Supply Line 2014: The more you know the more you can help your customers solve problems!

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by Tom Watson on May 4, 2014

One of the biggest traits a cleaning business owner needs to have is that of a problem solver. Think “Sherlock Holmes”.

At the end of the day a potential customer is calling you BECAUSE they have a problem. You need to solve it! This requires “brain muscles”.

Some of these problems are simply a matter of doing a better job at the cleaning, but others are a result of a lack of knowledge by the cleaning business owner. It may have been because they weren’t aware of a new product or piece of equipment that tackles the issue the customer was having.

Need an example to visualize this? Imagine a bathroom that has a horrible smell, and the customer thought the cleaning company wasn’t doing a good job when in fact it was the drain in the floor that was the root of the issue. Perhaps the trap in the floor drain dried out due to lack of use!

Pouring the right product down that drain would SOLVE the issue BUT if the person cleaning the place didn’t know that then you have a recipe for a complaint that won’t get solved. A simple lack of knowledge! Education solves this.

My visit to “Supply Line 2014”

In case you are wondering what in the world Supply Line 2014 is, it’s the only east coast trade show for cleaning supplies. It’s an every other year event, and it was just held in Atlantic City New Jersey at one of the casinos. Luckily for me, this is only about an hour away.

Needless to say I signed up and went this year. I took the time to go because staying on top of the latest solutions, equipment and related products is important. Odds are your local competition is just trying to stay afloat. But if you play your cards right, and educate yourself, you will soon become the “go to” company in your area.

The show lasted for several days, so I was able to free up some time in order to spend a day there. I really enjoyed my time, as I was able to meet a bunch of interesting people and learn some things as well. In fact some of the products I learned about will be featured in some upcoming posts down the road.

I’ll wrap this up by suggesting you take a look at how you can increase your “Cleaning IQ”. I read some industry magazines, visit manufactures websites and of course, go to trade shows whenever possible. A little of “this and that” adds up over time. Aim for 30 minutes per week, as that will be a good start!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brandon May 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Thank you for the post.
Are there any specific magazines or websites that you would suggest that we read?

2 Tom Watson May 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Hi Brandon! These site is a good start, and they have magazines you can subscribe to as well… http://www.cmmonline.com/

3 Brandon May 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Thank for the website suggestion! I have one more quick question. I submitted a bid to clean this one building a week ago, and I haven’t heard back from the manager as of yet. I was wondering how long I should wait before I contact the manager to inquire about the bid? Thank you

4 Tom Watson May 4, 2014 at 6:47 pm

That’s up to you. A week is about right, so calling to inquire is ok in my book. Keep in mind there is no “right or wrong”, as long as you give them ample time to look it over.

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