At some stage in your business you will be required to make sales calls for your cleaning services. Unfortunately, making effective sales calls is one area where many people fall short. Make your sales calls more effective by becoming aware of the following pitfalls.
- Going in with no clear sales objective. Make sure you know what you what to accomplish and have a goal in mind, whether that is to end up presenting a cleaning bid to your prospective customer or to find out what specific cleaning services the customer needs.
- Calling on the wrong customers. Do your homework first to make sure that the business you are calling on uses a professional cleaning company rather than an in-house service.
- Not planning a sales presentation. Do not carry on a random, pointless conversation wasting your time and the customer's time. Bring in the appropriate sales aids (brochures, flyers, etc. ) that you can leave with the customer. Avoid reading directly from printed materials and losing eye contact.
- No call frequency. Think of the many times you are hit with ads for products - do you bite the first time? Multiple contacts with prospective customers are generally required to get that first sale and to maintain a positive relationship with an existing customer.
- Not talking to the decision maker. Check to be sure that the person you are going to be talking to has the authority to sign up for your cleaning services.
- Not talking about the benefits of using your cleaning company. Make sure you highlight the strengths of your company and what you can provide over the competition.
- Unable to answer questions. By preparing before making the sales call you should be able to answer any questions the potential customer may have about your services. If you do get stuck and need to get back to them, be sure that you get back to them quickly with the answer to their question.
- Does not ask for the order. After spending time preparing and making the presentation, make sure you ask the customer the closing question “how can I be of service to you?"
- Poor records of what happened on a call. Highly effective sales people keep accurate records to see the history of each customer. Good records can help you keep track of the various needs of your client, whether that is when their current contract runs out, where they purchase supplies, or how often a specific cleaning task is completed.
- No follow up. If you have promised to follow up on certain items make sure you do so on a timely basis.
Steve Hanson is co-founding member of The Janitorial Store (TM), an online community for owners and managers of cleaning companies who want to build a more profitable and successful cleaning business. Sign up for Trash Talk: Tip of the Week at http://www.TheJanitorialStore.com and receive a Free Gift!