Went out to give a quote beyond my normal boundaries (about 1 hr drive away). Small 2bd single story house in a more country hippee type community, the lady homeowner was pregnant at the time. Priced it high at 300 because of the distance. Wasnt desperate to get the job.
Got the job and have done it 4 times in the past two years. Have seen her baby grow from new born to now 1.5 yrs old.
Somewhere along those 4 service cleanings I remember her saying something about getting quotes from another window cleaner that services her neighbors home, but she was creeped out and scared of his appearance. So she hired me at a higher rate because im less creepy looking
Today was my 5th service clean at her home, while im outside cleaning screens Im approached by the neighbor who asks “do u clean windows? can I get a quote for my house”, the house is a two story remodeled into a castle looking home with windows on every corner. I notice a work truck in the driveway with the name “Monson Construction”
Me: You do construction?
Him: Yup, I build and sell homes, just sold a 3bd 2bath down the street for 800k
Me: Nice remodel you did on your home, lots of windows!
Him: Yup, we love the sun light shinning in our home
Me: Your home would be $550
Him: WHAT! my previous window cleaning guy did it for $150
Me: Where is he?
Him: He was an older gentlemen in his 60’s, died of a drug overdose last month
Me: oh, well at those rates ($150) I would never be able to save up enough money to buy one of your $800,000 homes.
Definitely helping. I just like to talk about anything with people without being too verbose. Helps to be a super patient dude that likes talking to people.
Trying not to be conceited, but the innocent image, and attention to detail bring good business with good costumers.
One thing about being a friendly worker is that they start venting about really personal stuff, where I usually ask if they want some of their screens in the garage for the winter. I detach emotion from my business, as association to a negative emotion could cause distress to the client simply due to associated emotion.
My image must be making me money; one of my friends/clients stopped me in the hall at a shopping center today and introduced me to her friend and she said, “Oh you are the famous Ryan Radden that cleans windows.” I guess that’s pretty flattering.
Yesterday my customer asked me, “so did you start this on your own, or is it a franchise?” He then followed that up with saying that he really liked how we’ve branded our company: very sharp!
The cool part is, this is probably the 5th or 6th time I’ve been asked that question in the last couple years. And I’m convinced that our pro image has helped close more jobs, and larger jobs at higher prices than I once even thought possible.
In the case of yesterday’s job (which is also today’s job- this will by my 4th and final day there) he’s a developer and construction contractor for high-end vacation homes. He’s already booked us for doing the ccu on 3 other projects right next door to his home. These are all stunningly beautiful houses, with immaculate finishing. When I did the initial quote, finish work was still under way. He had everyone on site taking their shoes off at the door- the first time I had ever seen that on a construction site; I was honestly quite impressed. And apparently, he was likewise impressed with our image.
So that’s the type of client you can attract with a highly professional image. The $300 we paid for shirts last year has paid off tremendously. If you do any in-person quotes, or are ever seen by passersby while working (who isn’t??), then a sharp uniform should be high on your list of passive marketing materials. I believe this even holds true in regions where many contractors feel customers don’t “judge a book by it’s cover”. Trust me, everyone does. Even in low-key southern VT.
We have tried to cultivate the “simple family business trying to make our way in the world” image. It is true and it has worked for us. Image will get you in the door with a customer, performance will get the customer to stay.
I have seen a lot of the other window cleaners around here, and I have no doubt that my appearance helps people pick us, even if the price is higher. My cleaners all wear polo shirts with the logo small on the front and big on the back. Looking professional helps put people at ease that you know what you’re doing.