question was recently posted in our discussion forum at The Janitorial Store, another business owner offered this advice:

My recommendation is to first know your real numbers; labor costs, productivity rate and overhead costs. Do you know exactly what it costs you every hour that an employee is on the clock? Do you know what every supply you use is costing you down to the cents per ounce? Do you know what it costs you per customer to get a new account? What does it cost you for every employee you lose? How fast or slow do your people move? Just a few  of the parts of the equation that affect what you will charge vs what someone else charges. There are industry averages for these catagories, but they are only averages of what others across the country are doing.  At the end of the day, its knowing your costs and charging what your market will bear to be competitive.

Research, practice, time and experience will help you learn what YOUR "going rate" should be. Don't rely on "averages". Do the work needed to price services at a profitable price for YOUR company.

If you'd like more help, read the Bidding & Estimating Ebook at The Janitorial Store (free for members in the Download Library)

Please share your thoughts on this topic by clicking on the Comments link below.

Do You Blame Quality Control Problems On Your Cleaning Employees?

Here is a scenario that happens quite often in cleaning companies:

  1. A client calls your office to complain about the quality of the cleaning.
  2. You or your supervisor visit the location and discover several problems with the quality of the cleaning.
  3. You go the the person(s) responsible for cleaning, tell them everything they're doing wrong, and then tell them to do better from now on.
  4. A month later the customer calls back to say it was better for a while but now there are problems again.

Has this ever happened to you? What is really going on here?

Simply telling an employee to do better and to pay more attention to the quality of cleaning they're providing is not going to improve the situation. That's because this is not the root of the problem. Instead of focusing your time on one or two employees, you need to dig deeper and look at what went wrong and why.

In most cases there is an underlying system breakdown.  Did you give your employees adequate training? Do they have the right equipment and supplies to get the job done efficiently? Do they have enough time to get the job done in order to meet the customer's standards?

It all starts with you, the owner. It is your responsibility to make sure you have adequate systems in place and to provide ongoing training for your employees. And if you have supervisors that do the training, you must ensure they use your system for training and that you work with them to continually look for ways to improve your systems.

In addition, you must have a quality control follow up system. Without follow up, you have no way to measure the effectiveness of the cleaning you are providing. And you certainly don't want you clients doing your quality control FOR you! It is not their job after all, to let you know there is a problem with the quality of cleaning at their location.

Have you ever experienced this scenario? What do you do to ensure it doesn't happen again? Post your thoughts by clicking on the Comments link below.

Gitomer on "Sales Success - How Low Can You Go?"

Does cold calling really work to get cleaning accounts? Sure, it can! But does that mean you should spend your entire marketing budget knocking on doors, picking up the phone to make a sales quota, or paying a service to set appointments for you? Certainly not!

Cold calling and appointment setting may net some results for you, but how hard do you have to work to get that sale? Some prospects will let you in just to see if they can get a better price - they're really not interested in you or your business at all. And by the time you find someone that's really a good prospect, you've wasted a lot of time, and you haven't built any relationships with the people you talked to. So you really haven't gained any ground on creating a warm prospect list!

Here is some great advice from my favorite sales guru, Jeffrey Gitomer. Be sure to watch the entire video and post your thoughts by clicking on the Comments link below. Do you agree?