It’s been a long time since I have been on this forum. I have been on my own cleaning in NY for the past 2+ years. I built up a route of commercial and store front work. Then life happened and I had sell the route and move to Florida. Now, I am having a hard time breaking back into the business due to the Bucket Bob’s charging pennies on the dollar. Further, many of the places that I have gone to say that they are already locked into year long contracts. That is not something I faced in NY. Florida is a very different animal.
I am just about at the point of being desperate for work. But, I know better than to settle for cheap stops. ANY good advice for cold calling of store front and small commercial would be greatly appreciated. I am rusty with the sales pitch at this point.
If I can’t get work in the next few weeks I am going to have to hang up the squeegee and look for a real job. But, just the thought of working for someone else again makes me sick!
Thanks in advance for helping a brother out.
And no, the info below is not the correct contact info anymore. I am in the process of changing the websites over to the new company.
There’s so many clients calling for last minute window cleaning before the holidays . I would call the big window cleaning companies around and tell them if they have a full schedule and can’t help them to send some of theses clients your way. Just gotta be ready and available when they call
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I live in FL too. I clean residential but I’ve had decent luck with fliers and a Hatch site. Honestly though, pressure washing is where it’s at down here. It’s a service nearly everyone needs at some time or another and many HOAs require it from the home owners. Many of my phone calls have started with, “So, my stupid HOA sent me a letter saying my roof is dirty…” and so on. This is how it is in my area anyway. As usual, your mileage may vary.
[FONT=Arial Black]OMG[/FONT] You and I are in the exact same shoes at the moment.
I love it. I see [MENTION=40992]Skipper[/MENTION] tagged me in this thread or I would have missed it. I have been out GRINDING like a Mother F$##@.
Haven’t really had time for my usual long winded posts or forum reading due to family, holidays, and being EXACTLY where you are my man.
All I can say is.
Suck it up Princess. Time to get to work.
Be grateful though. I have a broken leg and rib. You most likely can walk without looking like you smoked an eight ball of crack. I cannot. Also. I have a missing tooth. So what.
My father told me when I was a little kid spray painting stenciled numbers on curbs as a service when I was 8 and 9 years old. If you want to make it in business kid. You gotta have MOXIE. I wasn’t quite sure what he meant. So he proceeded to explain to me how no matter what. You keep your head up and keep going. No matter what.
Another mentor later in life told me the most important word in the english language is ACTION.
In one of my favorite movies on the planet, Boiler Room (2000) a sales motivator says, “Motion creates Emotion. Stand Up. Move Around.”
Well my man. That’s exactly what we gotta do right now. Sometimes it just be like that my man.
[FONT=Arial Black]The Solution that has been working for me. [/FONT]
I am constantly making moves. Even when I physically can’t move forward anymore, I get on my laptop and start sending emails to prospects from a lead scraper I have installed on my computer. I haven’t received one response from the emails to date. But I believe that because I plan and schedule my day from the very beginning. I am able to accomplish that of ten guys with ADD.
BTW. I have Adult ADD. Just saying. After wrecking my motorcycle instead of going to WCRA Window Cleaning convention I spent some time in the hospital after splitting my head open twice and breaking some stuff. Needless to say. I have checklists for everything. I schedule when I am going to check emails, do call backs, etc.
Here is the thing behind that.
If you fail to plan. You plan to fail.
My plan includes me scheduling no less than 4 hours per day for prospecting. No matter what. I spend at least four hours every day seeking out new business. Why not. I can only get 4 hours glass time per day tops right now anyway. Besides 4hrs of Glass Time will be beneficial even if you have to do route work at $1 per pane.
There is not much you can do about pricing. You just have to suck it up and deal with it. Either work faster, or just accept the fact that you are where you are. In the irrefutable words of George Carlin,“It doesn’t matter where you are, because that’s where you are.”
The sooner you accept your situation for what it is with survival mode kicked into full gear, you will learn how to over come the objections you are facing. Right now, you are getting new objections you were not getting before because of whatever geographical sociological mix there is… Being in Florida, it’s similar to my town of Tucson AZ.
Lots of Q-tips driving around in the winter. So hot you don’t want to move in the summer. The bad part of living in a winter haven is the crackheads come from all over the country seeking cheap work to support their habits.
Now that you are stuck there. What do you do?
If you have a FB Page for your company start running “Promote Your Local Business” ads. Set your budget for $20 per day whether you have the money or not. Design a super killer ad targeting high end resi, commercial, property managers etc. (Do different ad for different target so you can laser target your ad delivery)
Set and go. You can google FB Ad Coupons but good luck. You can also buy them on Fiverr. Spend $5 for $125 worth of advertising? Fasho.
The ads don’t charge right away. If you are super poor and homeless. Get a prepaid card at walmart and use it for your payment info. That way you don’t get screwed later if it doesn’t work out.
With FB ads you can target your ads to show to only people living in $500k + homes. You can also target interests like home and garden, etc.
So with $37 you can set up a really well optimized lead page to send traffic to. Oh… Hidden cost of $12 to buy a domain. namecheap.com is who I use because it is easier to manage and less salesy than godaddy.
SO. You have a new fancy website that took no coding knowledge whatsoever. It’s built on a pre optimized for conversions template. You now sign up and get your free voucher. When you buy the domain they will probably offer one to you. Start running ads using adwords express if you can. It is the no brainer solution. Much Much easier than FB ads creator. FB will take some time to figure out.
So… Now you have spent $50 and you have your phone ringing. By the time they actually bill you for the FB ad or the Google Adwords ads… You will have made the money to pay for the leads you got.
This is where I would normally drop the mic and walk off. But I for dramatic effect, I can only tell you this is where I would do that.
By the way D. The plan I mentioned above is just a good way to get into some immediate resi cash flow. Also, you can target property management companies. There are some development companies in our area that handle Window Cleaning as part of the CAM fees. I landed one management company that is 900 panes per month over three strip centers.
If commercial is where your heart is, keep grinding and you will start figuring out how to overcome the issues you are facing. Until then, switch to commercial. I set up 90 day schedules with 80% of my resi. After a couple of years I will only have enough residual route residential work to slow down the grind.
What [MENTION=1]Chris[/MENTION] said about the flier bomb is absolutely correct. But… Here is the thing with all the bucket bobs somewhat wise to the residential profit margins. You may want to step it up and get some door hangers printed from a site like vista print. They will take 5 business days to deliver so keep that in mind. You can pass out fliers until they come. You will get more response from a door hanger in color than you will from a flyer. Don’t ask me why. Maybe because all the bucket bobs have screwed over so many people they are jaded. I don’t know.
You can get 1000 printed and shipped for around $120
Put a 2 week expiration date on your offer. Maybe do a free gift card to local high end restaurant you work a trade for. Trade WC for Gift Cards. You get new client and you can use the gift cards as a give away if they schedule before Christmas!
If all else fails, you can always pull a Johnny Orsini…
Just take some cards or some flyers from the local print shop. Walk through I neighborhood of $350k plus homes and start knocking on doors.
Take two big steps back after knocking. Stand there and look pleasant.
If they open the door. Smile and introduce your self.
[I]“Hi, My name is Louie with iQ window cleaning, we are expanding from commercial into residential markets and were offering free window cleaning estimates to get the ball rolling. If you would like, I can give you a free window cleaning estimate right now, all I have to do is a quick walk around of the exterior of your property and I can give you a super accurate estimate. Sound fair?” [/I]
Yes, Great. I’ll be right back. Count your panes and use your estimate sheet to provide a professional looking estimate. While she is looking at it, simply assume the sale.
[I]“When would you like for us to brighten your day and make your neighbors jealous with how great your home looks?”[/I]
Chances are, you will get a lot of no’s. So what. The more of those you get. The closer you get to a yes. I am a collector of Ones. I may go through 100 no’s to get to one yes. But the One is all I am looking for each and every day. My average client engagement with window cleaning is $250 for residential.
It may suck to knock doors on houses. But the reason why so many companies still do it, is because it works. It always has.
By the time you get to the end of one neighborhood, more than likely you are going to make a sale. Actually. If you don’t. I will be suprised.
What to do when its not that easy?
Always knock on no soliciting signed doors. Always!
That is a sign that says, “I have a hard time saying no to people.” They will be the first to buy. If they object, and ofcourse they will. All you have to say is…
“I am sorry ma’am. I was under the impression that soliciting was when someone asked for money. All I am doing is letting people know we are expanding and handing out fliers. My retired Judge of an Uncle told me fliers were classified as a handbill which is covered under the freedom of speech act. Sorry for the inconvenience. Have a great day! Oh… and here is my card just in case you would like to properly invite us over next time.”
I was on my knee scooter rolling around and putting out fliers yesterday. I said those words to a guy that was just being an ass. He retorted to say he was exercising his right to freedom of speech to tell me to get the F&(ER off his property. I think it made him mad I was so polite even when he was being an ass.
Also though. I have a lot of scars on my face and a missing tooth. He may have thought I was one of those that is easy to shake. I am not. I can take a beating. I killed him with kindness. After all… he was probably just having a bad day and looking to vent.
Just get out there and do it. Whatever you do. If all else fails. Go door to door in neighborhoods and you will make a couple of grand next week. Just saying.
I’m gonna have to disagree about the black and white flyer versus the color printed door hangers…
I did an experiment with a 500 black and white fliers on paper and landed several jobs from them. I did this in the spring just curious as to how they would do. For my $15 investment I think I landed about $1800 worth of work.
I also do color printed door hangers and color printed fliers (from vista print) they do similar numbers to my black and white fliers.
I put out B&W flyers too in between printing runs or whatever.
Really all you need to be quite honest. I like looking super professional from kick off. If I get the same results either way… Why not look above the rest?
Heck… I went to the craft store and bought some stencils and some foam board. Then I started makeing my own signs. They cost me $0.33 each and 20 minutes of coloring with markers I get at the dollar store.
I get 4 signs from one poster board. I have to be super sneaky with placement but that’s a whole other post. Ninja strategies I am not willing to divulge at the moment. Why? Code enforcement is super hardcore in my area.
Just saying. Do with what you have. But as soon as you can. Upgrade.
Also… Every demographic is different. There are a lot of variables at play. What works in MA may not work in AZ. Just like the original post… “Holy crap is it different here. I need help.”
a phrase that works over here is to say "want your windows cleaning Chief ? " but you must be wearing your working gear at the time, no ponsey smart shirt . i quite often read that [in the UK] its recommended to wear smart polo shirt and shiny shoes when canvassing for new business but my opinion thats a real recipe for disaster. wear what you work in at all times,scruffy shoes indicate a grafter not an office boy , if you want work look like you do .
I feel very fortunate that the combination of HomeAdvisor and knocking on doors has me overbooked. I would absolutely take advantage of HomeAdvisor. I’ve landed every lead thus far. And knocking on doors is nerve-racking especially since you never know who’s going to open that door. But every now and then you find a customer who has been looking for you all their life… You get it. Just keep grinding. It will come.
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