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Never Hear Your Price Is Too High Again

WARNING: This e-mail is LONG, but I hope you give it the extra couple of minutes to read, because if it helps you land even just one of the accounts you’ve always wanted – well then, it was worth it!

How’d you like to never hear “Your price is too high!’ again?

Sounds too good to be true, I know, but hear me out for a minute, and see if you don’t agree it might just be possible – if you know how!
Let me explain.

Nothing is more frustrating than to put tons of work into a getting all the information you need for a janitorial bid, putting a sharp pencil to your price, only to hear a week later -

‘Sorry, your price was too high – we went with someone else!’ Ugh!

Well, here’s a strategy to help tackle that problem once and for all. Here’s how it works:

First, take more time up front with the prospective client. Sit down with them. Learn what they want. Find out what they don’t need done.

And when you get the measurements of the building, take the time to mark down which areas are difficult, and which look easy to clean.

Talk with your client. Slow things down. Then, go back to your office and run the numbers.

Second, arrange to meet with them a 2nd time.

You can explain you need to get one more measurement for your cleaning proposal, or double-check a couple of the measurements in a certain part of the building – whatever; just so you get a chance to sit down and talk again.

And then, explain you need just a minute to go over a few last questions that came up as you were working on their bid.

That’s it – no big deal.

When you meet, sit down and slowly show them all the work you have: your measurements, your summaries, your specs, your time estimates AND then here’s the important part.

Explain to them you understand budgets are more important today than ever so you’d like to: Go ahead and explain how things look now as far as price for their cleaning program – to see if it’s in the budget ‘ballpark’ for them.

You can go on to explain that these are just preliminary figures; nothing is ‘carved in stone‘ and that – you can nearly always work on the details of the duties and frequency of a commercial cleaning proposal with a client to come up with a program that meets both their cleaning as well as budget goals.

Then – you tell them where the initial price is coming in at or, at least, the price-range.

IMPORTANT: You want to see if the office-cleaning program and monthly price you’re getting ready to prepare for them not only gives them the cleaning they want, but also, at a price, they were willing to consider – that’s right, you want to get some agreement, be in the ballpark.

Frankly, it is no fun to find out you have prepared a program with a monthly price they are flat out – NOT willing to pay. Better to find out NOW when you still have a chance to work out an alternative cleaning plan.

Makes sense?

Ok, so once you tell them what the price is coming in at you may ask, ‘How does that fit in with what you were expecting budget-wise?’

Then be quiet.

You need to patiently wait for an answer. In many cases, I have found prospective building owners and property managers surprisingly willing to discuss the price issue.

Isn’t it better to deal with any price objection NOW before they look at 3 or 4 other quotes, and simply award it to someone else – without you having a chance to respond?

The worst that can happen is they say, “I’m sorry I can’t, or won’t tell you what were paying.”

Don’t worry – no problem. No need to get defensive.

If this happens, you just calmly explain that – that’s fine, and you will proceed with the plan, using the duties they gave you, or the standard layout you normally recommend for this kind of commercial cleaning project.

But, if instead your prospective client volunteers that your price is fine – in the ball park.; well, then, you’re GOLD!

Now, you know can move forward with confidence.

On the other hand, if they say, “Well, honestly, you’re high; I wasn’t thinking of paying that much”

No problem.

At least, you can work at finding a solution together.
At least you’re still in the game, right?

Please leave your comments below. Thanks, Dan

6 Responses to “Never Hear Your Price Is Too High Again”

  1. Greg Caskey says:

    Good stuff Dan. So, that restaurant bid I was working on that I didn’t really want to have…… well, they did get back to me and told me that they had found a company to handle all five of their restaurants. They actually re-hired a previous company that used to clean for them. He did say that he would reconnect with me if things didn’t work out with the company.
    They were wanting to pay $50 a night to have one restaurant cleaned. Well, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. My wife, who works part time at the restaurant was saying that the last night for the fired cleaners had them stomping on the little butter packets squishing butter out on the dining area floors??!! Wow. I have to agree that graveyard doing restaurants is not a very attractive thought. Thanks for your great and valuable info and jsut thought you might like the update.

  2. DLiebrecht says:

    Thanks for the update Greg! It’s true – sometimes the BEST thing that can happen is to NOT get an account – at least not until the specifics of the deal and mind set of both parties is right (i.e. price, hours, expectations etc.) Take care, Dan P.S. Sometimes a building owner or property manager has to go through a lot of pain with lot of cleaning businesses… before they’re ready to step up to paying a reputable janitorial business to clean their facility the right way at a fair price.

  3. Josetta Grant says:

    Hi Dan

    I would like to say that you help me alot, I have a new business trying to get off the ground, having problems bidding and with proposal please help me with bidding

    Thank you
    Keep up the good work

  4. DLiebrecht says:

    Hi Josetta, thanks for your note! I’m glad to hear you’ve found my videos helpful in your running your cleaning business. As far as bidding help, I’d encourage you to go to cleanbid.net where you can watch a free video demo showing how our online bidding software works. I think you might find it very useful. And, the good news is, as a first time member, you can try it out for 30 days absolutely FREE. Wishing you much success in your cleaning company! Dan, CleanGuru LLC

  5. Binda says:

    Please assist me on how to get customers since launching in February this year I have only one small customer.

    Should I bid by hour, by square metre or per job?

  6. CleanGuru says:

    Hi Binda, thanks for your email – you’ve asked a good question.

    In short, our software does not price janitorial/office cleaning jobs based on price/sq. ft. rates, but instead, on a time (hours/visit) figure calculated in a process referred to as work loading.

    In Janitorial, we do not approach the process of pricing recurring (i.e. 3x/ week) office-cleaning type jobs from a perspective of what the ‘going rate for a particular city’ is – but rather, from the standpoint of a daily average cleaning time (hours/day).

    From there, to calculate a price recommendation, we use a proprietary scale of expense and profit percentage which adjust automatically based on the size of the job being bid on.

    So, for example, in general, overhead and profit percentages should, in most cases, drop as the job gets bigger – and rise as the size (# of hrs. required) of the job gets smaller – our janitorial module software adjusts to factor this in automatically.

    So, rather than a price per square foot method, the Janitorial Module is based on a workloading approach to bidding.

    We explain ‘workloading’, as the process of calculating cleaning times for buildings by having measurement and floor type information process, or workloaded through a series of pre-programmed cleaning tasks and associated production rates.

    While the other modules in our software, such as carpet cleaning or post construction clean up, provide suggested price ranges, only in the janitorial/office cleaning module do we utilize a workloading approach to calculate a cleaning time per visit.

    Hope that helps. Wishing you much success in your cleaning business,
    Matt,
    CleanGuru Support

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