Commercial cleaning leads are great – unless they aren’t. Find out how to overcome the most significant problems commercial cleaners face with new leads.
Some of the greatest gifts you can receive when you run a business are commercial cleaning leads. New leads can be a lifeline when you aren’t sure where your next clients are coming from or even when you just need a little revenue boost. And no matter how full your client list is, it’s always nice to have a few additional possibilities.
How could new leads possibly be a problem? Believe it or not, they can be. If you’ve been in business for long, you’ve probably run into some of them. Like most problems, though, when you get creative in solving them, they can turn into assets for your business.
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What to do when your commercial cleaning leads come with more problems than benefits
Of course, leads are an essential part of sustaining a business. That’s why it’s better to find solutions to your problems than ignore them. So let’s dive in:
1. Poor quality leads. Not all of your commercial cleaning leads will be the “right” leads. They may be too big for your team to handle. They may be looking for steep discounts that you can neither afford nor want to give. They could be out of your geographical boundaries. The important thing here is to look at where those leads are coming from. If they’re referrals, congratulations, but try being more specific when you ask your customers for recommendations. Are they finding you through your website or social media? Be more detailed about the work you do and where you work.
2. Too many leads. Is there such a thing? It may not happen often, but it does happen. The first trick in dealing with this is learning how to keep up with your leads and stay organized. (We happen to know of a software that’s ideal for that.) It might also be time to think about hiring sub-contractors or even new employees if it looks like your business is growing. And be upfront with people about why you can’t fit them in right now. It’s better, to be honest, and keep the door open to future business than ignore people and leave them unhappy with your lack of customer service.
3. Not enough leads. Yeah, the flipside of too many commercial cleaning leads is not enough of them. There are a lot of ways to get leads, from asking for referrals to bumping your social media presence to making YouTube videos to good old fashioned ads in your local paper. The problem many cleaning business owners have with this is that they don’t put much effort into marketing. We have several posts on the Janitorial Manager blog that can help you in your marketing efforts (here, here, and here). The real secret, however, is that it takes work. Marketing your business is a long-term project, like exercise. You can’t wake up one day and decide you’re going to run a marathon. You start with what you can do, keep at it, and develop your skills. And you get results.
4. Paying for leads. There are plenty of businesses out there that are happy to take your money in exchange for “thousands” of leads. It would be wrong to say these companies don’t work. Undoubtedly, some of them offer excellent service and will bring in high-quality leads. However, many of them do little more than pull a list of numbers from the phone book and hand them to you. If you find a reputable company, it might be worth paying for commercial cleaning leads, but don’t feel like that’s your only option.
5. Leads that want discounts. This may fall a bit under the “poor quality leads” section, but it also warrants its own discussion. Discounts are a touchy subject. They can boost your client base and help you win contracts when you really need new clients. They can be a nice gesture of thanks to long-term clients. Too many discounts can also lower your revenue to an unsustainable level. And you could argue that clients who demand or expect discounts don’t care about you or your team; they just want the cheapest available cleaning business. If you find you are getting a high percentage of commercial cleaning leads who ask for discounts, evaluate your marketing strategy. Are you clear on the value you offer? On your specialties and certifications? Or are you attempting to compete on price? There’s no “right” answer to this, but it is crucial to consider the health of your business.
6. Too many leads that don’t become customers. It’s fair to say that we would like most of our leads to becoming clients. We also know that doesn’t happen. But what happens when almost every lead ends up being a dead end? That’s a lot of time and effort with no results to show for your work. Ask yourself a few questions to solve this problem:
- Are you targeting the right leads in your marketing?
- Are you clear about your specialty or niche?
- Are your prices out of range for your area? This is different from discounts, by the way. Unless you have a very specific niche, keep your prices reasonable as compared to other cleaning companies.
- Are your customer service and communication excellent?
Answering these questions will help you determine why your leads aren’t signing on to work with you.
7. Leads that discontinue their service as soon as possible. Okay, technically, if they’ve signed a contract, they’ve switched from lead to customer. But if you have a lot of customers that leave your company as soon as they’re able (aka low customer retention), you need to take a hard look at your business. Is your team doing high-quality work? Is your onboarding process straightforward? Are you communicating with the client? Is your team friendly and approachable? Deficits in any of these areas can sour a client quickly, leaving you back at square one.
Once you know how to turn some of these common problems around, you’ll find your leads are better and more likely to become long-term customers. That’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it?
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