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October 2011
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How To Move A Prospect From Being Curious To Becoming A Buyer Of Your Cleaning Services

Your job as a marketer of cleaning services is to move your prospects from being CURIOUS to being a BUYER. How do you do that? By handling their objections.

When you weave the answers to their objections into your marketing materials and "sales pitch", you are moving them from being curious to being a buyer.

Here are 7 of the most common objections you'll face as a marketer of cleaning services:

  1. How do I know you're qualified to provide this service?
  2. You don't really understand my problem.
  3. I don't need your service right now.
  4. I don't believe you (In other words, I've been burned in the past)
  5. My situation is different, so this won't work for me.
  6. What happens if I'm not happy with your service? (They're looking for guarantees here)
  7. I can't afford it (It's too expensive, I can get it cheaper elsewhere)

Your job is to take these questions and answer them NOW, before you even get in front of the prospect. Once you've answered the objections, weave the answers throughout your marketing materials and be prepared to discuss them at your meeting with the prospect. With regards to Objection #7 involving price, keep in mind that there are two reasons for this objection: 1) they're not your ideal client, or 2) you haven't communicated the value of your service yet.

Once you've removed their objections, they should be able to see that your service is the one that will give them the results they're looking for -- and that will move them one step closer to becoming a BUYER of your cleaning services.

Do You Ignore Employee Warning Signs Out Of Desperate Need For Cleaning Technicians?

A member of recently shared the fact that she sometimes ignores employee warning signs because she is desperate -- she has more clients than she can handle and if she fires a problem employee she'll be left short-handed.

My guess is that many of you can relate to this situation. I certainly can! Be honest - have you ever overlooked a warning sign that a particular employee could be a problem? Most people overlook the warning signs because at this moment in time, they have more work than they can handle, and if they let this employee go then it will be really tough getting all the work done.

Regarding her situation, our member said, "When I act on impulse I deserve all the pain and agony I inflict on myself for allowing the business to control me rather than the other way around. Many of my hiring failures used to come (and still do) from my ignoring the warning signs because I am buying all the 'blah blah' hook, line and sinker rather than letting the person's actions speak louder than their words."

In this case, she is noticing the warning signs during the hiring process, yet she is ignoring the alarms going off in her head because the prospective employee is telling her what she wants to hear. And when you are in desperate need of a cleaning technician, it's very easy to ignore the red flags and offer the job so you can fill the position quickly.

In the case of an employee that is giving you warning signs of trouble, the best thing to do is to ignore your impulse to let it go. Instead, deal with it head on and as quickly as possible. You aren't doing yourself or anyone else in the company any favors. In fact, if it means firing the employee, chances are the rest of the employees will step up and help you out to get through the employee shortage. That's because they are well aware of the problem and would rather work a little extra rather than have to work with the fired employee for one more day.

Do you ever find yourself ignoring employee warning signs? If so, share your story by clicking on the comments link below.

At What Point Do You Give Up Contacting A Cleaning Prospect?

We've all heard the statistics about the success rates of small businesses. One of the recent statistics I've heard from the SBA is that 7 out of 10 new small businesses with under 500 employees last at least 2 years, but only about half of new businesses are still in business after 5 years.

I believe that one of the reasons cleaning business owners fail is because they give up too soon. I talk to cleaning business owners every day and a lot of them go out and cold call, or send a letter, send a postcard, etc, and then expect that someone will make a decision to call them up immediately to ask them for a proposal. Now there ARE some prospects that will do this, especially if you have great direct response marketing materials. But unless you strike a nerve with the prospect at the time you made contact, the odds are against you that the first contact will result in a new client.

You've also heard the statistics about needing multiple "touches" before a prospect will buy. Here are some recent statistics that were shared in the June/July 2011 issue of Upsize Magazine:

  • 19 % of sales close with four contacts or less
  • 81% close on or after the fifth contact
  • 90% of businesses quit following up sometime between the first and fourth contact
  • 10% of business keep going to a fifth contact or beyond.

Now that you've seen the statistics, ask yourself - "At what point do I give up contacting a prospect?" Are you in the 90% of businesses that quit following up between the first and fourth contact?

Now I don't care if you're honest with me or anyone else that asks you this question. What's important is that you are honest with yourself. If you find yourself complaining that you can't find clients, then take a serious look at how many times you connect with your prospects. And notice I use the word "connect". It's not necessary to always be "selling" to your prospects. There are other ways to connect, such as making a referral, sending them a useful resource, or offering to buy them a cup of coffee to learn more about their business so you can send more people their way.

My favorite way of connecting with prospects when we had our cleaning business was to mail them our newsletter. In the newsletter we specifically wrote articles that would appeal to our target market. So if it went to a business prospect we had articles with topics like team building, how to brainstorm effectively, customer service tips, and safety in the workplace.  Clients and prospects ate this up! They would share it with employees by putting it in the breakroom.Think about how many people were reading our newsletter and learning about our business. Sometimes we would get a call from the spouse of one of those employees, because they needed a cleaning service and learned about it from his wife, who was reading our newsletter!

If we wanted to connect with a residential cleaning prospect, we included articles with topics like how to save money, health-related tips, decorating for the holidays, and healthy recipes. Our residential prospects would often share the newsletter with their mother, sister, friends and neighbors.

What we discovered is that we built stronger relationships with our clients, and our prospects felt we were giving them valuable and entertaining information. We were still marketing to our prospects by including sections on what's new in our company and with our employees, a trivia section that could win them a prize, and a savings coupon. But they never felt as if they were being marketed to!

So no more excuses! Get out there and find ways to "touch" your prospects so you can join the ranks of the 81% that close after the fifth contact!