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July 2012

How Soon Should I Follow Up After Submitting A Cleaning Proposal?

It seems as if we've been getting this question at least once or twice a week lately. It appears there is no shortage of people looking for cleaning services, but many cleaning business owners that are new to submitting proposals don't seem to know how to follow up.

Rule #1: Present the proposal in person. Don't just email it or drop it off at the front desk. This is another opportunity to get in front of the prospect and discuss any last questions they may have about working with your company.

Rule #2: Always set a day and time to follow up with the prospect before you leave your last meeting. Never leave a prospect meeting without setting up the next meeting. If you just did a walk through of the building, then set a time to come back and review the proposal. If you just reviewed the proposal and they need to wait for additional contractors to submit their proposals, then set up another appointment to discuss their decision.

Rule #3: Follow up in person. If at all possible, always follow up in person. If they are waiting until all proposals are in and tell you they will call with their decision, find out when they plan on making that decision and tell them you will call to follow up with them on that day. Never leave it up to them to call you because something will always come up and you'll probably be wasting your time waiting by the phone.

Take control when submitting cleaning proposals by always setting up the date and time for your next follow up. This is especially important at the time of the walk through and proposal presentation. If they are hard to pin down on a decision, start spreading out your communication to give them some space, as you never know what is going on -- their priorities might have changed. It's not necesarily a sign that they won't hire your business, it may just be a sign that it's not going to happen as soon as you thought.


"What Can BNI Do For My Cleaning Business?"

This is a question one of our members asked at The Janitorial Store - "What can BNI do for my cleaning business?"

We're all looking for ways to market our cleaning companies, and BNI (Business Networking International) is just one option. But besides wondering what the networking group can do for YOUR business, ask yourself what you have to offer the other members of the networking group. Why should you care about the other people in the group? Because the more help and referrals you can offer THEM, the more likely they will return the favor by sending referrals your way.

Another member offered this insight into finding local networking groups:

Folks don't forget there are many resources for relationship marketing out there...in addition to BNI, you should be joining the chamber of commerce in the area(s) you serve.  Don't forget also the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs.  These are service organizations....groups of business people who come together to do volunteer work and/or raise money for good causes...a great place to develop your credibility, especially if you're willing to pitch in with volunteer work. The most successful business people in the towns around me are active in one or more of the above.

Then, there are often small grassroots networking organizations, usually developed because one or more people didn't like BNI, or there is no BNI in their area.  You have to keep your ear to the ground to find out about those...read the local papers in your service area every week...look for press releases, etc, and also search on google "networking in ______________", the blank being your service areas.

To be really successful at relationship marketing, you need to become part of the fabric of the communities you serve...which doesn't mean you have to do it ALL....run for chapter president, etc. LOL but do show your face regularly, do be interested in what the organization does, and help in whatever way you can, be interested in the members of the organization, and DO NOT market yourself beyond letting people know what you do, and passing out your business cards.  People don't like to be marketed to...they want to get to know you and if they like you, you will be the one they think of when janitorial needs arise.

This comment mentioned above is the key to your success when joining networking groups:
To be really successful at relationship marketing, you need to become part of the fabric of the communities you serve...
do show your face regularly, do be interested in what the organization does, and help in whatever way you can.

If you don't participate regularly and take an interest in the other members, then don't expect to get a lot out of it. The more you participate, the more success you'll have. It takes time, but it works!!