9 Ways to Prospect Effectively

Prospects turn into leads and leads turn into sales, which means that without prospects, it’s hard for your business to grow. For prospecting to be effective, it should be done on a regular basis (ideally daily!), and it can require a bit of research. Equally as important as prospecting every day is making sure that you’re targeting people who are already likely to use your services. This way you’ll be getting the most bang for your buck, so to speak, and maximizing your time.

However, how do you build a list with those constraints? You not only have to prospect all the time, but you also have to vet people, too?

It can seem overwhelming at first. With this in mind, we’ve brainstormed nine ways you can get started finding prospects that will be the most likely to buy.

Referrals

Encouraging referrals is a good way to elicit customers that meet your standards, because clients that are referred from existing customers tend to be good overall fits for your business. When you receive a referral, be sure to thank your referral source and follow up with the referral as soon as you can.

1. After completing a job, send the customer a thank you card to let them know that you appreciate their business. To add referral potential, include a refer-a-friend deal. Something along the lines of, “If you loved the cleaning we provided you, share it! If you and a friend schedule a service within the next three months, both of you will receive 20% off our regular prices.”

2. If you use the FillMySchedule program, ask about Bottomless Business Cards. We’ll print up to three business-card-size inserts (per card) for you, for only $.28 per FMS card. Include your refer-a-friend deal on each insert, so your customers can hand out your information (and a great discount!) to three of their friends or neighbors.

3. If you get leads from a service like HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List, take the email addresses you receive (as long as they are genuine), along with names, and create a new account in ServiceMonster for each lead, marking their account type as prospect. In the future you can use the DIY Marketing tools in ServiceMonster to pull the list of all your prospects and market to them specifically.

4. Team up with a local real estate agent, contractor, or another individual or company in your town that sells something that would complement your services. If you partner with a high-volume realtor, for example, they could potentially send you a large number of their own clients who recently bought or sold homes that need cleaning.

Targeting Neighbors

Neighbors pay attention when the house down the street has some work done, so use this to your advantage!

5. Target the neighbors around a job you recently completed by mailing out a postcard to those households. On the postcard, include something like, “We just did work at your neighbor’s house,” include your customers’ address or their last name for reference, and encourage the recipient to ask their neighbor how you did.

6. Be sure to always carry your business cards on you. After completing a job, leave your cards on the doorstep of the surrounding houses.

Community Involvement (Online and Offline)

Name recognition is an essential part of marketing your business – people have to hear about you before they can consider hiring you!

7. Get involved in your local community by sponsoring events, participating in local groups and activities, posting your business card on local bulletin boards, and doing anything else you can think of that gets your business in front of people in a positive way.

8. Stay active on social media. Building momentum on social media can be a slow process, but if you post relevant content regularly, you can expect your follower count to grow. Social media provides the perfect platform for interacting and developing rapport between you and potential prospects, and it’s another way for them to contact you for more information or to schedule a cleaning! Be careful not to spread yourself too thin, though – especially if you’re just starting out on social media. Choose one or two platforms where your customers seem to hang out the most (Facebook and Twitter, for instance), and post on a consistent basis. Offer sales and/or contests occasionally to give people more of an incentive to schedule a cleaning.

Retain

It’s much cheaper to retain current customers than to go out and find new ones.

9. Focus on keeping the ones you’ve got! ServiceMonster’s FillMySchedule program helps you do just that, by encouraging repeat business through the use of high-quality direct mail cards. The program starts off with a thank you card, mailed to the customer after you finish a job for them. Then, every three months after that, FillMySchedule follows up with a specially-crafted message to remind them how long it’s been since their last cleaning, that you’re available to help, and that you offer other services that might interest them.

In conclusion…

If you’re interested in growing your business, it’s important to get in the routine of prospecting on a regular basis. Try one, two, or a combination of these suggestions, and be sure to mix it up every now and then to ensure you’re covering all your bases. The more active you are at prospecting, the more memorable your business will be for a greater number of people, and the higher-quality the leads you bring in will be. Now get out there and start building your prospect list!

 

Photo Credit: Edith Soto

binoculars-blog

Prospects turn into leads and leads turn into sales, which means that without prospects, it’s hard for your business to grow. For prospecting to be effective, it should be done on a regular basis (ideally daily!), and it can require a bit of research. Equally as important as prospecting every day is making sure that […]

Top 10 Most-Read ServiceMonster Blog Posts of 2015

Yes, we’re already more than a month into 2016, but we thought we’d give 2015 one final goodbye by compiling a list of our top 10 most-read blog posts of 2015. Some are recently-written, and some date as far back as 2012 – but all are relevant to cleaners looking to boost business. Take a moment and peek at the links below; you might find something you missed, or forgot about!

To kick it off, let’s start with number 10:

10. Whitepaper: 5 Essential Elements of a Cleaning Business Website
Are you making the most of your business’ web presence? Find out by downloading this free whitepaper.

9. Cleaning Memes
Everyone loves a good laugh, especially when they’re browsing social media! Because of this, we regularly create cleaning-related memes for cleaners like you to share with your followers. Occasionally we do ‘roundup’ posts, like this one, where we showcase a few at a time. This meme roundup is our most popular to date. Feel free to share any (or all) of them on your social media pages!

8. Introducing: Marketplace
In 2015, we developed Marketplace: an area for ServiceMonster users to learn more about leaders in the industry and friends of ServiceMonster, as well as hook services into their account that are integrated with our API.

7. How This Carpet Cleaner Won a Marketing Award
A few years ago, Rob Anspach was honored by the Business & Entrepreneurs Network for a direct mail marketing campaign he created. We sat down with him back in 2013 and learned all about the details of his campaign and what advice he has for other carpet cleaners.

6. Before and After Spotlight: Accent American
This is a unique before and after in the fact that instead of profiling a cleaning, it features an emergency carpet repair! The hotel’s carpet at Connections East back in 2012 was coming apart at the seams (literally), and what better time to correct it than at a carpet cleaner’s convention! Here are the pictures of the process.

5. Why You Should Never Use a Personal Facebook Profile for Your Business
Using a Facebook profile for your business (as opposed to a Facebook Page) is something that’s prevalent in the cleaning industry… but it’s not a good idea. Here are five reasons why.

4. Spotlight: Meg Burdick of Burdick’s Cleaning
Meg shared with us the details of an offer she developed to drum up business during the slow season. It was very successful: every job added on, and the average invoice came in at $700! Find out how she did it.

3. Before and After Spotlight: Chem-Dry of Summerville
This carpet had some serious pet urine stains going on…

2. Top 10 Ugliest Carpets in the World
A collection of some of the most awful carpets we’ve ever seen. See if you agree!

And, the number one most popular ServiceMonster blog post of 2015 was…

1. State-by-State Cleaning Industry Statistics
Using the average invoice totals of ServiceMonster users in 2014, we created a map displaying the average residential cleaning invoice total by state, for 2014. Find out how your business stacks up!

Thanks for following along with us in 2015! Be sure to stay tuned this year for more news and tips related to the cleaning industry, marketing your business, and much more.

blog-posts-collage-blog

Yes, we’re already more than a month into 2016, but we thought we’d give 2015 one final goodbye by compiling a list of our top 10 most-read blog posts of 2015. Some are recently-written, and some date as far back as 2012 – but all are relevant to cleaners looking to boost business. Take a moment […]

Whitepaper: How to Get the Most Out of Lead Capture Forms

With the recent release of ServiceMonster WebForms, you might have some questions about the best way to go about using them for your own business. There are a few key ways to ensure that you’re deriving the most value possible from lead capture forms.

In our latest whitepaper, How to Get the Most Out of Lead Capture Forms, we review some best practices to keep in mind for maximizing the potential of lead capture forms. Whether you’re brand new to lead capture forms, or if you’ve used them in the past, we’re sure you’ll find the tips in the whitepaper to be helpful!

Download the free whitepaper below, and get a running start towards having successful lead capture forms!

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Photo credit: Don Burkett

With the recent release of ServiceMonster WebForms, you might have some questions about the best way to go about using them for your own business. There are a few key ways to ensure that you’re deriving the most value possible from lead capture forms. In our latest whitepaper, How to Get the Most Out of Lead […]

Whitepaper: 5 Common Misunderstandings About SEO

Everyone seems to have an opinion on what ‘good’ SEO looks like these days, and many times the advice is misguided, misleading, or simply dishonest. SEO is complex, and that makes it challenging to recognize the good strategies from the bad.

There are a few delusions in particular that we hear frequently, and, unfortunately, these misconceptions actually work to undermine — and ultimately damage — your progress towards a healthy SEO plan.

In our latest whitepaper, 5 Common Misunderstandings About SEO, we’ve gathered together a few of the SEO lies we commonly hear, along with explanations as to why it’s in your best interest to ignore this ‘advice.’ Download it below to ensure that your SEO strategy is up-to-date!

[button size=’medium’ color=’#ffffff’ background_color=’#108f16′ font_size=’32px’ line_height=’32px’ font_style=’normal’ font_weight=” text=’Download’ link=’http://www.servicemonster.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/5-Common-Misunderstandings-About-SEO.pdf’ target=”]

 

Photo credit: Jonathan Rolande

Everyone seems to have an opinion on what ‘good’ SEO looks like these days, and many times the advice is misguided, misleading, or simply dishonest. SEO is complex, and that makes it challenging to recognize the good strategies from the bad. There are a few delusions in particular that we hear frequently, and, unfortunately, these […]

Whitepaper: 10 Free Design and Marketing Tools for Cleaners

Professional marketing materials make a huge impact on potential customers. Unfortunately, they can also be costly and time-consuming to develop… if you’re not using the right tools!

There are actually numerous free design tools online that are easy to use and have the ability to produce high-quality designs and marketing pieces.

To help you out, we’ve gathered some design resources together in our latest whitepaper, 10 Free Design and Marketing Tools for Cleaners. Download it below, and start getting creative!

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Photo credit: Liana_Kyle

Professional marketing materials make a huge impact on potential customers. Unfortunately, they can also be costly and time-consuming to develop… if you’re not using the right tools! There are actually numerous free design tools online that are easy to use and have the ability to produce high-quality designs and marketing pieces. To help you out, […]

Whitepaper: Marketing Options to Help You Power Through the Slow Season

The slow season can be a challenging time of year for cleaners. Although some view it as a great opportunity to take a long vacation or enjoy some time off with family at home, many others would prefer to maintain the same level of business that they experience throughout the rest of the year.

However, accomplishing that is easier said than done.

What are some proven marketing tools and strategies that can help drive business and ensure that your calendar isn’t empty during the winter months? We’ve gathered together some ideas in our latest whitepaper, Marketing Options to Help You Power Through the Slow Season. Download it below… and start prepping for a busier schedule!

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Photo credit: MTSOfan

The slow season can be a challenging time of year for cleaners. Although some view it as a great opportunity to take a long vacation or enjoy some time off with family at home, many others would prefer to maintain the same level of business that they experience throughout the rest of the year. However, […]

Whitepaper: 5 Essential Elements of a Cleaning Business Website

In this day and age, the vast majority of small businesses realize the importance of having a website – and the relevance is magnified for local businesses. The chances of a potential customer searching online for their city name plus “cleaning” is much greater than them pulling out their yellow pages book that’s (most likely) collecting dust in their home.

It’s trickier, though, to determine what information needs to be present on cleaning business websites in order to maximize the chances of making sales.

Do you have all the essential components on your website? Ensure that your website contains information to close sales by downloading our whitepaper, 5 Essential Elements of a Cleaning Business Website, below!

[button size=’medium’ color=’#ffffff’ background_color=’#108f16′ font_size=’32px’ line_height=’32px’ font_style=’normal’ font_weight=” text=’Download’ link=’http://www.servicemonster.net//wp-content/uploads/2014/12/5-essential-elements-cleaning-business-website.pdf’ target=”]

In this day and age, the vast majority of small businesses realize the importance of having a website – and the relevance is magnified for local businesses. The chances of a potential customer searching online for their city name plus “cleaning” is much greater than them pulling out their yellow pages book that’s (most likely) […]