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How to Get Commercial Cleaning Clients

how to get commercial cleaning clients

In today’s post, I'm going to cover how to get clients for your commercial cleaning business.

There are dozens of viable ways to obtain clients. However, I’m only going to cover the methods with the highest chances of success.

Alright, let’s get to it.

  • Optimize your website for conversions.
  • Ask friends and family.
  • Join business organizations and networking groups.
  • Ask current clients for referrals.
  • Go door-to-door.
  • Run a Pay-Per-Click search ad campaign.
  • Use LinkedIn.

Optimize your website for conversions

Unless you’re just starting out in the commercial cleaning industry, you should already have a website.

Optimize your website for conversions.

If you don’t have a website, drop what you’re doing and read this guide from WPBeginner: How to Make a Small Business Website.

If you already have one, here are a few ways you can optimize it for client conversion.

Clearly state your customer value proposition (CVP)

A customer value proposition shows how your service is better than your competitors’ service. It clearly shows the added value that you offer to your clients that no one else can give.

A great CVP is short and easy to understand. Someone who knows nothing about cleaning services should be able to instantly grasp the benefit of your CVP.

It also needs to be true. Don’t make something up for the sake of getting clients. Think about what separates you from the other commercial cleaning services in your area and write it down in a concise way.

Use normal language

Whenever you write something for your website, write like you’re having a conversation with someone.

Don’t throw in complex words or phrases to impress potential clients. It’s fun to try and sound smart, but all you’ll be doing is confusing people and damaging your conversion rates.

The only things your potential clients will care about are how quickly you can clean, how thoroughly you can clean, and how inexpensively you can clean. Focus on these broader concepts and avoid explaining the nuanced details of how the individual parts of your cleaning process work.

Run A/B tests

One of Alec Baldwin’s most famous lines can be summed up with a simple acronym: ABC, or Always Be Closing.

Well, I’ve got an even better acronym: ABT, or Always Be Testing.

Run A/B tests.

No matter how confident you are in your website’s conversion ability, there is always going to be something you can improve upon.

Slight changes in copy or design can have significant impacts on your conversion rate. And you'll never know which changes are the most helpful unless you compare them with different options.

Here are some key website elements you should be A/B testing:

  • Headlines.
  • Landing page copy.
  • CTA button design.
  • CTA button text.
  • Page layouts.
  • Sidebar configurations.

To learn how to run an A/B test on your site, I recommend reading this guide from Hubspot: How to Do A/B Testing.

Create a sense of urgency

People are more likely to spend money on something if the thing they’re spending money on might be unavailable soon.

Although urgency isn’t typically used in B2B advertising, it can still be quite effective if done right.

Here are a few ways you can bring in new clients with urgency-infused promotional strategies.

  • Offer a limited-time discount. Many cleaning services attract client interest by offering discounts on the first few cleanings. You can take this a step further by offering that discount for a limited period of time.
  • Offer a free additional service for a limited time. Discounts aren’t the only offers you can set a time limit on. You can also offer free services you wouldn’t perform in a standard cleaning.
  • Use urgent words and phrases. You don’t have to offer anything special to create a sense of urgency. By using phrases like “Act now” or “Call us today,”, you can encourage potential clients to make a hiring decision sooner rather than later.

Eliminate customer concerns

No matter how professional your website looks, there will always be people who have questions or concerns about your business.

Does your social media marketing need a boost?

This is perfectly normal. There are plenty of businesses that don’t always follow through on their promises. If you want to improve your client conversion rate, you need to convince people that they have nothing to worry about.

Here are a few of the most common questions skeptical website visitors will have:

  • How do I know you’re trustworthy?
  • Why should I choose you over your competitors?
  • How do I know you’ll do a good job?

If you can address these concerns in a concise and direct manner, you’ll improve your odds of bringing in clients through your website.

Ask friends and family

Asking friends and family to hire you or recommend you to people they know is an excellent way to add to your client base.

This tip is geared toward commercial cleaning businesses who are just starting up, although any business can do this to get clients in a pinch.

Ask friends and family.

People are far more likely to act on a recommendation from someone they know than they are to listen to your promotional messages.

That's why asking your loved ones for help can be so effective.

Because the people they talk to will trust the recommendation, you'll have a better chance of turning these people into clients than you would if you approached them yourself.

And if some people in your social circle can't help you out with personal recommendations, there is still a way they can help you get new clients: they can leave online reviews.

Many people will check the online reviews of a service before they're willing to make a hiring decision.

While there are a ton of review services out there, you should be focusing on the three most popular options: Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

Many businesses interested in your cleaning service will check at least one of these review sites.

By asking people you know to leave positive reviews on these sites, you can ensure that potential clients who check review sites will have a good feeling about hiring you.

It's also important that some of the people who leave reviews write something about your business.

While a 5-star review without any context is better than nothing, the people reading these reviews will want to know why your business was worth a perfect rating.

There's also a risk that comes with too many 5-star ratings that lack descriptions. Some of the more wary internet users out there may think the reviews without commentary are fake or fraudulent. This can destroy all trust they have in your business, so you should try to get people to say something positive when they leave their review.

Join business organizations and networking groups

Focus on quality over quantity

It’s better to be an active member of one organization than a barely present member of ten.

The benefits you gain from business relationships are only as good as the quality of the relationships. Handing your business card to 100 other business owners at a conference will be less impactful than having a quality relationship with just one person.

Everyone has their own networking strategies, and I don’t want you to change what’s working for you. All I’m saying is that building fewer high-quality relationships will bring in more clients than building a bunch of superficial relationships.

Ask current clients for referrals

If your current clients are happy with your service, you should ask them to refer a friend or business associate.

Ask current clients for referrals.

While your long-standing clients will likely give you a referral no matter how you ask, there are some strategies you can use to get referrals from all of your clients.

Offer incentives

If you’re willing to offer some kind of incentive to the referrer and/or the person being referred, this whole process becomes much easier. People are much more willing to do things if there’s a financial incentive attached to the action.

For your current clients, the most effective incentives will be either a discount off their future cleaning bills or a straight up cash kickback. The discount will probably be easier to implement but paying a certain amount per referral will convey a more direct benefit and may make your clients work harder to refer people.

As far as new clients go, a discount off an initial cleaning is typically the best incentive to provide. It will make people on the fence more likely to try you out, and it’ll make it easier for your current clients to sell your services.

Ask clients to refer businesses they like

If your clients refer people they don’t have excellent relationships with, you’re probably not going to get much new business. The business that is referred to you won’t particularly care about the recommendation they were given, so it’ll be harder to convince them to hire you.

Ask clients if they know anyone who needs a cleaning service

Your clients could refer a bunch of people they have incredible relationships with, but it won’t matter unless those people need a cleaning service. When you ask your clients for referrals, make it clear you want them to ask people who could use a cleaning service.

Stay connected with your clients

As cleaning services are usually a behind-the-scenes operation, you’re probably not going to have much interaction with your client after you first get hired. This means it’ll be hard to build the types of relationships that result in successful referral requests.

To maintain a relationship with your clients and make your referral requests more effective, you should make an effort to connect with them in several concrete ways.

  • Connect on LinkedIn. Because your clients are businesses, they will almost certainly have LinkedIn profiles. Once you make a connection request, keep an eye out for any interesting posts or exciting pieces of news they share. A few likes or comments on these updates will show them you care about their success, and they’ll think more positively of you as a result.
  • Follow them on Twitter. If your prospective clients have Twitter accounts, they will likely share interesting information on there as well. Follow them and comment on or retweet stuff that you find interesting.
  • Read their blog. Many businesses have blogs to help them attract customers. If any of your potential clients post to one regularly, make sure to follow it. You can turn this into a relationship-building opportunity by sending them an email whenever they publish a particularly interesting or thought-provoking post.
  • Use Google Alerts. Google Alerts is an excellent tool for keeping up with news about any topic, company, or person. By setting a Google Alert about a prospective client, you can learn about awards or achievements they attain and send them a congratulatory email.

Go door-to-door

Although many marketers call it antiquated, going door-to-door and selling your cleaning service to businesses can be surprisingly effective.

Go door-to-door.

For starters, it creates an instant human connection between you and your potential clients. And while some of them might be annoyed that you’re bothering them, others will appreciate the gesture and will be happy to talk to you.

You need to ensure you have the right approach when employing a door-to-door sales tactic. Because it leaves such a lasting impression, going about it the wrong way can permanently turn a client off to your services. And if you move quickly and cover a bunch of businesses in a short period of time, the wrong approach can cause irreparable harm to your brand and potential revenue.

To do things the right way, you can use the following tried-and-true door-to-door sales tactics.

Look professional

Making a great first impression is incredibly important in door-to-door sales.

Many people hold the incorrect belief that anyone can decide to start a cleaning business at the drop of the hat. While this misconception definitely isn’t true, it is something you’ll have to deal with when convincing people to hire you.

So, if you want potential clients to take you seriously from the beginning, you should dress professionally. If you have a company uniform with your logo on it, wear that. If you don’t, you should at least make an effort to dress nicely.

Create a pitch

Looking good is important, but the words that come out of your mouth are what will convince people to hire you.

Unless you’re an exceptionally gifted conversationalist, the best way to make sure you consistently say the right things in the right way is to create a sales pitch.

Want to learn how Dr. Shalabi was able to gain 77 new patients?

For advice on how to craft a winning sales pitch, I recommend reading this article from Salesforce: How to Make a Good Sales Pitch: 8 Tips to Give You an Edge

Once you make your pitch, you need to practice it.

Don’t skimp out on this. The whole point of creating a pitch is to eliminate mistakes when selling your service to someone.

If you end up trailing off halfway through your pitch because you can’t remember your lines, it’ll look even worse than if you were fumbling through in an unscripted manner.

Run a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) search ad campaign

If you have a marketing budget to work with, PPC search ads might be the most effective use of that money.

If you don’t know what PPC ads are, you’ve almost certainly seen them. Go to Google and type in “cleaning service near me.”

Unless you live in a particularly rural area, there will almost certainly be at least one cleaning service advertising near you.

If there is, you’ll see their ad appear at the top of the search results. It will look exactly like a normal Google search listing, with one exception: a small rectangle containing the word “Ad” in subtle green letters.

You can run these ads too. Go to ads.google.com and sign in with your Google account to get started.

PPC search ads are so powerful because you can target specific keywords that people who are actively looking to hire a commercial cleaning service will type in.

For example, someone who types in “commercial cleaning service near me” or “office cleaning service in new york” is probably near the bottom of the sales funnel. They don’t need to be convinced to hire a cleaning service ‒ they already want one, and now they’re just looking for the right option.

For many people, the right option is the one that appears first on the Google search results. By placing a PPC ad in front of these low-funnel searchers, you can leapfrog the competition and position your business as the best commercial cleaning service in the area.

Learning the ins and outs of Google ads does take time. If you’d like to give this ad platform a go, I recommend reading this article from Kinsta: How to Use Google AdWords for Your Business (Beginner’s Guide).

Additional Resources

Shawn Manaher - Owner of Ignite Marketing
Shawn Manaher
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of Ignite Marketing. He's one part local business growth specialist, one part campaign strategizing ninja, and two parts leader of an awesome nerd pack. He won't eat pancakes unless you call them flat waffles.

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