How are you guys acquiring new commercial accounts?
I’ve tried going to my personal bank and my business bank and asking about window cleaning. Even some dealerships and other business’ with tons of windows. Everybody already has a guy or they have “their crew” do it. I ask them if they want me to price out the job anyway and most say no thank you.
There’s a thread on here somewhere that talks about this, but basically: you want to give them as few opportunities to say, “no” as possible.
One popular practice is to estimate what you would charge, write it on a business card, and hand it to them. “My name is ___ from [business]. If you’re interested in window cleaning, this is what I would charge for [in/out, frequency, whatever].” Adjust that if you want them to pass it on to the property manager or something, but it’s a good template from what others have said.
Or try to send an estimate to their maintenance dept. either in-person or over email.
That way, you’ve already bypassed a few chances for them to say, “no,” and have given them what you wanted to give them in the first place: a price to consider. And, they now have your contact info.
I’m sure someone else on this forum could explain better than I did, and give you some other tips, but that’s how I plan to approach commercial jobs going forward.
Edit: one guy on here had business cards that, on the back, had 3 lines for pricing: “Monthly:____ Quarterly:____ Yearly:____”. He would do his estimate, fill it out, then walk inside and hand it to the manager. Same thing with a homeowner (who wanted an estimate)
I really like the business card idea. I thought about getting new business cards with a line on them for the price and stapling it to our tri fold brochure we created. I also like the idea of having the 3 different prices on the back. Thank you for that!
I have no problems going in and talking to people. It’s the “sell” part that I need practice on.
A business card is for small storefronts walking into a major business with a price on a business card makes you look like a bucket Bob when others are providing quotes with references, insurance and clean proposals
We already have a guy or employees do it means exactly that or it means you are an unexpected visitor seeking time we don’t have and telling you we have it taken care of so you’ll leave and let me get back to my work. Soliciting is tuff because you are an unwanted stranger wanting busy people’s times. The best way around this is a pre made proposal. Walking in asking to bid means they need to find the person in charge, show you what they want, exchange contact info and do all this work they didn’t have planned while taking care of their customers. Having a pre made quote you have taken there work out of it and all they have is a decision. Should we go with this cheaper company or hey you know what our window cleaners been slacking let’s spend more and try this company. A quote gets them curious asking to bid makes them think hey man I’m in the middle of work.
Hmm that’s a good thought. Running my automotive shop I was always so busy and random people (product salesman) that would show up unannounced wanting to talk about products or services used to piss me off. I was always so busy. But, I would enjoy more someone who had a full packet together and stop by for 1 minute instead of 30 minutes to give me something regarding their services. Me personally I’m a straight forward guy. Tell me what you want or need quick so I can make the decision and move on.
I think I’ll start with doing a bid on paper first, and presenting a complete invoice and brochure with the Annual/Semi/Quarterly/In&Out figures on there and say “call me if there’s anything we can do for you”
One thing that sucks is certain jobs you can’t see all of their windows. For example I do hospitals where they have all these hidden rooftops and you have to be able to get a walk around. But on any business where you can see the windows having a pre-made quote with some different frequency options with insurance and references attached is a great idea. The part I still struggle with is getting past the gatekeeper sometimes you get the little receptionist that’s like yeah we have someone so they’re not interested. You’re sitting there like excuse me that’s not your decision where’s the person in charge but you can’t say that because if you piss off the gatekeeper you’re screwed so it’s a tough go around.
Yeah I’ve had my eye on this one for years, some kind of medical center. I guarantee the glass has never been touched because there has never been anyone here who knows how to work on ropes. I want it so bad.
But especially now with covid I don’t know how to get my foot in the door, literally and figuratively.
With some banks the branch manager has no say about who cleans the windows, it’s done on a corporate level and they get a company to bid on all their branches in a particular city / county /state. You may have to go higher up the chain.
That’s really what I want to do is get all branches in a certain area. I’ve got a high up loan officer in my pocket that’s going to work on it for me this week. Another bank manager that’s talking to corporate too. Fingers crossed. I’ll end up going around to each one and doing bids on all of them to submit ready to go.
I put an add on Facebook Buyers market (even though I wasn’t selling anything on there) and our local Culver’s restaurant called me saying they wanted an estimate. I filled out my estimate form and gave it to him which was approved and did the job. The owner loved the way the windows looked and wanted me to do their three other locations a half hour away. So I got 4 locations and to date it’s still my biggest account. I stopped in with a business card at Red Lobster and the manager was busy so I left it. Later that day he called me back and wanted an estimate. It was approved and he wanted twice a week service. Get door hangers too for residential work. I don’t bother with knocking on doors. I paid $48 for 100 of them and got an approved estimate for a $200 interior/exterior residential job, off of just one. Then her neighbor saw me working and asked me for an estimate, another $150. Get on GMB, Google My Business. I have gotten three commercial accounts from owners googling “window cleaners near me”. Three others saw me working from these jobs, which was approved. Trust me, do this!
Just keep putting your name out and be patient, it’ll happen. Good luck!