In the ferociously competitive cleaning industry it can be difficult to make a new sale, and you did it – congratulations… you just won another new client – great work!
Signed contracts (actually, I don’t like using that term – can we go with ‘paperwork’ instead?) are only half of the cleaning business puzzle, the other half being client retention. There are milestones that happen early on in client onboarding that significantly impact the relationship down the road, and your ability to retain a client for much, much longer.
So, how do you go from that initial hand shake to years-long, steady paperwork renewals?
By avoiding the easy-to-miss mistakes that have been stunting the growth of cleaning businesses. Below are some of these crucial mistakes and how you can avoid them.
You don’t match expectation with service.
During the on boarding meeting, discuss your new customer’s goals and set them beside your company’s deliverables. Ensure your team is up to the task, that the client doesn’t have unreasonable expectations and that everybody knows what they’re getting all within the same meeting. You’ll be saving everyone time.
You haven’t built any rapport.
Creating an authentic connection from the beginning lays the groundwork for continually fostering trust and understanding throughout the business relationship. Plus, a solid foundation keeps clients happy long-term and smoothly covers any unexpected bumps that may appear later.
You don’t have all the information you need to do the job well.
In order to prep your team for success, you need to know all the little details. Create a checklist for initial meetings to confirm you’ve thought of everything. Is there an alarm code for the building? How many sets of keys are involved? Should your team be watering plants as part of the cleaning service? Are there items laying out that shouldn’t be handled? Questions like these will help you help them. Your new client needs to see your value right away, and this step gets you there. The client seeing an immediate, tangible improvement in their environment instills a dramatic, lasting impression.
They don’t have all the information they need.
As you’re probably aware, it works both ways. Are there specific processes a new client needs to understand before your team gets started? Have you talked through process, timeline, schedule, relevant team members? Covering these bases in the onboarding meeting is a game-changer.
You don’t have a system for consistent communication.
Establish a S.Y.S.T.E.M (save yourself some time, energy & money) for emailing, calling and face-to-face meetings so that communication stays open. Having these steps for client interaction in place gives you the opportunity to maintain positive relationships. There should be steps for contacting before the initial meeting and immediately post-meeting, as well as long term follow-up.
You don’t market to your existing clients.
Yes, you read that right. Marketing happens before, during and after a sale – Think of it like this – at the beginning, you’re a problem solver and relationship builder…. Their problem is they need cleaning services… Perfect, that’s just what you specialize in…
Now for the relationship building… Think of this as kind of like a romance… You meet the perfect ‘someone’ who’s looking for great cleaning services… what next?
Well – you gotta flirt a little right? (and no, I don’t mean literally…!) When a new prospect and potential client comes into your sales ‘funnel’ your job is to ‘flirt’ with them – you go and meet with them at their site or residence, you make sure you look sharp, and you’re on time, you listen to them and let them speak more than you…. in essence you’re building a relationship so that they will eventually know, like and trust you…
If you’re in a relationship, you don’t stop the romance right? In fact, to have a long and happy relationship you need to be impressing and romancing them for ever more 🙂 ….
Same thing with your clients – romance them… flirt with them, win them over, and then continue to always show them that you care about them and their business by staying in touch, include thank-you notes, holiday greetings, account reviews, survey cards and testimonial requests, and providing great service….
Give So Much They Can’t Ignore You…
When was the last time you looked at your list of clients and wondered ‘how could I help them grow their business?” You would be shocked at how many of your clients could do with a hand…. Have you lost a client because their business is down? Maybe you know someone who could use their service… remember the Law of Reciprocity… it works!
If you’re serious about business growth, come join us at Cleaning Marketer – a community where cleaning business owners gain access to information that attracts prospects, makes sales and keeps top clients on their roster. Need a few quick ideas to get you started?
Take the time every day to be grateful and thankful for everything you have. You can always have more, but you could also have less. Unknown.
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