I went after (and got a few) storefronts years ago but got so frustrated with the endless no’s (usually without even taking a quote) that I gave up. But I guess I’m a glutton for punishment because I’m thinking about giving it a try again. I’m thinking of using a slightly more ‘aggressive’ approach.
Instead of the old passive “Would you like a quote on your windows?”
Give me your feedback on this:
[I][While handing business card]
“Hi I’m Doug, I can professionally clean your windows every week for $xx, and I can start right now.” (no question, just assuming the sale)
“Tell you what, I’ll do one window for free so you can see what a difference meticulously clean windows will make to your business.”
[After doing the window]
“There you go! Oh…sorry, guess my clean window makes the others look worse…well it’ll only cost you $xx a week to have them ALL looking like this one all the time!”[/I]
Have your price ready before you talk to anyone. Offer to clean them first time free. Best time to get clients is in the dead of winter, when the bucket Bobs stop showing up. Also check up on potential clients the following week.
Write your price on the back of the card you provide to them. I always clean a window for them. Besides showing your skills, you have given them something free and that puts the idea that they “kinda owe you” in their heads
Built 2 successful routes using the free wash demo. It’s much easier to sell something a customer can see. They can see the sparkling clean windows, so they know exactly what they’ll get for their money.
I always go in to my potential clients with a quote for weekly cleaning already written up before I walk in the door. If the customer is not interested I offer to clean one window free of charge. If the customer still doesn’t bite then I offer first service for free.
Depending on how much the account will cost i tell them how much it will cost a year to keep there windows clean it just seems easier. say its 40 a month i say for 480 a year your windows will always be clean it just seeems like a smalll amount when you put it in a year perspective.
I don’t know, … a lot of stores get their windows cleaned. And a lot of places I go into look pretty clean. So, I’m not going to go and offer to clean one of their windows when they look good already (unless you’re just going after dirty windows). I guess I’m counting on the fact that I’m courteous, can carry on a conversation if needed, look professional, have a decent business card, and a fair price. If I walk into enough businesses I’ll get the work. Not because I do a good job (they will find that out later), but because they feel comfortable with me even without having cleaned a single window. I guess everyone’s approach is different but I’d like to hear how it works for you.
Some customers will just think you are willing to work for nothing or very little and your service isn’t worth much. If you get the job, they may find some more free things for you to do since you like doing it, and they may
want to put off paying.
People like free things. They don’t like pay things nearly as much.
I agree with that, obviously this approach would really only work if their windows are dirty (and the dirtier the better) so they can see the contrast. Like you, I’ve been blessed with a winning smile, audacious good looks and magnetic charm, but when those things fail to seal the deal…well we need to pull something else out of our bag of tricks, right? Fortunately for me there are a LOT of very dirty windows around here.
Took a little longer than I planned to get my business set up and then I had some residential work so it’s taken until now for me to finally get out and hit the streets. And…this approach is working pretty well. Out of 15 stores I landed 2 one-time clean ups with the possibility of going regular, and another 4 or 5 that I think are pretty close to saying yes.
I quoted the clean ups at double the price of regular service and they were fine with it. The windows in one of the plazas are absolutely terrible! Until I came along none of them had ever had a professional WC even give them a quote, I wouldn’t be surprised if these windows haven’t been touched by anyone in 10 years or more, and it’s a very busy street so you can just image what they look like :eek:
seems to be even tougher nowadays. With the economy slumping and and all the new regulations and premium increases with the new healthcare law…and have you seen what is happening to unemployment premiums?? Businesses are have trouble putting their budgets together. Most business owners I know are afraid to spend any money they don’t absolutely have to, and they are cutting environmental budgets big time. I have janitorial customers cutting floor service and carpet care back to save money.
I am afraid it will get worse in the next 12 months
I hear ya, Justin. Didn’t you say that you built your route by getting just 1 or 2 out of 100? That’s some serious perseverance! Have you been able to win over a lot of those who said no at first to tight up your route?
Honestly, with those numbers I do just as well not doing any free work. Obviously every client situation is different, but most are looking for the cheapest guy, so I find the few that wold rather have good work.