What Your Customers Are Really Buying

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by Tom Watson on June 9, 2010

Ask yourself the following question. “What do you think influences your customers buying habits?”

I bet a large percentage of business owners haven’t ever given that question any thought. And that’s a real shame, because they don’t have any idea what their missing.

If you thought your customers are just buying (or not buying for that matter) your cleaning services (or whatever you are offering) you would be way off base.

The decision to purchase from one company over another involves much more than just the product or service you offer. The customer is influenced by every facet of your operation.

The customers decision to choose your company or go elsewhere is an extremely complicated mechanism. The potential client notices and keeps a scorecard on each facet of your operation and of your competitors as well.

The highest score wins.

This score keeping starts with the phone call to your office. Was the caller able to get in touch with you promptly? Did you make an appointment at their convenience?

When you pulled up to their home or office was your vehicle clean and shiny? Were you clean and shiny? As in well dressed and cared for. Was your notebook organized and well-kept? Was the pen you wrote notes with a cheap 10¢ one or a classy $10.00 model?

How did you handle yourself? Did you let the customer do most of the talking? Did you address their concerns? Did you ask good follow-up questions?

Did they receive a top-notch business card? Was your guarantee or offer on the back of the card? Did you offer them multiple ways to get in contact (phone, email, website, social media)?

Was your proposal on time and polished? Did it spell out exactly what you were offering? Did you follow-up on the bid with a call? Did you take the time to thank them by sending a thank you card with your appreciation? Did you do your best on all of the above?

I hope so because that’s what the customer is buying.

Each little detail I mentioned doesn’t amount to all that much on its face. But collectively they form a narrative about you and your company. If you seek to be seen in the most positive light, then make sure all those little details get your full attention.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our RSS feed. If you are looking for a blueprint that will show you how to start a cleaning business, then check out my Cleaning Business Start Up Guides. If you are badly in need of a first class website then take a look at my Cleaning Business Websites.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jocelyn Newton May 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

First, I want to THANK YOU for the vast amount of information you provide!! I have bookmarked this website and will refer to it daily, as a main source of business resources. (I hope this is ok?)

Second, the reason we (my daughter-in-law and I) are starting a cleaning service is because we / they do not have enough money to make it from one week to the next. The creditor’s are annoying. The bills get juggled on a monthly basis. Birthday’s and holiday’s come too quickly with not enough money to . . . and we said, “Ok! enough is enough! It’s time to DO something to help!!”

Third, THAT was the moment “Two Maids A-Cleaning” was created!

Fourth, -maybe I haven’t researched your website enough- do you have examples of forms to use for proposals, orders, etc.?

I / WE really appreciate your time and effort put into this website!

And I DO have one more question for now: You mentioned that you registered your business name and got insurance. How do I go about doing that? – Again, I apologize if you’ve covered this elsewhere and I just haven’t got that far yet!

Thank you so much for your help!

Jocelyn Newton
Two Maids A’Cleaning

2 Tom Watson May 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Hi Jocelyn,

I’m glad you are enjoying the site! Bookmarking it is a great idea, I’m happy you chose us. I certainly understand the reasoning for getting started. Your concerns are shared by so many nowadays. With that said, I do love the name you choose, very original.

As to the forms and other day to day paperwork needed to operate a cleaning business, those are in our course (details here: http://wp.me/PO3Aj-43). You’ll find all the record keeping forms, contracts, proposals, sales letters and other material spread throughout the course. Nothing was left out.

Registering the business can be done several ways depending on how you want it structured. The simplest way is going to the county you live in and going to the clerks office. For me this was like $25.00 to register. They check to make sure no one else has the name you want, if all checks out you get the paperwork saying you own that name. Real simple!

On insurance you just look up a “Commercial Liability Insurance” in “your town” on Google and the results should give you many options for getting the ball rolling. Find a agent you feel comfortable with and ask what the entry level coverage is for your location. Again…it’s quite easy to accomplish this so you should have no trouble.

Thanks for calling our site “home” and keep us posted on your progress!


3 michael reyes August 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm

i am so glad i found your website, one thing i am having a problem with is how to bid on jobs . i dont only do cleaning but i also strip&wax floors and carpet clean. i live in chicago ill, can you help me . how should i bid on jobs? . mike

4 Tom Watson August 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Hey Mike!

I’m happy you found us too! Anyway…to your question.

Though bidding is not terribly complicated, I really can’t sum up the process in a few paragraphs in a way that is effective. In fact my course (http://wp.me/PO3Aj-43) takes an entire chapter to answer that very question.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that I can’t tell you what to bid in Chicago because I’m from New Jersey. This is because the act of figuring out what to charge is tied to the local wage rates for your area. My course talks about that and walks readers thorough it.

5 nena wetjen October 31, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Hi sir tom,
im from mobile alabama i helped few mothers to clean there house for 2 years now.i wanted to get my license so i can have more money.they are not paying me enough but i do work hard.how much i usually charge per hour if you are license.bonded.secured give me idea please.


6 Tom Watson October 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Hi Nena!

The short answer is “charge as much as the market is willing to pay”. With that said, for me to give a good reply I would need to be in your area, but I’m not. I’m in New Jersey, which is one of the most expensive places to live in the country. So what I would charge is MUCH DIFFERENT than what you would.

I also don’t know a thing about the company you work for, as who knows how well they run their company. What I can tell you is this…I would AT LEAST double what you are getting paid to clean (maybe more). Odds are the market price is somewhere in that area. I would recommend that you consider my course (http://wp.me/PO3Aj-43) as that explains in complete detail how to bid the customer jobs.

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