Don’t Automatically Agree

When janitorial business owners go out to sell their cleaning services, they should be reasonable, cooperative and even accommodating – but not a door mat!

Shooting straight with building owners and property managers about what is, and sometimes, more importantly, what isn’t possible, is a better approach than mindlessly agreeing to any request thrown at you.

Now, I expect some may feel following this advice of saying ‘NO’ now and then to a prospective customer is reckless at best, and at worst, a virtual fast track to sales disaster!

I understand.

I felt the same way in the early years of starting our commercial cleaning company – when I was so nervous and yes, desperate to land new accounts – I probably would have said yes to nearly anything no matter how ridiculous.

But, that was then, and this is now!

And now, I know better. And hopefully, you’ll know better, a lot earlier in the game than it took me.

You see, now I know, that if I provide quality cleaning services to my customers, then, not only am I allowed to have limits to what we offer, but most prospects won’t mind that I have limits as long as those limits are reasonable…

and, I explain why they’re important!

In fact, when you explain the reasons behind your decisions (the WHY), you can actually increase your credibility with building owners and managers.

Doesn’t that make sense? Think about it.

If during the selling process, the cleaning contractor says “YES” to everything, it can begin to send the same unsettling message as when you’re interviewing applicants for a job…

and the applicant quickly snaps with “No problem!” to every-single-one of your questions. Don’t you actually begin to have your doubts about them?

I know I do. I mean, really, how can everything be “No problem!”

Wouldn’t you, in fact, select the cleaning applicant who answers your questions honestly and thoughtfully, even though it may mean they don’t always necessarily agree with you about everything.

You want the ‘real deal’. Your janitorial business prospects do too!

And the real deal is someone who is accommodating, while still having the confidence in themselves to occasionally say ‘no’ to some requests – some of the time.

Let me finish up with a quick story …

Not long ago, I was working on a cleaning program for a company in an industrial business park.

It was going well. The level of service was just what they wanted. They were convinced of our ability to take care of them, and we had worked out the numbers too.

But then, they called back just prior to giving us the go ahead, with one last request – to see if we’d clean them during the day – specifically between 2 PM – 4:30 PM.

Well, I had to say ‘No’ – it just didn’t fit into our plan for consistently delivering service and maintaining quality.

So, after I respectfully said ‘no’, I took the time to explain that..’I wished we could provide our cleaning services during every possible shift, but that we simply couldn’t.’

I went on to explain that we’ve been able to grow because our customers can count on us to show up, deliver a quality service, and check our work – every time!

‘To do that’, I continued, ‘we need to have our managers and supervisors be active in training our people and inspecting our work. And,for us, those managers and supervisors are scheduled in the evening starting at 5 PM.’

‘While I hate to say no, I’d rather respectfully do it now, and explain the reasons why, than let them down later.

So what happened? What’s the end of the story?

You guessed it…. we got the account!

Prospects are always “sizing you up”, “checking you out” to see if you’re the real deal.

Please leave your comments below. Thanks, Dan

5 Responses to “Don’t Automatically Agree”

  1. Jim says:

    Hi Dan.
    First let me say, I love your communications.
    I learn from them and I look forward to recieving them.

    Now can you tell me… is our industry a good indicator for when the economy is doing good or doing poorly?

    Lately, I’ve been having a string of set-backs with accounts asking for reduced frequency to losing accounts altogether that I just don’t want to believe it’s got to do with us providing poor service.

    Am I the only company going thought such a bad time or do you happen to know if others are going through a rough time right now?

    Your thoughts please

    Offices Love 2BClean

  2. Jim: don’t feel bad I think that everyone is doing bad right now, but If your not using Clean Bid you will be loosing lots more. A year ago I had people calling, I had over 20 accounts and today we have only 3 which we focused on doing ourselves. We need to go forward and never give up or give in we will survive! Thank you Dan for always giving your best communications.


  3. DLiebrecht says:

    Jim, thanks for your nice comments. Sorry for my late response – blame it on my lack of techy skills online. Hard to give your question the attention here on this blog post, but let me at least offer a thought or two. You are NOT alone – it’s tough out there. The economy is still struggling and many companies are still cutting back on their expenses. That’s why it’s so important to continue to look for new ways, like the ones we look at in our emails and videos, – on how we can set ourselves apart from our competition and get out of the ‘lowest price’ game! Hang in there – and wishing you much success! Dan

  4. DLiebrecht says:

    Ricky, thanks for your nice comment about CleanBid and our videos! I’m glad you enjoy them and find the program valuable. Wishing you much success, Dan

  5. Brent Powell says:

    I’m having a hard time recruiting a sales rep.Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Brent

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