How to Get Cleaning Contracts for Your Cleaning Business
- August 16, 2019
- By: Vonigo
All cleaning businesses are concerned with how to get cleaning contracts and keep them. You could be the new business on the block or the incumbent who already has the most market share, but the goal remains the same — sign more long-term deals.
For years we’ve been publishing advice about how to grow and run cleaning businesses. One central theme seems to stand out, time and again. Repeat customers are the best kind of customers, so invest yourself in signing ongoing contracts and keeping them happy for the long haul. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a commercial cleaning company or have residential customers, the same holds true.
It’s much more cost-effective to retain an existing customer than it is to find a new one, so your goal from the start should be figuring how to get cleaning contracts that last. Here are five actionable tips that will help you land more deals.
It’s one thing to be a cleaning company that does it all. It’s another thing entirely to specialize in a specific type of cleaning. The more you specialize, the easier it is for people to send you referrals.
For example, if you specialize in using all organic cleaning products, you’ll have an easier time getting contracts with the kind of customers that’s important to. The key to specialization is not to limit yourself to one specific task, but to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Another example could be if you have pressure-washer equipment and specialize in cleaning driveways or prepping house exteriors for new paint. It doesn’t have to be your only gig, but it serves as the calling card that gets you the referral and closes out your competition.
2. Make Booking and Quoting Easy
If you want to close more high-quality deals, you should first consider how easy or difficult it is for customers to do business with you. How long does it take them to get an accurate quote or to book a job on your schedule? Your website should make it abundantly clear how prospective customers should proceed to do business with you. Contact info should be front and center, but it’s better still if you have cleaning business software with online booking.
Online booking can save your customer and your sales team plenty of time, but the benefits don’t stop there. When they book online, the job goes on your schedule and a customer record is created. Future jobs or regular visits can be scheduled as well. Your customer history is saved in your software tool, including any specific notes about their preferences or specific locations that you add over time.
Having that kind of customer relationship record and letting it inform how to deal with that customer over the long term can immensely improve the customer experience and save your team a lot of time. The more you learn about them, the harder it will be for a competitor to interfere.
3. Have Social Proof
If you have been doing this a while already, you surely already know what kind of customers you prefer. Your game plan should involve landing more contracts with the kind of customers you want. To that end, show your prospective customers what your ideal customer looks like with some kind of social proof.
One example of social proof is before-and-after photos. It could be a polished floor, a recently emptied gutter, or a pressure-washed driveway. Showing the quality of work you do so your future customers can imagine their own properties looking good will help you get more of the right kind of contracts. Carefully consider the message that your images send. For example, if it’s a picture of a polished floor, is it a tiny office or an expansive warehouse?
The best form of social proof is testimonials and reviews from your existing customers. You should not only pursue reviews on popular platforms like Google and Yelp, but you should also proudly display them on your website. Comparison shoppers trust the recommendations of their peers, even if they’re strangers. And this is especially true if the reviews are recent and plentiful. Asking the right kind of customers for reviews and testimonials will help your search engine rankings and help customers choose to do business with you.
4. Learn How to Close Sales
If your goal is learning how to get cleaning contracts that last, study up on how best to sell those kinds of contracts. You can do this a number of ways, all of which will help you grow over the long term.
One action you can take is to train your sales or call center team on how to offer your subscription packages. Using incentives like repeat customer discounts or bonus services can help you make the sale, but you won’t sell them unless you ask. Make sure your team is having those kinds of conversations, letting customers know what their options are for longer-term contracts.
Another action step is to review your current performance and find ways to improve. How long does it take for a customer to go from being a lead to being a signed contract? How many times does your sales team interact with them before they commit? What are the closing questions you can ask to get a customer to commit sooner? How many potential deals are being lost because of your follow-up times or availability? Looking into the metrics of your past performance can be a great way to increase your company’s profits. It might not be that you need more leads, you simply need to improve your performance for landing the right kind of deals.
5. Focus on How to Get Cleaning Contracts for the Long-term
You can save the customer time in the booking process and improve the rate with which you close deals, but you need not stop there. Look through your customer records and see if you can find other efficiencies or opportunities. It may be that you have a customer that has multiple locations, but you have a contract with only one. Offering a single-vendor solution for all of their properties could be a quick win for your business.
Or it may be that you see another area of a customer’s property that could use a certain kind of attention. Perhaps the customer’s present needs are all specific to this season. Identify ways that you can better serve that customer, year-round, and propose the solution to them.
Not all enhancements have to involve upselling either. Rewarding your long-term customers for their loyalty can be a game-changer too. Surprising them with a free service, a bit of SWAG, a birthday or holiday card could help set you apart not just from your competition but from their other service providers. If you focus on the customer experience, you’ll keep more long-term deals, and gain the kind of reputation that will help you get a lot more of them.
Cleaning Business Software with Online Booking
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