Infographic – Outsourced Cleaning Services Looks Promising

The trend for outsourcing has become increasingly popular. More and more businesses are seeing the potential savings that lie in outsourcing to third party service providers. Among these providers are cleaning services firms. With an ever increasing trend, now at 52% since 2010, it looks like a good time for cleaning services providers to start considering how they are going to generate leads in a growing market.

One of the best ways in which to get in touch with your target market as a commercial cleaning business is through lead generation. However, when lead generation is mentioned, some people think that the only course of action to take is to hire their own employees and start their own in-house lead generation department. But why go through such a taxing task when your predicament on obtaining cleaning services leads can be solved easily through outsourcing. Continue reading

How Sales Leads Can Be Generated Despite Negative Feedback

It remains a popular notion that negative feedback is never good for any business and a clear obstacle to attracting sales leads. But when you are in an industry like commercial cleaning, you will always expect a complaint or two. You and your people cannot always do a perfect job. On the other hand, what if the feedback has reached a rather intense scale like, for example, negative online reviews? Has it driven your chances of getting leads all the way down to zero?

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Your Cleaning Leads Should Be Worth Time As Well As Money

No matter how cliché it sounds, time and money go hand in hand. And when it comes to your cleaning leads, you should more aware of the hours and days you spend as much as your cents and dollars. It does not matter how differently they are measured. The measurements themselves carry an equal amount of importance.

From B2B Leads To Actual B2B Appointments, Time Affects All

In fact, time affects your business even in the process of commercial cleaning itself. You are not only about offering the cheapest service. You are offering this service as cheap because you have found ways to save up on time. Continue reading

Appointment Setting – Don’t Get Excited Over Every New Marketing Trend

For commercial cleaners, getting the attention of business owners for appointment setting seems like a taller order compared to just marketing consumers. Yet despite that, you have to wonder why there are many articles that don’t distinguish B2B from B2C firms when they champion a certain new form of marketing.

Take Pinterest for example. Like its predecessors Facebook and Twitter, it’s been hailed as another new step in social media marketing. Yet even today, companies still are at a loss as to exactly how to make use of it to drive brand awareness. This article from iMediaConnection should provide you with just a few examples:

‘As an industry, I don’t think we have fully grasped what we are going to use it for,’ says Shane Ginsberg, SVP of corporate development at Organic. ‘It has a very narrowly defined demographic, mostly women in the United States. Despite the hype effect it’s currently going through, it still inherently and should be driven by users, not brands. We have seen this movie so many times — remember Second Life? Let’s never confuse evaluation hype with brand utility.’”

In B2B appointment setting, there should be a balance between those driving the channel. This isn’t about pitting businesses versus customers but simply admitting that not every new outlet for marketing materials is going to pan out successfully because it’s friendlier to one side over the other:

Pinterest users do not go to Pinterest to read. They aren’t looking to have a conversation with the guy they sat next to in eighth grade biology — or your brand.”

Media executives agree that it’s hard to inherently promote within the Pinterest space. It’s a fine line between providing content and overly promoting to an audience that is not in the mood to be promoted to.”

Another example would be mobile marketing. Granted, you may have a bigger chance of getting cleaning leads compared to just Pinterest. Many business owners have smartphones and tablets while it’s also very reasonable to assume they use it when searching for B2B services like office cleaning.

Regardless, too much excitement can rush you to start your campaign without prior knowledge about the limitations. This article from Search Engine Watch has several mobile marketing tips that hint to these limitations:

1. Separate Your Budgets – Start with the money. Separate your budgets. If you’re going to treat desktop and mobile campaigns differently, you’ll need to spend differently on them as well. A separate budget will give you much more control and allow you to turn it up or down as necessary.”

5. Don’t Copy Your Desktop Ads – Instead, write mobile specific ones by taking search queries into account to understand searcher intent. Look for common themes in these queries to get an indication of the searcher’s behavior.”

In other words, you still need to take a step back and actually think how this is going to work for you, even under a certain assumption that it will. Also, don’t neglect older, traditional forms of marketing just because they don’t come off as revolutionary (e.g. direct mail marketing, telemarketing). And again, even if they get a fair share of hype, don’t let your excitement get the better of you and actually figure out how to make them work as much as all the new ones you keep hearing about.

Cleaning Leads – Why Your Salespeople Need Them

The way your salespeople regard the need for cleaning leads can really reflect in their success. The worst kind of treatment they can give is to disregard them completely and take actions without any foresight from the information these leads provide.

As you well know, these cleaning leads represent opportunities, the same opportunities that salespeople look for when getting people to employ your commercial cleaning services. However, there’s also more to them than that. Despite what they say, it’s not always enough to have a number, an email address, and a few names.

In fact, Geoffrey James of Inc.com published a column titled 5 Bad Sales Habits to Avoid with the top two being very strong reasons why your salespeople should take generated leads a lot more seriously:

1. Playing the Lone Wolf”

The sales rep hides the size of the opportunity (or even the opportunity itself) from the rest of the organization and try to develop it alone, hoping that he’ll get all the credit if it closes (but no guff if it doesn’t). Unfortunately, if the deal does move forward, there’s no support from the rest of the team for making it happen.”

The support isn’t just limited to the salesperson’s own team but also from other areas, including marketing. For example, your commercial cleaning leads could also include more specific information about the cleanliness of a prospect’s work place. The commercial cleaning business can cover a wide area of different services after all. If your salespeople can learn of any mores specific problems beforehand, then they’ll get a better idea on what to offer.

2. Overscheduling”

The sales rep stuffs her pipeline with so many complex deals that she’s hard-pressed to keep them straight. She’s hedging her bets, because she’s sure at least some of the deals will close. However, she’s also putting your firm’s reputation at risk: What if all those deals close and your firm ends up with more projects than it can possible handle?”

Generating leads commonly implies to appointment setting as well. That’s why it’s important to have lead generators who can advise your sales team when scheduling meetings with prospects as well as keeping in mind your company’s own timetable.

Sadly, much like janitors and work place cleanliness, leads are one of the things salespeople continue to take for granted. They don’t realize that the whole ‘lone wolf’ act isn’t the path to an entire business’ success. Another Inc.com contributor, Margaret Heffernan, elaborates on this attitude quite well in this other article and says that even the great leaders of other large companies wouldn’t have succeeded without the help of often unmentioned parties:

We all know, if we take the time to think about it, that none of these people accomplished anything alone. Each needed moral support from friends and families, financial support from investors and backers, technical support from engineers, scientists, and accountants, and honest feedback from those brave enough to proffer it.”

Now what about your salespeople, have they took the time to think about this in the same way? Perhaps it’s about time to ask them yourself and remind them why they need to take your cleaning leads more seriously.

Customer Support Telemarketing – Customer Complaints Are Not Just Regular Complaints

Complaints in the commercial cleaning business are commonplace. Ideally, it’s not polite to just simply snap back at them all time. This is something you don’t just teach your employees. It’s something you’d expect out of customer support (such as the agents in charge of inbound telemarketing). Like most businesses, a call center is still a staple component of that service.

However, perhaps there could be a line that needs to be drawn when it comes to taking in complaints. Maybe your telemarketing agents are right to grow tired of the same, nitpicking caller. Some even say that complaints can ultimately have a negative effect on both your business and even on your brain! At least, that’s what Trevor Blake says in this Inc.com article:

‘The brain works more like a muscle than we thought,’ Blake says. ‘So if you’re pinned in a corner for too long listening to someone being negative, you’re more likely to behave that way as well.’

Even worse, being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you dumb. Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity–including viewing such material on TV–actually peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus. ‘That’s the part of your brain you need for problem solving,’ he says. ‘Basically, it turns your brain to mush.’”

Further along the article, it describes three countermeasures against complainers. This might surprise you though but these might not work to your best interest if your complainers are at the same time your customers! Now as much the article has a point, you should consider reforming these countermeasures into more customer-friendly approaches like:

1. Gaining exposure

Blake compares complaints to second-hand smoke. On the other hand, exposure to complaints can be considered as feedback and that feedback can be used to improve services. For example, suppose your current customer runs an airport. There might still some things you might need to know about keeping things clean in an airport (like their security lines for example). Even if this one frequently complains, within those complaints lies informative feedback to show you what else needs to be cleaned.

2. Fixing the problem

You don’t just tell off the complainers to fix the problem themselves but neither should you just apologize and try to fix it on your own. Your business needs to collaborate with them through your telemarketers and focus on the problem itself. If you learned a few things already from the feedback, get to work on offering a solution. Who knows? This solution could even be used in future marketing campaigns and attract more commercial cleaning leadsUnlike complainers at work, complaining customers are still customers. Furthermore, these customers have problems that you have every obligation to help fix.

3. Step back and think

Again, complaints from customers shouldn’t be outright ignored. On the other hand, there’s still a point when it comes to retreating. Instead of retreating to ignore complaints however, you should retreat so that you and your people can take a deep breath and analyze the feedback found within complaints. Gain the peace of mind in order to objectively determine their causes and find more solutions. As stated before, properly analyzing this feedback can give you more solutions to promote in outbound telemarketing campaigns.

While it can be proven that complaints within an organization are more good than bad, the same might not be said of complaints coming from outside. In this case, think twice before dismissing complaints from customers. You could be missing out on critical feedback that could help strengthen your commercial cleaning business!

Generating Commercial Cleaning Leads – Forbes Advice On Being Persistent

Appointment Setting, Lead Generation Services, Outsourced TelemarketingBeing persistent isn’t the same as being a pest in B2B marketing. It’s not about constantly calling or emailing a single prospect just so you can qualify enough commercial cleaning leads. In fact, persistence isn’t just about marketing alone but a virtue that can be exercised by your entire cleaning company.

This week, two articles from Forbes each have a piece of advice when it comes success in any business endeavor. Both of them though touch on what it really means to be persistent in your business.

Persistence in development

The first one is written by Alan Hall and talks about the ten horrific mistakes that businesses make and a major cause in their downfall. His Mistake #5 is the treatment of customers as if their feedback was irrelevant.

They suppose customers will never seek improvements or that competitors will never surpass them. They allocate no funds to research. Customers don’t care for their products and don’t buy them.”

In your case, getting customer feedback is one way to exercise true persistence. The difference between this and being a pest is that you just mindlessly take the information. You waste your money on surveys and market research but don’t really act upon what you’ve learned. Be persistent in developing and expanding your services by keeping in touch with your customers. Use their feedback as the guide for research and development. Learn about what new cleaning services they’re seeking and how to turn that into an edge over your competitors.

Persistence in approach

This second one is from David DiSalvo. But before that, you all know how many techniques in B2B marketing (such as telemarketing and email) have been regarded as pesky when it comes to persistence. Many fear that they’ll have to go through numerous rejections before running into one that won’t hang up the moment they hear your business’ name. In DiSalvo’s post however, this kind of fear is mentioned throughout all of his ten reasons for why people fail. This excerpt here best summarizes the course action you need to take in the face of such fear.

Yes, true, we can lose, we can die. So what? Push forward.”

Persistence is all about moving on and pushing forward despite rejections and failures. Yes, you and your telemarketers have met with constant declines but do you sit around bemoaning? No, you move forward. You don’t allow yourself nor your people to be daunted by rejection. If your call is denied, you move on. If your email has not been responded to, you move on. In either case, you don’t pester the one who rejected your attempt. You, as DiSalvo says, ‘push forward.’ In addition, it’s recommended that you also find ways to better your overall B2B telemarketing or email marketing strategies. Fix your targeting and refresh your contact database for instance.

Both are just some of the ways you can demonstrate true persistence in business. It’s not about being a pest that can’t take no for an answer and being too content. It’s about being able to strive onward whether you’re developing your products and services or your directly marketing your prospects.

Maximize Customer Support And Make Commercial Cleaning Leads Out Of Complaints!

commercial cleaning leadsGetting customer feedback helps in marketing because it’s a direct way of knowing how your market thinks. And by market, this includes potential commercial cleaning leads as well as your current B2B customers. Once you know what they think, you’ll not only know how to develop your business but also how you’re going to market those developments. Maximizing customer support can expand the way you gain more insight by getting more feedback. Aside from just asking everyone to join in for customer support (like what Kumaran did), you can also gain even further additional support by outsourcing a call center. (This is a really cost-efficient strategy if your total in-house personnel still can’t keep up with a growing number of customers). Continue reading

Limit Your Cleaning Service Options When Generating Janitorial Leads

Commercial Cleaning Leads, Janitorial LeadsCommercial cleaning services usually come with a wide range of specializations such as building maintenance, handyman services, and even pest control. Naturally this allows your business to serve an equally wide range of other industries. And with that wide range, you have a wider market from which you can gain janitorial leads.

However, not all those industries in turn will require all those services. Why is this significant? It’s because you might still be marketing those services as part of your entire lead generation campaign. This is not only unnecessary but also counterproductive. You’d be surprised at how many more janitorial leads you can generate if you focus only what a prospect might require.

Think about it for a minute. If you were, for instance, looking for janitorial services with experience working with hotel and restaurants. One day, you get a call from two telemarketers each representing a janitorial service.

  • Caller A – This one tells you they’ve had experience working for hotels, restaurants, hospitals, factories, schools etc. They go on and list a number of skills available in their workforce.
  • Caller B – This one just simply says they’ve heard about your hotel business and say their janitorial company has the necessary skills to service hotels. Period.

Can you guess which one generates more commercial cleaning leads? Caller B. The reason? It’s because this telemarketer just told you what you needed to know. You were not looking for someone who specialized in cleaning up different kinds of work places. You were only looking for a janitorial service provider who can clean and maintain your specific business.

Now this doesn’t mean you, as the service provider, shouldn’t diversify the skills of your workforce or your industry expertise. It simply means you should only market the services that correspond to your target businesses. Otherwise, you’re just overloading your prospect with too much noise and too little value!

Marketing approaches that present too many options are more likely to induce decision anxiety among prospectsThis excerpt from the Harvard Business Review talks about the same effect among consumers but it can also apply to B2B customers:

Consumers spend far longer researching products today than they did in the past, and yet 70 percent don’t make a decision one way or another about which brand to buy until the point of purchase. Even after making a purchase, one fifth of consumers continue to research the product to check if they made the right choice. Forty percent, meanwhile, admit to feeling anxious about the purchase decision they made. All this suggests that consumers are actually overwhelmed, unable to effectively process the flood of product information and choices.”

In fact, it doesn’t even matter if you replace telemarketers here with email marketers. If you’re approaching targeted prospects then your message should correspond to them only. Don’t overload them with too much information and present too many cleaning service options. What’s the point of specifying and differentiating your expertise in certain industries if you just send them all the same marketing message? When you approach a business, you’ll get more interest if you tailor your message specifically to their needs. Gather more information about your prospects before making any direct marketing attempt. Keep the message short and simple (just like Caller B). Limiting your cleaning service options isn’t about eliminating them but giving only the options that matter to your prospects.