eClean Issue 28 (Oct. 2014)

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when necessary to find out the proper contact's name. For example, he will walk into a small mom- and-pop type shop – wearing a yellow vest and talking to his crews via Voxer, a walkie-talkie app on his phone – and say he's a professional pressure washer who needs the name of the property manager because he needs to locate where the water is on the property. "I'm not lying," he explains. "I will need to know that eventually…when I get the job. I'm just jumping ahead a little bit." Once you have the property manager's information, David says to contact them by email first, then follow up with a phone call. "Then, if necessary, keep following up " 3. Solve the Customer's Problems. "I am the doctor, they are the patient. They have a problem, I'm here to fix it." I make sure customers know I'm the solution to their problem when I'm selling." For example, one of the points David makes to commercial clients is that his crews can clean at night when their property is empty, so that there's no inconvenience for their customers or staff. "I tell them they won't even know we've been there, except that when they arrive in the morning it's going to look a whole lot better than it did when they left the night before." 3. Know how much it's going to cost you to do any job. The most common question David receives is "How do I know what to bid?" "The best piece of advice that I've been given is look at the jobsite and know how long it's going to take to do that job. Then figure out how much you need to charge per man hour." David stresses that he develops bids by the man hour – i.e., the total number of hours needed to complete the entire job – not the crew hour. (Visit Man-Hours to learn more on how to figure this.) Using this calculation allows him to bid the price correctly from the beginning as long as his measuring is accurate, and identifies potential problems before submitting his proposals. "I emphasize I'm about building long-term relationships with them, and if they have a budget, we'll stay within it this time and make it up somewhere down the road." 4. Empower Your Crews. "Any time I spend out in the field cleaning is time I should be out selling more work," David explained. "So I'm empowering my crews to do the job without me." Lions Share currently has eight full-time employees and two part-time, and has two separate crews – one for day work and one for night work. His window cleaning and pressure washing crews are separate as well. "The guys need to know what their jobs are," he explained. "Give each member a specific role so they know what they are supposed to do on the team. That empowers them and builds morale." David has also focused on teaching his team members to communicate with one another, 4. Follow up on ALL proposals. If a commercial client contacts you for a bid, David says you should follow up three times in the first two weeks. The first call is easy – ask if they received your bid and if they have any questions. For calls two and three, David says to just make up a reason to call. Did they get everything they needed? Do they have questions? Are there any concerns? How can you help them? Do they have a budget? "Commercial Sales" 6

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