The one question I get asked more than any other as a janitorial business consultant is this: “How can I increase my sales?” This is a good and natural question, one that I love to discuss. But I’m afraid what most people are looking for is a quick fix to boost revenue. However, as an seasoned sales professional knows, a steady stream of new business doesn’t happen with quick fixes. Rather, it takes an intentional process, diligence, and patience to produce consistent sales for the long haul. At my company, we use a six step process to generate new business. Here is a breakdown of each step.
Step 1 – Find
In this step, we locate prospective customers which match our ideal client profile. Our ideal client profile is based on the prospect’s location, their vertical/market segment, and their size. In this step, we are seeking to locate not only the customer, but also the name of the person(s) that are likely responsible for the janitorial program. Gathered data is recorded into our CRM.
Step 2 – Connect
In this step, we seek to connect with the decision maker(s) identified in the previous step. Ideally, we would speak to the decision maker via telephone, but occasionally we are only able to connect via email. The purpose of this step is to identify the buyer’s purchase readiness – (1) actively seeking vendors, (2) poised to purchase in the next 12-18 months, or (3) not actively seeking vendors.
Step 3 – Nurture
The purpose of this step is to remain in contact with the decision maker(s) and to establish ourselves as a trusted vendor. We accomplish this via regularly scheduled emails and telephone calls. The emails include a content piece (blog post, white paper, infographic) directed at common questions that the decision maker might have related to their janitorial program. Generally speaking, we email content every other month, and call once per quarter.
Step 4 – Engage
In this step we are engaging with prospective clients that are actively seeking a custodial vendor. This phase includes meeting with the prospective client and touring their facility to gather data. We use the data collected to prepare a service proposal. Proposals are delivered to the prospective client in-person or via email – our preference is in-person. NOTE: In this step we will occasionally discover that the prospect is not an ideal fit for our business.
Step 5 – Close
The purpose of this step is to convert the prospect to an active client. In this phase, we remain in frequent contact with the client during their decision process, adjust the price/scope if necessary, and agree on terms and other details. If our proposal is not accepted, the prospective client returns to the “Nurture” phase.
Step 6 – Transition
The purpose of this phase is to transition the new client from the sales process to the operations process. This phase involves gathering data for account set-up, introduction to our operations team, and gathering the service agreement.