3 Workshops That Will Take Your Business To The Next Level

To sign up for any of the workshops described in this article click here.

If you’ve ever tried Googling “how to improve cleaner retention” or “how to market a cleaning company” you know how hard it is to find helpful information like this for the janitorial industry.

So when we switched from being a cleaning company like yours to a janitorial software company, we vowed to provide our customers with as many educational materials as possible.

Here are 3 super educational, janitorial industry-specific workshops that are free to sign up for and accessible from anywhere.

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1. Creating A One Page Marketing Plan

Truthfully the title of this workshop is a bit misleading, because in reality you’ll get so much more out of it than just a one page marketing plan

Swept COO Matt Cooper put all 15+ years of his marketing experience to use when designing this workshop. He starts off this 60 minute session by helping you identify who you should market to. You’ll then work on choosing the best marketing channels for your business, and by the end of the hour, have crafted a message that will resonate with your ideal client.

Appropriate for both new and more experienced business owners, this training helps you strike the perfect balance between analyzing data and using creativity to reach more potential clients. The goal? To help you use your marketing to directly impact your sales.

Click below to join this workshop


2. How to Close 80% of Quotes

When we were a cleaning company, we developed a pretty effective sales strategy. So effective, that we were able to close 80% of the contracts we bid on and expand into 3 different cities.

To help you do the same, Swept Sales Manager Toby Keeping reveals our secret sauce for winning new business in this 60 minute workshop. With more than 10 years of sales experience, Toby will walk you through the steps of closing a contract — from surprising advice like not talking about cleaning, to calling up your competitors and asking for a quote — he’ll teach you all the tips and tricks to standing out in a sea of cleaning companies.

Click below to join this workshop



3. How to Find and Keep Great Cleaners

If you’ve already experienced the challenge of hiring and retaining cleaners, you know how time-consuming and expensive it can be. And if you’re not there yet, you probably want to avoid costly mistakes like hiring the wrong people.

In the first of two 30 minute workshops, Swept COO Matt Cooper will share with you a free tool that will save you 90% of the time it takes to hire great cleaners and allows you to build a database of cleaners that you can continue to hire from.

The second workshop then shifts to focus on retaining those employees. One of our core beliefs here at Swept is that people should be at the centre of our business. Not only did we build our entire software around this idea, but we’ve created educational materials that teach better HR practices. In his retention workshop Matt offers tips, tricks and tools for improving communication and collecting feedback from your team so your cleaners feel empowered to do their best work.

Click below to join this workshop

Questions about any of the workshops? Email reframe@sweptworks.com

How To Close Your Next Cleaning Contract

Winning new contracts is one of the toughest challenges commercial cleaning companies face.

It’s hard to know where to find new leads, how to stand out from the competition, and how to avoid competing on price.

It’s such a big issue that it’s even stopped owners who love our software from “putting a ring on it” so to speak...because investing in your business is scary if you don’t know when you’ll sign your next contract. 

So naturally we started brainstorming how to help you overcome this challenge. We knew we needed to create a resource that would get you ready to close your next client in the shortest amount of time possible.

It started with cold calling and emailing scripts. Then walk-through checklists. A free estimator tool. And even partnering with our friends at Proposify to provide a professionally designed proposal template.

Soon we had so many free, yet incredibly valuable materials, that we had to package them up in a way that was easily digestible.  

The 21 Day Sales Challenge was born.

To make it easy to decide if signing up for the 21 Day Sales Challenge is right for you and your business, we’ve answered some Frequently Asked Questions about the challenge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it reeeally free? What’s the catch? 

A: No catch, it’s reeeally free. In order to complete the challenge you’ll need to sign up for a free trial of the Swept app, but there is no pressure to buy the software at the end of the trial. We’re pretty confident it will help you stand out from your competition, but we’ll let you see for yourself!


Q: Do I have to do the challenge in 21 Days?

 A: Truthfully, “21 Day” sales challenge is a bit misleading. You can complete it in whatever number of days suits you. If you need more time, take it. If you want to skip ahead, you’ll have access to the whole 3 weeks worth of materials right from day one.


Q: What type of business owner is this challenge for?

 A: The challenge is designed with owners and managers of small / medium size commercial cleaning companies in mind. Especially helpful for those who are new to the industry or who have not yet put sales systems and processes in place, the challenge assumes you are starting from scratch. Having said that, you can also pick and choose what you take from it!


Q: Is it a big commitment?

 A: The only commitment you’re making by signing up for the challenge is to yourself and your business! The challenge materials can be hugely beneficial to your company, but we can’t make you do the work. There’s no penalty for signing up and not completing the challenge, but you won’t see the results you’re looking for! 


Q: What will I learn during the challenge?

A: Each week of the challenge has a different focus. Here’s a breakdown of each one:

Week 1: Bidding on a Space

  • Learn how to take charge of a walk through
  • Learn how to stand out from the competition
  • Get tips & tricks for bidding on a space
  • Download your walk-through checklist
  • Sign up for our free estimator tool

Week 2: Generating Leads

  • Learn why and how to pick an ideal client
  • Build a list of businesses you want to work with
  • Get scripts for cold calling / emailing
  • Learn how to write better job postings
  • Start building a database of cleaners to hire from

Week 3: Closing the Deal

  • Learn what goes into a professional proposal
  • Get a beautifully designed proposal template
  • Download your follow-up email scripts
  • Get scripts for conducting cleaner interviews

It’s important to note that we don’t just help you find and win the client. We’ve also built in tasks and tools for ensuring you have hired the best cleaners for the job by the time you sign the new contract.


Q: How are the challenge materials delivered? 

A: Once a week we’ll send you an email that outlines the tasks for the challenge that week. In that email there will be a link to a webpage with the challenge materials, including videos, short blog posts and downloadable worksheets and scripts in the form of PDF files.


Q: Do I need to watch all the videos?

A: The short answer is no. We created the videos in addition to the written material because many people prefer to learn new things by listening / watching rather than reading. You can choose to watch, read or both — the material covered in the videos is the same as what’s covered in the corresponding blog posts.


Q: Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I sign up?

A: Right here! Click here to sign up for the challenge »


How to Win 80% of New Cleaning Jobs

**When you're done reading this article, check out our Reframe Janitorial Workshops, currently in San Jose and San Francisco, for more on how to close janitorial sales!**

The quote is complete and the keys to their office are in my hand… yet when I walked in the door the first thing the office manager said was “We are getting a few other quotes this week.”

In 2014, when I started using technology in my commercial cleaning business, this was the norm. In fact, it happened enough times that I had to step back and assess (and now share) what was going on.

What I discovered is simple, repeatable, and is all tied to having conversations that are not focused on cleaning and supplies. It may sound crazy, but let me outline why spending more than 15–20% of the conversation talking about the supplies and methods you use to clean an office is actually detrimental to winning the contract.

Stop talking about cleaning!

The cleaning industry may be interesting to us, but sadly it isn’t of interest to our clients. I conducted research on 30+ of my clients and discovered major trends that solidified my process when quoting a new space.

Most of the people have hired another cleaning company in the past and have received quotes from multiple cleaning companies. This is a massive benefit because the potential client has heard the same conversations many times about each cleaning company having the best cleaners, cleaning methods, greenest supplies, and of course the best retention of cleaners and clients. Everyone says the same thing and this causes the message to lose credibility with the client. So, I didn’t focus my time here during the quote.

On top of this, it became clear that many of the office managers felt they knew what was required to clean their own office (often times comparisons were made to cleaning their own home). They simply wanted a company they trusted to consistently complete the tasks. So why bore them with a conversation around cleaning methods and supplies?

Reframe the conversation and the industry

Many sales people in the commercial cleaning industry are already on to these insights. They aim for relationship building and try to build connections through personal hobbies/interests. If you are able to quickly find a connection, it can help build trust, but it will come back to haunt you when negotiating price. The fact that you both have kids who play soccer does not position you well for negotiations, and can actually cause them to feel entitled to a discount because you now have things in common.

The way to make an impact on this prospective client is by sharing something that 1) resonates with their goal of hiring a cleaning company they can trust, and 2) is something they have not heard of before. I did this by showing them the technology that we created for our own cleaning company.

First, I ask them what problems they ran into with previous cleaning companies. The answers were always the same: quality issues, cleaners didn’t show up, supplies ran out, high turnover resulted in inconsistent cleaning, etc. Armed with this information, I showed them why my company was different: we use technology that allows cleaners to check in with GPS, we can send messages and report problems in any language and have the app translate it back to english, etc.

Once they smiled and expressed excitement (again, they are normally bored from conversations about cleaning,) the entire meeting shifts and it becomes far more enjoyable for both of us. It is like a sense of relief comes over them because they trust that my use of technology was the key to their problem. At this point, they run with the conversation and fill in the gaps about how all of the problems of the past would not have surfaced if the other companies used technology.

In this survey, it shows that 96% of business owners are influenced by the use of technology in a cleaning company when making a decision to buy.

Your sales efforts become a chain reaction

By avoiding the same conversation as every other cleaning company and shifting their expectations of the janitorial industry, it makes every conversation they have with your competitors boring, generic, and leaves them with a feeling that something is missing!

They can no longer compare apples to apples and this gives you leverage in negotiating price. In fact, when I was selling commercial cleaning services and clients pushed back I would ask if they had more trust in a company that manages with pen and paper or one that uses technology? They always agreed that less headaches for them was always worth more money.

The proof that your company is different

Technology is in everyone’s daily lives from reading the newspaper, ordering a taxi, booking a flight, or video calling people on the other side of the world. Simply showing them that your company is keeping up allows you to blow past all the other companies that are using pen and paper.

Are you able/ready to position your next quote like this or are your competitors reading this and deciding what category you fall under?

Want to learn more about increasing your close rate on janitorial contracts? Check out our Reframe Janitorial Workshops in  San Jose and San Francisco!

Three Steps to Qualifying Janitorial Leads

*Pro Tip: Once you've read this article, if you want help getting those qualified leads to sign the deal, click here to learn about a 14 day free trial of our software — it's helped many of our clients close new contracts!

If you’re managing a small to medium size commercial cleaning company, you’re likely juggling a variety of tasks on a daily basis, and responding to RFPs, phone calls, and website inquiries are just a few of them.

And while these tasks are crucial to your company’s success and growth, they are also time-consuming and in some cases, resource-intensive. That’s why it’s important to prioritize the leads that are most likely to result in a signed contract, and beyond that, the ones that will become your best long-term customers.

Many resources on this topic reference the BANT method: factoring in their Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.

In an effort to provide you with guidelines specific to the janitorial industry, we came up with our own acronym. Unfortunately the “PPP Method” isn’t the sexiest name, so instead we present to you:

The Three P’s of Qualifying Janitorial Leads: Persona, Problem & Price


Step 1: Know Which Personas You Want to Hire You

In other words, have an ideal client in mind. Take the time to sit down and describe in detail what type of clients are your best clients. You may have 2 or 3 ideal clients, but each should have a specific persona.

For instance, one common persona amongst commercial cleaning companies is the office manager. These days they are more than likely a tech-savvy millennial who is doing their research online before contacting you. Their cleaning needs may vary, but they tend to understand that the cleanliness of their office space is a reflection of the business as a whole, and expect their ideal contractor to understand that too.

Other personas might be managers of specific types of buildings like hospitals, churches, or airports, or small business owners with unique buildings and needs.

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Setting your sights on specific customer types will not only help you qualify leads, but will result in you working more of those clients, which over time allows you to position yourself as an expert in servicing that particular industry.


Step 2: identify Their (Real) Problem?

You may think you know the answer to this question (ummm, their building needs to be cleaned?) but getting to the root of their problem — beyond simply “they need to hire a cleaning company” — can be really useful when qualifying a lead.

Perhaps they are in the market for a new cleaning company because their current contractor doesn’t offer regular inspections, and quality assurance is really important to them. Their problem is not simply “they need cleaning services,” it’s “they need someone to be responsible for assuring a certain level of cleanliness.

Figuring out their real problem requires you to pause and evaluate both their challenges and their goals for hiring a cleaning company, and determine if you really are a good fit for the job. It’s better to know this before signing a contract than have a customer churn a few months in because you simply don’t operate the way their ideal contractor would.


Step 3: Be Transparent About the Price

Too often commercial cleaning companies are forced to compete on price rather than the quality of service they’ll provide. To help manage expectations before even getting to the proposal / quote stage, it can be helpful to give them a sense a similar contract might cost, and asking if it’s in line with what they were thinking. This can save you the time and effort of putting together a proposal or quote if they simply don’t have the budget for your services.

If you’re not able to give a relatively accurate estimate on the spot, you can also indicate the price range the customer can expect, or even the price that those services start at. For instance, "Weekly floor cleaning starts at X dollars, but can go up to as much as X depending on the square footage."


Ultimately it's you who will be the best judge of whether or not to respond to an RFP or invest a lot of time into providing a quote. You’ll want to take other things into consideration too. For instance, if the person doing the hiring seems like a bit of a jerk, that may be a red flag that you shouldn't work with them.

At the end of the day, our hope is that at the very least, you'll choose quality of leads over quantity, and do your best to prioritize (or in some cases, only respond to) RFPs that will result in valued customers for your business.

bonus Step: Close the sale

Okay, okay. There were only supposed to be three steps to qualifying janitorial leads. But we all know that's only half the battle.

If you're looking for help with getting those qualified leads to sign the deal, we can help you there too. Click here to learn about a 14 day free trial of our software — it's helped many of our clients close new contracts!

How to Write Winning Proposals

As the owner / operator of a janitorial company, responding to RFPs is likely something you spend a lot of your time doing. And if you’re looking to grow your business, bidding on new contracts definitely deserves to be a priority.

But when you’re wearing many hats, other urgent tasks can begin to get in the way of responding to RFPs in a timely manner, or investing the time they deserve. This is a habit you’ll want to avoid, because...

“Statistics show that 73% of deals are won by the first company to respond”

So how do you ensure you're responding quickly while still putting your best foot forward? We recommend using Proposify, an innovative proposal software that allows you to create beautifully designed custom proposals with ease.

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Six Reasons We Love Proposify:

1. It’s beautifully designed & incredibly user friendly

And that goes for both the app and the proposals.  Not only is the software super visually pleasing, but their pre-designed templates will leave prospective clients thinking you're a design whiz too!

And from the easy-to-follow feature tour for new users, to the incredibly intuitive web navigation, you’ll never feel lost or confused while using this software.


2. the Free Proposal Templates

Proposify offers a wide variety of proposal templates, completely free of charge. These templates allow you to enter information about your company, team, services, and pricing into pre-designed (and otherwise pre-written!) proposals, saving you a ton of time and money responding to RFPs.  

The best part about this gallery of free, professionally written and designed templates? It includes one specifically designed for cleaning companies!

Use this template as a guide when bidding on residential, commercial, and institutional properties. It's scope includes sections like cleaning philosophy, sanitation services, getting started process, team, sample contractor agreement, and fees.

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Click here to access Proposify’s Cleaning Service Proposal Template.


3. The 14 day Free Trial

Another great thing about Proposify is the ability to use their software, complete with all it’s amazing features, free of charge (no credit card required!) for 14 days.

If you’ve opened one of the templates described above, simply click the green “Use This Template” button in the bottom right-hand corner and you’ll be prompted to start your free trial.


4. It Integrates With Your Accounting Software

As if the process of creating, signing, and sending isn’t convenient enough, Proposify can also integrate with your accounting software in order to seamlessly import your contacts and generate invoices when a client accepts your proposal.

Currently Proposify integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, and Freshbooks, but we have no doubt there are more third-party accounting integrations to come!


5. You can translate the interface

English not your customer’s first language? You’ll still need to translate the content of your proposal, but Proposify helps you out by enabling you to translate the interface into 15 different languages. ¡Qué guay!


6. you can Track & Measure Your Proposals

Perhaps the coolest part of Proposify (besides, the serious lack of effort it takes to use,) is the ability to track and measure your proposals from your “Pipeline” and “Metrics” dashboards (both accessible from the main left-hand menu.)

These features ensure you know the status of all your deals, the state of your proposals past and present, and how your team is contributing to the process. You can also download their handy-dandy mobile app to track on the go.

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If you’re not currently using a proposal software, or your current proposal software isn’t quite cutting it, we highly recommend checking out Proposify. You can even compare your current software to Proposify by visiting their website, scrolling down to the bottom of the page and selecting it from the list under “Compare.”

Hope you found this post helpful, happy bidding!

PS — Believe it or not we aren't affiliates of Proposify! We just truly believe this product is one that can benefit the janitorial industry, and hope you agree!