Keep It Clean: Episode 01: Building and Customer Evaluations
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How deeply do you need to look when evaluating a building? The real questions is: If you are not looking deep enough, how can you be sure the building qualifies to be part of your company’s future?
The first part of a management and marketing plan for a building service contracting company should be the types of buildings (customers) that will help your company move forward into a profitable future. The great part about the exercise of protocol development is that it can be which ever protocols you choose as a service provider.
The first evaluation that can be a determining factor for service-ability, and sometimes finding out about the attitude of the prospect, is the outside condition of the building. Pulling into a litter-filled overgrown landscaped area, or sun-faded parking lot should give us a set of clues to help determine if our company values will be met by signing a prospect to a contract.
Perhaps thinking about sales prospects like a college football recruiter can give us some insight into how we should prepare our list or potential prospects. Collegiate recruiters are certainly looking for more than just a competent set of skills to play a position, they are looking for intangibles that could include team chemistry, academic skills, personality, future potential and ability for the recruit to sway other recruits to attend the same university.
Similar things can apply to our recruiting focus. Does this prospect have the right stuff to earn our services? Will this prospect help us sell other prospects? Will this prospect help our staff feel a sense of pride or accomplishment when servicing this building? What will this prospect do for our customer chemistry? Will they fail to understand basic maintenance practices, causing misunderstandings with staff? Will this prospect be respectful of our professional attitudes, and training?
Prospect attitude is certainly something to address as we build our prospect list, but not the only thing that should be listed. You may want to determine which types of buildings your company can service most profitably. Does your company work better in a campus type building setting? Perhaps your company thrives in high rise or low slung style buildings. Which part of your city or region makes the most sense from an employee recruiting method? Do most employees drive directly to the building, or do they rely on public transportation?
Other building considerations could be the type of activity that occurs in the building. School or cubicle farm? Large building with cafeteria where most employees stay the entire day? Or where the traffic load from employees leaving and returning to the building brings in much more soil from outside rather than having a controlled environment from traffic, but employees have the ability to eat lunch at their desks.
Office only or office and factory where shop employees can track all manner of soil types onto many different types of flooring and restroom surfaces? How about amount of outside traffic like retail buildings, malls or indoor shopping centers, versus retail environments where moving from store to store can be affected negatively by weather-related issues?
There are so many different variables that need to be addressed by a plan of action to find out where we should spend our marketing time, dollars, and energy. A complete focus of that activity, matching it with the right prospect mix will target a very specific group of prospects that in the long run, will help us grow profitably.
Since planning is the first function of management, our company managers must plan for these specific types of prospects, or we just end up taking whatever comes our way. Unfortunately, that approach may not give us the type of customers that are exactly the type we need for a profitable future. Think about this when you are setting up a sales route to help your business building strategy.
Dane Gregory is the commercial sales manager for Carpet Cleaner America. He works with commercial cleaners to help them build their businesses by adding services without a lot of additional cost. He also helps them with technical aspects of cleaning carpet, tile and grout, and stone surfaces. He instructs classes for each floor surface as well as the Commercial Cleaning Initiative, which covers all of these floor surfaces.