ICS Magazine

Creative On-Site Marketing

December 10, 2002
On-site marketing makes for a winning hand.

I often wonder how many cleaners embrace opportunity when it knocks, only to have it slip through their fingers on a daily basis. Slip through, in fact, on each and every job by ignoring the lucrative arena of selling service add-ons on the jobsite.

Most business owners consider marketing a way to both keep existing clients calling and to solicit new customers. Marketing is usually conducted from the comfort of one’s office. This is fine approach, and it works well when implemented correctly, but there are other avenues to explore. Yes, we up-sell our clients daily with carpet protector after-sprays, deodorizers and other add-ons, but many cleaners make the mistake of ignoring the overall picture. If your firm offers services other then carpet cleaning, you need to market these additional offerings on site.

While cleaning a living room/dining room combination, my technician singled out a heavily soiled, 7-foot Herculon sofa. While shifting it around, we noticed how soiled the arms and seat cushions were.

After completing the carpet cleaning service and equipment breakdown, I discussed after-care instructions with the homeowner, presented her with the invoice and received the fee. Before saying our good-byes I casually mentioned that the company was running an upholstery-cleaning special though the end of the month. We could not help but notice the condition of the sofa, I explained, and the service we offered would both clean it and vastly improve its appearance. I quoted the rates and offered that, if she were to book the service before the end of the month, we would treat the appointment as though it was performed on the same day as the carpet cleaning rather than as a separate trip, thereby saving her additional dollars.

Let me point out that offering to clean her sofa before we performed the scheduled service may very well have backfired and come off as high-pressure selling. This also holds true when selling after-care spray protectors. As discussed in a prior article, mention this service and its advantages in a pre-appointment information packet that you provide the client with days before the actual appointment, and only bring it up at the jobsite after the cleaning is completed and client satisfaction is achieved. Having both the information and the time to evaluate it, the client is usually the party that brings up the additional service.

If you need another reason for waiting until the end of the job, remember that, at this point, the homeowner is thrilled and delighted with the job you have just delivered, and has complete confidence in the quality of your work and professionalism. In our case, the homeowner requested to schedule the sofa cleaning for the following week. The result? An easy add-on service sale for us, and a valuable and needed service for her.

These add-on service opportunities present themselves on every call, taking the form of upholstery cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, Oriental area rug cleaning, duct cleaning, floor waxing and drapery cleaning, to name a few. Additional income exists on each and every job; it is just a matter of opening your eyes and taking a look around. Remember to keep some product literature in the van, always waiting until the last minute to present it.

Market your services wisely and professionally, and watch that $89 job morph into a bottom line of $300. Marketing need not be costly to lead you down the road to profitability.