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March 2012
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May 2012

4 Reasons You're Having A Hard Time Selling Your Cleaning Services

I was reading a newsletter from Jill Konrath, a sales expert, and she gave four reasons why people can't sell. It really resonated with me because I've been there before. Here they are:

  1. If no one ever gets back to you, it's because you don't know how to pique their curiosity.
  2. If you keep hearing the same objections, it's because you don't know how to eliminate them.
  3. If you keep losing to the same competitor, it's because you haven't figured out how to to beat them.
  4. If your prospects stay with the status quo too often, it's because you haven't helped them understand the value of changing.

I believe she nailed it with these four points.Consider the following:

#1 - If you're sending out marketing materials or doing cold calls that talk all about you and your business, they'll lose interest right away. They really don't care about YOU, they care about their own issues. If you can figure out their hot button issue, then you have a chance at piqueing their curiosity.

#2 - Think about all the objections you've ever gotten from prospects and write them down. Then figure out ahead of time how to address these objections before they ever have a chance to voice them. When you can eliminate possible objections, you're one step closer to closing the sale.

#3 - Do you keep hearing about the same competitor from your clients or prospects? What are they doing to get the sale? If you don't know, it's time to do some research to figure it out. Once you know why you're losing out to the competition you can figure out a strategy to improve your chances of getting the client.

#4 - "I'm happy with my current cleaning company." I'll bet you've heard that one before. Here's what I would say to that; "That's great! What do you like most about the service they provide?" And then follow up with, "What changes would you make to the current cleaning service, if you could?" And then ask, "Do you regularly shop around for your products and services?" By asking this question, you are reminding the prospect that shopping around keeps vendors and service providers on their toes if the know they're not guaranteed the business.

Do any of these four points resonate with you? If so, please post your comments below.

If you're struggling with closing the sale, watch our webinar called "Closing the Sale - Why the Biggest Obstacle is YOU!" (Free for members of The Janitorial Store).

Interview Questions To Ask A Potential Janitorial Sales Person

A cleaning business owner asked:
"I'm at the point in my business where I'd like to hire a sales person for janitorial services. The problem is, I have no idea what types of questions to ask. Do you have any suggestions?"

Great question, considering we're usually asked how to structure the pay for a janitorial sales person. That is only one step in the process. By asking the right questions you'll weed out the ones that will tell you what you want to hear. Here are a few questions I recommend (in no particular order):

  • What do you like and dislike about the products or services you're selling now and why?
  • Give an example of a time when you have exceeded a customer's expectations.
  • Tell me what you currently know about our company.
  • Who do you see as our company's biggest competitors, and why?
  • What do you see as our strengths?
  • What do you see as our biggest challenges?
  • Can you explain the following terms ROI, net profit, margin, cash flow?
  • What are the changes that you see taking place in our industry at the moment?
  • What do you think the future of our industry will look like?
  • What are the key benefits our services offer our customers?
  • List the typical progression steps you might take with a sales opportunity.
  • What positive comments would your current/previous sales manager make about you?
  • What percentage of your income do you expect to earn from commissions and bonuses?
  • What immediate benefits do you think you will bring to our company?
  • What is the most important attribute of a successful sales person? Explain.
  • What sales training courses/workshops have you completed? How did it help you?
  • What are your long term professional goals? What are you doing to get there?
  • What networking associations do you belong to?
  • In your current role what proportion of your time is in front of customers?
  • What are the activities that you do when you are not in front of customers?
  • Tell me what you would you set out to do in your first week of work with us.

If you find a person that can do a great job of answering these tough questions, then you've possibly found yourself a winner! Just be sure to hold them accountable for results if you do decide to hire them for the position.

How I Got My First Two Cleaning Clients

A member of The Janitorial Store is just getting started and is struggling with getting his first clients so he asked fellow members for advice. Another member shared her story of how she got her first two cleaning clients.

OK I'll tell you how I got my first 2 clients....I went to businesses that I have given a ton of money to, and asked for their business.  A lot of chutzpah but it worked in part because of timing. Both, as it turned out, were in need of cleaning services.  One was in the process of taking bids from janitorial services (good timing there!) and the other was bringing in her own housekeeper, which wasn't working out, and she didn't know quite what she was going to do.

My next 2 jobs I got because they were new businesses, just opening, and frankly, I think I got those 2 just by being the first janitorial company they had heard from.  Both responded to postcards I'd sent and in both cases, the cards were the first touch.    So I do believe it is very important to keep your eyes and ears open in the towns you want to work in, for businesses about to open.

I picked up 2 jobs just from promoting my new business among my existing friends at Facebook, and another from my son's boy scout troop....another parent has a business and was not happy with the existing cleaning service.

I am a strong believer in relationship marketing.... it won't carry you all the way, but the first thing you should do is look to your existing circle of friends and acquaintances for those who could use you AND also do not be shy about asking for referrals from that network.

We've been saying for years that your business will never grow unless you get out there and become visible in your community. That means telling everyone you know and everyone you meet about what you're doing. Sometimes you just get lucky with your timing, as was the case in one of the examples above. But she made it her mission to get out there and search for people needing cleaning services.It doesn't always happen quickly, but once you get those first few clients under your belt, the momentum will continue as long as you continue marketing your business.

We'd like to hear YOUR story about how you got your first client. Just click on the Comments link below.