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January 2012

Do Your Cleaning Prospects Think You're Just Trying To "Close The Sale"?

We had a discussion in the member forum about the success rates of closing the sale for commercial cleaning services. On member said, "With excellent references, a professional bid package and good sales skills, one may still not close the sale if the prospects sense that you are just trying to close a sale and do not really care about what's best for their situation."

Another member added:

"This is the reason why sales representatives have such a bad reputation. People tend to think that good sales skills are only limited to selling your product or service. In sales, the rule is to sell yourself first as a helper not a taker, sell the relationship and then sell your product or service if it is truly going to make your prospect's life better. But if you are only there to sell the product or service and don't believe that the product or service you are providing will impact your prospect's life in a positive way, then get out of sales.

The reason I am passionate about this is topic is because I come across customers who thinks that all salespeople are only there to take as much money as they can from customers, all the time. With this belief, almost every time, the customer will start the conversation with a negative attitude. Here is a common scenario:

A customer comes in to buy a dishwasher and goes straight to salesperson and asks for the price. A good salesperson will ask 'Well, what are you looking for in a dishwasher?'

The customer will say 'I am looking for a dishwasher that is good quality, and cleans dishes quietly.'

So the salesman says, 'Are looking to replace an old one or just remodeling?'

Customer says, 'I'm replacing my old one because it's broken and ruined my floor because the dishwasher's motor was leaking. It's not a good quality dishwasher.'

See by asking questions you will uncover their real problems and will be able to solve it for them.

So now you say, 'Folks, according to what you've told me so far it seems like you are looking for a dishwasher that does a great job cleaning, and is quiet and reliable with some kind of built in protection system from any water leakage, does that sound right?' Of course they will say yes.

And then you tell them, 'The one you're looking at might not be the right dishwasher for you because it does not have the sufficient insulation to dampen the sound and it also doesn't have the protection system from any water leakage. But this dishwasher does ....'

So now do you think they see you as a helper and someone who cares about what they want because you asked questions? Do you think now you've built a trusting relationship? Absolutely! And last but not least follow up after the sale. That's true salesmanship."

What do YOU do to show you care about the prospect and the service they're looking for? ...or are you just trying to close the sale? Post your comments below.


Something To Ponder In This Age Of Technology

My brother just sent this to me and I wanted to share it with you...

"A friend shared something too good not to pass on.  It hits home with me because I tend to sometimes think our personal relationships are suffering a bit, even in this day and age of all the electronic media that supposedly brings us closer together.  I can’t help but think that Facebook and our qwerty keyboard phones are actually pulling us farther apart rather than bringing us together.  When was the last time we actually heard all these friends’ voices?  Maybe we ought to pick up that phone this weekend and dial them instead …"
 
The Paradox of Our Age:
We have bigger houses but smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicines, but less healthiness; We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour. We built more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; We have become long on quantity, but short on quality. These are times of fast foods but slow digestion; Tall man but short character; Steep profits but shallow relationships. It's a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.
 
—the 14th Dalai Lama


Facebook Marketing Tips For Cleaning Business Owners

A lot of cleaning business owners still don't understand the value of using Facebook to market their business. I recently listened to a call on Facebook marketing and came away with a few pointers I thought cleaning business owners could use. But before I share the tips, take a look at these statistics (as of December 2012). These numbers should get your attention!

  • There are currently 800 million Facebook users
  • 31% of users are on the site multiple times a day
  • All age groups are using Facebook
  • 80% of Americans use social media and 96% of those people are on Facebook
  • 70% of businesses who are on Facebook see increased traffic to their website
  • 24% of consumers consult with their Facebook friends before making a purchase

Ok, so do I have any converts yet? Here are some tips for what you should be doing on Facebook:

  • Your followers need to be engaged (if you want them to buy from you), so check out sites of some very engaging companies like Zappos and Caribou Coffee. Also check out the local TV stations for ideas.
  • Identify your "Why" (why people should "Like" you). Are you offering discounts and regular promotions for fans only? Put this on your business landing page to give people a reason to "Like" your page.
  • Be consistent with posting. Don't post several things one day and then wait for 5 days for your next post. It's better to post once or twice daily.
  • Don't post and ditch. Sometimes you get immediate responses to your posts. When that happens, you want to reply back to keep the dialog going.
  • Make it fun. Ask about the last book they've read, movie they've seen or favorite TV shows.
  • Have a contest. One cleaning business owner asked what people use magic erasers for, and then randomly chose one person that responded to win a Starbucks gift card (be sure to let them know you'll be giving the giftcard to encourage responses).
  • Ask for feedback. People love to give feedback on all sorts of topics. It may or may not be cleaning related.
  • Occasionally, let them promote themselves on your page.
  • Give your posts "meat" -- lessons, takeaways, inspirational quotes -- things that people would respond to.
  • Entertain with photos, videos and personal stories (but not videos or stories that some may consider vulgar or repulsive). Keep it positive!

That should get you started. And if you'd like some great ideas from a cleaning business owner that is quickly becoming a master at generating new cleaning accounts from Facebook, listen to my interview. You'll hear strategies and real life stories of how he is growing his business through Facebook (available to members of The Janitorial Store).