Stop competing on price. You can win more carpet cleaning contracts by showcasing the value of your work.
If you’ve ever been to a hotel, you know how vital carpet cleaning contracts are. But take yourself out of the janitorial world for a moment. You’re traveling for a conference, you check into your hotel, and it seems fine at first glance. Then as you walk to your room, you notice the carpet looks worn, and maybe a little stained here and there.
When you open the door to your room, you’re on alert. The carpet has a big stain under the desk, and though the rest of the carpet doesn’t look dirty, exactly, it doesn’t look fresh and clean, either. Your opinion of the entire hotel goes down. You become more critical, examining everything from the elevator buttons to the shampoo bottle.
What are the chances you’re going to spend a night at this hotel on your next visit to town? Probably not great. But it does get you thinking about working on some new carpet cleaning contracts.
Cleanliness is the one thing visitors want most in a hotel – and maybe a free breakfast, but you can’t help much with that one. You can, however, be an asset to the hotels within your business radius. And to win those carpet cleaning contracts, you don’t even have to be the least expensive commercial cleaner around.
You just need to offer the best value, and you need to do the best job. In fact, hotels that have been through their fair share of bad carpet cleaning will be willing to pay a premium for a more robust service contract, so keep that in mind.
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Carpet cleaning contracts and your local hospitality service: What you need to know to win the bid
For obvious reasons, there is heavy competition for commercial carpet cleaning contracts with hotels. It’s steady work with a relatively large floorplan, and there’s a good possibility for referrals. Bear in mind, though, that it will take some time and effort on your part to win those contracts. And you’ll likely need to begin with smaller hotels, where you can interact more easily with a decision-maker.
Even before you start bidding, however, it’s vital to have the tools and employees to do the job better than anyone. What does that mean? If you plan to charge a premium, you need modern, well-maintained equipment, a highly-trained team, and top-notch customer service. That’s all a big part of the value you offer, and it’s what your local hotels want. Why?
Outside of the big chains, there’s a trend for hotels to rebrand as boutique hotels. They offer more personalized service and feature unique perks like gourmet breakfasts, in-room record players, cozy bars, and other high-end treats. Many of those hotels boast eco-friendly practices, too.
Look online for “eco-friendly hotels,” and you’ll find list after list of accommodations around the world that highlight earth-friendly cleaning supplies, energy efficiency, and local contractors as significant selling points. So when you offer a similarly high-quality service that they know translates to guest satisfaction, there’s a much higher chance for success, even if you don’t have the cheapest rates in town.
Now that you have everything in order from green cleaning products to the latest in carpet cleaning technology, how do you get those carpet cleaning contracts? The old-fashioned way.
How to get contracts:
Prepare a Sales Kit.
Put together your best sales kit and go, in-person, to any hotels you want to work with. Your sales kit should include:
- A list of your equipment, showcasing why it’s the best for that hotel.
- A list of the green cleaning products you use
- Your list of references
- A curated page of your reviews (even if all your reviews are five-star, you only need a representative set)
- Your proposal worksheet
- Provide numbers highlighting the popularity of sustainable practices (Booking.com, an e-commerce travel company reports that 73% of global travelers look for eco-friendly hotels.)
- Before and after pictures of previous work
- Plenty of business cards
Be prepared for the fact that you will rarely get to show off your sales kit on that initial visit. At this point, your goal is to set up a short meeting – even just 15 minutes could be enough to get your foot in the door, and it isn’t so much time that your prospects will be hesitant to commit. Also, be aware that you will not get an appointment at every hotel. In fact, you will most likely get a lot of rejections. The hotels you approach might be happy with the company they currently contract with. They may not feel like they need carpet cleaning outside of the regular vacuuming. (At which point you can attempt to share with them why specialized carpet cleaning is essential, but don’t push it. After all, you’re trying to win a friend here.)
Use Direct Mail, Network, and Market Yourself Online.
You can do the same with direct mail, too. Put together a streamlined, one-page version of your sales kit, include a personalized hand-written note and send it out to the hotels in your area.
Don’t be afraid to network, either. Attend local business forums, chamber of commerce events, and even neighborhood meetings. You never know when the right person will come along, and you’ll end up with a business contract because of it.
Of course, online marketing can be just as powerful as a more traditional approach, especially when you use them in conjunction with each other. Once you introduce yourself to hotel managers and owners in your area, they are going to look you up online. It’s your job to make sure they find the best commercial cleaning business in town.
Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all good platforms to show off your work. Include plenty of before and after pictures, introduce your team, offer cleaning tips, and be sure to brag (in a humble manner) about any awards or certifications you receive.
Winning just a few carpet cleaning contracts can give you a reliable stream of income and get you started on the path to even more clients. You can be sure you’re organized and ready for them when you take advantage of janitorial software made especially for you.
Easily stay in touch with employees and clients, bid on jobs, manage projects, and more with Janitorial Manager. Check out a free demo to learn about all the great features!
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