How To Get Commercial Cleaning Leads With Business Journals

Lead Generation Using Local Business Magazines

This is a quick presentation on how to use local business journals to contact local cleaning prospects. This can apply to commercial cleaning services, janitorial or commercial carpet cleaning services. In this example we used google to complete a search for “business journals Philadelphia”.

In this case the first resource that came up was which is Business First. Business First is a “newspaper” similar to your local newspaper business page but its dedicated to business topics and mostly local issues.

The first thing we can do is scroll through looking for stories about local businesses that affect a commercial cleaning service specifically. Businesses that are growing, Companies that are adding jobs, New construction projects. The theory is either they are adding physical building space, square footage or adding employees. More employees equals more dirt!

Using the Leads List

The main reason to use Business First is their famous Book of Lists, if you are not familiar they have been producing lists of businesses locally by different categories for many, many years. This is awesome for a commercial marketer because they are verifying the information compared to using a list company that only provides vague information.

Unfortunately they only do this for the top 60 metro areas, if you live in a smaller market its unlikely they have any specific lists for your area.

In this Example of Philadelphia, they have 75 different categories, including information on 2100 different local companies with some contact information. One thing I want to point out is often they will list executives which for commercial cleaning wouldn’t be the initial contact person. But at least you have the company information and can cold call to find out.

Examples of Potential Commercial Cleaning Leads

  • Hotels
  • Casinos
  • Golf Courses
  • Largest employers
  • Family Owned Businesses
  • Fastest Growing

 These are all great targets for the cleaning service industry, although the specific leads will change based on if you are janitorial, carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, etc.

Sales Software

After purchasing this Book of Lists you can then download the information right into your Sales Software.

Looks like they usually charge around $200 for the digital format which is well worth it.

Now you have key accounts you can target right at your fingertips, personally I prefer to start with cold calling so we can find out who the decision maker is. After discovering who is in charge of building cleaning we can start to run a full campaign of mail, phone, email and social media.

This is a great little tool of local, accurate information. Unfortunately they only are active in the top 60 metro areas but I would still do a search on google and see if there is a local or regional company that has something similar.


How To Use A Leads List To Create A Sales Strategy

In this section we are using our leads to create a commercial cleaning sales strategy with a financial scorecard. Now, this can apply to commercial cleaning, commercial carpet cleaning, janitorial or any other commercial cleaner specialty.

In this presentation, we are talking about using our financial data to make sales and marketing decisions. There is several different layers or angles to think about when putting together a sales and marketing plan. One of them should be using a financial scorecard, financial data that can come from quickbooks, CRM or any platform you use.

Analytical versus Strategy

There is 2 ways to look at these questions, the analytical part which is data, spreadsheets, the numbers. The second view will be the strategy, concept. Now that we have information we want to write down a plan of how we can use that information and make decisions. Just having information doesn’t get us very far, we still need to use it.

In the strategy template, we have four categories- Objectives, goals, measure and how to.

How do I increase company profitability? How does it affect our sales plan?

This is the first question we asked ourselves, viewing the data we found our current net profit margin was 18%, last month it was 15% and last year 24%. Now we start thinking we want to increase that net profit to 28% or 30 % (hypothetically).

Now that we have this information, we switched back to the sales strategy. HOW are we going to move that number from 18%- 28%. In the strategy template, we listed our objective: increase net profits, measured by the percentage of gross sales, the goal is 60% or better.

How to: this is the important part, what actions will we take to solve this problem? Specifically for sales and marketing, we will raise contract prices by 2% and sell one high margin service per year. Raising prices is always difficult which is why we want to start small and only raise future contracts 1-2%.

Sell one high margin service per year, this is another option that can increase our profits. For example, you are janitorial service cleaning a restaurant on a contract basis and sell tile steam cleaning service 2x year.

How do I increase our cash flow? How does this change our sales strategy?

 In commercial cleaning, carpet cleaning or janitorial cashflow is extremely important, maybe the most important challenge we face. What happens whenever taking on a new project is we have costs of labor, chemicals, equipment, gas but might not see a payment for 30, 60 or even 90 days. First is the data or analytical part, we currently are at 22% and in previous months hovered around 24% but now need to greatly increase that.

Strategy section: objective is increase cashflow, measure by percentage increase, goal is 30%.

How to: look at the current client list, is there a pattern with accounts that fall below our goals? Reduce invoice terms, is there a pattern of industries, sizes or areas that are paying in terms greater than 30 days net? Change our terms to 15 days net for all one time jobs, these are usually specialty cleaning services carpet cleaning, windows, small construction projects.

Over time I think most of us find certain industries have industry logic built in that it is commonplace to pay in certain invoice cycles. This is fine but something we have to think about as we grow.

For example you are currently cleaning a lot of property managers and they are all paying 60 days plus, that might be a situation where its time to stop marketing to that group and find a new target.

Evaluate Client List

This is the final question we are asking today. In the Analytical section start pulling out all of your low margin, past dues and terms longer than 30 days. Determine if any patterns are obvious. The strategy should be then, is it time to change the mix of clients we currently market to? If you do decide on a new prospect, what is their sales cycle? How quickly can we expect to sign new contracts?

Like any commercial cleaning sales strategy, this will not be an end all, this is only one layer, one angle to consider when choosing what clients to pursue, what clients need to go.




How To Use Direct Mail or A Technical Bulletin

This is an innovative presentation on how to use technical bulletins to sell commercial cleaning contracts. This can apply to carpet cleaning, commercial cleaning, janitorial and office cleaning services.

In this blog we will cover the four steps to creating and using technical bulletins in your sales and marketing process.

  • What is a Technical Bulletin
  • Who are the leads this type of marketing would appeal to
  • How to use them
  • Where to use them


This is information formatted as a short summary covering the technical details of a subject, we are getting into the minutiae of a topic. In this example we used a cleaning subject but you can just as easily create a summary of your recruiting practices, training habits or any number of business topics that directly affect a commercial cleaning client.

The key here is sharing information but slightly tweaking it to show how it benefits them, the end user. One thing we have to be careful of is going too technical and boring the reader, in the sample we tried to keep it short and used some color to highlight the different parts.

In this bulletin we have 4 parts

  • Headline
  • Define the pain point
  • Provide the technical solution
  • Plant the seed for creating a cleaning contract

Who is the type of lead that this appeals to?

Step 2 we create a buyer persona, a simple way of thinking about persona is the behavior type or personality type. Regardless of the industry or cleaning service we sell, leads come in 4 different buyer personality types.

The technical bullet is going to appeal most to a Analytical personality type, persona.

Here are 5 traits to look for in an analytical lead type:

  1. Precise, orderly
  2. Serious
  3. Motivated by facts and logic
  4. Like things in writing
  5. Great problem solver

With account based marketing we want to read these traits in our prospects and then share with them the type of information that would appeal to them. Remember marketing is specific, we want people to feel like we are talking to them personally.

How and Where to use Technical Sales Flyers

Briefly, here is an image of a sales funnel. We are showing this diagram to show how and where you can use this marketing piece during different stages of the sales process.

Awareness stage or during advertising campaigns.

Here we went to Linkedin and added an article to our personal profile (you can use a company page also). This would be “top of the funnel”, when posting information like this we are trying to draw in these analytical lead types.

I understand most prospects will not like this kind of information, we will use different information for them. Think of it the way a moth is drawn to a flame or a dog whistle where most people can’t hear it but dogs can hear it perfectly.

Interest- Follow up

Often how the sales process works in getting commercial cleaning contracts, we contact leads or meet them and they request more information. Especially among mid size to larger accounts, contact people will want to qualify the cleaners before inviting them to bid on a job.

This example we used an email template and landing page. After speaking with a prospect and identifying their buying type we would either use this email template or email a link to the landing page.

The landing page is formatted similar to a print brochure but in digital marketing we can add 2 calls to action. We went with a small button to show a video on the right and at the bottom an offer to schedule a live demonstration.

Decision- Submitting Proposal or Estimate

During the decision phase of the sales funnel we can add a technical bulletin to the proposal in print format or create a PDF and add to the email template.

Action- Upsell or cross-sell

After we sell a cleaning contract, we want to offer clients additional services. Information like this can be shared with clients to “plant the seed” and introduce them to services they might not know you provide.

How would be the same as above through social media, online advertising, email, landing pages and direct mail.


In Account Based Marketing we are looking for ways to get more out of our time and financial investment. This is just one more way, one more angle to differentiate from the endless competition in the commercial cleaning industry.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *