How to get Commercial Cleaning Clients without Appearing Desperate

Desperate for Commercial Cleaning Clients

Getting more commercial cleaning clients is probably always a major focus for your business, but are you coming off desperate in your attempts at bringing on new cleaning clients? Well in this post you’ll learn some tips on how to get commercial cleaning clients without appearing desperate!

Identify who your ideal customers are

The first step to getting new commercial cleaning clients is going to be understanding who your ideal client actually is. Simply showing up randomly at different businesses and asking them to hire you won’t get the best results. 

Most people make the mistake of trying to market to everyone. While this sounds like a good idea, in reality when you market to everyone you are really marketing to no one. 

Well before you start prospecting new commercial cleaning clients, you need to understand them. What are their pain points, what are their biggest problems, what questions do they have in relation to your services, what are their goals?  

If you don’t know these things yet, you need to do some research and figure out what those are. A major key to getting commercial cleaning clients without appearing desperate is positioning your business in the form of what’s in it for them. People care about the benefits they will receive from your service not how great your company is or how long you have been in business. Those things are important but you need to position them with benefits to your customer. 

Network at local events and networking groups

As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Networking events and groups are a great place to meet people who have the right connections to help you get commercial cleaning clients without appearing desperate. 

A great group to become a part of is the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce events are usually full of business owners and leaders in the community. If anyone is going to know who handles the cleaning contracts or can direct you to the people that do, they are likely at these events. 

Most Chambers of Commerce also have Ambassador programs.  This group is like the welcoming committee for new members, so they get to call them up to welcome them and introduce their own business. 

Typically ambassadors will be very active within the community and can be great people to network with. 

You need to be active and participate in networking if you want it to result in more commercial cleaning clients

Most people who struggle with networking to get commercial cleaning clients do so because they aren’t really active in networking groups. They maybe show up one time and hand out a few cards, and wonder why they aren’t getting new clients flooding in. 

You need to participate and attend these networking events on a regular basis so you can start to develop relationships with people. Just like in the online world, you don’t want to be spammy. 

Certainly, let people know what you do, but wait for a meeting or two to start finding out who handles the cleaning contracts at their business or workplace. Once you have that information you can try and reach out to that person, or ask an introduction if the connection you know, knows that person well. 

Build a list of ideal clients 

You want to start by building out a list of prospects. If you have specific companies and businesses in mind that’s ideal but you could also choose some general categories as well. 

Some of the best options are places like schools, doctor’s offices, dentist offices, office buildings, government buildings, or even churches to name a few.  

You can also find some local businesses near you while building out your prospect list with some help from Google. Simply type something like “doctor’s office near me” and you’ll get a list on Google maps of places near you, which could be great options for potential customers. 

how to get commercial cleaning clients

Do Your Research Before Contacting Your List of Potential Customers

The first step before you reach out to a potential client is to do some research about them in advance. One of the major reasons you will appear desperate or needy when approaching new cleaning clients is that you are only talking about your business features. 

People aren’t as concerned with the great features of your company as they are with their own business needs and problems. So instead of saying “we use the latest in cleaning technology”, explain why they should care. For example, “our auto scrubbers use the latest technology so we use less water from your facility to clean the floors”.

Take some time to research what are your potential client’s problems, goals, and struggles and then position your commercial cleaning business as the solution. 

Focus on things your cleaning business can do to save them time or money. Often those are the biggest concerns for the management of any business and that will resonate most with the people that are in control of hiring a cleaning company. 

In addition to that, another benefit of doing research on your list of potential clients is you can figure out who you should contact within the organization. A common mistake people make when marketing their cleaning business is that they don’t actually reach out to the decision maker. 

Reaching out to someone in the company is better than nothing, but if you aren’t contacting the decision makers the likelihood you will get the cleaning contract is low. Typically most websites will list people like their CEO or top management, and those would be a great place to start for people to reach out to. 

Set up a walkthrough and ask good questions

After you set up a call with the decision makers and position the benefits of your cleaning company you want to schedule a walkthrough of their facility. This way you can further develop a customized plan for your new potential customer. 

Often people make the mistake of bashing the current cleaning company that handles that business. This is one thing you want to avoid and instead, focus on asking questions and finding additional pain points or issues the business is dealing with. 

Some great things to ask would be, 

  • “what are the price points you are looking to hit for your cleaning budget?”
  • “what are the top 3 things you wish you could change with your existing cleaning company?”

The best response you can get from a potential customer during this process is, “No one has ever asked me that before.” When you get that response that shows that you are truly interested in their business and their needs and it is a great way to get them to hire your business for their cleaning contract. 

3 pieces of information you must gather during a walkthrough to get more cleaning clients

In addition to the above questions, there are 3 more essential pieces of information you need to gather during your walkthrough. The 3 things you must know during your walkthrough is

  • the cleanable square footage
  • frequency of service
  • the scope of work. 

One reason this information is essential is that you need these details to arrive at an accurate price point for a proposal. If you can’t make a competitive proposal you likely won’t get the cleaning contract. 

If you don’t know how often you are expected to clean the facility your proposal offer might be too low or too high. Knowing these things can also help put you and your potential cleaning client on the same page as far as proper expectations go. 

The main reason they likely are looking at your cleaning business over another is that currently their expectations aren’t being met. The last thing you want is for them to give you the cleaning contract and have the same thing happen to your cleaning business a year or two down the road. 

Follow up and creating your proposal 

The next step will be to follow up with your new potential client and to create the cleaning proposal. 

A simple tip to improve your follow up is to schedule a time to go over your proposal when you are wrapping up your walkthrough. Don’t leave things up in the air as to when you will speak to them again to go over your proposal

Set up a time before you leave, this will make things more natural and can help you avoid being blown off in the future. 

Since you’ve already gathered all of the necessary information you need to write up the proposal in the walkthrough that should be very simple. You may even have current clients that have similar specifications as your new potential client. 

This makes it simple to set up production rates for the new client. Again, the production rate is how many square feet a person can clean in one hour. 

What your production rate is or depends on a number of factors, including the types of cleaning methods you use as well as the equipment you have to clean. For example, some equipment like backpack vacuums vs push vacuums have dramatically different production rates. 

Finally, consider subcontracting as a method to get more cleaning accounts

This isn’t always an option and you have to be careful doing this, but depending on the job subcontracting could also be another effective method for getting more commercial cleaning clients. 

Sometimes larger cleaning businesses will have too much work to handle on their own or they may get a new client out of their normal service area and they will look to subcontract that job to another cleaning business. Perhaps that company could be yours.

While this strategy can be a good option to get more commercial cleaning clients, you do have to be careful with this. Often a larger cleaning company could try and lowball your cleaning business and the price they offer you to subcontract may be impossible to carry out profitably. 

You certainly don’t want to get a commercial cleaning contract that ends up costing your cleaning business money. Bottom line if you are going to use this subcontracting approach you need to make the numbers work and to be sure that it is a win-win situation for everyone. 

Spend some time going over the contract in detail before you sign anything. Many companies are great to do business with, but others may end up hurting your business if you don’t pay attention to the fine print. 

Subcontracting can be an effective way to get more commercial cleaning contracts, but it all comes down to the details if it will be profitable for your business or not. 

Implement these tips on how to get commercial cleaning clients without appearing desperate and you’ll be landing more cleaning contracts in no time. Also, you may want to check out our free video on the top 10 lead sources for cleaning business owners as well to find even more strategies to get cleaning contracts. 

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