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April 2012
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June 2012

The Cleaning Prospect Said No! What Did I Do Wrong?

How many times have you had a meeting with a prospect, gave your best effort to sell her on your cleaning services, only to be disappointed once again? Did you stop to assess the meeting after it was over or did you simply move on to the next prospect, hoping for the best?

I've learned over the years that many cleaning company owners never really stop to think about what went wrong or what they could have done better. In fact many blame the prospect for one reason or another - they wanted a lower price, they went with another company, or they were just too busy to make a decision. That's an easy way to let yourself off the hook for not doing a good enough job of converting them to a client.

The next time you lose a sale, ask yourself these questions to see what you could have done better.

1. Was I early for the appointment? Not just on time, and definitely not 5 minutes late! ALWAYS be early for prospect meetings.

2. Was I prepared for the meeting? Did I research the prospect, familiarize myself with their business? Did I bring measuring tools and worksheets to record notes about the account?

3. Was I organized or did I fumble around looking for things?

4. Was I able to answer all the questions the prospect asked about my service? Or did I stumble on a couple and say "I'll have to get back to you on that"?

5. Did I apologize for anything? "So sorry I'm late!"  "Sorry, I meant to say..."

6. Did I constantly feel as if I was on the defensive? If the client takes over the meeting and starts putting you on the spot, you could become defensive. Pricing challenges are a good example of situations where sales people become defensive.

7. Did the prospect seem distracted? Maybe she took a phone call, shuffled papers on her desk, and didn't look you in the eye as you gave your presentation. This is an indication that you haven't engaged the prospect and are losing her.

8. Was I able to confidently overcome objections? Or did I stumble and stammer as I tried to back peddle and come up with a good come-back?

9. Did I criticize the current cleaning company? It's very tempting to point out your competitor's deficiencies. But resist the temptation! The client already knows their current provider isn't doing a good job, or they wouldn't be talking to you.

10. Was I nervous? Nerves are common just before going into a prospect meeting, but if you know your service and are confident that you are the best cleaning company for this prospect, then the nerves should settle down quickly.

How did you do? Were you honest with yourself? If so, it's a great opportunity to narrow down your deficiencies in order to do a better job the next time around.