Maid services are a hit in any country, hiring maids to clean your apartment or your house, who wouldn’t grab the opportunity in that. You don’t have to clean by yourself, but with this you’ll be spending money for that service twice or thrice a month. Given that you don’t mess your apartment every day. Well, that’s one way to getting many leads, by maid service. But our topic isn’t in B2C but in B2B sales.
Being 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.
Before, many B2B organizations had fewer options besides the phone when it came to looking for qualified leads. Today however, the unwarranted nature of cold calls has driven many companies (even janitorial firms) to seek out less disruptive forms of communication. Remember, the Achilles heel in cold calls is there is a substantial lack of information. They don’t make for a good start while at the same time, you just interrupted someone’s busy day. Obviously, you need to be a really smooth talker to keep them from hanging up and left with only a bad impression.
As a result, many forms of online communication have begun to rise because they’re not as disruptive. The most popular would be email and social media. Email grants communication to those who don’t have the time to really be active on networking sites while social media really helps companies who wish to directly engage their market and gain insights without being too direct. Furthermore, plenty of email marketers argue that their methods come at a lower cost than having to hire an entire team of call center agents.
On the other hand, this dependence on online discussions and exchanges comes with its own problems. The best-known flaw is that online conversations comprise purely of text and not everything you read might necessarily be true. Have you ever asked yourself, how much can you trust the words found on your prospect’s email response? Can you really learn everything about a prospect from data harvested from social media?
Don’t underestimate the dangers of deception on the internet. If you’re communicating with a prospect via email or social media, you have to find ways to really verify the things they’re saying. The best way to do that is to make that conversation more real.
Some might argue that the exchange is real enough but the sad reality is that it’s easier to determine the truth from hearing a live person’s voice compared to text. Simply put, it’s easier to lie with the written word than the spoken. You need to take that conversation to that level if you really want some progress in your janitorial leads generation. As far as costs are concerned, it’s true that email might be the only thing you can afford but that doesn’t mean you can’t use outsourced telemarketing. There’s not much of a difference since they’ll allow you to even listen in on recorded conversations with prospects.
There’s no question that starting the conversation with email or through social media can equip you with enough to get past gatekeepers and other obstacles. That’s where cold calls had failed after all. However, once you reach that point, you should already be trying to make the discussion more real, more believable. In fact, sometimes even a telemarketing firm might not be enough to really verify. Setting an appointment could be the final confirmation because you’ll be actually meeting the prospect in person. So as you can see, online conversations can only take you so far. Don’t just stop there and shift the discussion into more real forms of engagement!
As much as it’s dangerous to rush your prospect, you still need a bit of rushing for yourself when it comes to the lead generation process. When trying to connect, don’t allow too much time for yourself when you finally manage to get in touch.
Do remember that the office environment is a really busy one. If you’re looking to qualify businesses for office cleaning leads, then you’ll need to get in touch with the one in charge of the place. (Or at least, the one responsible for the maintenance and cleanliness of the work environment.)
With that in mind, you can then review some of the common means used to contact these people. See how well they measure up in terms of attracting their interest in the shortest time possible.
- Telemarketing – This one has the potential to be the best or the worst. It’s true that a phone can have you speaking directly with the right decision maker. Although, if you can’t make the conversation quick but that the same time promising enough that they’ll welcome another call (or even set an appointment to meet), it’s both a waste of time and also terribly annoying.
- Email marketing – It’s similar to telemarketing albeit less direct. But when you’re less direct, the less likely someone will find you annoying. On the other hand, if your message is too long to read or your subject line sounds too much like spam, your message is virtually non-existent in their minds.
- Website marketing – This has even more potential for being too long to read. However, if your content is brief and well-optimized, there are ways to keep them snagged without necessarily forcing them to loiter on your website.
- Banner advertising – When you see some of the popular banner ads out there, it seems fun to try. Sadly, decision makers and business owners will only have time for that sort of fun when the work day has ended and they care more about cleaning up their living room than their office. The truth is such ads are heavily dependent on internet-surfing habits and these are actually considered terrible qualities for someone who is required to set their priorities and manage their time.
The trick here is that all of these methods actually have the capacity to give you the quick start you need before qualifying. The key to this is realizing that they’re only there to snag your prospect’s attention. Don’t keep them snagged. Find a way to reel them in. If you’re calling them directly, give them only basic but relevant details. Keep the message short but at the same time, it prompts them to consider the state of their working environment. The same goes for email. It should be something that would compel them to at least think about what you’re offering and not more junk to toss into the trash bin. Banner ads too can have this capacity if you put these in the right places. Meanwhile, the message within should focus only on getting attention and directing them to your janitorial service (be it via phone or a website).
Furthermore, if you actually check out the strategies of most lead generation companies, you’ll find the methods are tailored to that end. The amount of interest they provoke at the start should only be enough so that qualification can soon follow.
It’s not the entire process. It’s just the start but the start needs to be really quick.
When running a business, it never hurts to be absolutely sure. After all, your confidence in what you offer isn’t based on how you feel (or some other abstract, subjective value) but the quality and the results that your cleaning services provide. How should you be any different with regards to pursuing leads?
Now there are many clear signs which indicate a confusion between an assumption and a bona fide sales lead:
- You buy a contact list and think that’s all you need to know.
- You use a method that has been hailed as a success even though you have no prior experience with it.
- You make many other assumptions by citing the same benefits and features without so much as paying attention to an individual business’s needs.
- You don’t even have a plan that considers the role of budget and the role of the decision maker you’re calling.
As you can see, it’s clear why they’re only meager assumptions and not the commercial cleaning leads you’re looking for. Janitorial telemarketing will need more than just a list of numbers and a fancy marketing script. For one thing, both methods require data.
Sure you might think that contact information is one form of data. And yes, it’s true that you can’t even start without it. However, is that all? Of course not. There are so many ways that other factors can determine your success (or failure). Knowing who to call saves you the trouble of navigating a business’s internal network (especially if it’s one of the larger corporations). You will need to know exactly what would put them in need of some good janitorial services. Budget obviously tells you if they can even afford enlisting your aid. Finally, experience is needed for you to come up with a set of strategies to really put the above to good use (or at least, get yourself some professional telemarketers to show you how it’s done).
The main point in all this though is to refrain from making too many assumptions about your target businesses. Some people will tell you to trust your impulses but the success of that approach is not high in the world of business. Its worst manifestation is that it leads to acting on bad assumptions. These in turn lead to misunderstandings and those eventually culminate in a bad, business relationship.
Information is both the prevention and the cure for that. What’s more good news is that there is no shortage of ways to get it. You can invest some time and money in your own database or outsource lead generation services in case you have neither to spare at the moment. The information you get will help refine your attempts at a sale and grant more accuracy to your marketing efforts.
Again, there is a fine line between a qualified sales lead and mere assumption. It never hurts to make sure but the only way to make sure is by doing your homework and acquiring a reasonable amount of information to refine and justify your attempts.
While people tend to take janitorial services for granted, that doesn’t mean that establishments themselves won’t notice any unexpected changes to their working environment. That’s why before you pursue your cleaning services leads, you should make sure that the company you’ll be providing services for will know that you’re coming.
That does not just mean the person you called or emailed and then made the deal with. It also means the other people that person is working with and they may even have more daily encounters with your janitors compared to them!
And honestly, these aren’t always to be taken likely. Some of these people may have gripes about the way things are being cleaned or don’t like certain objects or equipment even touched. Of course, you don’t really need to talk this over with them personally.
The above possibility simply needs to be considered when you’re converting contacts into qualified leads. Whether you’re doing it yourself or you’ve outsourced somebody to do it, the process itself still needs to tell the other end that this will affect more than just them. You need to ask questions about how the other people they’re working with are dealing with the cleanliness of their work environment.
If giving them a chance for input won’t empower them, it will at least tell them what to expect once their superior has made the deal with you and someone is coming over to start cleaning. Consider it a form of courtesy because it’s businesses will always like to be given the heads up.
Decision makers will always be wary of costs but more importantly, they want to know more about them in-depth. Buying behaviors among business owners can be drastically different from the buying behaviors of regular consumers. There are a lot more factors for them to consider and even if you think there’s not a lot to discuss when it comes to janitorial leads services, the other side might have a different opinion.
To understand this better, try to put yourself in their shoes when it becomes your turn to outsource a service. For example, B2B lead generation. You’re a B2B business and like any other, you need a constant flow of opportunities as well as a good source of industry information. Outsourcing is the way to cut costs for it but just as how your potential clients might want to talk to you about costs, you’d likely want to discuss the same with an outsourced company.
Going back to you, costs may always be a predictable topic a business owner would want to discuss with you. Regardless, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a good reason. Perhaps they’ve had a bad experience with a previous company or want to see if the money they give you can translate into legitimate payment for your employees. At times, it might be as simple as seeing if you’re really as cost-efficient as you say you are.
In any case, you shouldn’t risk turning them off by denying them a chance to meet with you and discuss these issues directly. You won’t be having a lot of janitorial leads if you don’t at least provide potential clients with that service.
Surprises may be good for parties but they’re not so much for businesses. For janitorial services, surprises in the forms of unexpected demands from clients can lead to all sorts of drama and put a strain on the business relationship.
You’ve probably heard enough about how these are the result of badly qualified janitorial leads. While that’s true, there’s another advantage to having quality information that can reduce the amount of bad surprises. This would be the image of your entire target market as a whole.
It’s true that businesses have their own unique demands which make them difficult to generalize (unlike the markets of consumer-targeting industries). However, an overall image of the industry can still prove useful if you’re trying to spot a trend. This trend can help you formulate your approaches so that you’ll be prepared for the unexpected.
For instance, checking out the average budget among your targets will help you expect how much your services will be paid for. In turn, it might also help you narrow down your targets to those within a certain range. This can be quite advantageous for those targeting businesses in high-rise economies like Singapore. If you’re generating leads by telemarketing in Singapore, try to have people note down a few things your target companies have in common and reformulate your calling script according to it.
There’s a lot of research involved in B2B janitorial leads generation as well and like regular market research, you can use it to adjust your approach instead of sweeping bad surprises under the rug, grinning and bearing.
Some businesses are simply more comfortable and adept using cautious marketing approaches. Inbound lead generation is one of them and can work for businesses that are more confident in attracting inquiries. Cleaning and janitorial services can be considered one of them. Everybody needs an clean working environment, be it a school, office, library, gym, factory etc. Therefore, it’s not much of a stretch to simply start promoting your cleaning service some place where decision makers can take interest. Given that the internet has greatly increased the amount of exposure for even small businesses, this internet age is as good at time as any to start.
The question though is what comes after? That’s where an inbound janitorial leads generation strategy would really help. This would cover everything from how the client would contact you to the means of qualification. Getting cleaning services leads inbound can work wonders if the flow comes in a constant and controlled rate. It means you’re never out of work.
For a basic model of such a strategy, try using telemarketing as your channel of business communication. Inquiring prospects can get information more at their own pace when its via a live phone conversation. Companies in rising economies like those in the Asia region can also make use of referral programs to really boost the amount of inquiries they get along with their reputation. Inbound telemarketing in Singapore and Hong Kong doesn’t sound like a bad idea when companies are more likely to be so well-guarded communication wise. Use an inbound strategy to make them come to you and make sure you have flexible channels to help the process.
The rise of anti-telemarketing regulations can tell you one thing. Nobody likes being called out of the blue these days. The governments of countries like Canada and Australia were just some of the first to get that message. Then again, it’s not like such calls were ever well received even during the days when people were used to telemarketers calling them in the privacy of their own homes like traveling salespeople.
Truth be told, that sentiment has not entirely left even those who run businesses and that’s not a good thing if you’re a janitorial service. You need qualified janitorial leads if you want clients constantly coming in and you know enough about them for a successful partnership.
Fortunately, you can minimize the element that puts the ‘cold’ in cold calling. That element being the unexpected nature of the call. Now you cannot completely eliminate the initial shock when a gatekeeper or a decision maker picks up the phone and hears you. However, if you’ve got some solid data on their company beforehand (data that is relevant both to you and to your target), then you have a better chance of getting them to consider what you have to offer.
If cost is an issue, that’s not a surprise either. Databases are hard to compile because it takes years and it’s even costlier to maintain during an ever on-going campaign. Naturally, this is why most B2B businesses outsource telemarketers to get their leads for them. Some telemarketers have even managed to produce Canada sales leads for businesses inside and outside the country. This is because they naturally come with a contact database of their own. Get them on the job and you can get the data that diminishes the cold in cold calls.