This is a quick blog and video on how to get commercial cleaning clients, this can apply to carpet cleaning, janitorial, commercial cleaning and floor care. We surveyed 1063 business owners and managers nationwide asking a simple question.
How do you prefer local cleaning businesses contact you? We made sure to highlight the local part so they knew we meant local cleaning contractors and not national lead generation sites like yelp.
The point here is to listen to what small business owners and managers have to say and include that information in our marketing plan. Often we choose marketing campaigns on what WE like but its important to also think about how the prospect likes to be contacted. Similar to sports we want to find good match ups, for example daycares and schools are pretty security conscious nowadays so door to door is not a great fit. Restaurants/hotels its common place to have salespeople drop by, its embedded in the culture.
We surveyed 1063 small business owners and managers
- Note the margin of error on mobile polls can be 5-10 %
- Small business was classified as 100 employees or less
- Geographic area was nationwide US
- Poll was conducted through online and apps
How do you prefer local cleaning businesses contact you?
|Commercial Cleaning Marketing Campaign||Percentage of Response|
|Door to door canvassing||2.5%|
|Phone to set appointment||12.3%|
|Google Search||21.5 %|
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- Email Marketing: Not surprising email was #1 for business prospecting, a couple reasons why. One its passive so they can ignore the email or even mark it as spam to not hear from you again. More importantly business decisions are made by multiple people making it easy to forward to other managers in the company. Another reason is they can do some research on you by clicking on the links to your website and looking up any information on google before responding. Basically they can qualify you.
- Google Search: This was somewhat surprising, I knew it would be in the mix but didnt realize how many businesses are going to google search first to find cleaning businesses. So what does this mean? we need to reevaluate the role websites and SEO play into a commercial marketing plan. This can be tricky for cleaners that offer multiple services, specifically janitorial and residential services. I would think about creating a separate website for commercial cleaning/janitorial if you also provide carpet cleaning.
- Direct Mail: Is not surprising and ranked about where I thought it would be, maybe slightly higher. My opinion on direct mail its a great follow up marketing tool, the challenge is 5 different titles can be in charge of cleaning at the average business. It is critical to first confirm who the decision maker is before starting a direct mail campaign, being the most expensive we want to make sure the letter or postcard is reaching the right contact.
- Phone appointment setting: Figured this would be higher close to 20% and still think it would be if we separated the poll into large employers and small. Large employers have specialist like a facility managers and buyers who’s job description is keeping a list of vendors to call on when needed. They also dont deal with everyday calls us smaller businesses receive from yelp or “google specialists”. I have found smaller businesses under 20 employees respond to phone introductions much less than larger businesses. Its critical to identify yourself as a local cleaner when calling on smaller companies right away.
- Networking: sounds about right, 1 in 10 business people are involved in networking activities and events. For networking we have several options from building owner associations to BNI and chamber of commerce type. Really depends on the type of client you are targeting each will have a different mix of businesses
- Social Media: was a little low in my opinion and have a couple observations. One is the industry matters a lot with social media, for example anything property related is heavily involved in social media. This can be realtors, real estate sales agents or property managers, you can find the everywhere on facebook, linkedin especially. Also if we ran a separate survey breaking it apart by age the results will be much higher for under 40 year olds versus over 40.
- Door to Door cold calling: shouldn’t be a big surprise this is last although the number of 2.5% seems a little low. This is the ultimate interruption and nobody really likes the idea of a salesperson showing up unannounced. BUT it is a numbers game and the fact is if we show up on the day they were thinking about how bad the cleaning is…. Something else to think about with door to door selling is who would be open to this type of marketing? Restaurants, small retail, hotels, etc. In most markets that represents probably around 5% of the local businesses, so this makes sense now.
*Note, most of these questions are specific to the type of services you provide, type of clients you want and what opportunities are available in your market. Think about it, in destination cities like Virginia Beach, Miami they will have maybe 15 or even 20% of local businesses in restaurants, hospitality, etc. while Toledo would have far more industrial, manufacturing prospects. The 2.5% of course would be closer to 15% in Miami.
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