Focus, Rep, Time and Tactics. Getting in the Lead on Leads
You’ve got your janitorial business named.
The website launched.
The supplies bought.
Now all you need is… customers right? Of course! But, generating a good reputation and a strong word of mouth network is more important than most realize.
If generating leads for your commercial cleaning business is your toughest challenge right now, this post is for you.
Having run a cleaning company ourselves, we understand that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to finding new customers in the grand world of cleaning services. Your workload and budget are different from those of your competitors, and they can change in a matter of weeks or months. But that doesn’t mean that using a few proven tactics can’t give you a leg up in this wild world of the custodial arts.
With that in mind, we’ve outlined some lead generation options for every schedule and budget.
1. You’ve Got Money, but no Time
Hire a lead generation company (in two steps)
Step 1: Research providers
With so much information at our fingertips these days, it’s no wonder there are more and more companies out there offering to do the legwork of finding new leads for you. A quick google search will return hundreds of options for lead generation services.
Before you hire one, however, it’s important to do your research and find one that is reputable, able to provide quality leads that match your ideal customer type (more on that in the next section,) and deliver the level of service you’re looking for.
As this article by TechnologyAdvice.com points out, not all leads are created equal. The term “lead” is often used loosely for people/organizations at all stages of the buying process. Some actually qualify as leads, while others are merely names on a spreadsheet.
In other words, you’ll need to evaluate how capable you are of nurturing leads once they are delivered to you — if you’re willing to nurture cold leads, purchasing a list of names and contact information might be a good option. If you’re expecting the leads you purchase to be ready to hire your company, be prepared to pay for additional lead nurturing services.
There are many more companies that provide more general lead generation services for a variety of industries. For instance, Abstrakt Marketing is a full-service lead-gen provider that sells for 100+ building service contractors in the U.S.
Step 2: Measure the ROI
While it’s important to do your research on reputable lead-gen companies before hiring one, measuring the results they deliver is equally (if not more!) important.
Even if the leads the company provides meet the criteria you’ve set out for them, that doesn’t mean they will result in sales. Be sure to calculate the difference between what you spent on the leads and the revenue they generated before deciding whether or not to go that route again.
According to TechnologyAdvice.com:
“lower cost leads may seem appealing because you can buy a greater volume, but these leads are nowhere near ready to purchase from your company, so your return on investment date will be much farther out… Time is a resource like any other, so remember to factor it in when weighing the cost of purchasing leads.”
For more info on calculating and maximizing your return on investment check out this article: How to Buy B2B Leads That Generate the Most ROI
2. You’ve Got Time, but no Money
Build your own list
Step 1: Pick an ideal client type
The key to building a leads list that will convert to paying customers is to focus on one or two specific types of leads.
If you’re not already really clear on the type of clients you want to work with, your first task is to pick an ideal client type — also known as a niche. You may have more than one, but take note — “anyone willing to pay me” is not a niche!
Why is it important to pick a type of client?
- It allows you to narrow down which businesses in your area could be leads — otherwise, where would you even begin?
- It allows you to target them with specific marketing messages. If you have one generic message for all different types of clients, it won’t feel like you truly understand the challenges they each face on a daily basis. Referencing things that are unique to their business sets you apart from the competition.
- By working with clients in the same industry you will begin to specialize in those types of jobs — making you an expert in that area.
- Testimonials and references from other clients in the same industry will allow you to build trust more quickly than generic testimonials.
How to pick an ideal client type
If you already have contracts, write down the types of clients you currently have. You may start to see patterns emerge. If not, choose one or two of your best clients — the ones you really enjoy working for and who your company is best suited to serve — this could be your niche.
If you’re just starting out, talk to your friends. Do they own businesses or know someone who owns a business that your company could serve? If so, be sure to give some thought to whether or not you are well suited to clean their spaces before deciding to go after more of that type of client.
Also pay attention while you’re out and about on a daily basis — while you’re at the dentist, the gym or dropping your cat off at the vet. Do any of these businesses have specific pains that you could solve with your services?
Once you’ve brainstormed, begin Googling businesses in your area that match up with this client type. We’ll soon help you turn this into a list of leads in your local area, but first, it’s important to determine how you’ll make your company stand out to these types of organizations.
Step 2: Identify their unique pain points
By understanding the challenges each of them faces you’ll be able to speak to these pains (and offer solutions) when you’re on the phone with them — setting your company apart from the competition.
We’ve created a “Customer Pain Point Worksheet” to help you brainstorm their pain points and record solutions you might be able to offer.
>> To get the Customer Pain Point Worksheet (and other great templates and scripts) sign up for our free 21 Day Sales Challenge. <<
Step 3: Compile the list
The first step is to research businesses in your area that match your ideal client type. You can do this using Google and YellowPages.
Use the Lead Tracking Spreadsheet we created (link below) to record the contact information of as many businesses as possible. You’ll see at the bottom of the spreadsheet that we’ve divided it up by type of business. Because these leads are cold, you’ll want to compile a long list before reaching out to anyone.
Aim for at least 100 contacts. This may seem like more than you’ll need, but unfortunately, you won’t get a hold of everyone on that list, and of those you do, not everyone will result in a walkthrough. You may only book a walkthrough with 10% of these contacts, and even that is a good percentage!
>> Click here to get the Lead Tracking Spreadsheet (and other great templates and scripts) by joining our free 21 Day Sales Challenge. <<
Step 4: Maintain the list
Truthfully, it’s not creating the list that’s the hard part — it’s maintaining that list. When we were a cleaning company building a list like yours, the leads that converted into customers were the ones that we carefully tracked.
Here are some recommendations for keeping your list organized:
- List your next action item for each contact and highlight them all in color.
- Put those action items in your calendar before you forget!
- If you have a lot of people asking you to follow up in a few days, re-organize your list and move those contacts to the bottom
- Include any notes from your calls in their own column to jog your memory about that lead for future conversations.
Our handy Lead Tracking Spreadsheet has examples to get you on the right track.
>> Click here to get the Lead Tracking spreadsheet (and other great templates and scripts) sign up by joining our free 21 Day Sales Challenge.<<
3. You’ve Got a Bit of Time… and a Bit of Money
Step 1: Choose a channel (or 2, but no more than 2)
The possibilities of where and how to advertise can be overwhelming, so our best advice is to focus on just one or two advertising channels at a time.
You may want to try one digital advertising channel (ie, Facebook ads, paid Google search ads, etc.) and one traditional/local channel (ie. newspaper ads, flyers, bus ads, etc.) to start.
If it seems like a channel isn’t working, try tweaking the message or visuals before abandoning that channel. It could just be that you haven’t quite found a message that resonates with your audience.
If you’re completely new to digital advertising there are tons of great resources online that can help you understand the different types of digital ads, how they’re bought, how much they cost, how they’re targeting, and how to go about creating your own digital advertising campaign.
This course on Udemy is a great example: https://www.udemy.com/course/digital-advertising-marketing-101/
Step 2: Monitor & Measure Your Ad Performance
Many business owners would expect buying ads to be under the “you’ve got money, but no time” category, but that’s only if your plan is to use the “set it and forget it” method of creating ads: create them, and then assume they are doing their job while you move on to the rest of yours.
In case you haven’t gathered, we don’t recommend this approach.
Monitoring the performance of your ads is less time-consuming than building a leads list from scratch, but it certainly does take time.
But is it really necessary?
Tracking, analyzing, and tweaking your ads is crucial to seeing a positive ROI (return on investment.)
And if you’re not seeing a positive ROI, you’re wasting money on ads!
No matter what channel you choose to advertise on, be sure to have a plan for measuring performance. This can be easily done using the analytics tools built into most online advertising platforms (Facebook and Adwords, for instance) but it’s also possible to know where traffic from your offline advertising efforts is coming from.
- Click here to read how we used a combination of 2 online tools to learn what was making our phone ring when we were a janitorial company.
At the end of the day, none of these methods of generating leads is foolproof. The key to turning them into paying customers is two-fold:
- Measure the ROI (return on investment) of your lead-gen techniques to ensure you’re always making more than you’re spending
- Measure how effective you are at nurturing and converting the leads you generate — are you losing potential customers because your website fails to answer their questions? Or because you take to long to return their call?