Commercial Cleaning Sales Pitch, when asking a closing question… Silence is golden. We have all been there, we make a qualified lead, visit the building taking measurements, asked all the right questions. Finally, it’s time to ask for the business and schedule an appointment, close the deal!
The words will obviously change based on selling project work, commercial carpet cleaning or commercial cleaning daily service. For carpet cleaning we would prefer to offer 2-3 program options, the only way special projects business model really work is if we can sell a program with service frequency already scheduled, for example 2x year, quarterly or monthly. A closing question might be “ which program works best for you” or “we have opening’s on Tuesday nov 1st and Thursday nov 3rd, which do you prefer?” See sample commercial carpet cleaning proposal >>>>>
One of the mistakes new cleaners make is talking too much after asking a prospect for the business. After asking that closing question, just STOP and let the person think for a moment. I know, you want to add something, ohhh by the way did you know we have the best green cleaners in the market…. Stop yourself, take a deep breath and relax. Jot something down on your notepad or something but remain quiet. Next time try it and see what happens, nothing makes people more nervous and force an action then silence.
I learned this from one of the sales trainers in the 90’s, can’t remember which one and you probably never heard of him anyway. Funny because it is one of the few things I always liked and used from that era in sales training, most of it was too hardcore for my subtle style. This fit right in.
I can still remember my biggest commercial cleaning proposal, a nursing home chain. They had maybe 5 locations at the time and were an in-house cleaning operation, we were trying to convince them of outsourcing everything including carpet, tile and daily housekeeping. After meeting with the executive several times and submitting a proposal he called me into his office for a final meeting. I could tell he wanted to do it but was a real pro and wanted to squeeze every little penny he could out of us.
Calmly I said we gave him our best deal and asked how much time he needed for startup, then SHUT UP! Cannot remember how much time went by, probably 5 minutes but I was determined to not say anything and it seemed like an eternity. He was definitely testing me to see if I would crack and finally just said OK then and signed the contract giving us 5 months until contract startup. Swear about halfway through almost laughed in his face, that would have been bad.
The point is when asking a closing question relax and let the prospect think about it for a second and process everything. As a test next time a salesperson asks YOU a closing question just stand there and don’t say anything.
Top 5 Steps
One of the challenges in marketing today is people are absorbing information in so many different ways and we have a big generational gap also. Some prospects absolutely will still open up a sales letter and read it top to bottom.
On the other hand, we have people who have never read a newspaper and receive all their news from social media, mainly facebook and twitter. Here are 5 steps we can take to hone our skills and become better at marketing our commercial cleaning service or commercial carpet cleaning business.
Commercial cleaning marketing or commercial carpet cleaning takes much longer to develop sales in the beginning, which is the bad news, good news is once established it also takes longer to fall apart.
Everything happens in slow motion compared to residential marketing. Overall a good plan is 6-8 touches a year, often prospects do want to buy but not right now. Now a touch can be phone calls, direct mailers or email.
2. Personal Contact
Second is most of commercial cleaning marketing requires person to person contact by phone/door to door/networking. Yes, online advertising does work and we provide that as part of our platform. Some of the advertising options are facebook, linkedin, email and adwords.
Personally still feel for commercial cleaning regardless of service the main way to get jobs is talking to 20 people day/week on a rotation where we repeat every 2-3 months. Always have loved the idea that by qualifying leads and also deleting contacts that are not a good fit we are becoming more and more productive every rotation.
Now whether that means going door to door, phone sales or networking I think is based on the type of service you provide, what is the density of the contacts and do they deal with the general public. Going door to door for a 300 person software company will be really tough but great for a restaurant.
Third is bidding and learning how to estimate cleaning projects. For carpet cleaning, wide open hallways cleaned 6 x year is completely different from a 1x job in cubicles with lots of furniture.
On the commercial cleaning side, a call center with 200 desks that need to be wiped down and 200 garbage cans emptied will take a long time. This is why learning estimating, specifically production rates in different situations is so important. We have carpet cleaning jobs at .05 cents a square foot that are super profitable.
4. Become A Good Listener
Fourth is sales, become a good listener when going on a bid, ask questions and most importantly listen to the answer.
More often than not people will tell you exactly what is most important to them. Of course, price is important but it can be #2 or even #3 if you give them what they want. Some prospects want you to have experience in their specific industry, this can help greatly by using exclusivity in your sales pitch and marketing.
5. Nurture and Follow Up
Fifth is follow up and learning how to nurture. Often in commercial cleaning specifically people are not ready right this second but are interested in general.
Just like we might want to buy some equipment or a new van but not for 6 months or next year. The key is finding reasons to stay in front of them, even emailing a blog is well worth it and works as a reminder.