How do you measure your marketing efforts? Simple! Ask this one question…

Post image for How do you measure your marketing efforts? Simple! Ask this one question…

by Tom Watson on September 8, 2013

The only real way to “know” how well you are doing is to measure yourself somehow. For instance if the goal was weight loss, then you would simply get on the scale.

If you lost weight then you will “know” that whatever you were doing was working to some degree. If you gained weight then you probably would need to adjust your approach. Well the same is true when it comes to marketing your cleaning business, or any business for that matter.

The way this plays out in a practical sense is when your phone rings. Generally the call you get is a inquiry of some sort. They either have a question about your service or they actually want you to come out and provide a quote. They may even want you to come out ASAP and perform the service right then and there!

Whatever the case may be, you need to find out one very important tidbit of information BEFORE they hang up the phone. You’ll get this information by just ASKING a simple question. The question you need to ask goes like this…

Can you take a moment to tell me how you heard about our company?

That one simple question MEASURES THE PROGRESS (or lack of progress) of the effort you are putting into your marketing plan. While many people won’t have a definitive answer for you, many folks will tell you EXACTLY how your name came up when it came time to choose a vendor.

Over time this information tells a real pretty picture of how people stumble across your company. To be fair, this approach is one that is LONG-TERM. You can’t get a perfect picture in one week or even one month in most cases, but over the long haul the facts become crystal clear.

Like I said earlier, when you ask this question some won’t have a clue or won’t disclose what prompted them to call you. However those who do tell you provide valuable information. For instance many will tell you that someone they know referred them to your company.

When this happens it’s a good practice to ask “who that person is” so you can send them a “thank you” card for being so kind. Anyway… others may tell you they saw an advertisement. If so ask “which one” if you are running more than one. Still others may say they saw a company vehicle, got a flyer, sales letter or some other piece of marketing material.

You will even have some give you information that doesn’t make any sense, like someone saying they heard about you on the radio (even though you don’t promote yourself there). When this happens just move on, don’t argue with them and ruin your sales opportunity.

Now just the act of asking this question doesn’t mean your work is done. It’s a good practice to keep a notebook that tracks this information. In my company we just keep it next to the phone. Whatever the clients say we write down. At the end of the month you can total up all the answers to see what made the phone ring the most.

This is a super simple approach for getting a good feel for what is driving sales in your company. If you see that you are putting a lot of effort into something that is not delivering any calls, then tweak the plan or eliminate the effort altogether. If you find one thing is working well, then do MORE OF IT. Either way you win!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Troy October 14, 2013 at 12:54 am


I have been mailing out flyers,sales letters and business cards for the past three months,however,have only had one callback which unfortunately resulted in the facility going to another experienced company.How can I increase the number of interested prospects? How important would it be to physically visit these locations rather than just mail and fax information to? What should I say to the office managers if I chose to go this route?

2 Tom Watson October 15, 2013 at 8:50 am

Hi Troy! How many have you mailed out is the first question? Many think dropping off 100 or 200 letters in the mail box will yield results. This is not even close to getting it done. I would mail hundreds and hundreds per month at times (sometimes hundreds per week).

Showing up in person is touchy. If you are just dropping off info, then that is ok (you’ll need to give them something of VALUE, like I speak of here…

Also… You’ll NEVER get to the office managers when you stop in, they are WAY to busy to just drop what they are doing to talk to you. You need to use goodie bags if you go that route. Your goal is to stop in BRIEFLY and JUST DROP OFF some info about your company. If they ask questions about what you do GREAT (just don’t expect any).

You also need to network. Join some groups and start going REGULARLY. I talk about that here…

Think outside the box… here are some ways to drum up business…

3 Troy October 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

Tom,I think I’m in the same category as the people that mail out approximately 200 letters and looking to yield results.That’s about how many I mailed and only got two responses…one being just two days ago,but was ultimately turned down because I did not have any references as I told the prospective attorney that it was a new company.What are your thoughts on that? That could possibly have been the reason why the first office decided no to go with me too.

4 Tom Watson October 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hi Troy! Those type response rates are in the normal range. I’ve done TONS of these mailings. Sometimes you mail out 200 and get two calls like you did. Other times you get no calls. Still other times you get six or seven calls, there is no set amount. It varies!

You have to keep going no matter what, and over time you’ll land some jobs. Also, financially the odds are in your favor too. Just one tiny account like 200 month profit will allow to make money (that’s $2400 bucks over the course of a year).

If on the other hand you happen to land a 500 month profit job that’s a cool six thousand dollar raise for you (just for sending out some sales letters and flyers). It all evens out in the end, its your job to not get discouraged.

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