Account Aquisition-What has worked for you?

I would like to know what medium of marketing has been best for everyone. In other words: How did you get most [U]or[/U] the largest portion of your accounts? Through fliers, web or website traffic, phone book, canvassing, etc.? What has made you business stable?

I’m not looking for what you think is a good form of advertising. I’m looking for what has worked for your individual companies. How have [U]you[/U] aquired work from scratch. I would love to hear your experiences everyone. Thank you!

For commercial I first developed a brochure then picked up a yellow pages and directly mailed one to all property management companies, cleaning companies, etc. Also I picked up a couple of those renter magazines that show actual pictures of the properties and if the property had window styles that most commonly would be contracted out I sent them one also. These were the people I wanted to market. I found residential advertising was best in the smaller individual community news papers, just picked which communities I wanted to service and listed advertisements with them. I also advertised in the Yellow Pages, best results came from the smaller papers and the mailed brochures. As I prefer to run a small hands on operation I dropped residential advertising after 2 seasons and discontinued Yellow Pages after 3 years. I dont advertise at all any more all new work comes by referral. Our annual sales consistently climb higher each year. Thing have worked well this way.

Brochures! I definitely need to try that, thanks! Right now I have accounts acquired through website traffic, fliers, canvassing, and referrals. But targeted brochure distribution has worked for you, so I think I’ll try it. I really need to target my market better. Also- my brother does window tinting and he says the local ad thing works, so thanks for reminding me of that too!

Right now for getting commercial route, good old canvassing has worked best.

I would advise against brochures. It is a great idea to go through the phone book and find some ideal clients, but to send a brochure instead of a personalized letter is a waste of time.

Find out who is in charge of hiring these type of vendors and mail him a letter directly. (yes, write him/her a letter) I used to make little kits for car dealerships. I hand delivered 7 and got 2 huge dealerships (they had current window cleaners) Anyone who has tried to get into a dealership chain knows how great 2 out of 7 really is. My follow up was non-existent at the time or I might have got more.

For the mom and pop $10-15 stores, hoof it.

p.s. Paneless has one of the BEST models of a sales kit I have ever seen.

Major Ditto on that.

I also agree on the storefronts and small commercial, best thing is just go door to door, ask for the manager

For residential, the best thing is to let your commercial customers know you can clean their houses also. Other than that Direct Mail, has worked good for me. Avoid radio not worth the money (for me anyway).

[B]Residential:[/B] Hands down direct mail
Store front: [/B]Hitting the streets

Who did u us for direct marketing? what companies are good for that?

I actually came up with a system and did it myself.

Obviously if you direct mail you need to first get the information sent directly to the decision maker for your services or it would be pointless. Also you cant just enclose a brochure only. The brochure would need to be accompanied by a introduction letter and business card. The brochure has worked very well only on commercial high rise for me. The brochures are also great for use on commercial accounts where you meet directly with a potential customer and do walk throughs of the complexes, leave them with business card,brochure and list of references. I believe a good looking detailed brochure gives a professional image to your business. Alot of companies use fliers for storefront and residential, these accounts if awarded would land you a job from $10.00 to a few hundred. If you are directing your marketing to a commercial job if awarded would land you a job from $1000-$40,000 you are in a different league of advertising and need to step that flier up which would be a professional looking brochure.

The key is getting in front of the decision maker by using whatever means necessary

Brochures do not equal “professional” (man, I hate that word). Do not assume what they think is professional, and if they even care how professional we seem. That is not an emotional trigger

Write a personal letter to the person in charge. I actually used to use the back door method on many commercial jobs. [B]Everyone[/B] uses the same approach. I used to email them! I can’t believe it, but I always got a response. Usually them asking for a quote, or to politely decline as they have a service.

My emails were very personable. I spoke like I would speak to a friend, very matter-of-factly. I do the same thing in letters.

They get hit by some kind of vendor every day. Instead of stampeding straight at them with everyone else, try tapping them on the shoulder.

CFP: With emails did you customize each to the needs of the client, or were the emails ‘shoulder-tapping’ without the need to customize individually? I understand what you mean with the professional thing. We have to be so, but we also have to be different so as to achieve an emotional attachment. Thank you for bringing that out. I believe, if I can do that, you’ve given me one of the most profitable tidbits yet! In years passed, I’ve actually received terrific email responses from potential employers because of my personal, sometimes humorous, twist on email cover letter writing. Thank you for bringing this to mind.

Superior: Why have you had the most brochure (with its complements) success with high-rises? Can I learn something from this? Thanks.

Their needs are relative, but surely customize each email/letter. For sure use your personality! Your service will not be what sells them.

Window cleaning is window cleaning. Until you show them otherwise.

If you dont think a customer cares how professional their window cleaner is you are mistaken. Especially when it comes to high end accounts. I will agree that Burger King could care less if they have a guy out there cleaning their windows with a beach towel and windex wearing a sports jersey hanging down to his knees for $20.00. Although your executive office complexes that pay $5000. to $40,000. do (not assuming) want the professional image displayed while working in their buildings. I bid easily a handful of jobs a year that even require pictures of our company uniform and or make the request that screen printed tee shirts are not allowed. If you dont care about your image, what will the customer think about it?

I say brochures have worked well on high rise accounts because that is all I use them on. I believe a flier is a cost effective marketing tool directed at smaller accounts because they(the flier) are cheaper and can be mass produced being cost effective when so many dont get directly to the intentional target. As a brochure can show actual photos of the multiple services you provide, mission statements, etc… to get this it costs much more and would not be cost effective to drop in mailboxes.

My customer base is hiring me for the service I provide not who delivers it at the lowest price. This is true customer loyalty, I am not wondering which accounts I will lose each year to the low baller fly by night companies.

CFP: What do you put in the subject line of the email?

I don’t know if this was directed toward me, but I in no way underestimate the relevance of professionalism. In fact, I pride myself on my company uniforms, organization, convenience, customer relations, conscientiousness, my overall “word”, blah blah blah. I think if one is not professional, he shouldn’t own a business. Period.

I think that was CFPs whole point. Many companies are professional. That’s a given. Personality stands out where professionalism isn’t enough.

But then again, you now all this. You seem very well established. I am not. Interesting thought: Professionalism and friendliness are not exactly two different things.

Acclaim, the professionalism issue was not directed to you. Sorry if I came across that way

how did you get email addresses?