How Hardwood It Be?

September 2, 2009
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I recently taught a couple of seminars for professional carpet cleaners. Truth be known, I don’t do this much anymore, and I really enjoyed it.

Our discussion centered around the subject of making more money from each job. This is a simple concept that has been talked about for decades.

Everyone wants to make more money for a given service, but not everyone has the drive, confidence, or knowledge to make it happen. As I questioned the professionals in the class, a couple of things caught me off guard.

First, not everyone sold carpet protector on the job. While I was satisfied that the majority of those in the class did make extra income from selling protector, I was surprised that it was not a common practice with all of them.

Second, only two out of 20 in the first class and one of 12 in the second class offered hardwood floor cleaning and re-coating. This truly was a big surprise.

This diversification is what I want to talk about here. We will leave the highly honorable and profitable practice of selling carpet protector for another day.

As you know, I am the Gadget Man (Mom is so proud) so at this point I usually start talking about the gadgets needed for hard-floor revitalizing. Today is a little different. I want give you a technique that, if applied, will truly boost your income through hardwood floor cleaning and recoating.

Let’s take this in steps. The first thing you need to do is contact your local supplier and find out what they offer for hardwood floor care. The system should be designed for easy use without the need for a full sanding.

Find the system you like, learn all you can and then go practice on your mother-in-law’s hardwood floor. She is going to love you (it’s a special love only a mother-in-law can have) no matter what the results.

You should find that the system is relatively easy and the floor will look great. You may want to do another floor or two in your own home or for another relative to gain the necessary experience before offering the service to your regular customers.

The important thing is, don’t be afraid of this. It is easy and profitable.

Now you are ready to let your customers know that you can revitalize their hardwood floors. How? You certainly can add the service to your Web site or brochure. You can mail your customers a postcard, e-mail or call them on the phone.

My favorite way to sell this service is by not selling it at all. You are the professional in your customer’s home. As such, you are in the perfect position to be a problem solver for all of her cleaning and maintenance needs.

Almost every hardwood floor in the homes where you clean carpet needs this service. Most of your customers with hardwood floors use the wrong product for cleaning them. So, as a professional cleaner, you are going to solve this problem for her by suggesting she changes to a product you can offer.

This will lead to the full service recoat. Again, your local distributor should have a hardwood floor cleaner designed for this purpose. The following is an illustration of how the conversation may go. Notice how it leads into the full cleaning and recoat service and, at the same time, you will probably sell the flat mop and some fitted mop covers.

You: “Mrs. Brown, I’ve noticed you have a very nice hardwood floor, do you enjoy it?”

Mrs. Brown: “I do, but it’s getting a bunch of scratches and it seems to be getting dull.”

You: “Well, that is common as the floor gets used. Sometimes the floor begins to dull, at least in part because the wrong products are used to clean it. Many of the products people buy at the store are harsh cleaners or leave a dulling, dirt-attracting film. I suggest you use my professional cleaner designed specifically for wood floors. May I do a little cleaning and show you how easy it is?”

Now clean a small area with the Wood Floor Cleaner and the flat mop fitted with a white terry towel while speaking.

You: “Our professional wood floor cleaner is a concentrated cleaner (very economical) that is designed to clean off the soil and leave nothing behind that could damage your floor. It leaves you floor with just the natural beauty of the wood showing through.”

Show her the bottom of the mop. If it is clean, congratulate her on her clean floor. If dirty, say nothing; the dirt will do all the talking.

This is great to do after you have removed your hoses at the end of the carpet-cleaning job. It is a very nice service to clean the hardwood floor where you walked over it and stretched your hoses during the job.

Mrs. Brown: “Look at the dirt that removed! The floor looks great. How can I get some of that cleaner?”

Now it’s up to you to have the floor cleaner available. I would also suggest you be prepared to sell her a flat mop and terry cloth covers.

You: “Since your hardwood is beginning to show some wear and scratches it is important to maintain it so you never have to go through the awfully messy and expensive service of a full sanding and recoat.

“We offer a service that is called Hardwood Floor Rejuvenation. We can deep clean and treat your floor so it will receive the same finish that was originally applied. We then apply the finish in either a matte or semi-gloss and your floor returns to that new look.

“We can do this at a fraction of the cost of a sand-and-recoat. May I give you an estimate?”

Mrs. Brown: “Oh, I don’t care what it costs, just go ahead and do it.”

We love Mrs. Brown.

This system of problem solving really works. This same basic technique can be used on tile and grout or any stone surface. The professional carpet cleaner needs to be become the professional floor rejuvenator – no matter the surface.

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