Episode 140 – Before You Go on a Cleaning Bid
How & When to do a Cleaning Bid
Keyword: cleaning bid
Today Mike shares how, when and when NOT to offer a cleaning bid. He is joined by Greg Elderkin, owner of Elderkin’s Cleaning Services in Smethport Pennsylvania.
When someone calls into your company for a cleaning bid, that call and how you set up the meeting or job walk through is as important as the meeting itself. So often owners of cleaning companies treat all cleaning bid opportunities the same. Just because someone calls wanting a cleaning bid, doesn’t mean you have to invest the time to give them one.
BONUS LOVIN: For a free video and blog picking your ideal customer CLICK HERE
Two common mistakes people make when taking calls for a cleaning bid:
Go out and give a bid no matter what
Assume the only job of the call is to set an appointment.
Here is what the call SHOULD be. Start with understanding what they want to accomplish if you come out to give a cleaning bid. So often you get onsite and the customer gives you the bums rush and just ask for “your best number”. Agreeing on the call that you are going to need to ask them questions about what their needs are will help eliminate this problem.
When you do a job walk where the customer doesn’t take time to talk with you, it is impossible to get the information you need to give them a cleaning bid that will meet their needs.
KEY POINT: If they aren’t willing to have a conversation about their wants and needs and why they are inviting you out- DON’T GO!
When you ask what they would like to see happen if you come out and they respond that they are just looking for the lowest price, or ask that you just go out anytime between 8-5 and email they a bid, they are probably not worth your time investment to create a cleaning bid for them.
Slow them down. Ask questions. Understand what they really need. If you can’t do this- end the conversation and move on with your life. Your tone of voice and pace is important. They may be fast paced and in a rush and you need to demonstrate with your tone, voice and speed to slow down.
SUPER SECRET NINJA STRATEGY: Subtly remind them they are inviting you out, you didn’t call them
Before you go out, agree on how much time both of you will set aside for your appointment. You can say something like this:
“I have been doing this for a long time and I have a set of questions to make sure we get everything. Some may seem obvious and some might even seem goofy.
It usually takes around 25 minutes to go though them but at the end I will know exactly what you are looking for. And this will allow me to customize a proposal that will work for you.
I am looking to solve your problem and not just give you a number that may or may not give you what you want. Would that be ok?”
Once you have agreed that they will take the time to talk with you and answer questions about what is important to them, it’s time to set some Ground Rules.
MORE BONUS LOVIN: CLICK HERE for an awesome video on Ground Rules and Bidding Commercial Cleaning Jobs
Ground rules are just you and the client agreeing on what is going to happen at the meeting before you go out. Mike role plays the ground rules in the podcast, but they might sound something like this:
“At the end of the meeting, if I don’t think we would the best fit for you, would you be ok with me being honest and letting you know?
On the other hand, if you don’t think we will be the best choice for you, are you ok letting me know?
Great. If we both think we are a good fit, what would you like to see happen then?”
Typically you will get one of two answers:
1) “Then I would like you to get started with us”- this is a great way to set up an appointment!
2) “We will have to talk it over with the board/ my spouse” or some other potential objection. Much better you know now than finding out much later after you have already invested a bunch of time on their cleaning bid.
Avoid the “I have to talk with…” Objection
If they do say they have to talk it over withe someone else, here is a great response:
“I am so glad you brought that up. I have done this enough times and discovered that when we invest time in a walk through and get everything set up only to take it to the board (or a spouse for residential), we end up starting all over again and it is frustrating for everyone.
Most customers in hindsight would have rather just met with the board/ your spouse right up front. Why don’t we just get everyone involved right off the bat and save some time all around?”
When you do all this here is what you end up with on the appointment:
Ability to build relationship
No more “think it overs”
Decision makers are present
You know what they really want
ONE MORE BIT OF GENIUS: When you arrive on site- start by reminding them of the Ground Rules
Of course this podcast isn’t just Mike ranting about cleaning bids, we also give Greg the opportunity to share his experience with Cleaning Nation during the…