As the owner of your cleaning business, one of your top priorities should be to close more deals and generate enough business to keep your staff busy cleaning. A few weeks ago I covered some tips for low-cost or free marketing ideas. Now that the leads are coming in, how do you close more of them?

The absolute best way to close a deal is to have a conversation with your prospective client. I know that a lot of people are into texting or emailing, but this is not a conversation. If you can’t drop by for an in-home estimate, pick up the phone and speak to the prospect. When you communicate via text or email, it’s normally all about answering the customer’s question about price and you’re unable to get any of your questions answered. They just want to know how much your service costs, and are expecting you to text or email them a number. Don’t do it. Pick up the phone and call them.

You are not competing on price. You are running a professional organization that handles insurance, bonding, training, background screening, supplies, and more. Besides bringing all that to the table, you have skills, knowledge, and experience. When you quote a customer for a job without having a conversation, you are only competing on price, and you won’t win when you go head-to-head against your cheapest competitor.

If the call goes to voicemail, make it clear to the prospect that they will have to speak with you in order to get a quote. As soon as the lead comes in, respond quickly. You can say something like, “I just got your text and I would love to offer you a quote for cleaning services. To give you the best quote, I need to ask you a few questions about your home. You can reach me at 555-5555, or I’ll try you back in a couple of hours. I look forward to speaking with you!”

Prospects don’t get a quote out of me until I get everything I need from them. I know I’m not going to be the cheapest, and I have one shot to convey what it is about my business that is worth the extra cost. I’ll tell them about my experience and let them know all the things that they might need done to their home that they may not have considered. You have to convey that there’s more to cleaning than how cheap you are. If I can’t create that impression on the phone then I’ve lost the job, unless I’m the lowest priced option.

As you gather basic information about the job, articulate what they need and how you’re going to give it to them. You will demonstrate that you really know what you’re talking about, that you are a professional with experience and can be trusted to do the job right. The main thing is to sell them on your VALUE, not on your PRICE.

Tips for closing the sale:

  • Ask for phone number in your lead-generation form. This will be the best way for you to have a conversation to convey the value your business provides. Every page of your website should have a plug to “Get a quote” that asks for phone number, email, and name.
  • When you are speaking to the prospect, always suggest the next step. “When would be the best time for me to check back? Should I give you a call tomorrow once you’ve spoken to your husband about this?” Another good tactic is to suggest a day for service: “I have next Wednesday available and we tend to fill up quickly. Would you like me to hold that slot for you?” Make the appointment while you have them on the phone.
  • If the customer says that they will call you back, you can respond, “No problem. If I don’t hear from you then I’ll just call you next week.”
  • Follow up! When my maid service gets an inbound lead overnight, we call the prospect the next morning at 9am, then at 11am, and then at 2pm if we haven’t reached them. This lets the customer know that you’re not going away, that they’ll need to speak with you in order to get a quote but that you’re very interested in their business.
  • Always leave with some type of commitment, either that you’ll call them the next day or that they’re scheduled for an appointment next week.

Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely business. I highly recommend that you join my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course to get feedback and answers to your questions. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.