Grow Your Cleaning Business based on “Outcomes”
Winning more clients as a building service contractor (BSC) in an industry that’s highly competitive may seem like a daunting and difficult task. However, if you focus on creating and quantifying value for your customers, differentiate yourself from your competition plus arm yourself with an excellent communication strategy, you will gain the trust and win the contracts of building owners and managers who are your prospective clients.
To gain loyal, long term, profitable customers you need to show that you can provide value. Too often a BSC thinks they can keep ahead of their competition by having nice uniforms, lower pricing and promise good service. However, these factors, although necessary, will not keep your customers satisfied and loyal in the long term. What your customers are looking at are the OUTCOMES of your work.
Selling your services needs to focus on the fundamental benefits that your organization will provide. You must show your prospects that your organization will clean in a way that improves all aspects of their business, their employees, visitors, clients and in particular, their profits.
Your valued service must include improvement in the areas of indoor air quality and safety of your prospect’s building, thus reducing their employees’ sick days and improving the cognitive functions of their staff. You will also help lower staff turnover and boost productivity.
Employers may not be aware that some staff members may suffer from general respiratory illnesses, allergies and headaches which can be induced by poor cleaning procedures. Dust from ineffective vacuuming and doorway entry matting can cause eye irritation issues and exposures to strong cleaning chemicals can cause headaches. Plus, bacterial infection from Mold or fungi can cause flu-like symptoms. These health issues can affect one’s ability to complete work with speed and efficiency, and ultimately leads to lost productivity and profits. The WHO organization states that 30% of buildings worldwide suffer from indoor air quality problems resulting in lost productivity of up to 18% annually and costing employers $225.8 billion per year, or $1,685 per employee per year. Lost productivity due to these problems is as high as 18% annually.
Although you are well aware of the true benefits of effective cleaning techniques on the health and profit of your potential customer’s business, you are now faced with the challenge of communicating these benefits to your prospects. This can be a seemingly daunting task, especially when we consider that most decision makers need between 7-11 ‘touch points’ or communication points to make the final decision to contract you.
We must remember that people are busy. Recent data suggests that 92% of emails sent are not opened or read, and the average person takes fewer than three seconds to determine whether to read or delete. The average small-business decision maker receives more than 75 emails per day, and this number can double to more than 150 in larger organizations. Inundated with demands for their time managers must make quick decisions as to whether your email will be read or discarded.
Therefore, your prospecting campaign must be consistent and specific to the needs, issues, or concerns your prospect experiences on a daily basis. Every activity you initiate must work to position you as someone who has the credentials, information, and insight to assist them in achieving their objective. Every touch point either moves you toward you winning a contract or away from it. Nothing is neutral.
Before reaching out it is important that you conduct thorough research on their organization’s goals and needs - find out what they do and tell them how you can help them do it better! Then do so with clarity and consistency.
Each touch point you initiate requires forethought and must align with your prospect’s objective. Before you communicate, whether by email or phone, you need to ask yourself, what is the purpose of your e-mail? What steps or action do you want them to take? Have you asked them to take this step in your email?
Furthermore, each touch point needs to provide value and contain information that educates your prospect about how a safe and clean environment leads to a healthy and more profitable workplace. These important tools not only provide building owners and managers with important information, it also creates interest in your service, makes them realize they need what you have to offer and forms a connection based on trust.
Stewart, W. R. (2003). ‘Lost productive work time costs from health conditions in the United States: results from the American Productivity Audit. Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine 45.12’.
Rigg, A. ‘Insightful Email Prospecting’.
‘The Financial Case for Cleaning’, pp. 63-65.