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June 2012
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August 2012

What Do You Say When The Cleaning Prospect Says, "I Don't Have The Money"?

My first response to this question is, "Well then why the heck did you ask me to bid on your cleaning?"  JUST KIDDING!! I would never really say that, but we've all thought it, right?

The money issue is a big problem for cleaning services because it's always one of the first areas to be cut, whether we're talking residential or commercial cleaning.

What I've found when confronted with this question, is that I need to redirect the prospect to think beyond price. So a comeback you might say is:

"I understand that money is a concern. But let's leave the money question aside for a moment, and let me ask you this -- if you had the money, would you want to move forward?"

Here is another way to say it:

"I completely understand that money is a concern. Aside from this issue, what else might stand in the way of you moving forward?"

Can you see how you've redirected them from just thinking about the price? By asking this type of question, you'll be able to find out whether they would buy if money was not the issue. If that is the case, then you can give them options. All it may take is changing the frequency of certain tasks to get the price down to a more comfortable level, or to get it within their budget.

Don't let the "money" question throw you off or lose the client because you don't know how to respond. Redirect their question to find out if there is anything else standing in their way from going with your service. If money is the only obstacle, then work with them on making sure it's a win-win for you both.

 


Are Your Referral Rewards Enough To Keep The Cleaning Referrals Coming?

We all know that referrals can be a huge contributor to the growth of our cleaning business. Most of us would like to reward the people that refer new business to us, but I've seen these rewards run the gamut from sending a Thank You card to sending a gift card to giving hundreds of dollars in cash.

Part of your decision on referral rewards is the size and quality of the referral. If you're a residential cleaning business that received a referral for a new home to clean, you might treat your referral reward a little differently than a commercial cleaning company that received a referral for an account that grosses several thousand dollars of income each month.

When I speak to the quality of the referral I'm talking about whether or not the referral is a good fit for your company. You must educate your clients and networking buddies on what exactly is a good referral for you.

Assuming you're getting good referrals, I would recommend at a minimum, a policy of sending a personalized greeting card along with a gift card to thank them for the referral, regardless of whether or not you picked up a new client. If a person goes out of their way to refer someone to your cleaning company, then you should go out of your way to say thanks. You'll be surprised at how this small gesture will build a stronger bond with your advocates.

When it comes to gift cards, many people like to give a Starbucks gift card since it's a gift most people enjoy. But I'd like to suggest that you give more than a $5 or $10 card that will buy one or two fancy coffee drinks. Instead, give a card with at least a $25 value so that they can use it several times. Each time they use the card they'll be reminded of who gave it to them.This happened to me one time when I gave a referral and when my card ran out I thought to myself, "darn, now I have to start paying for my coffee again." This alone can be incentive enough for them to give you ongoing referrals!

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you give referral rewards that keep the cleaning referrals coming? Click on the comments link below to share your ideas.

P.S. If you want an easy way to send a personalized thank you card with Starbucks giftcard in just minutes, check out CardsForCleaners.com. No need to go to the store to buy the card and then stop by Starbucks to buy the gift card -- you can do it all in one step online!


5 Tips For Dealing With Unhappy Cleaning Clients

We've all had them - unhappy clients. I've even talked to some cleaning business owners that dread coming into the office each day because they're wondering what messages will be on their voicemail. Can you relate? You come into the office to have 3 voicemails and two of them are unhappy clients!

Obviously if you've got an unusually high number of unhappy clients, you've got a bigger underlying problem to deal with. But for the occasional call that we all get, here are 5 tips that should help you deal with the client and diffuse a potentially unpleasant situation.

  1. Make an effort to speak to every client that has a bad experience. It will help you in both establishing client expectations as well as identifying process problems. It is also a proactive approach to use with your clients so they feel as if their concern is important to you as the owner of the cleaning business.

  2. Gather as many facts as you can, and then call and ask the customer to tell you their experience. Do not call and tell them to say you have all the facts and here is what you will do.  Let the customer tell you their story.

  3. Apologize, and do it sincerely. Convey your regret that you failed them and accept responsibility.

  4. People want options and they want to feel as if they have control over the service they're receiving. So offer more than one option to resolve their issue, or let them tell you what will make them happy.

  5. Follow up after the issue has been resolved to make sure you met their expectations.

As long as you act quickly, remain calm and show respect for the client, you should be able to resolve the matter in a way that will satisfy your client.