Discover how to get your ideal clients coming to you without begging, chasing or knowing a secret hand shake
Episode 193 Arturo Garcia American Maintenance and Supply
In today’s podcast/blog Mike coaches Arturo Garcia, owners of American Maintenance and Supply and recipient of the ISSA Rising Star 2016 award on how to get commercial cleaning accounts.
RESOURCE ALERT: Discover the ISSA and how they can help you with the resources to grow your cleaning company
A big concept that Mike works with his one on one clients and accelerators is the transition from “How do I get to the decision maker” to “How do I make them come to me?” The best way to do that is to start building a relationship before you bid.
Mike often refers to an iceberg to illustrate how this works. Above the water are all the clients who have asked for bids, along with all of your competitors waiting to start lowest price war with you.
Below the surface are all of the prospects looking for new janitorial services within the next 12 months. If you stay at the top of the iceberg and wait for someone to poke their head out and say “hey I am ready for a bid”, you are competing with every other cleaning company out there. Those are not the most profitable or the best, most loyal customers.
Below the water are all the prospective clients looking to change their cleaning service within the next 12 months. There you will be one of only 2-3 companies that have been building a relationship with those prospects by having an ongoing conversation.
While, everyone else is looking for the instant gratification of going out to get commercial cleaning accounts that day, you have been there for months building a relationship and providing value to those customers. So when the time comes to make a change, they don’t even pop their head above water. They just come to you and say “Hey we have been talking or I have been getting your emails, listening to your podcast or attending your lunch and learns etc.. and we’re looking to make a change to our cleaning service, can you help up with that?”
KEY POINT: Be an expert resource not just another bidder on an RPF
Now that we have the philosophical foundation, let’s get on to the tactical. There are a couple of different mediums you can use to get commercial cleaning accounts. One of the easiest mediums to start with is your website. A lot of people’s websites don’t have a call to action or 37 calls to actions without clear direction or reason for the visitor to do anything.
TRIPLE RESOURCE ALERT: Check out these awesome podcasts with web-developer extrodinaire John Ayers and follow up podcast case study with John and Susie Duncan
The key is to have one clear call to action for your visitors and a good reason to do it. When people get confused, they take no action. When it’s clear and simple what to do and they know why they want to do it, they’re much more likely to take action.
Examples of commonly done poor calls to action:
- Call for a bid
- Sign upfor a newsletter
- Join us on twitter
- Visit us on Facebook
- Click here for a discount
- Email us today
“Call for a bid” is really geared towards prospective clients above the iceberg and you end up in the lowest price rat race. “Sign up for a newsletter or call for an estimate” is too much too soon. They’ve been on your website for 3 or 4 seconds while they’ve got 4 other tabs open and answering emails and when you say hey” click here or call so we can have a sales person call and bug you”, you’re going to get very little to no response on that.
What’s more effective is giving them a gift or something that would make them raise their hand as a qualified candidate. This is commonly referred to as a “Lead Magnet”. Consider offering information like “10 ways to know if your Janitorial company is stealing from you” and in exchange you get their email address.
RESOURCE ALERT: Check out this podcast on Landing Pages for building your customer list
A couple of things happen when you do that. The wrong people are not going to download something like that and you don’t end up wasting money marketing to the wrong people. And the people that do download it are raising their hands and saying they are very interested in your services.
This podcast is an excellent example of a lead magnet. We don’t market to our customers, we create excellent educational content and our customers come to us for help. Consider creating content that is appealing to your ideal customer that makes them come to you.
KEY POINT: Find your specific customer’s biggest pain and create something that solves that pain for them
The added benefit to that is you can start teaching them how to buy! Consider offering information like “5 things you must know before you change janitorial services”. Don’t say the same things that everyone else says like “We’re the best, we clean better than anyone else, we’ve been in business forever”. Suggest differentiating factors like doing background checks, drug tests, picture IDs, we have a 5 million dollar umbrella policy.
Pick out your company’s unique benefits and reverse engineer that in your content. So part of that information you would provide are things you are doing. If you have workers comp and ID badges include “make sure your cleaning company has workers comp and ID badges to protect your facility”. That way you are eliminating 50% of your competition and qualifying yourself.
So you’re teaching them how to buy so when it comes time to make their decision, they are going to call you as a consultant. They might even call you to look over the bids they get to make a decision. Which is a far better position than, “sharpen your pencil and submit your bid”.
NINJA TACTIC: In government contracting, instead of bidding to spec. Be the one’s writing the spec with them and include things that make your company the only one that qualifies!
Building your prospective customer list might take a few emails/contacts before you can start that conversation and get commercial cleaning accounts. The secret is to make it automated. Create a communication system that happens perfectly every single time. Once you have their email address, send out a communication every 2-3 days to continue the conversation.
You could start with a survey then 3 days later you share with them about being featured on the podcast and a link to the show etc..What happens is you start building a list that grows to a couple thousand people that you are constantly communicating with without doing any work.
KEY POINT :It’s very important that you don’t sell people, they will just unsubscribe, just educate them.
So if and when you do want to do something special you can layer that communication in. Something like “Hey I just won the YES award!” . To celebrate we’re doing a free audit on your sanitary supplies and let you know if there’s any money you can save there. If you send that to 2000 people, you are going to get 3 or 4 people that have already downloaded your lead magnet, listened to the podcast, that you have been engaging with you in this automated fashion, they are going to ask you to come out and do it.
Here are several other ways you can create content to get commercial cleaning accounts:
- YouTube channel
- Lunch and Learns
There are many ways for you to engage with your community but the goal is to build a list of people who have raised their hands and said “ I am interested in what you do” and having an automated way that you are communicating with them periodically 2-5 times a month.
In conclusion, to get commercial cleaning accounts, start with a lead magnet on your website, develop other content and ways you can engage with your community, build a list of a couple thousand people that have raised their hands that they’re interested in what you’re offering and you shouldn’t be doing any cold calling.
Finally, Arturo gives back sohme awesome experience in the…
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? As being an owner, just make sure you understand no one else is going to act like an owner.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business? A valuable lesson was creating procedures makes things run much smoother
What one thing Cleaning Nation can do today to improve their lives or their business? Make processes for your life. Make a list of bullet points of things you need to do. You want to be able to clone yourself.
We know that some of our Cleaning Nation members are passionate about how to get commercial cleaning accounts and want to hear about your success! We LOVE hearing from you, so ask a question in the comment box below- Mike answers every one of them…