See How You Can Easily Get New Commercial Cleaning Accounts

(From a LinkedIn group )

Question:

Breaking into the office cleaning market: How do you get new business accounts?

I only have one business that I clean for. A small financial type of business, every other week. (other accounts are residential) I have made some nice flyers and business cards, gone out to local medical and professional businesses in town offering free quotes for cleaning their buildings/offices/practices, but have not gained any new clients this way. I am a friendly professional person, so this is not the problem. I also have tried service magic, it didn’t help. I am listed in all the directories online search engines, etc. I have done postcard mailings and cold calling on the phone.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Answer:

The things that you are doing so far are great. You may have to repeat these activites a few times, because repetition is the name of the game in marketing and people only buy your service every now and again (not daily like food).

First thing to do is to ask all of your residential clients to keep your company in mind for their offices and ask them to take the flyers you have and give them to the person in charge of this area at their place of work.
Next, draft a nice informal letter that you can send out to everyone you know. Send it postal mail and let them know that you have a growing specialty in this market. Describe your “ideal” client to them and ask for referrals.

Now that you’ve gotten a few marketing steps out of the way it’s time to develop a marketing plan for your business that includes a consistent and varied outreach. The thing about commercial accounts is that cleaning service isn’t something most companies buy every day, so timing is important. They may not need your service today, but when you re-send your postcard mailer next month they may have “had it up to here” with their current cleaners.

So, your multi-faceted marketing plan will need to include things like:

  • Networking events and volunteer activities
  • Direct response/direct mail
  • Advertising (can be inexpensive)
  • Social Media (start with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn)
  • PR, media and community involvement
  • Referrals (works both ways)
  • Strategic alliances and joint ventures
  • Website and internet marketing
  • Speaking engagements
  • Blogging or article marketing

If you don’t have a website, get one right away. They can be had for a very small amount of money and many commercial customers use this as a first stop for researching who to get bids from. If you have a website and aren’t getting calls, check your SEO. It may need to be re-worked. You can hire someone from Elance very inexpensively to do this, or I can recommend a few people who are ethical, reliable and good.

Of all the things I listed above I have personally found networking to be the most effective, especially in the short term. Depending on where you live, the best groups for you will vary. You are dong many things right so don’t despair, and it sounds like you understand that this industry requires an investment of time and money and you are willing to spend both, so I have no doubt of your success! I have a “strategy sheet” on how to get the most from networking events, I’d be happy to share if you’re interested.

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