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Written by Bob Seibel Oct 5, 2017

Stop Bidding On Cleaning Contracts!


So…you know all the metrics that affect your cleaning business.  I mean you know your production rate, your labor costs, your overhead, your cleaning equipment capacity, etc. You have even visited one of dozens of websites – “How to bid and price cleaning jobs.” You have probably purchased one of dozens of software programs on how to workload a building for cleaning.

"The Walk Through"

Now you are ready to go to the “walk through” to visit the site of a proposed cleaning contract.  You take all the measurements- square footage, number of restrooms, types of flooring and the number of waste baskets.  The building manager hands you the bid specifications and discusses the scope of work.

"Crunching the Numbers"

You go back to the office and start “crunching the numbers.”  Now you are ready to submit your bid.  The building manager digests all the proposals from you and your competitors and makes the decision.  You didn’t get the contract, and you thought your pricing was too high. WRONG!

Building Service Contractors, or BSC's, are so busy focusing on “the numbers” that they forget a couple of critical things:

"They are selling a service and the customer is buying a clean building"

Selling is not a bad word.  Drive up I-95 and you will see tractor trailers, UPS and FedEx trucks, and countless other delivery vehicles.  Guess what? Those trucks are filled with products. The reason they have products is because somebody sold something to somebody that bought something.

BSC's spend so much time on the numbers, they forget to sell.   They rarely justify why their bid is what it is.  You have a chance to be different.  You can separate yourself from everyone else.  Try focusing on the customer. What do they want?  What are their expectations?  What experiences have they had with previous cleaning contracts? Are they a good fit for your services (It’s okay to walk away sometimes)?

"The Know How"

Once you know more about the customer, you can tailor your presentation to their needs and expectations.  Some points you can emphasize are:

  • The quality of your staff
  • The thoroughness of your training program
  • The types of cleaning products and tools that you utilize
  • Your quality control process
  • Use of the most effective cleaning equipment 

Consider including a simple brochure with photos of your neatly dressed staff on a job site. Also include photos of your cleaning equipment in tip-top shape

Go ahead and crunch your numbers, but don’t forget about what the customer is buying:  a clean, fresh and hygienic building.  Show them why you are the best company to deliver that! For more tips and tricks follow our Ultimate Cleaning Guide below!


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Topics: Contract Cleaning

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