People who do not make lists drift in different directions. These are generally people who have no focus and don’t make much progress on their own goals and objectives. One memorable exception to this rule was the first heavy hitting, janitorial salesman I worked with who regularly signed between $5 and 10 million per year. That’s a lot of cleaning contracts especially in 1980s dollars.
He was a “salesman’s salesman” in the grandest tradition of those few natural born salespeople, always on top. Fact is if he wasn’t selling cleaning, he would have sold millions of dollars of anything else he chose. Selling was instinctual for him, it was in his DNA. I learned so much for which I am thankful. I learned to develop my own style and that people like to do business with people they like. Two very important lessons.
The biggest lesson however was that the rest of us should not to count on personal charm. We better do our homework and utilize every available tool to win sales. The first tool is a list of who we want to do business with. If you don’t have a list you will drift in different directions and only win sales when you are lucky. Those who build healthy cleaning companies never rely on luck.
Reason number one is your list is directly tied to your success. First the types of prospects and businesses and then their location, is how to begin your list. You can focus all your attention on a limited number of prospects with a limited amount of time and money. This is direct marketing as opposed to mass marketing. Focus time and resources to a targeted group of prospects, a group that you have defined and identified.
The reason most commercial cleaning services struggle with growth is that they accidentally stumbling over leads which happens from time to time. They are never replaced with a solid strategy. A strategy that begins with targeting specific prospects and accounts, followed by a sustained plan for repeatedly contacting those same targets, yields results over a period of time.
Reason number two is for control and cost management. Only after you have a list of prospects compiled can you begin assigning dollar figures to your efforts and budgets for future planning. Let’s say you have contacted 100 prospects over a period of a week, it’s possible from there to estimate how much you spent to accomplish these contacts. After following this simple strategy of contacting 100 prospects every week, you will begin to see new sales and since you kept track of who you were targeting, you can begin to see how much it costs to get a new contract. This will be your contract acquisition cost.
Projecting the growth of your company by pulling numbers out of thin air is only wishful thinking. However, after establishing what your cost is to secure a new contract your projection of growth then becomes a science instead of a wish. The starting point of taking control of the growth of your company begins with your prospect list.