Why You Need To Be Different

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by Tom Watson on March 18, 2011

When you operate your own cleaning business, you can’t just blend into the woodwork like everyone else.

You need to let the world at large know that you are a different flavor, one with no bitter after-taste. Why is that?

Well… just like many other “service” professions, the cleaning business suffers from an image problem. Unfortunately many people have low expectations when they pick up the phone and make the call to “another” cleaning service.

This “low expectation” is because of many reasons, but one stands out more than the others. Odds are they have been burned at least once by an unscrupulous cleaning company.  

The list of infractions the customer may have experienced could include any of the following:

  • Stolen property.
  • Inconsistent service quality.
  • Non-existent customer service.
  • A cleaning person or crew who “doesn’t clean” very well.
  • Companies with high turnover always changing who is cleaning the facility.

The list goes on and on, but why is knowing this important? Because once you know their “mindset”, you can “mold” your company into the “anti-version” of what they expect. This makes you completely different, which helps make you the solution to their problem.

This approach is exactly the opposite of what most people do when starting their cleaning business. Many people mistakenly copy what the competition is doing, THINKING they are doing the right thing in the process.

They certainly aren’t trying to copy the traits I mentioned above but they copy them in other ways. They dress like, speak the same old tired sales speak, pull up in a similarly dirty work vehicle and otherwise mimic every other aspect of what the competition is doing.

This turns you into an exact duplicate of them and all the other cleaning companies out there. This is NOT WHAT YOU WANT of course. Remember…the customer is running away from the company that you took so much time copying.

When this happens what does the customer see when they set their eyes on you? WHAT THEY JUST HAD. This is one of the reasons why so many cleaning companies are unable to close any sales calls. They look too much like the last company!

To avoid this fate on sales calls, listen to what their current “soon to be fired” cleaning company is doing wrong, then explain how your company handles that issue better. In other words, offer the solution, not more of the same.

In addition, keep in mind that when I speak of being different, I mean being different across the board. You can’t be the same except for that new suit you wear on sales calls. The customer will see through that rather quickly.

Keeping your vehicles clean and shiny won’t get you hired on the spot either. It’s not good enough to be different in just one or two areas, it’s the TOTAL PACKAGE that matters.

The customer needs to look at you and see an entirely different animal from all the rest. When you are able to change how you appear in the eyes of the customer, your phone will ring, your client list will grow and you’ll realize just how easy it is to get customers to choose you over someone else.

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