So far in this series, I’ve shared with you that in order to have a successful cleaning and restoration business, you need to have three main things:
- Phenomenal L.I.F.E. goals: What are your personal dreams and goals?
- A phenomenal business vision: What do you want your business to look like one year from now?
- A phenomenal plan: Once you have that vision, you have to assess where you are and create a roadmap to get where you want to go.
Next comes systems.
There are five systems required for any business.
- Marketing: Everything you do to attract prospects to your business.
- Sales: Everything you do to convert prospects into paying customers.
- Operations: Everything you do to serve your clients.
- Administration: Everything you do to track your numbers.
- Leadership: Everything you do to move your business forward.
The rest of this series will focus on these systems, starting with marketing.
What comes to mind when you think of the word marketing? For some, it’s advertising, while others might think of networking, branding or the idea of “getting your name out there.”
Of course, marketing includes those things, but really marketing is everything you do to attract prospects to your business. Phenomenal marketing delivers a meaningful experience that engages, educates and entertains. A phenomenal marketing system is a group of working parts that duplicates results consistently.
What kind of results? A phenomenal marketing system consistently produces your perfect target prospect. If you are attracting the wrong kind of prospect, your marketing isn’t working. And if your sales are up and down because you don’t consistently implement marketing, then you don’t have a system.
Too many business owners spend lots of time and money “getting their name out there” but have no real system of consistently attracting prospects. Most often, a small business owner’s marketing is a gamble more than a planned effort.
Regardless of the type of marketing you do, it must increase sales. Of course, the sales process will determine whether the prospect will actually buy, and that also depends on the quality of the prospect you are attracting. When you attract the wrong kind of customer — because your marketing isn’t what it needs to be — it doesn’t matter how good your sales process is. You may close the sale, but you won’t build the kind of business you want.
The only three ways to increase sales
Regardless of the type of business you are in, there are only three ways to increase sales under the sun.
- Get more from existing clients
The first (and the easiest) way to increase sales is to get your existing clients to use more of your services or to use your services more often. This can have a dramatic influence on your income. If you are not marketing to your existing client base, you could literally double your business with this strategy alone. This is assuming you have something to offer your existing clients.
Keep in mind that properly marketing to your existing clients is one of the chief ways to position yourself at a higher level. By educating your clients and “training” them to think of you and your company in a certain way, you “brand” yourself among them.
And… don’t forget about referrals! One of the best benefits of marketing to your existing clients is their referrals. If you are not in constant contact with your clients, they will forget about you. You must be top of mind at all times. When anyone mentions your industry, your name should immediately come to their mind.
Statistics have proven that it costs an average of 500 percent more to gain a new client than to keep an existing one. They already know you. You already know them. They have already paid your price. They are most likely to do business with you assuming that you have a repeatable service, other products and/or you want referrals from them.
For most businesses, not marketing to your existing clients is the biggest marketing mistake of all.
- Get more clients
Speaking of referrals, the second way to increase sales is to get more clients. This is the one people usually think of first. And most businesses say that 85 percent of their business comes from repeat customers and referrals.
Yet, they don’t have a system in place to maintain and increase repeat and referral business. Most small businesses say they build their business through “word of mouth.” There are many ways to get more clients, but the best way is through referrals, and I’ll show you how to put your word of mouth marketing into a phenomenal system.
- Increase price
This is a powerful way to increase sales, but probably the last one that small business owners think of. In fact, you only think of it briefly, because after all, “with the economy being what it is…” I hope to change your mind on this.
If you are able to increase your price without losing too much in sales volume, your top line increases. If you raise your price 20 percent and lose 20 percent of your sales volume, you are still making more profit. If you raise your price 50 percent and lose 50 percent of your sales volume, you are still making more profit.
The six marketing systems
There are six marketing systems that will help you accomplish these three ways to increase sales.
- The experiential marketing system. Phenomenal marketing creates an experience that engages, educates and entertains. What do I mean by that? Having a free trial offer, a free report or some way that people can engage with you and get educated on the industry is a great way to add people to your audience. Entertaining people that you network with by taking them out to lunch or giving gifts are other ways of creating an experience that puts you in a position to share how you can help each other. This is a very important piece of the puzzle that most cleaning and restoration companies miss.
- The client base marketing system. The biggest marketing mistake of all is not marketing to your past clients. Especially if you’re in the cleaning business. You should have a regular mailer, calls and emails that go out to past clients to generate more repeat and referral business.
- The referral marketing system. There are two kinds of referral systems. The first is a referral reward system that automatically rewards people that send you a new client. However, most referral reward systems are set up wrong. Go to the Cleanfax resource page at www.cleanfax.com/howardpartridge to learn the right kind of system. The second referral system is the referral partner program. This involves building relationships with referral sources such as flooring retailers, interior designers, plumbers, etc. My cleaning company generates almost $1 million in referrals annually. One of the restoration companies I have coached does almost $11 million in revenue. How do they do it? Referral marketing.
- Direct selling systems. If you offer commercial services, there’s nothing wrong with walking in the front door to call on an account. The question is, do you know which prospects are easiest to land? Do you know what to say? Do you know what to bring? See the Cleanfax resource page for answers to those questions.
- Direct marketing systems. My suggestion is that you don’t spend money on advertising until you’ve exhausted the previous methods. When you do invest money in ads, be sure you understand what you’re doing.
- Internet marketing systems. Although online functions are a part of the previous five systems, I give it it’s own category because there are so many parts to it. We are living in a time of digital marketing revolution. Whether you survive or thrive depends on how you understand and use it. For starters, having an attractive, functional mobile ready site with an opt-in is basic. Having a strong social media presence and an email newsletter is another foundational principle. From there you can explore Facebook ads, SEO (search engine optimization) and the various other online opportunities.
My caution is to not put all your eggs in the digital basket. Even though everything is moving in that direction, the most successful cleaning and restoration business owners build relationships face-to-face.
The virtual world is a place where you can engage people, connect with them and build an experience and a following that simply leverages everything else you do.
Want to know how “phenomenal” your marketing is? Take our free Marketing Assessment on the Cleanfax resource page.
Next month I’ll share how to convert those prospects into paying customers.
Howard Partridge started his cleaning business from the trunk of his car over 31 years ago and built it up to over $3M per year. For two decades Partridge has been coaching cleaning and restoration companies, teaching them to have phenomenal success. He is the exclusive small business coach for Ziglar Inc., the world’s first Ziglar Legacy Trainer, the founding member of the John Maxwell Coaching Team, a DISC Certified Trainer, a ONE THING Certified Trainer and a four-time Amazon.com No. 1 bestselling author.