I have been out all week handing out business cards and talking to people and I can’t land any accounts. Every time they ask for a price I way underbid and still nobody is interested, I’m starting to get a little desperate now. I’m going out again tomorrow, please any tips are helpful. By the way I’ve going to small businesses, store fronts, local restaurants etc. If you have any tips on closing a deal it would be greatly appreciated.
Do you have a solid marketing plan in place? Do you keep track and follow up constantly on contacts? It often takes pushing through many “no’s” to get to that one “yes”. Show you have what it takes. People can smell desperate from a mile away. Be confident.
I really don’t have any money to do marketing my friend. This was my first week going out so I guess I’m just a newbie. Thanks for the advice.
When I first started out I tried the same as you. I underbid and could not understand why I only got no’s. It’s because they see the desperation in the low price. Bid it confidently at the price it’s worth. People will not only respect you for it, but be more willing to take you on as their window cleaner. Your confidence in your price gives them confidence that you know what you’re doing and that you’ll do a perfect job.
Really solid advice, thanks.
Come up with a price that makes you a business and not a guy looking for beer money. Then, no matter what, STICK TO THAT PRICE.
Then get it done.
Wearing a uniform, even if its just a shirt ( preferably with a collar) makes a huge difference. Also carry a clip board or ipad. You make your first impression on potential customers even before you talk to them.
Sorry to hear things haven’t been going great. I know this can be very discouraging. But keep at. If you follow the advice above and just keep trying it will work eventually. Hang in there.
How many of the places you’re visiting already have a window cleaner? Do you at least have a business card? If you don’t have a uniform, at a minimum, wear a collared blank polo as khakis or nice jeans, the clip board was a good suggestion. Smile, bee confident. Print up some index card sized store front estimate sheets on card stock so it’s a little sturdier than paper, did it in color. Practice your pitch in the mirror, record yourself talking and listen to what you sound like. Leave an estimate sheet with your business card everywhere you stop and get the name of the person who makes the decision as the name and phone number of the store, follow up, follow up, follow up and then follow up again. If they already have a cleaner ask if you can give them a quote anyway because toy believe toy can provide a greater value to them. Offer bi-weekly or monthly cleanings. If you have to, go with weekly cleanings. After following up by phone if still no, still in again in a week and speak to them again
If you’d like, I’ll send you my basic store front drop off card to your email. The important thing is to follow up, I’m not sure if i made that clear on my last response. Most of my storefront sales are closed on follow up, most (huge percent) of my initial storefront drop bys are NO’s.
- If you have a color printer you can print an ink supply of flyers. If you don’t, ask a friend or relative if they can help you out.
- Do two styles, residential and store front.
- Print 2 to 4 on one sheet of paper and cut them out :::BAM::: you just doubled or quadrupled your printing budget.
- Get a couple cheap polo shirts and think color coding your business; use that color of your shirt in your flyers. Color gets attention and you can subtly brand yourself - it makes you stand out.
- Have a set price for Residential and a set price for Store Front…Yes, they are different.
- If you don’t have equipment for certain jobs, then don’t bid those until you can get the correct supplies and gear.
- In your mind you are screaming for work - in your presentation you are calm and confident and offer your service beaming with that. They say no, you make a one time offer of 10% off, they still say no, thank them for their time, leave your information in case they change their mind, and move on to the next. You don’t have time for such negativity. (For residential let them know you store fronts and offices; for store fronts and offices let them know you do residential.)
- Get those flyers out, it is a numbers game, get those flyers out.
If you have no $ at least get some business cards and a t- shirt with your logo. You can get a basic logo for 5 to 20$ on fiverr.com.
where are you located?
You can probably get some jobs from Thumb tack if you price low ( I know… But the mans gotta eat).
Regardless, if you expect anyone to take you seriously you have to spend some money. It takes dozens or hundreds of small store fronts to make up a real business and if you want to get good accounts they’re not going to hire just anybody.
Lots of people have success with yard/ lawn signs. I’ve never tried it personally, but have have read good things about it.
Unless you’re a great salesman ( I’m not honestly) then you might want to try a different approach. In my area I would have to clean a 100 small store fronts at $15 a piece to make just $1500 a month. So I don’t compete with those guys and focus on the good accounts who know the difference between good quality and a good price. It sounds like you’re desperate ( no offence intended) so you should probably just take what you can get but keep everything stated in this thread in mind.
Its not easy to build a successful window cleaning business. The people looking for service probably aren’t looking for you, and the people not looking probably don’t care. So price accordingly and if you do land a job do a great work then ask them to please leave you a review. After you get some good reviews everything will be easier. Reviews are the equivalent (if not better) to what used to be a good bbb rating. Build or buy a good website and link your reviews to it. Wix and square are good for website newbies.
Other than that just hustle and don’t give up. The successful people here didn’t do it over night or even in a year so don’t be discouraged. The first step is to be commited to your self and what will be your business.
There are business card making websites that offer like 100 free basic business cards with codes, you could probably google and find a code and get some cards
This is how I do it.
Walk in store, you should have your pricing down so that if you had to you could give a price as you walked in.
“How can I help you?”
“I’m looking for a manager or an owner.”
The peon at the front usually wanders back and calls to the manager. “Gary, there is some guy here for you”
or they may say “What is this for?” (Keep in mind they have no decision power, they are peons, they are just asking…"
“I’m a professional window cleaner” They usually say “ok” or they may throw an objection like “We already have someone” or “We actually have our property manager do that stuff”
I say “That’s fine, I’d still like to speak with a manager”
Let’s pretend Gary walks up to the desk.
“How can I help you?”…
Hi, my name is Alex, I was just in the area putting quotes on windows and I am wondering if you would like a free bid?
“Well we already have someone”
That’s fine, a good window cleaner is hard to find. Can I still leave my quote?
I walk outside, my minimum bid is $12 for the outside. Some guys are $15. It depends.
Go back inside “Ok here is my quote for today” I show them the card, tell them the price, give them the card. I also say I wipe down the sides (I point to the sides of the windows where the rubber is), I also point to the metal base-plates and say “I wipe these down too”. I am smiling and trying to be confident. I also say “I will make them look brand new”
“Does that sound like something that you are interested in? I can do it today!”
This is the ultimate sale moment! ASK FOR THE SALE! Please ask for it. Don’t leave a card, ask for the sale!
“Umm well I would have to speak with the owner…”
And then I check back in 2 days. Because eventually Gary will wear down and give in to me.
Do some freebie for some friends or family in the area, they will sell your services for you.
Your approach will change over time… (I hope)
The cashier or shop staff can be your “friend.”
When you go in the the shop, read the name tag that the person is wearing call them by name, Tom or Tiffany my Name is ( ) with ( ) window cleaning is the manager/owner in… normally they will say sure let me get them for you. Your immediate response should be “Thank you Tom/Tiffany” Then they will go to the manager/owner with a comment like (Name) from _____ window cleaning is here to speak with you NOT “Gary, theres some guy here to see you.”
Try that approach it helps a lot.
I hope this little piece of advice helps @alexkjv33 .
It’s amazing how conditioned we are to respond positively to our name. Our brains, it seems, can’t help but feel like they somewhat know the person if they use our name.
Sidenote: This may not be practical for storefronts, but I’ve also experimented with giving and not giving a handshake. It was a different context, but I’ve found people respond much better with the handshake. Perhaps it’s because some people feel that’s part of being polite, but i suspect it also has to do with the oxytocin (the “trust hormone”) that is released due to the physical contact.
That’s right Daniel.
I believe treating others respectfully will get you a bit farther in life!
We are of like mind.
Do you know your competition?