Newsletter Subscriber 'C' asks:
I am so grateful for all the information; it encourages me to eradicate fear. Sometimes when I give a bid, and it didn't go through I take it too hard. How do you get through situations like this?
First of all, in order to succeed in your cleaning business, you need to believe in the value of your service. Can you possibly convince your prospective client of this if you don't believe in it yourself?
Keep these thoughts in mind-
Realize that people pick up on your anxiety and tentativeness. So if you're doing phone calls to prospects and you're thinking to yourself that they probably don't want to be bothered, then they'll hear it in your voice and will shut you down right away. However, if you change your expectation to the idea that they really need what you're calling for, then they'll be more likely to listen and have a favorable response.
Think about the services you offer. Do they have a benefit to your prospective clients? Then you need to make sure you're able to deliver the benefits your prospects are looking for. When you can do this, you will believe in yourself and the value of the services you provide. If you're unsure of your ability to deliver, then you need to spend more time educating yourself on the niche you've chosen for your business. As they say, knowledge is power, and the more knowledgeable you are about your cleaning services, the more confident you'll become. When you have confidence, you'll believe in the benefits you can provide your clients.
Do you feel as if you need your clients more than they need you? Then you are working from an attitude of desperation. Realize that there are more than enough clients for you and the other ‘quality’ cleaning companies in your area. Then you'll be able to relax in the knowledge that your ‘share’ clients will come. Yes, you won't get every account and it is natural to feel disappointed when you don't get the account.
Second: I devoted an entire chapter of Make Money Cleaning Offices to writing a proposal that sells and the proper way to present that proposal.
Are you professional in your approach?
People do tend to judge a book by its cover, and your potential client will judge the quality of your cleaning service by their first impression of you. People like to deal with other successful people, so look as successful as possible. Dressing neatly in clean, professional looking clothes is essential.
Check your grooming. If possible, stop into a restroom before the meeting to make sure you look presentable.
Keep things neat and orderly. Whatever sales material you use should be neat and organized.
Be professional. Be on time. In fact, give yourself a 10 minute head start. Be a little early. It is far better for you to be waiting for them than for them to be waiting for you.
Don't smoke and don't chew gum; you need an empty mouth to carry on a conversation.
Stay positive. Be enthusiastic about life and your business. Do not allow negatives to enter the conversation. Don't boast about your company, but present its strengths in a positive manner. Set the stage for success. Be personable, smile, use a firm handshake, and give a pleasant greeting. Remember, the potential client is not your enemy—someone to be beaten into accepting your services—rather, both of you will be winners in this relationship.
Learn to Close the Sale. There are many good books that will help you develop skills in selling your company's services. The Art of Closing the Sale by Brian Tracy and Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar are highly recommended. Read them, use what you can, and for good measure pick up a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Build Relationships. Developing a successful list of clients has as much to do with relationships as it does with cleaning. Some relationships will be built immediately; you will get to bid and your bid will be accepted. Other relationships will be developed more slowly; you will be building a bridge to a future successful business relationship. Don't be disappointed when a presentation does not lead to a successful sale.
Your goal is to establish a bond with the prospect and offer yourself as an expert in the contract cleaning field. At some point in time they may grow dissatisfied with their present cleaning contractor and turn to you.