Cleaning business owners frequently talk about the need for more prospective and actual clients, (and also lament how little time they have) to spend looking for them.

What if you could hire an unpaid sales force to get new clients and prospects for you?

Wouldn’t that be great?

One of the best ways to do this is by forming strategic alliances with other professionals who speak to the same “ target market” you do. Do you take time to form strategic alliances in your business?

Strategic alliance partners are people who share the same target audience or clients as you do, but whose company or service doesn’t overlap with yours. Strategic alliances are usually your best referral partners and in most cases, you’ll can develop a variety of different ones.

For residential cleaning business owners these might be:

People who offer dog-walking, pet and/or house sitting services
Realtors , home inspectors, and property managers
Residential pest control companies
Window washers
General contractors who perform remodeling services
Residential painters
Carpet cleaning companies
Companies that offer disaster remediation services
Companies that do power-washing and driveway treatments
I recommend taking time out on a regular basis to identify potential strategic alliances.

Here’s an easy “2 step process”

List ten (10) potential strategic partners. Include their profession and their name.
If you don’t have a name for each profession, now you’ll know who to look for at your next networking event.
When approaching or working with strategic partners make sure you:

Under promise and over deliver​. Most people love to give referrals, to help their customers by adding value and to be seen as the “go to guy or gal” for resources.
BUT, if you make them look bad or regret giving you that glowing referral, they may never trust you again. So, be sure to:

Be on your best behavior when working with referrals
Keep your strategic partner in the loop on how things are progressing
Say “thank you” early and often (a handwritten note or small gift is always
appreciated)

Keep in mind the principal of “givers gain.” Remember that your strategic alliance partners need referrals too. This is a two-way street, so if you aren’t sure, take your Strategic Alliance partner for lunch or coffee and ask them who their ideal client or prospect is and how they would like to be put in touch with these people. Some people want a personal introduction, others a simple email. Find out what works for your partner and ask them “how can I help?” You’ll be amazed how much that simple phrase (when you’re sincere) can improve your relationships and your overall outlook on a daily basis.
Savvy cleaning business owners use strategic alliance partnerships to help them grow their cleaning businesses, and build solid relationships within their local communities. This helps to ensure you have a steady stream of prospective clients to talk with and should be part of the comprehensive marketing plan for your cleaning company.

You can even use this strategy at the networking events you are already currently attending, so instead of looking for new clients you can look for alliance partners. Plus there’s always “seasonal” events to attend no matter whether it’s the year-end holiday party, of the end- of-summer Bar B Que. That’s much easier and more fun anyway, right?