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.
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.