Networking is one of the most powerful ways to build your cleaning business. Other than your time and effort there is not much else that is required, making it also one of the most cost effective ways to get new clients and grow your company.
Owners of Home Cleaning Services have the unique opportunity to stand out when in networking groups because more often than not, you will be the ONLY cleaning service there. If you have networked at all and seen for yourself that there is always many real estate agents, tons of financial planners, and more life coaches than you can count. This is not the case with cleaning services. At this point in the game, you should still have the market cornered!
There are many different types of networking events, receptions, closed networking groups, and luncheons. Each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. For this article, we will cover the “round robin” style, where each attendee gets the opportunity to stand up and tell everyone about themselves and their business, usually in about a minute.
First, NEVER spend your time repeating the information from your business card; they already have that information. Use your time wisely and concise. Below we will outline three simple ways you stand out and be remembered, and most importantly stay “top of mind” and net more referrals.
Tell a story, something they don’t already know. It can be about a specific client for which your services solved a problem. State the problem, tell what you did, and most importantly state the result and the feeling you gave the client. Here is a real example I used at a few networking events that got a great response and netted me referrals on the spot. This fit exactly into 60 seconds. In closed networking groups, this is extremely important.
Unfortunately This is what is often heard at networking events during the info minutes:
Hi, my name is Perry Phillips and I own Perrisparkle Cleaning Service, we clean homes, weekly bi weekly or vacant properties. There is no job too big or too small. My phone number is 404 492 9027, anyone who needs their home cleaned is a good referral for me.
This is a Good One!
I have a new customer with a unique situation. She has eight dogs, one cat, one toddler, and one husband, all living inside the house. I was surprised when I learned that she had been having service every week. Her former cleaning person had really taken advantage of her because of her unique situation. Do I want all of my customers to have nine animals inside the house, not really, but I do love a challenge and to exceed my client’s expectations in the process. She is thrilled with the service, not just, because her house gets a top to bottom cleaning every week now, but because of how I explained the process and steps, and most importantly the products we will use on her floors. No one had discussed that with her before and the importance of it with the animals and the baby. So when Joan says she would love to have her house cleaned but is reluctant to hire a service because of her “unique” situation give me her phone and tell her I will be calling to take care of her. Perry Phillips, Perrisparkle cleaning Service, this is about so much more than just a clean home.
See the difference? The sad truth is that too many people showing up at networking events usually say something like the first example.Using a story or telling an experience helps those listening to relate more easily. In addition, it is much more entertaining than simply standing up and saying something like this:Use your time in a creative way and you will be remembered.
Use a prop that will intrigue them. There are many options for this. Recently for one of my 7-minute presentations in my networking group, I wore one of our Proteam backpack vacuum cleaners. It was a huge hit. Two months later members still ask when I am going to wear the jet pack again. It does not have to be as dramatic as wearing a vacuum, and let’s face it, you don’t get too many opportunities for lengthy presentations too often
Another idea is just one of the cool gadgets you use, and you have them. In another meeting on another team, I did a different info minute about technology and it centered on microfiber. I passed around a microfiber cloth and one of the cool microfiber flat mops we use. Here is the info minute I used (exactly 60 seconds)
The last 5 to 10 years has been a period of great advancement for the cleaning industry with respect to technology. Not only do we now have three choices for software designed specifically for the house cleaning industry, but also now “green” environmentally friendly cleaning supplies work as well as the “old stand bys”. In addition to that, microfiber has revolutionized the way we clean homes. Our flat mop looped microfiber tool is practically the same as us cleaning floors by hand. All of this makes for a perfect brew for our teams to clean effectively, but extremely efficiently. Back in the day, sometimes we would “drag out” cleaning times to pacify customers, but today’s client for the most part wants us in and out as quickly as possible, but expects near perfection. Thanks to all of these advancements, we are able to provide just that! Perry Phillips, Perrisparkle Cleaning, this is about much more than just a clean home!
Do not discredit your industry. There are countless ideas that can provide for original content for your info minutes or one minutes, or what ever your group happens to call them. Either way, put more thought into your time and you will be noticed.
Company apparel with logos, this will not only help get you more attention at your networking event it will project a professional image everywhere you go. You will be surprised how many times even in the grocery store you will be asked about your business.High quality style golf shirts with your company logo embroidered will make a splash. You can get a high quality shirt for about $25-35 each (there is usually a minimum). On the simpler side, a high quality tee shirt will work. You can get full color screen-printing on a quality shirt for as little as $7 each.
Yes, wearing a tee shirt is fine! Tucked in with khakis is just right. There is a mind set that when you attend networking events you should dress for your profession. Now, if you are attending a nicer cocktail reception style event, you may want to fore go the tee shirt. In one networking group, a personal trainer wears the work out gear she wears to teach her classes. It is very effective.
What you don’t want to do is over dress!
Yes, you can be over dressed. This can be a turn off and give the impression that you are trying too hard to impress. Over dressing for “regular” networking events can actually have a negative repercussion.
So, are you ready to head out and get started? There are three ideas you can implement today and start seeing instant results, through the form of more referrals. Networking to building your business is a sure fire way to get new clients and your company name out there, but there is a science to it. Simply showing up does not cut it, use your time and your resources wisely.
Perry Phillips is the Publisher of Home Cleaner Magazine, founder of the Verified Home Cleaning Pro Network , founder of ARCSI and is an avid networker. Each week Perry hosts “Roundtables with Perry“ where a wide range of industry topics and issues are discussed with experts and industry leaders.
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