Tuesday, June 30, 2015


My wife and I are avid golf enthusiasts. Neither of us can hit the ball straight but love to watch the professionals on the weekends battle it out for the prize money. 

This past weekend I watched two golfers go extra holes to see who would win the Travelers open in Connecticut. Oh, how I wish I could hit the ball the way they do. 

Now why am I talking about golf? Watching them play and then see the winner pocket over $1.1 million and the runner up get about $600,000 made me think about how slim the difference can be between winning and losing. 

It also made me wonder how many BSCs put everything they have into preparing a proposal for a prospect and then give everything they have when making the presentation. To take it even further, in our business we don't get anything for coming in second. We either get first or we get nothing. 

So let me ask you. Do you get all the facts when doing a walk through and then THOROUGHLY prepare a proposal that extols the virtues of the prospect doing business with your company? So many times we hurriedly throw a proposal together, send it in or leave it at the front desk hoping that we are the one they will choose.

Golfers have to study each shot and make the right club selection or they don't make the shot they need to. How about us? Shouldn't we study every account we are offering a proposal to and then select the right information to place in our proposal to convince the prospect we are the company they should select and that we can best do what it is they are asking to be done?

So many BSCs are willing to just give a "bid" for service rather than finding out the details of what are required for the potential customer and their facility and then preparing a proposal that fits those specific needs. 

Let me suggest that you review the information you have in your proposal and see if it really tells your story or is it just filler to make the proposal look big. Even though I had certain information that went into every proposal, we worked hard at presenting information that was germane to that particular prospect. We didn't always succeed but we were right much more than wrong. 

Take the time to prepare a first class proposal. Don't settle for just dropping it off and then hoping. Be proud of what you have to offer but be sure the prospect even knows what you have to offer. What are the benefits of hiring your company over a competitor? Determine what they are, hit them hard in your presentation and go for the sale. Remember, we don't get paid for being close. We don't even get a cigar.

On another note, this is blog number 150. That's a lot of messages we have sent over the past several years. We would be interested in hearing from you as to their significance and if we should continue doing them. Let us know. 

Also, as a reminder we post a FREE pod cast each week on our other site,www.kleancast.com. Hope you are watching those. No advertising, just free information.
Till next time.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Ever had a customer call and say they were visiting with the cleaning tech who relayed one or more of the following?

1. They just don't give me enough time to do this job.
2. My equipment is always broke and they don't fix it.
3. We don't do that, it's not in the specs.
4. They don't pay me enough money.
5. Will you call my boss and tell him I need more time?

Most BSCs I know have at one time or another had one of these calls and then have to deal with the employee on the issue.

Most companies have some sort of initial orientation or training program that gives the employee an overview of how to use the products and equipment needed to clean the facility but I find very few have a training program that addresses how to talk with the customer when approached about an issue or complaint they want corrected. 

Worse yet, if you have an employee that goes to the customer with one of the issues we addressed in items 1 through 5 above. This can leave the customer with the impression you are not managing you company efficiently and those are the impressions that get customers thinking that maybe they should begin searching for another vendor.

So, how about your company? Do you train your line staff on how to handle each of these issues? What are your employees trained to say when talking with a customer? 

Customers can be lost if your staff doesn't have the right training on how to talk with a customer. We spend countless dollars and time in securing a new account and all can be lost in a just a few minutes by an employee who doesn't know the procedure to follow. 

Let me suggest that included in your initial orientation you include a session on talking with the customer. What should or should not employees say to a customer? What do you want them to say? Have you trained them in this very important area of customer relations?

You see, while you or your sales department may have secured the account, your cleaning techs, more often than not, will have more interaction with the customer once the account is up and going. 

Let me suggest you take some time to design a training program for all employees on the things they should and should not say when encountering a customer. It may just save (or lose) an account for you. 

Till next time. MAKE IT A GREAT DAY.


Sunday, June 7, 2015


It should come as no secret that we have the most diverse workforce today than we have ever had. Think about the different generations,

--Baby Boomers
--X Generation
--Y Generation
--Z Generation

That group then is made up of Commanders, Stars, Diplomats, and Scholars. This complicates the issue even more.Then, combine that with the different cultures we have from other countries working for us everyday.

So, how are you training your staff? ARE YOU TRAINING YOUR STAFF?

It is a known fact that effective training will lead to,

--Reduced turnover
--Retention of existing customers
--Getting more new customers
--A safer working environment
--Lower labor costs
--Lower material costs
--Reduced equipment repair and replacement

If you are still training like in the "olden" days you may not be hitting the mark. Let's list some of the ways we can train in today's more modern world.

In house produced videos
Short training videos on youtube
MP3--3 minute instructional lessons
Ipad for short reviews and refresher courses
Send videos to cell phones for their review
Weekly pod casts
Timekeeping call in reminders
Inexpensive DVDs and CDs
Your company web site

Each of these is a topic all its own but the purpose here is to get you thinking of creative ways you can reach today's workforce in a  way that is effective. If I detail each one here you will never finish reading the blog.

You see, having everyone come into a meeting room for a boring lecture of do's and don'ts and thou shalt and thou shalt not will, more than likely, do a great job---of putting them to sleep. 

With today's technology it is easy and convenient to take the training to the field to review different procedures. Having problems with an employee cleaning a restroom to quality standards? Take a video to them in the field and do training on an ipad or smartphone. It works. Manufactures and distributors can help develop this process.

Before anyone gets the idea that I am suggesting that the orientation and training procedure of new employees need not be done so it can be done in the field, I want to squash that idea. The orientation and initial training BEFORE they go to the field is critical to their (and your) long term success.  

Training is an ongoing process. Doing it with the variety of tools available today helps improve the learning process of the multitude of generations and cultures you have in your workforce. 

In future blogs we will attempt to go into further detail on effective use of these technological methods. In the meantime, start developing a comprehensive way your company can utilize these tools.

Hope you are watching our weekly free pod casts at www.kleancast.com. They are non commercial, to the point, concise subjects that pertain to our industry. 

Till next time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


There are several aspects in delivering a sales proposal that need to be done correctly or you might find yourself coming in second. Here are some ideas to ponder.

1. Always ask for the appointment to deliver your proposal at the time you are doing the walk through. This commits the prospect but also forces you into getting to work on the proposal. If it is a sizable account you may want to remind the prospect that your presentation will be in power point and do they have a conference room to use for the presentation? This also lets them know this is a big deal and we don't just drop off proposals. (See point number 4)

2. Always ask for the names of all of the people who will be attending your presentation and then prepare a complete proposal for each one of them. If they are going to be attending your presentation, they are part of the decision making process and deserve all the courtesies you can provide.

3. Ask for one hour to make your presentation. If they won't give you that much time, ask for 45 minutes to present the Readers Digest version. Remind them of the importance the project has to both parties and enough time needs to be taken to thoroughly discuss the information.

4. Unless there is no alternative, don't just drop off the proposal. If they ask for that, mention that their business is extremely important to you and it really is important that you are with them to review the information in person. Internet quotes/proposals are getting more and more popular but I still subscribe to the theory that person to person presentations carry an enormous amount of weight in closing the sale. I, for one, want to observe the body language of the prospect as we are reviewing the proposal.

5. Try to sit next to the prospect. In that way you can control the turning of the pages during the presentation. If you know the prospect is only a price buyer, one tactic to use is to not put a price page in the proposal. After you review the specs and they agree to them, then pull out the pricing from your briefcase. Or, you can tell them after they have agreed to the specs that you estimate the price to be ? give or take 10%. How does that sound, Mr. or Mrs. prospect? That may get them to give you their budget and you can adjust from there. Just a thought. I used this approach many times---successfully. 

6. Emphasize the things that make you different. The prospect already knows you clean good or you wouldn't probably be there in the first place. What are the systems and processes that set you apart from your competition? If it's a unique training program, invite the prospect to attend a session. Chances are your competition won't do that, if they even have a training program. 
If it is a one of a kind quality control software, demonstrate it to the prospect and show them how it will benefit them.
And the list goes on, but be sure you do what you say you do. 

There you have 6 tips on delivering your sales proposal. Hope it helps. There are more but I am making a conscious effort to make these blogs shorter and more concise. Won't always succeed in shortness but am continuing to make the effort.

By the way, you will notice I used the word proposal, not bid, throughout this blog posting. If you are asking to bid on the work, then you are really telling the prospect that you are a commodity and can hopefully beat everybody elses price. If you are really wanting to be a viable vendor to the prospect, you will deliver a proposal and then during the presentation process, will show them the value of doing business with your company which in turn takes you out of the "bidding" process and into the realm of a legitimate provider of needed services for your prospect.

Till next time and MAKE IT A GREAT DAY.

Monday, June 1, 2015


Well, here we are in June and almost halfway through another calendar year. I thought the timing is right to remind everyone that this is a good time to look at some areas that are important to us in moving our companies forward. 

1. The time is now to look at your entire operation to see if you are where you want to be at the half way point in the year. That means doing a complete audit of your accounts to see which ones are profitable and which ones need more attention. I suggest you do a re-engineering of each of your accounts to analyze where you really are. We have a FREE form on our web site at www.consultantsincleaning,com that you can download under the worksheets icon and scroll down to the operations/human resources section and click on account re-engineering worksheet. We used it every six months and it helped us tremendously on bringing our accounts into focus. 

2. The time is now to bring all of your staff in for paid refresher training on how you want everyone to be cleaning etc. This is a valuable exercise to do. You will find some of your cleaning techs have got into some bad habits and this is your opportunity to correct those bad habits.

3. The time is now to go to our sister site, www.kleancast.com and sign up for our FREE weekly pod cast on different subjects that pertain to our industry. I realize the sign up form asks for your phone number but we promise not to call you and harass you on anything. Any phone call we have will be initiated by you the viewer only. Our first OFFICIAL kleancast is being posted on June 1 so we hope you will join us each week to see this concise, to the point, short message on a subject pertaining to our industry. The pod casts will be archived so you can watch older ones as you see fit. We have even archived some of the older tripodcast videos for you to review.

4. The time is now to begin thinking about attending the 50th anniversary BSCAI convention in Las Vegas, October 22-24. This convention is preceded by the largest trade show in the industry sponsored by ISSA. www.bscai.org and www.issa.com are the sites to gather more information on these two great learning events. Thousands of your peers, managing and owning all sizes of companies, will be attending to share information with you not to mention the 700+ booths that will be at the trade show providing you the opportunity to see what is new in our industry that can improve your operation.

Take advantage of these opportunities in Las Vegas to learn and ask questions and move your company and yourself forward in this great industry. The dollars invested will come back to you in many ways. I am still reaping the rewards of things I learned many years ago by attending these events. 

So there you have 4 things you can do at this midway point of 2015 that will enhance your company (and you). 

MAKE IT A GREAT WEEK. See you on Linkedin.