Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why Cleaning Companies Need A Contact Strategy

Why Cleaning Companies Need A Contact Strategy
Customers are the livelihood of any business, especially in a services industry such as cleaning. For this reason, it is integral a contact strategy be formulated within your cleaning company.
What is a contact strategy? A contact strategy is a process that businesses implement to create rules that the company expects to deliver in creating strong, customizable customer interactions. I will be sharing three aspects you should institute as part of your contact strategy.
The first is to identify what type of customer and/or environment you are interested in servicing. Each cleaning company will have different goals, objectives, etc. and it would be to your benefit to align yourself with specific customers who meet the criteria you define as important for your cleaning company. Why waste time and effort prospecting in areas that are not a good fit based on your criteria? The successful cleaning companies are the ones who are sales efficient because they know exactly what they are looking for in a customer, why the criteria that has been defined is important, and how their specific cleaning company will provide relevant value. Once this framework has been established you will be able to maximize your time identifying appropriate sales prospects to target.
The second aspect of a contact strategy is to have a system in place that will organize and automate the customer intelligence you collect from the prospecting stage to the post-sale stage. These areas would include sales, marketing, customer service and technical support. All the customer intelligence you collect can then be accessed, maintained and shared by your employees who have interaction with your customers in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform. There are many CRM solutions in the marketplace. I suggest you research and choose the one that best fits with your cleaning operation. The goal at the end of the day in implementing a CRM solution is to find, attract, win, nurture and retain your customers.
The third part of your contact strategy should be to leverage Social Media. I am sure you have probably heard the buzz of YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. Believe it or not customers are being introduced to these media types and beginning to see the value that these resources can have in their own organizations. Customers are leveraging social media to educate themselves, find referrals for cleaning services, build new relationships, and identify success stories to name a few. From the service provider perspective imagine being able to post a YouTube video of a current satisfied customer on your web site for validation, sharing best practices with your customers via Twitter, making a warm introduction via Facebook or providing relevant cleaning industry content via Email-Marketing/Electronic Newsletters. These are all means of interacting with your customers in a way that is refreshing and less intrusive. You are positioning yourself as an Expert in your industry while at the same time providing relevant content. Take the opportunity to be creative and think out of the box on how you can elevate and satisfy your customer's experience leveraging Social Media.
Defining a contact strategy is one that will prove to be fruitful for your cleaning company as it will help you focus on building strong relationships with your customers while at the same time ensure your internal team is on the same page on how to best service the clients cleaning needs. Take advantage of leveraging the technology that was outlined above to make your relationship building with your customers easy and results oriented.
Douglass Barrios is the Founder of GLOBAL INFORMA, a Bi-Lingual motivational sales organization that focuses on helping Small Business Entrepreneurs grow their business by providing customized training, consulting and speaking services.
GLOBAL INFORMA has an extensive background in Sales, Business Development and Entrepreneurial success in the Commercial Cleaning Industry. In efforts to help current and aspiring Commercial Cleaning Business Owners create compelling, winning, cleaning proposals; The System Designed To Help You Win More Business, was created.

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Marketing Research Effectiveness

Marketing research can be used to meet nearly all the marketing information needs of the small businessperson. Every area from developing a business plan to designing an effective advertising program can benefit from the use of carefully planned and executed research.
How Is Marketing Research Used?
Let's take the example of developing a business plan. When you first sit down with that blank piece of paper and dream of owning your own business, you should be asking yourself questions such as: What am I going to sell? Will people buy what I sell? How much should I charge? Where should I locate? How much competition is there and who are they? Questions such as these should be at the heart of any effective business plan, and marketing research can help you answer them.
Let's say, for example, you've decided to turn your passion for fishing into your livelihood, and you open your own tackle and equipment store. You feel there is a need for such a service and are ready, willing and able to jump at the opportunity. One of your first steps might be finding out how many other tackle shops are in your area to get a feel for the level of competition. A quick glance through your local Yellow Pages would readily supply you with this information. Congratulations! You've just completed your first marketing research project. As the questions become more difficult to answer, however, the marketing research must become more sophisticated. For example, although you might be able to partially determine the demand for a fishing tackle shop by talking to your neighbors and "fishing buddies," their interest won't tell you how all the people in your area feel (and you know how those fisherman lie!). A better approach would be to commission or conduct a scientific survey of a representative sample of all local consumers. Much of the background information necessary for a useful, working business plan can be collected using marketing research. Consider the following examples of where marketing research can be of benefit:
New Product or Offering
Many new product lines or special offers ("10% Off!") are the results of careful marketing research, which can determine customer needs and wants and allow you to supply your customers with just the "right" product or service. Research can be used to determine the impact of special sales programs or discount offers and can even be used to introduce a new product before the expense of fully doing so is incurred.
Pricing is a crucial marketing element in all businesses, whether large or small, and marketing research can supply precise information for pricing decisions. Well-designed research can determine the true trade-off between price and the amount of sales before committing to a specific sales program.
Many small business owners are very concerned with the promotion and advertising of their businesses. Considering the cost of advertising today, their concerns are well founded. One of the most frequently asked questions is: "How effective is my advertising?" The answer can be determined with many types of formal and informal research techniques. For example, a separate telephone line with a number that appears only in your Yellow Pages ad can be installed. By placing a tally sheet next to the phone, a count can be recorded every time a call comes in on that line. By the end of the month, you will be able to tabulate exactly how many calls are generated by your Yellow Pages ad and then determine its effectiveness. These strategies are just a few of the many possible applications marketing research has for small businesses.
Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Beware of the common mistakes presenters and persuaders commit that cause them to lose the deal.
Persuasion is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you've seen some success, but think of the times you couldn't get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others.
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