How to beat the
Wintertime Blues Part 2
There can be huge advantages to diversifying into Contract Commercial Carpet Cleaning!
But to be fair, this market sector does bring some unique challenges. Let’s examine how to resolve these potential problems:
Low, low pricing: If you are a high-end residential cleaner the low per square foot pricing found in the commercial sector will shock you! But don’t set your pricing emotionally. Instead, just put the pencil to
*** Your lower costs
*** The much higher production rates found in commercial contract cleaning.
Determine what your costs are and your cleaning footage per hour and calculate your commercial square footage prices accordingly. You will probably find you can cut your residential prices by 60 to 80 percent and still make more profit per hour than when working in customers’ homes!
Bad hours: Inevitably, most commercial work has to be done when you want to be playing, sleeping, and spending time with your family. So many owner/operators avoid business jobs for those reasons.
The only thing they share in common is equipment used: Remember, commercial work in many ways is a totally different business. In commercial it is all about production so you must focus much more on efficient equipment, chemicals, and techniques than in residential. The magic production word for most commercial jobs? “Encapsulation!!!”
Apathy and Inertia: Carpet cleaning is way down a business manager’s list of priorities. Apathy and inertia is a two-edged sword. While it might be harder to get the contract signed, the general business climate of disinterest in carpet maintenance will protect your accounts once you get them! Ahh, yes- getting the account. Let’s talk about that!
Fancy marketing plans abound. But success in finding commercial accounts doesn’t have to be complicated. The following “Dedicated Sales Morning” system works because it is:
• Consistent: Most sales systems are doomed by either fear OR too much initial success. Fear of rejection keeps you from even getting started. Or after a few successful sales complacencies lets you slip back into your regular non-selling routine.
• Simple: Multi-step marketing plans for commercial cleaning many times collapse of their own weight. This system is quick, simple, and easy.
• Based on “throwing your net wide”: Plain and simple, the vast majority of sales calls you make will not be successful.
No problem: IF you are making lots of sales calls! Set a goal of 20 visits per week. Remember many of your visits are going to be very brief when the manager gives you a resounding “Not interested!”
• Efficient: You will get the maximum return for your efforts by cutting your driving time. You will also learn to sell to the same type of business sector by focusing on one group each week.
What to do: Just thinking about or even saying, “Wow, that is a good idea” is not going to cut it! You must DO IT.
• Pick one “Dedicated Morning” a week: Let NOTHING interfere. Remember, you are in it for the long haul. Like it or not, selling is emotionally exhausting. Avoid burning out by dedicating ONLY ONE morning per week but follow through on your self-promise.
• Dress up: Business people respect business attire, even if they aren’t dressed up themselves! Pressed Dockers, a long sleeve dress shirt and a tie for men and a business suit for women will do it.
Can you sell commercial work without dressing up? Sure, but your prospective clients will feel about you, and so will you, if you dress well.
• Carry the right tools. Invest in top quality business cards and carry a clipboard filled with your Carpet Maintenance Analysis and Job Profile forms. Use an accurate ultrasonic measuring device and carry a selection of spotting agents and clean white towels in a high-quality leather briefcase. You will also need a separate notebook to write down follow up information.
• Focus on one market sector at a time: Each week, plan out a sales route based on efficient driving and market sector when possible. Write down your stops in your Commercial Sales notebook before you leave. For example, pick an area of town where there are many doctor’s offices. Call only on medical buildings that morning. You will make more visits per hour, and you will find that one medical complex has much the same needs as others. Doing it this way, you will be more tuned in right from the start and you will sell more efficiently.
• Check your personal Attitude: You probably don’t like selling very much. Few people do. Suck in your gut and your mental attitude. Remind yourself WHY you are going out to sell. Remember the future economic welfare of your family! Remember too that you are a professional offering a needed and reliable service at a fair price. Poor self-image dooms many carpet cleaners before they even get started. Promise yourself a “reward” every time you close a big sale. That could be dinner at a fine restaurant, a new man toy, etc.
• Get moving: Remember, you made a self-vow to DEDICATE this Sales Morning to selling and NOTHING else!
• Relax: They say that animals can smell fear. So can your commercial prospects! As you prepare to make your first visit of the morning, remember to BREATHE DEEPLY AND RELAX. The worst that your prospects can say is “no.” That is not the end of your world! Keep a sense of humor and enjoy yourself.