One of the fastest ways to get your cleaning company new customers is to have an “unpaid sales force” helping you attract new clients and prospects. If your goal is to improve your cleaning business by building your customer base there are lots of ways to get help from the people you already know within your target market. Whether you decide to focus on people you know personally, or people you know in the business community each can be a powerful source of good word of mouth. People who have already heard good things about your company are much more likely to buy (when they need what you offer) then someone who doesn’t know anything about you or your company.

Believe it or not, the biggest obstacle most people have around getting referral business is simply asking for them! Look back over the last week’s activities. Did you ask for referrals? How many times? Did you offer to provide referrals for someone else? How many times? The problem we run into is not when, where or how, it’s just actually doing it! That’s one of the reasons why I love the networking organization BNI (Business Networking International). Being in a BNI group (they meet weekly) forces you to ask for and give referrals on a regular basis. As a member of your local NBI chapter, you have to contribute a certain number of “points” to your team each week and it’s a great motivator.

Here’s what you can ask your referral partners to do to get your cleaning company new customers – it’s as simple as asking people, “So, how’s everything at the office? How’s the janitorial service performing?” If they complain about their current service, that’s an easy way for your referral partner to recommend you. They can even admit in the conversation, “I was just thinking about a colleague of mine who offers great service. I know he’s interested in growing his cleaning business so I’m on the lookout for new customers for him.”

You can use this same technique to improve your cleaning business by getting referrals from your friends, relatives and neighbors as well. Ask them about the cleaning service at their workplace. See if they will inquire about the level of satisfaction with the current provider. You could even send out a letter or postcard (monthly or quarterly) reminding people how much you LOVE referrals. This is a simple and inexpensive way to get your cleaning company new customers.

Another ice-breaker is to ask your associates and colleagues how you can help them by giving them referrals. Have them describe their “ideal customer” to you and see if they can give you some “cues” to listen for in casual conversation that will enable you to know when someone would be a good referral prospect. It’s very likely that your associate will be willing to do the same for you-now you’ve got a referral partner!

Seek out people who speak to or work with your “ideal client” on a regular basis. People who sell to the same market but don’t compete with you directly are a great place to find referral partners. So for example; if you offer commercial cleaning services, your referral partners might be commercial insurance agents, property managers, business bankers or people who provide bookkeeping and tax preparation services to businesses.

Using these simple methods, you can not only improve your cleaning company’s ability to grow, but you’ve positioned yourself as a “go to” person who helps others with problem solving. This will make it easy for you to greatly increase the number of personal and professional contacts you have, offer more referrals to others, and likely get more referrals for your cleaning business in return. And after all, providing cleaning services is great problem solving isn’t it?

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