Do you have a commercial cleaning business and you want to sell more contracts? You’ve done a great job with the first few steps. You have found a lead and got in front of your prospect. You’ve done a walk-through and you are confident that you can meet the client’s needs. Now you need to submit a proposal. The presentation that you create with the contract you submit to a prospect can seal the deal or render your hard-work worthless.
You might be sure that your pricing is competitive for the requested services and that should secure the deal. Unfortunately, that is not the case, you are fighting a battle against the status quo. It is no secret that many cleaning professionals underbid jobs and then subsequently underperform on their contract to appear more competitive. Taking this into consideration, simply offering the best price is not going to make you stand out.
Let’s take a look at five tips that make commercial cleaning contracts stand out:
Start with Why
Why the client should pick you is important. You should outline and clearly present what you can do for them and how you can accomplish it, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. You need to inform the prospect why you do what you do. Most prospects may not understand what it takes to keep a facility clean. To be frank, most of them don’t care, they just want a clean facility. Why you do what you do, and why it is important to you is so much more interesting to a buyer. Review these two pitches and decide which sounds more interesting to you.
“Here at 123 company we can keep your floors clean and we can do it at a reasonable price.”
“Here at 123 company, we believe in healthy and safe working environments. We will do this by keeping your floors clean and we do it at a reasonable price.”
Go Above and Beyond
Your prospective client will outline their wishes. They may have very specific wants and a long list of tasks for your team to accomplish. It is also possible that they want a clean facility and use generalities to describe it. Don’t follow their lead. It is very important to make sure you address their concerns, but remember you are the professional here. A client can tell you what they want, but you also know what they need more than they do. Make sure to make the connections between their wants and your knowledge of what they need in simple terms. You want to make sure that they understand how you are looking out for them. Remember that dingy carpet you noticed during your walk-through? The customer might have breezed right past that to show you the bathroom that they would like to keep clean, but if you don’t address that carpet you could end up being handed a pink-slip shortly after you’ve contracted the job.
Remember that your client is in a different type of business than you and understands their own business language, not facility cleaning “lingo”. In some cases, the information that you provide could be difficult to understand if you speak with industry jargon. You might outline something as simple as “Flat mop 1st floor.” Your prospect could be thinking…what is “flat mop?”, does the first floor really need that? Too many instances of confusion like this could lead to the prospect of hiring another company out of sheer aversion to the embarrassment they feel at their own ignorance. Use layman terms as much as possible to avoid confusion.
Consider how many walkthroughs your prospect may have entertained while looking for the right cleaning company. You are most likely competing with other companies to secure this contract. Now how many of those other companies will submit their commercial cleaning contract the same day as the walkthrough? The next day? The next week? Being timely with your submission could make or break you earning that job. Don’t rush, and don’t forget the other tips outlined here, but there is a far better chance that you will secure a contract if you submit the proposal in a judicious manner. When scheduling a walk-through, make sure you block off enough time afterward to work on the contract in a timely fashion. By doing this you are increasing your chances of being competitive in earning the job.
FREE TIP ALERT: this has nothing and everything to do with your commercial cleaning contracts. FOLLOW-UP. There are many reasons why contracts are lost, but one of the biggest reasons is poor or no follow-up. Be considerate and don’t pester your prospect. However, you should have a very clearly defined step by step process for following up on proposals that you have submitted. You may have created a great proposal and the prospect is interested in you but was another company’s follow-up better than yours?
The creation of your commercial cleaning contracts will influence how many contract-awards you receive. Your pricing is an important factor, but prospects would much rather buy from those that stand-out in many areas not just provide the cheapest option. Follow these five tips and you will see more success and secure more contracts.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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