Ever gotten a phone call or certified letter informing you that one of your big customers is dropping you?
It can be devastating, leaving you completely blown away – nearly immobilized all day or longer.
Well, it’s happened to us – more than once! It can knock the wind out of you like a punch to the gut!
And, while I wish it weren’t the case, if you’ve been in the cleaning business for any length of time, there’s a good chance it’s happened to you too.
If it hasn’t I’m happy for you, but to be realistic, it not only could happen to you, it very likely will.
I’m not trying to be a smart aleck, it’s just that sometimes
‘things happen’,and sometimes losing an account wasn’t caused by things ‘within your control’.
Sometimes, the reason a company drops you is within your control, and if so, you should feel bad. I know we did. It was painful – but necessary for us to face what we we’re doing wrong, make the needed corrections; basically – ‘get our act together!’
Think about it, if you’re a professional, who takes pride in the service you deliver to your clients, then, of course you would feel bad.
It’s the natural response when you or one of your people ‘drop the ball’ and end up losing a valued client.
It’s supposed to hurt.
In fact, here’s the other interesting thing….
At least for me, and many other cleaning contractors I’ve talked with over the years, it hurts as much later on when you’re big – as it did in the early years when you were small or just starting out!
And at those times, when it is your fault, and you get ‘the call’ letting you know you’re out, you need to do a ‘gut check’ and a ‘systems check’ to see where things broke down.
This is a necessary part of your job as the owner of a cleaning business – to take ‘the hit’, try to salvage the client if you can, but either way, diagnose the problem to find out where your systems failed.
Was it your QC systems – or lack there of?
Was it Customer Service systems – or lack there of?
Was it your HR systems – or lack there of?
You get the idea – and you know what has to be done.
That’s right, it’s time for the ‘heavy lifting’ of figuring out what it’s going to take to keep it from happening in the future.
Like it our not, you’re the boss; and this is when you really earn your money.
Then there’s the times when it’s not your fault. And it can be for any number of different reasons.
It can be something as straight forward as, they’re ‘cutting back’ or they’re going to have their ‘own people do it’ to…
things you never saw coming like,
“We’ve had some internal theft problems, so we’re letting go all building contracts including the lawn care guys, mat cleaning service, vending machine people, and yes, of course …you too, the cleaning guy!
The very fact, that you can lose an account or accounts by no fault of your own, should be reason enough to commit yourself to always having an active, ongoing marketing campaign.
Losing an account is never easy whether or not it was your fault. But in either case, it’s bound to happen, and how you deal with it can make all the difference.
By the way, a couple more “things”…
There use to be a cleaning company that would proudly advertise “And we still have are first account!”
I, of course, always wanted to ask if they still had their 3rd, 14th, and 38th… but I guess that would have burst their advertising bubble!
I think it’s a bunch of malarkey!!
It’s the same cleaning guys who so proudly fly the whole ‘We Never Miss A Trash! marketing banner.
I say, it doesn’t work – it falls on deaf ears.
Your prospects aren’t stupid! -As my mother would say ‘They may have been born at night… but not last night!’
Discover the Guru in YOU,
P.S. Don’t even get me started on the whole “Take the white glove we’ve enclosed in the envelope, wipe it all over your building, and if you get any dirt on it, call us because we wouldn’t ever let that happen!” gimmick!
Yeah, I think “Elvis left the building” a long time ago on that sorry excuse for a marketing message too!…I told you, you shouldn’t get me started!