Sell Maintenance Programs
by Dan Willis
A commercial customer called who we had been cleaning for about once a year. The areas around the chair mats did not clean well and my contact, Jim, and I talked the next day about his disappointment. Jim felt it was his fault because he’d been busy and let it go almost two years. I scheduled a recheck and had our crew get a little more aggressive with pre-spray and grandi brush and these areas cleaned up very well. I mentioned to Jim that he might consider a maintenance program so he would not have to worry and the responsibility would be ours to clean on a schedule. Jim liked the idea and signed a proposal. It was that easy!
Jim’s job really got me thinking! Who else do we clean for that may be interested in a maintenance program? I made a few phone calls and met with some of my commercial contacts and in just a few short weeks I had maintenance contracts on:
One of my large accounts is the headquarters of a collegiate organization. One full cleaning is $15,119.44 and three partial jobs are $2,214.86 each. They just added two more partials, so now we’ll be there six times a year. We do the full cleaning the week between Christmas and the New Year, a lean time in the residential market.
Another great account is a large downtown law firm. We clean floors 19 through 27 in a high-rise, four times a year for $19,208.28. We did an extra job for them of 654 chairs at $8,175.00 in February of 2008. I have another group of nine maintenance accounts that nets more than $50,000.00 of guaranteed income that helps pay the overhead during the lean, winter months.
My focus is on accounts under 2,000 Sq.Ft., since there are a lot more of these. I like professional buildings, light industrial and places that need to keep their facility clean for their customers. Because of the type of business they are in, they know you get what you pay for. I never try to compete with the low priced cleaner and always charge what we need to do a good job. The little things that our competition does not do justifies our price in the eyes of our customers.
Call your commercial accounts about a regular maintenance program as soon as you can. It may be a little late now to help you through these next few weeks of lean residential carpet cleaning. But, one thing you have now is extra time, so take advantage of it to get your equipment, cleaning heads, hoses and vans in tip-top condition.
Just because it’s winter, don’t sit and wait for spring to come. Get a head start and make spring come to you.