How To Get New Commercial Cleaning Accounts (Easily)

From a LinkedIn group 

Question:

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

I only have one commercial cleaning account right now It’s 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 been able to get new commercial cleaning accounts 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 activities a few times, because repetition is the name of the game in marketing and commercial clients only buy your service every now and again (not daily, like food). So the “buying cycle” to get new commercial cleaning accounts can be a bit longer than residential ones.

The good news though (as you already know) is that life becomes really easy after you get new commercial cleaning accounts because:

  • They require more cleaning frequency (sometimes as much as 7 days per week)
  • They are easier to hire, train people for, and actually clean, than residential clients
  • They are a bit more reasonable about what to expect for $100 (it’s a “business expense” not an optional luxury)
  • They are very stable (sometimes lasting years or even decades)

 

First thing to do is to ask all of your residential clients to keep your company in mind for their offices. Ask them to take the flyers you have and give them to the person in charge of hiring cleaning company at their work place.

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.

Timing is important

 

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, you’ll have a better chance to get new commercial cleaning accounts than many others who haven’t stayed “top of mind” with their prospects.

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

  • Advertising (can be inexpensive)
  • Direct response/direct mail
  • Networking events and volunteer activities
  • 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. Each of these is great way to get new commercial cleaning accounts, but when you do 3, 4, or even 5 of them on an on-going basis, it can be a very powerful way to grow your cleaning service business.

The most effective way

 

Of all the things I listed above I have personally found networking to be the most effective way to get new commercial cleaning accounts, especially in the short term. Depending on where you live, the best groups for you will vary. But, since you said that you are a friendly, professional type, I really think you’ll be a “natural” at using networking to your advantage.  You are doing 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.  I have no doubt of your success!

To help you get a good start along the road to networking success I’d suggest you download my “30 Second Sales Accelerator”. It’s a great 1st step in becoming a master networker and will give you an advantage over others who stumble with what to say, or how to say it! Enjoy!

All the best!

Pamela Washington
[email protected]
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