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How I got my 1st office cleaning job!

Newcomers to the commercial cleaning business often ask me this question: Are there any ‘tricks’ I should use when trying to sell my office cleaning services?

The answer is very simple: Let people know exactly who you are. In other words, don’t pretend to be something you’re not. This comes as a surprise to some because they “think” they need to look like a different kind of business to be successful. Too often, a start-up business owner tries to pretend he/she has years of experience and lots of other clients.

This approach turns people off because what potential customers really want is someone who can deliver what they promise. If you are starting out and are attempting to get your first account, be honest in explaining what you are trying to do.

My first presentation, (to my chiropractor!) went something like this: I’m starting an office cleaning business, and I need a first account to use as a reference. Your office is obviously not being cleaned properly; so my wife and I will clean it. How often do you want it cleaned, what do you want done, and what kind of price per month can we work out?”

We got the job; my employees now clean it, and 14 years later I use it as part of my advertising campaign in this slogan: “In an industry with nearly 40% client loss each year, we still clean our 1st client’s office!” and include a testimonial from that business.

You see, prospective clients don’t want a phony person or a sleazy salesperson. They WANT to do business with a human being that they can trust. If you can be that person, you have an inside track to earning their business.

When meeting people for the first time, whether at a Chamber of Commerce meeting or ‘pitching’ your business, don’t think about “selling” what you are doing. Instead, Think of it like this…How would you act if you were meeting a new neighbor for the first time? You would probably smile, ‘chit-chat’ for a while and let the relationship develop. That same approach works when meeting potential clients. Make a connection, then start listening to what they say.

You will be successful in life if you concentrate on solving other people’s problems. My chiropractor KNEW his office was dirty; by being honest and letting him know I would do a great cleaning job so as to have him as a reference, we both would ‘win’.

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