There’s always room for more cleaning contracts. The trick is winning the bid.
As a successful business owner, you’re always on the lookout for new cleaning contracts. After all, more contracts means more revenue, which ultimately means more money in your pocket. But winning new business isn’t as simple as using smart marketing or including value-added services. While both help to draw a potential customer in, it takes intelligent and thoughtful sales strategies to ultimately close on new cleaning contracts.
Now you might be thinking, “I’m a business owner, not a salesperson.” Well, yes and no. You may have started a cleaning business because you knew something about the industry, but the only way to bring customers on board is to convince them that your services are superior to others. And that is the very core of sales.
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More than marketing
An important distinction to make is that sales and marketing are not the same thing. Marketing is the art of getting someone’s attention and getting them to remember you. Sales is the art of getting them to buy into what you’re offering. However, they both function on similar principles, which are to anticipate and uncover a customer’s needs and then determine how your services address those specific needs.
In other words, sales is ultimately rooted in psychology. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what you’d want. There’s a good chance they want the same thing. But how can you think like your customers if you don’t know them yet? What strategies are more likely to close new cleaning contracts? While no approach guarantees a contract, keeping in mind the following tips will help increase the number of cleaning contracts on your books.
6 Tips the most successful businesses use to win more cleaning contracts
Tip #1: Get personal
We don’t mean you should ask new customers personal questions. However, it is helpful to ask new customers about their business, what they do, who their audiences are, what kind of image they’re trying to project; don’t just find out about their cleaning needs. Find out how you as their professional cleaner fit with their overall business model and then use that as a selling point. If a customer feels nurtured, they’re more likely to sign on the dotted line.
Tip #2: Listen
When you ask those questions, be sure to listen to the answers. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about what products or services you want to sell and how you can work that into the conversation. But most customers will notice a failure to listen, and that will hurt your chances of winning new cleaning contracts.
Tip #3: Regularly review your sales process
Like most things, sales is a fluid concept. It changes as culture changes, and good salespeople are ready for that. After you’ve closed on, say, ten cleaning contracts, look back over them and see if you can identify what worked best and what didn’t. Take note of how long each process was and whether or not you did something differently for the ones that closed quickest. Identify key indicators that a prospect is ready to move from one step of the sales process to the next. Doing this regularly will move more people through your pipeline, which hopefully results in more closed contracts.
Tip #4: Be sensitive to budgets and don’t oversell
Obviously, you’d like to land the biggest cleaning contracts possible. But new business is new business, regardless how large or small. If you’re working with a prospect who is clearly working on a tight budget, don’t push add-on services they don’t need. They’ll spot this behavior and likely be annoyed by it. Outline your offerings, by all means, but be smart and know when to back off.
Tip #5: Digitize the process
Digitizing your sales process streamlines workflow, which takes some administrative burden off of you and your team. Through a sophisticated CRM system, you can follow the sales process for each prospect from lead generation to closing cleaning contracts. And just think how much more revenue you’ll have when you can manage the process twice as fast as before.
Tip #6: Understand your pricing model
If you don’t know what your competitors are charging, you’re going to be at a disadvantage when it comes to new prospects. If you’re too far over the market average, prospects may not want to pay. If you’re too far under, they may assume you have an inferior service. A good pricing strategy is to take the market mean and price just a little higher, so you have some room to negotiate. Of course, you should only do this if your services are worth it; evaluate your business honestly!
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Bonus tip: Offer incentives
Everyone likes a bonus! Incentives are very useful in landing new cleaning contracts. Offer new clients a percentage off their first cleaning or throw in a one-time additional service for free. You can’t rely on incentives to close deals, but they sure to help to sweeten the pot.