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You Need To Know What They Want

Sure, when you go out to do a walk through of a building, you’ll be getting the measurements of the rooms and restroom fixture counts….

but the main reason you’re there is to find out
what the prospective customer WANTS.

Think about it.

You’re there to ask the questions ranging from basic things such as “How often do you need cleaning?” and “When can we get access to the building to clean”….

to more in-depth ones such as “What cleaning problems have you had in the past you WANT fixed” and “What do you really WANT from a cleaning service?”

Simply put, you’re trying to learn what they WANT.

And the more you ask, the better off you’ll be as long as you do one thing – listen to the answer.

Carefully listen.

Take notes.

Ask follow up questions – to learn even more about their answer, and the possible reasons behind it.

Listening to the full answer and asking follow up questions to learn the WHY behind their answers, will help you learn what this person and their company, is really looking for.

And that is why you’re there.

Because, it’s in learning what they WANT that you can begin to create a custom cleaning program that fits what they WANT best!

Here’s the tricky part.

You may think you know what they NEED!

That’s an easy trap to fall into. You’re experienced. You’re knowledgeable…probably more than they are when it comes to cleaning.

It’s tempting to fall into the “I know what’s best for you.” or “I know what you NEED.” syndrome.

Be careful.

Frankly, trying to convince prospects to buy what you think they NEED, rather than what they WANT, is a recipe for disaster.

The old saying that there’s a lot of struggling salesmen trying to sell what they think people NEED rather than what the customer WANTS – still rings true!

Now, if what a customer WANTS isn’t what you offer, isn’t what you’d like to offer, or isn’t what you’d be proud to offer, then, for crying out loud, don’t do it.

You can’t, and shouldn’t try to be everything to everybody.

For example, if someone wants you to clean their office during the day, one time every other week, and cares only about getting the lowest price possible… well, I don’t know about you, but our philosophy always was – we’re not the ‘right guys’ for them!

You don’t need to offer every possible type of cleaning, during every possible time of the day or night, and, last but not least; no account in the world is worth losing your reputation over.

However, if you do take the time to learn what the customer really WANTS, many times you’ll find you have an opportunity to create a custom program that really “hits the nail on the head!”

And when you do that, you take a big step forward in separating your company from your competition’s ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Please leave your comments below. Thanks, Dan

8 Responses to “You Need To Know What They Want”

  1. Josh Styles says:

    Awesome, you hit “the nail on the head” with this one. Getting the customer what they want instead of what you think they need is the way to happy customers and profitable business. Thanks.

  2. Jorge Carpio says:

    Good info , I’m with you on this one . we need to learn what customers want , not what we think they need.
    right on!!

  3. You are always on the money. Good info. I am taking in knowledge.Please keep it coming.Thanks.

  4. DLiebrecht says:

    Thanks Anthony – glad you enjoy the emails and videos! Dan

  5. Matt says:

    Here’s a question. What’s the best way to approch a potential client that isn’t sure what the want, they say use your judgment but give you a daily budget to stay in, cleaning 7 days a week? Then when you start they start complaining some thing they want done are not getting done? This is a large client and you don’t want to lose them but the type of cleaning they want will need a bigger budget. They say the last company did it for the budget price they want and don’t see why you can’t do it for it to.

    I ran in to this last year and was curious to see how you would handle this. I was able to talk the client into increasing their budget and they are happier. But how would you confront this issue?

  6. DLiebrecht says:

    Matt,
    When faced with a situation like the one you’ve described, specifically where the 1) ‘…client isn’t sure what they want, but GIVE YOU a daily BUDGET to STAY in’, and then 2) ‘ …they start COMPLAINING, because, as you put it, 3) ‘…the type of cleaning they want will need a BIGGER budget.’

    Our approach, and what we would suggest to cleaning contractors, is similar to your approach, in that, we would sit down with the prospect or client to explain:

    - the direct connection between the hours/time (Labor), appearance of the building (Quality) and the monthly charge (Price).

    Fortunately, in many of these cases, we were able to make our point(s) and work out an agreeable compromise that met both their quality and budget concerns – but, not always.

    For those customers who wouldn’t budge on their demand of paying no more than the ‘what they paid the last guys’ regardless of whether it would support a cleaning program that could deliver the level of cleaning they expected, we would, if necessary, respectfully – pass.

    The idea being, if we positioned ourselves correctly and professionally as the ‘voice of reason’ now, in the beginnning, when they got tired of hiring inexperienced cleaning businesses willing to sign on for this ‘out of balance’ deal…only, to let them down yet again – we would stand a good chance of being contacted by them.

    And, when they contacted us this time, they were generally much more willing to work with a us, a reputable contractor who priced jobs fairly, properly – based on the requirements of that job, not simply some ridiculously low price a client may have dreamt up in their head.

    BUT, the key we think – is to communicate and educate up front, as much as possible and as early as possible during the process so both parties know what they’re getting into and why – basically, no surprises.

    Matt, it’s a good question though and thanks for sharing it. Hope you find the answer useful. Wishing you much success, Dan

  7. Laurel says:

    I truly cherish and value the information you put out. I like your response to the question as well as your suggestions, they are well thought out and very ethical as always. Loads of thanks Dan! You are indeed a Guru.

  8. DLiebrecht says:

    Thanks Laurel, I appreciate your comments and, of course, am glad to hear you’re finding the videos valuable. Wishing you much success in your cleaning business, Dan, CleanGuru LLC

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