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#90 – I Didn’t Win The Cleaning Account! What Did I Do Wrong?

How often do you have a meeting with a prospect, give your best effort to win the cleaning account, only to be disappointed once again? Do you ever take the time to evaluate the meeting afterwards or do you simply start working on your next prospect, hoping for a better result next time?  I’ve learned through the years that the majority of cleaning business owners never really stop to consider what went wrong or what they might have done better.

This video includes a list of questions you should ask yourself each time you lose the sale, to see what you might do better next time.

So – how did you do? Are you being honest with yourself? If you are, then you have an opportunity to identify your deficiencies so you can do a better job the next time you meet a prospect. I’d like to hear where you feel you could improve on your prospect meetings. Please share your comments below.


This video is made possible by the mobile inspection apps for cleaning companies, InspectaClean and InspectaHome. If you’re struggling with quality control in your cleaning business, these apps are the most affordable, feature-rich solution that will help you do a better job of inspecting your cleaning technicians’ work. For more information visit InspectaCleanApp.com and InspectaHomeApp.com

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6 Responses to “#90 – I Didn’t Win The Cleaning Account! What Did I Do Wrong?”

  1. JM says:

    Nice points made, but in my opinion it’s fluff. You didn’t get the acct because of price. In this day and age everyone is trying to cut back and lower cost. Maybe in the 80’s if you didn’t get the account then yes it might be due to your own fault but today, I can bet that if you didn’t get that account because your price was to high.

    • Jean says:

      Joe – thanks for your comments. And yes, price is a much bigger factor these days and certainly one of the big reasons some cleaning companies are not getting the sale. But this is still a huge industry with a lot of profitable cleaning companies who have made it through the worst of it and have come out still fighting and profitable. We’ve been working with cleaning business owners for 10 years now and I can tell you that there are a LOT of them that don’t win the account — and price has nothing to do with it — even in this age of seemingly everyone wanting lower prices.

      This is about the person doing the selling and the mistakes they’re making with the prospect. Sometimes it’s a small thing like being a couple minutes late. That alone with disqualify you with some decision makers. A lot of people know cleaning because that’s what they’ve been doing for years. But when it comes to sales, they have no idea what they’re doing and they wing it every time with little or no preparation. That won’t get you very far. Your comment is that “I bet you didn’t get that account because your price was too high”. So my question back to you is — is that how you’re getting your accounts? By lowering your price to get your foot in the door? How is that affecting your profit?

      One other thing to keep in mind. You have to work on building relationships so that your reputation precedes you. The most successful cleaning business owners are very involved in their community and have a large network of people who know them and who are happy to tell their prospects what a great company they run. When that happens, you’ve practically closed the sale before you’ve even presented your proposal. Assuming you present a proposal that is reasonably priced – the exact amount becomes less important to the prospect because they know how hard it is to find a good, consistent cleaning company they can rely on. And if they balk at the price after getting a great recommendation, then you’re probably targeting the wrong prospects.

  2. parker says:

    I have been in the cleaning business almost 20 yrs. It’s not just about lower pricing or a reputation, but rather about the quality of the work that is being accomplished.
    You can be the “nicest” person in the world, with the lowest bid, but that doesn’t make up for the quality of work being performed, or lack thereof.
    Most prospects look at the longevity of the business and the quality of work performed by employees of that business.
    A cleaning company’s owner can be as nice as pie-but if the record shows unsatisfactory work is being done on other accounts, then it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure the work is performed correctly.
    Employee work ethics is a big part of the picture when an owner goes to bid on another job.
    It’s the employees that can make or break a cleaning business contract.
    I speak from experience all too well.

    • Jean says:

      Thanks for your comments Parker, you’re absolutely right. There are always going to be price shoppers, but anyone with experience dealing with cleaning companies want exceptional service at a reasonable price.

  3. Larry says:

    Jean what a wonderful presentation. I just met with a prospect and made several of the mistakes mentioned in the video. Fumbling around for my ink pen, bad mouthing the previous cleaner, apologiizing for past mistakes, nervousness and showing up late. What impressed the client was my attitude and listening capabilities. I had great eye contact and eventually I found my pen. I secured the contract however the video gave me invaluable knowledge from a extradinary professional such as yourself. Thanks again for all that you do and share!!!

    • Jean says:

      Thanks for sharing Larry. It’s good that you recognized the mistakes, as I’m sure you’ll be a little better prepared next time. And congratulations for getting the account!

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