STEP 1: Taking Charge of the Walk Through
A key part of the sales process is the initial meeting with a potential client. We've created a Walk Through Checklist and put together this video to help you nail your next one.
The goal of the walk through is to do just that — walk through the space. Yet what often happens, especially for new owners, is that the potential customer brings you straight to their office. We recommend taking control of the walk through right from the beginning and suggesting you tour the space together first. This will get them comfortable talking to you, sharing with you the problem areas, and explaining why they’re looking for a new cleaning company. It can avoid awkwardness, save you time, and makes you seem more confident and experienced.
Another piece of advice we have for new owners is that It’s okay to fake it until you make it. You won’t have the answer to every question when you’re just starting out. For instance, when we ran a cleaning company we would do a walk through and ask to clean the space that night in order to give them a proper quote. They had no idea we didn’t yet know how to quote a space!
Finally, be prepared for rejection. A meeting could go well and you still don’t win the contract. Through rejection you’ll learn how to improve, and remember — if you don’t get out there and start losing, you won’t start winning either!
STEP 2: Perfecting Your Sales Pitch
We firmly believe that the key to winning a new contract is to reset the client’s expectations of the cleaning industry. They likely have pre-determined ideas about how the conversation will go; they expect you to talk about your company’s attention to detail, how reliable you are, and the types of cleaning supplies you use. To stand out from your competition, you'll need to reset their expectations. Here are some ways to do this:
Stop Talking About Cleaning
We recommend talking about cleaning no more than 15-20% of the time. Instead, focus on getting to the root of their problem. What is the real reason they are in the market for a new cleaning company? How does the cleanliness of their space affect the success of their business?
Know Your Competitor’s Pitch
By understanding what other cleaning companies in your area are saying to sell their services you can look for ways to differentiate yourself. How do you find out? Pick up the phone and give your competitor’s a call as if you are in the market for their services!
Avoid Bonding Over Common Interests
Wait — what?! That’s right, our time in the industry also taught us that surprisingly, focusing too much on common interests between you and the potential client — things like your kids playing sports together or discovering that you attended the same high school — puts you at a disadvantage. It gives the client the advantage because they are left with the impression that they will receive a preferred rate because of the connection.
Let the Client Experience Your Process
Don’t just tell them about how your company provides great service...show them! Use your free trial of the Swept app (sign up below!) to physically demonstrate how you’ll give cleaners clear instructions for cleaning their space. For step by step instructions on how to do this, watch this video on How To Sell With Swept »
STEP 3: Bidding and Closing the Sale
When bidding on a space there will always be risks to both you and the person hiring you. From their perspective, they don’t want to pay too much for your services, or be stuck in a contract if they are unhappy with your work. On the other hand, there is a risk to you that you will undercharge for the space and it will not be a profitable job.
To reduce the risk for the person hiring you…
Remove all the barriers for them to buy.
When we were a cleaning company, we didn’t require customers to sign contracts. No contracts meant they could hire us risk-free, and because we provided exceptional service we didn’t lose any customers — they stayed with us because they wanted to.
We also told potential customers that we would pay them to fire us. Yes, you read that right!
We offered to pay for their last month if they weren't happy with our services. This allowed us to stand out from our competition and showed them we were confident in the quality of our services. The best part? We didn't have a single person take us up on it.
To reduce the risk to yourself...
It’s quite common for those who are new to the industry to make the mistake of billing customers at the end of the month. This is a problem because it often takes customers 2, 3, even 4 weeks to pay you. Best practice is to charge them on the day you begin working with them so that you have the cash to pay your cleaners for that period of time.
A second piece of advice is to quote a price that you’re comfortable with. In other words, don’t feel pressured to give them a price on the spot during a walk through. Let them know that you will review your notes, crunch some numbers and get back to them with a fair quote. You don’t need to close them while you’re there!
To help you, we’re creating a bidding calculator that you can use for free. To be notified when it’s ready, sign up below.