Marketing Question: New sales person to Window Cleaning

Hi there, I am a new Marketing Manager for Aqua Pro, and have 21 years of experience in sales and marketing for other industries. We are getting into fundamental differences of marketing by industry, and I’m trying to figure out the major difference between marketing window cleaning to commercial accounts for an area that tends to be price conscious. CHEAPEST IS BEST theory.

I’ve been most successful in the past with network marketing, and relationship building, but am being informed that’s not the best approach. Any ideas? Am I better off walking door-to-door, or building relationships through business groups, i.e. chambers, meet-up groups, churches … etc? What’s the QUICKEST way to build commercial routes / accounts?

I would be interested to know as well…In my experience door to door has worked best for me. Also the first thing I did with my business when I started it was I called all my friends who either owned business or managed them and thats where I started. It was a great way to get the ball rolling for the business.

I don’t know how it is in your town for commercial, but one of my best customers said he’s been getting about 5 or 6 sales calls a month. I don’t go door to door anymore, I hate to see the look on their faces… “oh no, not another one”. I only stop by new businesses once, and I’m now learning to do mail marketing, instead, for residential clients.

I lost a customer this month who went with a someone he met who joined his networking group here is a snippet from his letter:

[I]"…Your service has been great so it has nothing to do with that. We are members of a local networking group (Business Network International), and we have a window cleaning service in our group so we feel we have an obligation to use them…" [/I]

Sounds like a networking group might be a way to go, but not for me.

It’s maybe better to get a little bit professional with the traditional marketing materials like brochures, door hangers, etc. You can also make use of direct mail marketing campaigns.

Direct mail is a great way to catch a new customer attention as are door hangers. Here is a link to our direct mail manual that may give you a little bit of help in that area. Direct Mail Manual

Also WCRA members get access to all the pre-made fliers, door hangers, and postcards we offer!

I don’t market directly to business so I can’t give a personal experience opinion. BNI is a networking group that should get you in front of many of the local business owners. I’m not sure how direct mail works for business. I am told that many business have their assistants or secretaries go through the mail and toss “junk” mail so it never gets in the hands of the right person. All the commercial accounts I have came from residential marketing. Do a good job on their house and you will get their store or office.

The solid commercial accounts (worth having) that I’ve landed were a result of me walking in, asking to speak with the facilities manager, asking them if they would like a free estimate for the window cleaning of their building, and then preparing an awesome little proposal package and following up.

With most medium to larger commercial, they are reduced to a budget-based decision. If you’re [I]within budget[/I], and they’re not happy with their current window cleaning, you have a shot. That’s the way these companies have to run. Otherwise no one makes any money.

A couple years ago I submitted a bid for the CCU for the windows of a huge brand-new, high-end car dealership that was nearing completion here in the Toronto area.

The company that got the job submitted a bid that was [I]1/8th[/I] of our price.

We bid $24k and they bid $3k.

They got it.

And they earned $10/hr cleaning it.

Come to think of it, if I was paying for a $50m building project that was insanely over budget, and just wanted to get it done so I could get in and start making some money, I’d probably end up going for the cheapest options, too - [I]for everything[/I] - to try and reign in the madness.