How to get new customers for a residential cleaning business is one of the biggest issues I receive when I survey my customers. Why is it so difficult to find new customers?
Many businesses today make the mistake of thinking it’s all in the “sale.” People are becoming immune to sales today because they seem to be perpetual. When is there not a sale?
The real issue is the result of not knowing who your target market is. Now don’t get mad – we all want to think everyone is our customer, but is that really true?
Here’s an example – you are selling muscle building supplements. Where would you find people who want these specific supplements:
– Weight Lifting Gyms
– Diet Centers
– Muscle Magazines
– Aerobic Centers
– Women Publications
If you said “yes” to diet centers, aerobic centers, and women publications then you are mistaken. Yes – some of those people might be interested in building muscle, but that would be a small percentage. If you want the biggest bang for your advertising investment, then you are going to go after weight lifting gyms and muscle magazines.
Are you getting the concept here?
Now let’s apply this to your business. Your house cleaning business sends one person to do the cleaning and you have priced the service at reasonable (mid or low) rates. Who are the people who would like this type of cleaning:
– Retirement Communities
– Young Family Homes
– Baby Boomers
– Middle Income Communities
– High-End Communities
– Day Care Centers
I’m sure many of you would say all of the above. Is that really true? Most homes with young families would prefer a team of cleaners so they’re in an out of the house fast. They don’t like you being there longer than necessary because of the young children.
Retirement communities usually prefer one cleaner in the home because they like to make sure you do a thorough job. They have a hard time dealing with teams because of all the activity – it’s just too much for them. And then they complain because you didn’t spend enough time in their home. They just don’t realize the cleaning time is reduced when more people are on the team.
See what I mean?
Table of Contents
1) Making this Work
Test – Test – Test
It’s all about testing the response to your ads which are customized for each group of people. Did you read that? You must “customize the ad for each group of people.” That’s because your ad must speak to them… not talk at them. This is how you get people to respond with their emotions when they read your ad.
You would start with the most likely people who want your service. Once you have an ad that works for them, keep using it! Then move on to the next group with a customized message for them.
Tracking your ads is how you analyze what’s working and what’s not. Use a spread sheet with formulas to show your results as they change each quarter. This way you can see the results at a glance without spending your valuable time calculating it yourself. All you do is plug in your numbers and the results are calculated for you. An advertising tracking sheet is included with this report on advertising and the Business-in-a-Box.
Once you have a good tracking tool, it’s easy to adjust your advertising. After all, why continue to spend the money or take the effort if it’s not working?
2) Activating Their “Hot Button”
Remember – you can’t expect the same ad to work for all groups you are targeting. You have to use their “hot button” to get their attention. You do this by asking a question or making a statement that would apply only to them. You want to get them shaking their head “yes” and then force them to take action with your “call to action.”
3) Reel Them in with a “Call to Action”
Your “call to action” is just as important as their “hot button.” If you don’t ask for the sale, you won’t get it. Here’s an example of asking for the sale: “When would be a good time for the full-service cleaning? I have next Tuesday open.” In a print ad you could use: “Call now and we’ll fix your ‘hot button’.” Whatever the “hot button” was, you want to reinforce their pain and tell them how to get relief.
Use my Marketing Swipe Files for more ideas to help you implement this for your business
4) Using Incentives
Using Facebook and Twitter, you can use incentives to attract new customers by posting them on your accounts.
A simple way to get new customers is to have people experience your service before they pay for it. Are you willing to work for free for thirty minutes or one hour to get a recurring client or to get your new business off the ground?
Showing is the easiest way for people to get excited about what you have to offer. After all, most of my one-time customers ended up booking ongoing service after we completed the deep cleaning they scheduled. That’s because they could see the difference in their home. They usually exclaimed their house sparkled!
Get people on your eMail list with a sweepstakes. Offer something people want at 50% off or free. Then select one winner for the month. You could even use a QR code on your magnetic signs for this! It’s much easier for people to scan the code than trying to dial your number while driving or when they don’t have a pen and paper! Instead of a QR code, you could use text messaging and tell them to send a specific code in for a chance to win.
If you have been building an eMail list for your business prospects, you could send out a monthly newsletter and include a contest. You have a better chance of turning a prospect into a customer when you regularly reach out to touch them.
To make this work, you need to have a good offer that is attached to your service. For instance, have them schedule an appointment by a definitive date to receive something free. This could be a free oven cleaning or other seasonal task that would benefit them. Sending out offers with your newsletter has the highest subscriber retention rate giving you more time to convert them.
Would you stay on someone’s email list if you knew you had a chance to be a winner or receive something free?
The only thing you need to consider in using incentives are people who want something for free. Make sure you are sending your offers to your target market and not freebie seekers who will never pay for your service.
If you have a few customers on your calendar, you need to be getting referrals. This is the easiest way to build your customer base quickly. That’s because your existing customers are referring their friends and relatives to your business. These are people who trust your customer and therefore are more likely to try your service.
A new business with no customers does not have this opportunity, but you can use your friends and family in the same way. Just let them try your service and then ask for referrals.
Don’t leave it up to your customers to generate all your referrals. Build a network in your local community of other businesses that service your type of customers. This could be carpet cleaners, plumbers… any business that services homes that are not in direct competition with you. Get to know them and establish a referral program with them to have them refer your business to their customers. Learn how to do this in my Referral Marketing system where I show you how to protect yourself by choosing the right businesses.
6) Building Trust
Are you giving your prospects a chance to get to know you or are you giving them a one-and-done offer? People do business with people they trust. You can’t build trust with one offer.
Take the time to review your prospecting. What could you have done different on your last estimate? What can you do different now to revisit that prospect and make them an offer they can’t refuse? The only way you will know what the offer is that they can’t refuse is to know what went wrong in the initial contact.
Always remember – whatever method you use to get your business leads, you must first ensure that they are your target market. If not, you’re most likely wasting your time.