Office cleaning contracts can be the bread and butter of a commercial cleaning business. Here’s how to find (and win!) them.
One of the happiest moments for anyone running a service industry business is when those long-term, steady contracts come through. With a simple signature, your schedule is filled for four hours every Tuesday and Thursday night ( or whatever your office cleaning contracts specify).
These contracts make it possible to run your business and project earnings, expenses, and so on. They let you know, too, that your work is valuable. And for the most part, these aren’t complicated jobs. You likely don’t need to worry about the same things you would in a medical facility or school.
Office cleaning contracts can also be challenging to get if you’re only going after the big offices. Businesses with branches and offices across the country may hire in-house cleaning crews, or they might contract at a regional or even national level. While you can undoubtedly bid for those jobs (and we would encourage you to do so if it fits your business model), smaller cleaning companies will usually have a better chance of success working with local businesses.
But how do you get those contracts? It could be easier than you realize.
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Expert tips for finding the office cleaning contracts your business deserves
Before you begin looking for local office cleaning contracts, take a minute to think about how you look for professional services. Do you ask your friends or business associates for recommendations? Do you check out the company’s website or social media? Chances are you do at least one of these, if not both.
For that reason, it benefits you to make sure you’re asking people to refer your business and making sure your online presence is in good shape.
Asking for referrals can be relatively simple. If you have some clients that you really like, send them a note with your next invoice telling them you have openings for a few clients, and you would appreciate them passing along your information if they know anyone who could use your services. That’s a relatively passive approach, but you can get a lot more active and take different approaches to referrals, too. You can read more about that in How to Find Janitorial Clients with a Stronger Referral Program.
When interacting with a social media presence, there is a lot of online etiquette tips out there, but essentially it comes down to some good old-fashioned common sense that you might have heard from your grandmother: If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything. That means don’t talk bad about your competition, don’t get into online arguments with customers, and try to maintain a positive demeanor.
Another great way to meet new people and find more opportunities is to never underestimate the power of networking. Networking might be as simple as contributing to local organizations or volunteering your services once a month at an area nonprofit. You can also step it up and go to the chamber of commerce meetings, business district events, and other similar events.
What to do once you find potential clients
Office managers and property supervisors want the same things any other customer wants. They want to sign office cleaning contracts with a company that’s responsible, responsive and does quality work. You can showcase these qualities the minute you meet them or talk with them on the phone.
How? Answer calls professionally. Say hello, state your name, and identify your company. It’s confusing for customers if you just say, “hello.” They aren’t sure if they’ve dialed a wrong number or what. “Hello. This is ABC Commercial Cleaning, Aaron speaking.” That simple statement lets the caller know they’ve not only dialed the right number, but they also have a name that they can relate to. You aren’t just some random company now. You have a name.
This professionalism goes hand-in-hand with excellent customer service. If you can provide the best service right from the start, you’re in an ideal position to win as many office cleaning contracts as you can handle. Remember, you and your team will be in these offices, and the people who hire you want to feel confident that they’re making the right choice.
Excellent customer service doesn’t mean you’ll win every bid, but it can go a long way in helping you stand out. It’s simple, too. Return calls promptly, be honest and straightforward with your communications, do your walkthrough, and offer a detailed proposal. Make it easy for a customer to want to hire you, even if you aren’t the least expensive option. In fact, you can justify somewhat higher rates if you’re transparent about why. Maybe you pay your employees a better wage than other companies, and have minimal turnover, resulting in a very experienced team. Perhaps your basic package includes more than other companies. Don’t be afraid to point these things out.
When you do win those contracts, don’t let up. Ensure your work, customer service, communication, and care are even better than your new client expects.
Lastly, if there are office cleaning contracts that you don’t win, see if you can find out why. Maybe someone else offers a specialty that you don’t, like carpet care. That would be useful information to have when you plan for a future employee training program.
And always say thank you. Leave your contact with a good impression of you and your business. If that other contract doesn’t work out, you might just be first on the list next time they look for a commercial cleaning company.
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