Stop Playing Hide and Seek with Your Prospects
Sick of Giving Cleaning Contact Bids Only to Have to Chase Customers Down for Days or Weeks?
Today Mike hosts dual guests, Robert Sparrow and Norma Rabago from 1st Call Cleaning. Mike had the pleasure of meeting them in person at the Swept Reframe Conference in Texas. Today they would like help with how to get prospects off the fence after they give out cleaning contract bids. This is all part of proper plan to grow a cleaning business successfully.
RESOURCE ALERT: Check out SWEPT Commercial Janitorial Software
You’ve given them the bid, you think you’ve given them a good price, you can take great care of them and solve their cleaning needs. You go home or back to your office and wait for the email saying “let’s go” and the days turn into weeks, weeks into months and you’re stuck wondering what happened? Sound familiar?
First of all, the “easy ones” are the ones you have to be careful with. They come to you saying they’re in pain and sick of the company they’re with and ready to make a change, they are the ones we step out of process with. Typically with commercial cleaning contract bids, you have a system or process for bidding and closing deals. But when we are confronted with the “easy” to close cleaning contract bids,we take them off of that system.
KEY PONT: Don’t get lazy or try to expedite the process. The more ready they are to buy, the more diligent you have to be sticking to your process.
Second, once you’ve hand out cleaning contract bids out it’s almost too late to fix the hide and seek game. The way to fix that going forward is to get pain. If there is no pain, there is no sale.
If you go to someone and they say they’re happy but maybe if you can save them a nickel, throw them a bid, why not. Those are not the customers you want to spend your time going after.
You want to spend your time going after customers with real pain and urgency to resolve it. It needs to be a very specific problem they need you to solve. They need to communicate those problems to you. Not the generic “We want to save money”, you need to have actual emotion and pain.
RESOURCE ALERT: Learn more about bidding with Pain and not Sacrificing Profit HERE
Once you have that pain, then and only then can you have a real budget conversation. If you start the conversation with budget”
A) it’s the inappropriate time
B) They’re going to lie to you about their actual budget
For example, if they’re paying $1000/mo now and they have to go through the pain of switching, they’re going to want to save $200/mo. So they’re going to tell you they only can afford $800/mo and you end up giving cleaning contract bids for way under what you need to charge just to get the job.
But, if you have pain and their pain is their current contractors are terrible, they are spending all of their time managing them and they still can’t do the job well, and it’s always been $1000/mo but $1000/mo hasn’t solved that problem, their budget might be $1,500/mo if you can actually get their pain and give them a real solution!
KEY POINT: If you don’t have a good pain conversation, you can’t get a good budget
It’s ideal that you start all your cleaning contract bids very early on with pre-framing and how your prospects come to you. Better yet that those prospects are calling you first for help solving their cleaning-related issues. Mike covered that in the Reframe Conference where he met Robert and Norma. But wherever you are in the process, it’s not too late to influence them to know, like and trust you.
RESOURCE ALERT: Check out this episode to learn what you need to know before you go on a bid
So to recap, If you don’t have pain, don’t move forward. Once you have pain you have the budget conversation. Once you have the budget conversation you can have a clear future conversation. Then and only then do you give out cleaning contract bids.
The way you set all that up is by saying “Hey, once I come out there to give you a bid, and you don’t think we’re a good fit, would you be ok telling me that?” You will virtually always have a “Yes, of course” response.
Then you go on to say ” This is a little more awkward, but when I come out there, and I don’t think we’re are a good fit, that we aren’t the best contractor doe you, would you be ok with me telling you and possibly trying to find you someone who would fit better?” Again, you will likely get 100% yea, of course thats ok.
Finally, you say “Great so then if I get out there and for whatever reason you think we’re a good fit, and I think we can do a good job for you, what would you like to see happen next?
You will get one of 3 responses before you go out to give any cleaning contract bids:
” What do you mean, I want you to get started!” – Now they’e committed they’re ready to get started.
Then when you get out there in person(not in email), you start with that same conversation. “Is it still ok that you tell me if you don’t think we’re a good fit. And it’s ok if I tell you if I don’t think we’re a good fit? Great, and what did you say you wanted to see happen if we both agreed we would be a good fit….Oh, you wanted to get started? Great”
Some sort of objection. “Well, it depends on if it’s too high or you can’t do etc etc.. ” – GREAT! Now you know that ahead of time and can address it proactively or decide if the bid is even worth going on.
A process they have to follow. “It needs to go to the board for review, the boss needs to OK it..” Whatever their system is. Which is just another form of objection. You can handle these situations with a 3rd party story instead of leaving cleaning contract bids to everyone who asks and hoping they get around to talking to you. With way you don’t end up calling for days/weeks and you feel like you’re stalking them.
If you know their board meeting is on the 5th you can ask if it would make sense for you to be at that meeting. Here’s where that 3rd party story comes in…”Hey, I’ve found a lot of times when boards have meetings they have a lot of questions that you can’t answer and then you have to come back to me and ask and that delays the process tip the next meeting and is a big headache for everyone. If you’d like me to come out for the meeting for the first 5 or last 5 minutes, I would be happy to do that and get all your questions answered there.”
KEY POINT: Have a clear future with your prospects before you go give cleaning contract bids
No longer are you going to have unclear instructions on what to do after you give a bid, but you know they are either going to say yes or no and start then or you know what the process is to get the contract and when you need to follow up. That way you aren’t constantly calling them up, but rather professionally calling them at the date and time they agreed and can expect an answer at that time.
But what if I have cleaning contract bids out and I haven’t done the preframing?
Don’t worry we didn’t forget Robert’s initial question. It was not about the set up to the bid, but rather what to do with them once they’ve given them a bid and they won’t call them back.
The answer is to take it away.
Like dating a girl you like, you call her and she doesn’t call you back, so you start calling her 7 times a day and she starts running 7 miles away! You have to do the same thing with a customer once you’ve given out cleaning contract bids.
If they aren’t calling back it’s for a reason and it’s not because they forgot to call you. Calling them more often isn’t going to solve that problem. So, what Mike would do is take it away.
NINJA TACTIC: The final message after delivering cleaning contract bids
Send a final message. It’s always the 3rd message. Never call someone more than 3 times without taking it away.
Either they aren’t interested and calling them more isn’t going to help or they are interested but they’re just busy. But you train them to expect you to call them every day until the end of time so when you call and they’re busy they just say to themselves “Oh, that’s right, but I’m busy now, I’ll just talk to them the next time they call.” and that can go on indefinitely.
On the 3rd call consider saying “Hey, this is the last time I am going to call, sounds like you aren’t interested. Maybe I’ve done something to offend you. If that’s the case, and this has nothing to do with the business, would you just call me and tell me what I’ve done wrong. Because I really feel bad, I felt like we had a great relationship but now maybe you’re upset with me and if I have hurt your feelings or done something wrong, I’d love the opportunity to make it up to you or just know what I did. Could you just call me and give me a heads up? I won’t give you a call again, this is my last call. But I would really like to know what I did. ”
But more often than not you haven’t done anything wrong but you will get a call back right away with them telling you “No you haven’t done anything wrong, I have been busy etc. etc. but at least you have an answer as to why they haven’t gotten back to you.
Finally, Norma and Robert give back in the…
Best advice you’ve received either personally or professionally:
Make sure you are approachable and you listen carefully and understand the customer.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business we can all learn from?
Trying to do too much too soon.
What’s one idea cleaning nation can put into practice to improve their business or their lives immediately?
Make sure you’re collecting from your customers regularly. Follow a system and keep track of payments.
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