Posted by Rick Gelinas on 2/12/2013 to Commercial Carpet Cleaning
When it comes to acquiring commercial accounts - persistence can help you land that juicy account. So let's start there - what kinds of accounts are you pursuing? Are you looking for the table scraps? Or are you going after the good stuff? For my money, I'd rather target prime accounts!
Before we plan to begin any soliciting efforts to acquire commercial accounts, we first should establish what we hope to achieve. Rather than blanketing the entire market area with your sales initiatives, including every mom and pop hole in the wall business in your town; why not selectively target choice accounts that have real potential? Cherry-pick a few select companies that you'd really like to go after. Then lock in on them with laser-like intensity until you land them and don't give up till you get them to say yes. Over the course of time those gravy accounts can be yours.
Does that approach sound too simple? It's not. The choice accounts are out there. They're in your market. And quite simply, someone's got to clean their carpet. Shouldn't that someone be you? Sounds fair to me. This is where persistence comes in.
Keep in mind that it's not very likely that you'll go out and contact someone today who was just sitting there thinking - man I wish someone would call me about our dirty carpets, we really need to get them cleaned. As in all things, timing is everything. Quite frankly, today may not be the time they'll need carpet cleaning; in fact you can almost guarantee that now is not the right time for them to choose a new carpet cleaner. However there WILL BE a right time.
The art of persistence is to help the prospect recognize that you're the expert and can fill the niche they may not even know exists yet. That's why now is the time to lay the groundwork. Build a foundation in their mind that you're a commercial carpet care expert! Position yourself as the "go to" guy for their commercial carpet. This strategy works. I've personally landed excellent accounts in our commercial carpet cleaning business by continuing to go back and provide gentle little nudges to the prospect. Over the course of time, they finally discover that they have an itch - and when that time comes I'm the cleaner who comes to mind to scratch it. By keeping our company in front of them means that when the time comes to address their carpets they'll at least give us their consideration.
Through the years I've learned that persistence does indeed pay off. And I've also learned to never use the shotgun approach - never spray the market with aimless solicitations. Instead, create a list of choice accounts and can continue to work through that list with until they become customers. This strategy works. Keep smacking that nut till it cracks.
That is good information and something we all need to be reminded about from time to time. Persistence has worked for me in the past too. Over the years there have been accounts that I have wanted to work for and have been persistent in pursuing and it has eventually paid off on most of them. One large account I have been going after for 12 years has not paid off yet but I am still trying. www.pearsoncarpetcare.com www.prodrying.com
Great information, love reading this blog Rick, thank you for sharing. I would love to hear your opinion on what would be considered a (in your words) choice account with real potential? Would you consider it a certain industry or demographic? I don't expect everyone would or should have have the same target, I would just like to hear your personal opinion. Once again, thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge.