How do you land car dealerships?

I’m about to go sell my services to car dealerships, but who do you talk to, and how much do you charge to land the job?

I see a stack ladder setup soon in my truck bed, if I don’t go broke.

Larger corporate types may have a facility manager that oversees several lots.

Most likely you need to see the general manager

Typically the GM unless they are large corporate chains. But they are notoriously cheap, IMO. We bid a BMW/mini dealership that wanted semi annual service, I went aggressive at $1200 per service, which was cheap but I was willing to take it on for cash flow purposes. The guy that won it bid the whole place for $700. I asked if there was anything besides price and they said no, we just view the cleaning as a check box.

That’s just one example, I have more. Needless to say we have no dealerships at the moment and I no longer call on them. If they call us for a quote, fine, but I’m not cold Calling/targeting them anymore.

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Hmm… makes me think.

I was going to buy a stack set before embarking on selling my services to dealerships, but if it’s not worth the work per hour, I may scratch the idea. I just figured it would be a good opportunity for a bit of extra cash to get me through the winter. Plus there are 3 dealerships that are relocating.

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Lol. I actually bought a car from a dealership I quoted. I bought an Infiniti and the GM was looking for a new window cleaner at the time. He accepted my quote, never scheduled and I bought a new car from them.

Now I wanted the car regardless but I have yet to schedule that job…

The two dealerships we do, I deal with the service manager. INstead of stacks, invest in an unger indoor kit. Do it all from the ground. Can be difficult to set up ladders and work around cars and desks in the show rooms. Indoor kit makes that a dream.

Thanks for the replies. I checked most in the area, and they already have window cleaners that have been with them for years. I’ll have to drive out of town a bit. Even most storefronts here have had the same window cleaner for 10-30 years. It’s a big father-son thing here.

I’ll give it a try in Denver maybe.

The 3 dealerships I serviced were through the cleaning company. They have the contract to was the windows twice a year. The great thing about it is that I also landed other contracts through them.

We do 6 car dealerships that are owned by 2 families. We got 4 of them because we did the owner’s house (and their kid’s houses). The other 2 we got because a w/c friend didn’t want to do them because they were too complicated.
The Unger indoor kit is a good idea for int. We usually tag team it with 1 guy washing, 1 guy squeegeeing, but I might try the Unger idea. Outside we either wfp or tag team, depending on the setup.
I think using ladders would slow you down and bring down your $/hr.


Personally we have ruled out car dealerships as even potential clients. In my area they are not willing to pay for our quality of service. We have had a lot of commercial success with nicer restauraunts / high end Hotels however.

Janitorial companies are a great way to start. I love doing car dealerships, the windows are clean and I love cleaning clean windows. At one point before 2008 we had 25 dealerships and down to 12 now. Half are for janitorial companies and the others are with the GM. But some of those we started with the janitorial companies but when they lost the contract the dealership keeper our service. We use the wfp and indoor kit


Back to the truck! The '88 is awesome because I can do all of the work on my own and parts are cheap. That being said, I’ve owned 3 brand new toyotas. A 4 runner and two TRD full package Tacomas. The 4-runner rolled, and the two tacomas I lived out of and traveled the country to climb and ski. They only lasted around 225k miles because I always had a cab-over camper on them. I still had a home base, so I saved for a few months and got a m3 as my daily driver. I do miss the income of sales.

So with car dealerships, it’s been time consuming finding someone that has time to talk for more than 3 minutes, then I’m transferred to someone that doesn’t have a clue, etc… I’ve only hit up a handful, so I guess I’ll keep at it. I have realized that doing what I enjoy is worth far more than sitting on my ass and getting paid six figures; there are only so many years we have to bring the noise.

Why does everyone use the indoor kit? Can you not use drops and pole/ladder?

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I don’t mind it, but I got bored. The owner of the establishment was very kind to run a non-commissioned bottom-up system whereby even the owners didn’t pay themselves during the recession. Eventually, I was laid off due to being the newest guy, and things slowing down, but I’m much happier doing what I’m doing with this. Who would have thought selling mattresses and furniture would pay six-figures? I took my $20k severance and moved to CO from CA. Started out here detailing cars, teaching outdoor activities, and now on the window front.

Trying to gain what I learned in retail sales to running a business. In retrospect, the mattress job was great in that the owner always made us read books and study sales so that he could help up build our own successful businesses.

The majority of car dealerships we had were scored through strategic relationships with janitorial only type companies. They would bid on the whole place and then sub the windows out to us. Approaching those type of businesses and offering your services is often the ticket to lots of commercial work.


I find that car dealerships are hard to land mainly due to the fact that they don’t change hands very often.
If the GM is happy with his provider I find they are unlikely to be persuaded to jump ship due to price.
Also they are very easy to keep looking great so it’s hard to work the angle of how they need a new cleaner!

Anyways good luck as they are nice to have as they are good extra cash flow!

Hi John!

This is Carlos from Houston with Organic Green Window Clean. When I saw that you use a WFP I got excited because that’s what I was thinking about doing when and if we get some dealership work do you bring your own water or do you filter on site? Also do you have any general information for specific information on bidding auto dealerships like price per glass? Any info would be much appreciated thank you !

Yes we used a tank based system and brought our water. Start early before anyone gets there. Price per
Pane and factor bid. Meaning if you have cars in the way and have to wait for the car lot boy to move them.