This is a top ten list of commercial carpet cleaning marketing strategies. We are focused on commercial carpet & tile cleaning right now but you can use these strategies for any number of cleaning services including : janitorial, commercial cleaning, floor care. Over the last 20 years I have provided all of those services but right now we focus on commercial carpet cleaning.
The marketing strategy might change slightly by the specific service you target, for example window washing is far quicker of a decision normally compared to janitorial where the sales cycle might be several months or even years. Another factor to consider is the size or revenue of the job, generally larger accounts have longer sales cycle also and can be difficult to approach door to door. My goal is to find the right marketing strategy for the right target, door to door sales routes are great for smaller businesses and industries like retail or restaurants. In my experience any business open to the public.
Top 10 Strategies To Include In Your Marketing Plan
1. Telephone appointment setting : Every service business nowadays receives 8 million seo or google ranking phone calls a day but that’s not what this is. For a local carpet cleaning service we are just trying to introduce ourselves, connect with local business owners and managers. We are not trying to sell anything over the phone, only a simple connection or introduction. Remember with commercial often prospects are not ready to buy or even take an estimate right now, today but might be 1/3/6 months from now. I try and be careful of not being too aggressive and ruining a potential relationship.
2. Door to Door Sales Route: Really like door to door sales for retail, restaurants, small business. Especially when we have a concentrated group of say 20 in a small space. This makes perfect sense and usually can be done just walking in a dense enough area. This strategy can be much tougher in private categories that don’t deal with the public on a daily basis, an example might be a software company, manufacturing account.
3. Direct Mail: Postcards, sales letter, advertising specialties are all great for following up with leads after using the phone or door to door. Using direct mail for cold leads can be kinda tough, with some exceptions. The main problem for the cleaning industry is finding out who is the current decision maker, for us this can be 5 different titles from facility, general manager, office manager, etc. Really makes no sense sending mail pieces to anonymous people and vague titles like “office manager”. Now when we know for sure the name of the contact person then direct mail can really kick in and be an effective marketing strategy.
4. Linkedin: Linkedin can be great for certain services, especially commercial cleaning and janitorial. Another way to look at it is the target, think about the type of leads who are active on social media. Realtors, real estate sales, property managers all can be great targets on linkedin. One tool you can try is the sales navigator tool to narrow down leads and connect with them, this tool also gives you the ability to private message people to connect.
5. Facebook: This marketing strategy can be tricky, using the power editor we can narrow down leads with interests and behaviors but be mindful this is not an exact science. I would definitely gear advertisements to small business owners, especially niche behaviors, maybe women business owners or any other affinity group you can find. This is definitely a strategy that requires some testing of the categories and creating advertisements for them specifically. One thing we know is if nobody is doing something then opportunity is there somewhere.
6. Website/SEO: We placed these together in one list but understand this can be 2 separate tools, your website can just be used as another outlet connected to telephone, direct mail, social media, etc. SEO is a strategy we definitely have to research to see if the search traffic is available in specific services for specific markets. For example I know commercial carpet cleaning is not a hot search term, for whatever reason prospects just look up carpet cleaners and not commercial specifically. This is going to change based on your keywords though, in some markets floor stripping and waxing or floor cleaning can be a worthwhile investment. This is a great place where blogging 2-3 times a month can pay off and be cost effective.
7. Email: I look at similar to direct mail, really don’t love it for cold leads but have some exceptions. See no problem with reaching out to a couple leads here and there but wouldn’t recommend email blasting hundreds or thousands of prospects. Email providers can read and will start tagging your email address and business name as a spammer. This becomes self defeating as nobody actually ends up seeing your ads then. Worse your current customers won’t see them either if you are flagged. Email is great for follow up and staying in touch, hard to beat the cost and amount of information that can be shared.
8. Adwords: this marketing strategy is exactly like SEO, the first step is completing some research to find out if the search traffic in your specific market with your specific services is worth it. I do know commercial carpet cleaning is not too hot of a search phrase in most markets. But if you provide diverse services and piece together 40 keywords or whatever this can be a great way to bring in some leads on the cheap. In most markets I would label this a niche marketing strategy that can be pieced together with several others.
9. Associations/Networking: We can make the argument to separate these two but we just put them together for this blog. Associations can come in several categories, BOMA is one for the janitorial industry, local chamber of commerce, BNI groups, Dental or industry trade associations like manufacturing can be good targets. The reason is now you have a warm lead in and some cases a member list including all contact information. Using an association list should easily double the number of estimates compared to cold calling.
10. Referral: Couple different ways to approach referrals, for residential carpet cleaners this is a great opportunity to reach out to your current client base and offer $25 or $50 for an estimate. Depending on services, third party referrals can be a great way to generate a couple leads. If you do floor stripping and waxing, tile and grout cleaning, colorseal, anything floor related flooring retailers or installers can become a resource of leads.
This is just one top 10 list and many other marketing strategies can be used. Many of these can be interconnected and work together as a team, my goal is always try to find 3-4 and build a cohesive marketing plan.