If you’re a cleaning business owner, or you’re involved in the sales process for a cleaning business, the whole point of your sales and marketing is twofold; to fill your calendar with loads of appointments with your prospective clients and win more clients. BUT, here’s the thing. If you can have a conversation with your prospective client but then can’t navigate your way effectively through the sales conversation
you’ll be wasting a lot of your sales and marketing efforts (not to mention $$)….
Which is why in today’s post, I wanted to shine the light on why it’s so important to focus on the needs discovery conversations – in other words, why does your prospect feel like they need your service?
So let’s look specifically, let’s look at three costly mistakes you want to avoid…
Costly Mistake #1: Not vetting the prospect
Every cleaning business owner has one guaranteed want: a hot prospect interested in working with them on the other end of the phone…
And look, we all get excited if a great new potential opportunity comes to our cleaning business. But here’s a question we as cleaning business owners need to ask ourselves
… Do YOU want to work with THEM?
And the only way to really answer that question is to have a vetting process.
What I mean is having a method to assessing whether you actually want to work with this particular client or not.
Are they invested in making a change in the cleaning at the home or business? Are they communicative and accessible to deal with? Will they pay you on time? Do they value the expertise your cleaning business has, or do they simply want their existing cleaning problems to go away?
PRO TIP: One of my favourite questions to ask when I’m just getting to know a prospect is… “Can you tell me what is driving you to make this change in your cleaning service provider” How your prospect answers this question will tell you a lot about them.
Costly Mistake #2: Trying to answer every question as it is asked
More often than not, when we’re sitting in front of a prospect, they will be firing questions at us in an effort to make a decision on whether you’re ‘what they need’ and they want to find that out as fast as possible.
And good manners dictates that we should answer every one of their questions right? It might be impolite to do otherwise right? We might make the wrong impression if we don’t – right?
PRO TIP: Conversations with your prospects are NOT interrogations people! Just because they ask a question, doesn’t mean you have to answer it. A fantastic method to avoid answering a question is to go to the bridge… When you use a ‘bridging’ statement, this will help slow things down, i.e: “I’m glad you asked that question Bob, but I think the real question we should be looking at here is…”
In fact, often times that polite knee-jerk reflex means you will find yourself responding to a question that you shouldn’t be answering in the first place.
For example, you may be asked a question by a prospect that, once you step back to think about it, you realize you probably should have answered it in a different way, but because the questions were coming at you so fast, and you really wanted to win this cleaning contract, that sometimes, you’ll almost tell them what you think they want to hear, or what you think it will take for you to win the business.
PRO TIP: Set a pace from the start of the conversation that when your prospect asks you a question you take a calm breath before responding. If you do this from the get-go, not only will you set an expectation with your potential client that you’re someone who is thoughtful in your responses — but this will also help you to condition yourself to slow down in your responses.
Costly Mistake #3: Not understanding that your biggest competitor is actually your prospect’s inability to move forward
A lot of cleaning business owners drive themselves absolutely nuts worrying about what their competitors are doing, and the possibility of missing out on opportunities. But the truth is, you’re losing more deals to clients who are doing NOTHING to fix their cleaning problems, than you are to people who offer similar services to you (hard to believe, but trust me, this is true..)
And this is something really important for you to remember when you’re having a conversation with your prospective client.
If you’ve been reading my blogs or following me on Facebook or YouTube, you will have heard me say many times, that only 3% of prospective clients are what we’d call “hot” prospects, or in other words, ready to make a change – ready to hire a cleaning service right now. The other 97% are not. Essentially, the chances of your prospect deciding not to move forward at all is usually a lot greater than the chances of them moving forward with someone else.
PROTIP: Make sure that you spend time in your initial sales conversations talking with your prospects about why they feel they need to fix their cleaning problem right now — and why they feel they need your help to do it.
It’s absolutely critical that they hear the words coming out of their own mouths first. The next step is that you then reframe what they just said to you, back to them and get their agreement that you’ve understood those points accurately. This strategy will deepen their commitment to their decision to fix their cleaning problems, and get the help they need – from your cleaning business.
Are you having great conversations with your prospects..? What’s getting you great results and filling your sales funnel?
That’s the great thing about the Cleaning Industry, you meet so many people who’ll join you for sections of the journey. It’s a relationship business, where happiness and business success comes from within. If you think well, you’ll do well..
We pay respect to one of the greats today. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. Muhammad Ali
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