The pandemic has changed a lot of things. Businesses have suffered, people’s lifestyles have changed, and we now have to wear face masks nearly everywhere we go. Aside from these obvious changes, certain types of companies have had to change the way they do business and how they acquire new customers. Commercial cleaning is one example of an industry that was affected by COVID-19. So, let’s take a closer look.
It’s difficult to predict when COVID-19 will be a thing of the past, but for now, all you can do as a business owner is adapt to the current environment. Generating commercial cleaning leads has always been an important initiative for cleaning companies; however, the ways in which a cleaning company prospects have changed. The way they sell their services has also changed (different products and services are more popular due to current circumstances).
It may seem difficult to adapt to constant changes, but if you are (1) aware of the changes happening and (2) updating your strategy to meet the needs of your prospects and customers, then you’ll be successful, even during the pandemic.
Growing your commercial cleaning company isn’t impossible during the pandemic—you just may need to change your strategy a bit. Your prospects’ needs look completely different now than they did a year ago. As needs shift, so should your priorities.
You should be thinking about your who, what, how, and why if you want to be successful. Here are four ways to generate commercial cleaning leads in 2021 and post-pandemic.
Pre-pandemic: You may have focused on targeting specific industries. For example, maybe your commercial cleaning company specifically targeted businesses, schools, and retail stores.
Now: While you may specialize in working with specific industries, times have changed. All companies now need cleaning services; plus, if your sales have suffered since the pandemic hit, attacking new markets may be your only opportunity to grow. Start thinking of additional zip codes and industries you can target to expand and diversify your client portfolio.
Pre-pandemic: Before the pandemic hit, you probably focused on selling a wide range of commercial cleaning services. Basically, anything the prospect was interested in was a win in your eyes. However, this general approach to selling isn’t always the most effective. Instead, uncovering a specific need and explaining to the prospect how you can fulfill that need is sometimes better.
Now: Instead of focusing on selling all of your services during this time, try focusing specifically on selling COVID cleaning services. After all, this is what most companies are looking for right now. Start thinking like your target customers—most of them are either A) working remotely, B) returning to the office very soon, or C) already returned to the office with increased safety measures. As a professional commercial cleaning company, you can cater to all three.
Services you focused on selling before COVID-19 may have included:
- Green cleaning
- Janitorial services
- Day porter
- Carpet cleaning
- Hard floor care
- Window cleaning
- Pressure washing
- Carpet cleaning
Now that COVID-19 is a huge concern for business everywhere, you may want to focus more heavily on the following cleaning services:
- Virus disinfecting services
- Return-to-the-office cleaning
- Deep cleaning services
- Emergency janitorial services (for companies that need additional help immediately)
Think about what services you’re focused on selling right now. If you haven’t changed your approach since the pandemic hit, you may sound like a robot to your prospects. It’s important to cater to your prospects’ needs. Plus, you need to be sensitive to the fact that we’re in the midst of a pandemic.
Marketing collateral can help you promote COVID cleaning services even more. Your prospects will love a nice 1-sheeter explaining your COVID cleaning services. Or, even incorporating this service into your sales deck is a great place to start.
Looking to sell more COVID cleaning services but don’t have the time to manage a sales pipeline?
Pre-pandemic: In pre-pandemic times, a sales conversation for a commercial cleaning company looked very different. A sales development representative probably used a standard talk track that looked something like this:
“Hi [NAME], my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m from [XYZ Cleaning Company], we specialize in [SERVICES]. Would you be interested in a conversation about how we can help your business?”
Now: Fast forward to present day and you can now change the way you approach a sales conversation (and it might help you sell even more). When cold calling, think about changing your message to something like this:
“Hi [NAME], my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m from [XYZ Cleaning Company]. I’m calling about a new market initiative that we’re running. Out of curiosity—are your employees currently working in the office or from home?”
Boom, you just started a conversation.
If the prospect says their business is still at home, you can ask, “When do you plan on returning? Our cleaning services can help ensure that your office is safe and clean for employees to return!” Or if they say they’re already back in the office, ask if they have enough cleaning staff. Starting with a question is more likely to elicit a response than a general sales pitch would. And a question about COVID-19 is relevant right now—it’s a guarantee that every prospect will have an answer you can work with.
Pre-pandemic: Your prospects needed your services because everyone needs a cleaning company.
Now: Prospects need your services for entirely different reasons. Instead of having a negative attitude about it and saying, “No one is going to need my services right now, everyone is struggling because of COVID-19,” change your perspective. Think positively and ask yourself, “Why do my prospects NEED my services right now more than ever?”
- What are your unique differentiators from other cleaning companies in your area?
- Do use special cleaning products that are proven to kill harmful bacteria?
- Are you running a special for companies that choose to use COVID-19 cleaning services?
- Are you able to clean quickly for businesses that have a quick turnaround?
- Why should your cleaning services make companies feel more comfortable with sending their employees back to the office?
Asking yourself all of these questions and using the answers as a way to sell more will help you be even more successful right now and long after the pandemic is behind us.
No matter what sector your business is in, it’s crucial to rethink your who, what, how, and why right now. If anything has changed due to the pandemic, your sales approach should change too. At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we’ve already updated our approach for our commercial cleaning partners. We use proven B2B appointment setting techniques to get you in front of the right prospects. Plus, we know how to have conversations with people in your market.