It doesn’t matter how good of a marketing plan you have for your cleaning business if you don’t convert the leads you generate from it. In this post, you’ll learn 8 sales tips for cleaning business owners to help you make the most of your marketing.
1. Follow up quickly
One of the first sales tips you should implement is to follow up quickly with new cleaning leads. Speed is your friend when you are following up with cleaning leads.
The longer a person has to wait to get an estimate request or response to a contact submission, the more likely they are to reach out to a competitor instead. It is relatively easy for someone to contact several cleaning businesses at the same time when they are looking for a cleaning company to hire.
A deciding factor for many people whether to hire you or not will be how responsive you are. To most people, they don’t really see a difference between one cleaning company to the next. So if your company is slow to respond or doesn’t even bother to follow up, potential customers move onto the next company.
Set your cleaning company apart from the rest by following up quickly and being responsive to leads. This also applies to answering the phone when leads call. Many people won’t bother to even leave a message these days, so if you don’t pick up or call leads back they may get lost to the competition as well.
2. Follow up more than once
When you look at various sales statistics you’ll see talk of most potential customers don’t buy after the first contact. For some, it can take four or more contacts before they decide to hire you.
How many times are you following up with potential customers and new cleaning leads? If the answer is only once or not at all you could be in trouble.
Now there are various ways to follow up with potential customers that you should implement. Not every person is going to respond to each type of follow-up, so using a variety of methods is ideal.
For example, following up by calling a new lead is likely going to be your highest converting form of follow-up, but it is also the most time-consuming. Another great way to follow up is with email marketing and the use of an email autoresponder.
When you use an email autoresponder you can instantly send a follow-up email when someone requests an estimate or submits a contact form. You can also set up an email series that sends several email follow-ups over several days or a few weeks.
Not everyone who requests an estimate or contacts you will be ready to buy immediately from you. Regularly following up via email and providing educational and value-based emails, can turn cold leads into warm leads. Then when the timing is right, they usually decide to hire you over the competition.
3. Lead the conversation
Often when we take a look at the actual sales conversations of cleaning businesses with new cleaning leads we see potential issues that could cause missed sales. One of those issues is when the salesperson isn’t staying in control of the conversation.
You don’t have to be pushy to be in control of the sales process. Typically if you are the person asking the questions you are the one in control of the conversation.
For example, you might be chatting with a lead that is requesting an estimate. They may ask for a quote, and you could respond with a question asking for more details on their home or business to provide an accurate quote or the next steps of your sales process.
Unfortunately, we often see the control passed to the potential customer after that. For example, we see conversations that go something like this, “Based on the information you provided, we would estimate that to cost about $400.” That is how the conversation ends. At this point, all control is with the potential customer.
Instead, you should say something like, “Based on the information you provided, we would estimate that to cost about $400. How soon would you like to have your home cleaned?” or “Based on the information you provided, we would estimate that to cost about $400. We have a few openings left this week, how does Tuesday or Thursday work for you to schedule that cleaning?”
Certainly answer a question or give a response to leads, but also end your statement with a question that leads into the next part of your sales process. That way you can lead potential customers closer to the sale rather than leaving it up to them, which can leave you hanging.
4. Sell the benefits
Another reason that people don’t hire your cleaning service is that they don’t fully understand all of the benefits of hiring you. Typically most cleaning businesses simply list the features of their cleaning service on their website.
While features are good to know, to most people a list of cleaning features is going to look the exact same from one cleaning company to the next. If your marketing and website only talk about features you likely will have a low conversion rate.
See an image below of a cleaning company that does a good job of sharing the features of their cleaning service, but also highlights the additional benefit of time savings.
You also need to keep this concept of selling the benefits in mind when you are actually talking to potential customers as well. A lot of cleaning businesses make the mistake of thinking that once they generate a lead then that lead is an almost guaranteed sale.
The reality is that while some leads will be ready to buy after requesting an estimate, many people are just in research mode. Likely they are just seeing what your prices are like, and aren’t yet ready to pull the trigger and hire you.
This means that you need to sell them on why they should hire you and why you are a better choice than the competition. So when you do get these leads on the phone sell them on the benefits beyond your features to maximize results.
5. Upsell add on services
Another way to increase sales for your cleaning business is to upsell add-on services. Typically most people you talk to about your cleaning services will be inquiring about a single service you offer. However, this doesn’t mean that they won’t be interested and open to hiring you to perform other services.
While most people may just be reaching out to you to learn more or to request an estimate on general cleaning, they could benefit from many other services you offer. This is especially true if you are a commercial cleaning business and offer many specialty services.
For example, most people will be looking for a full-service cleaning company and sometimes even building maintenance and facility services as well. Business owners that hire your cleaning services typically have a lot on their plate.
The last thing they want to do is to have to hire several cleaning companies just to get all of the specialty services they need. Most would rather hire one cleaning company that can handle everything.
With this in mind, when you are doing walkthroughs or providing estimates, be sure to also mention the additional services you offer. Offering and upselling additional services is a great way to generate more revenue and it can also be more convenient for customers to get everything they need from your company vs hiring several.
6. Promote referral program
Does your company cleaning company have a referral program? If you don’t it’s likely something you should add to your business model. If you do have a referral program, you should be mentioning it frequently to your existing customers.
A lot of your business can come through existing relationships in your business. However, many customers may not always think about referring your business unless they are incentivized to do so.
Certainly, many happy customers will be willing to give you positive feedback and leave a good review, but referring new customers is a step beyond that. Hiring a cleaning business may come up in conversation naturally from time to time for customers, but if they know they may get compensated or a discount on their services, it likely will happen more often.
A great time to ask for referrals is either just before a scheduled service or right after. If it’s right before a scheduled service you could remind them about referrals and offer some kind of discount or bonus with their next service.
If you decide to reach out after a recent service, try and do it after you receive some kind of positive feedback about your cleaning. Not only is this a great time to ask for a review if you don’t have one, but asking for a referral when your customer gives a compliment works extremely well. They are already happy with your service and have good things to say, what better time than to say those things to someone they know.
7. Be mindful of customer service
Customer service is another crucial aspect of your business that can improve sales or lose sales. This can include people who answer your phones when leads call, cleaning technicians on-site, or those that deal with customer complaints and questions.
While many of these people may not “sell” directly, they can have an impact on the sales process. Take for example the people who answer the phones.
If a potential customer calls and the person who answers isn’t professional, friendly, or knowledgeable, they may get the impression the business is run poorly. It may not be the sole reason someone decides to hire you or not, but it can be a determining factor between you and another business.
How do your cleaning technicians interact with your clients? You may have cleaners that clean businesses at night when company staff isn’t around, or you may offer day-porter services when they clean during business hours. For residential cleaning are your technicians cleaning while clients are home or do they only clean while clients are gone?
These are questions you need to know the answer to, and if your cleaning technicians do interact with clients on a regular basis, they need great customer service skills as well. Part of increasing sales is customer retention and if you have poor customer service you will either lose customers before they even start, or they won’t stick around long-term to keep your sales growing.
8. Have your proposal documents ready to go
Are you prepared to do business when your potential clients are? You need to be prepared for success and part of that is having the proposal documents and next steps of the sales process ready to go.
Often we see cleaning businesses come to walkthroughs totally unprepared. A great way to increase sales is to be prepared for it. Sometimes we see cleaning businesses take too long to get potential customers to the next step in the sales process.
For example, when you do a walkthrough of a facility or home, how long does it take to provide an accurate estimate and get your cleaning proposal to the new client? There are tools and software available that can help you can get the proposal information set up quickly and efficiently and to potential clients, so they can make a decision right away.
This ties into your follow-up process as well. If you can’t get potential clients a proposal quickly, but your competitors can, they will often choose to work with someone else vs you.
If you’d like to check out a great tool for helping you automate the proposal process click here.
By now you can understand the many moving parts that go into the sales process for a cleaning business. In sales the little things matter, and you need to anticipate things that could remove people from your sales process.
Start by following up quickly with new leads and don’t stop after a single follow-up. It can take several contacts from a cleaning business before someone decides to hire you.
In addition to that, you need to sell the benefits of your services and lead conversations with potential customers into the next step of your sales process. Once someone has decided to buy from you, it is the perfect time to upsell them on additional services they can benefit from.
It’s much easier to get someone who has decided to buy, to buy more, compared to getting a cold audience to buy from you. Along those lines, another sales tip to increase sales is to ask for referrals and to establish a referral program. Selling to a warm lead that has trust with an existing customer is again much easier than a new contact that doesn’t know you.
Finally, make sure you are always prepared for business and use tools that can help streamline the sales process. Implement these sales tips for your cleaning business and you’ll accelerate your growth in no time!
P.S. If you are struggling to get quality leads for your cleaning business, Click Here to Learn How to Get More Clients for your business with these Top 10 Lead Sources For Cleaning Business Owners.