Leading The Pack: How to stand out in your marketplace as a top power washing professional:
The Warm Lead:
You've done your marketing, you've generated the lead, and you've made your initial contact with a prospective client... what's next? Let them hear your voice! Text definitely has its place in our industry but there's opportunity to really set yourself apart from the competition with a brief phone conversation. Showcase your knowledge! Ask probing questions. Address any potential logistics concerns ahead of time (parking, water source, etc.). Emphasize your concern for personal property protection and vegetation. Highlight some features of your business (local, family owned, fully insured, years experience, reviews, certifications, etc.). Most importantly, give a positive vibe. People buy from people they like!
Know Your Market Pricing:
Offer competitive pricing. Your customer may be comparing prices with a competitor. If so, be sure to ask them to also compare service levels. Don't allow price to be the only deciding factor. Discuss technique, guarantees, & additional services. Highlight what sets you apart from others. The more informed your customer becomes about pressure washing/ soft washing, the better equipped they are to make an informed decision when selecting a contractor. You have a client who is concerned with the overall look of their property and is willing to pay a professional to handle it. You may not have the lowest bid, but you've highlighted your features and benefits. Top-shelf service levels will get you a better customer at a premium price.
Set Clear Expectations:
What does your customer expect from you? What do you expect from your customer? Imagine arriving at your first housewash appointment of the day to discover that the windows are all open, the spigots are shut off, 4 cars are in the driveway, and the deck is covered with potted plants. Frustrating! That's going to put you behind schedule a bit. Likewise, it can be frustrating for your housewash customer who just spent hundreds of dollars on your service to discover that, upon completion, the troubling stains near her main entrance were not removed. The rest of the house may look great, but this is what really what was bothering her about her home's appearance in the first place. Clearly
communicate the when, what, and how. Send text, email, or phone reminders before arrival. Do a walk-around before and after the work is performed. Point out concerns, potential hazards, and trouble areas. Always under-promise and over-deliver!
Do Quality Work:
Whether you're pulling a double-axle pressure washing trailer or using Mom's old minivan to haul around Dad's old pressure washer, perform quality work! Do the very best you have with what is at your disposal. Never stop educating yourself. Bite off a little more than you can chew, but not enough to choke you. Learn, practice, learn more, then go mentor someone else. Find your niche role and do it well. If you are good at surface cleaning, make flatwork your forte. If you love roof washing, do it better, safer, and more efficient than your competition. Find some way to go above and beyond at every job site.
Everything Is Sales:
No one truly enjoys being on either end of a sales pitch. Meanwhile, it's a necessary component of trade. You don't have to be a pushy salesman to promote confidence in your brand. Just be likeable. Everything you do is sales! Picking up a piece of litter in the front lawn is sales. Your conversation, how you drive, your rig, your music, your appearance... it's all sales! You may be wildly successful showing up to job sites in with a bone through your nose, vaping, and wearing flip-flops but I can assure you that those things are speedbumps. You might have gotten to your destination quicker without them. Handling objections is sales. Be prepared to tactfully handle objections as they arise. As a business owner, you are already successfully doing this. Are there ways you can improve? Are your employees as good as you are at handling objections? Silence is sales. Know when to stop talking. Endeavor to direct the conversation but know when to quit. As soon as you hear the word "yes", stop selling! Book the appointment, do the work, and collect the cash.
Upselling is sales.
Upselling doesn't have to be pushy. You may start this process during the phone conversation by simply talking about the other services you offer. The customer may already be looking for this service and just needs a reminder. Let your customer know your recommendations during the pre wash walk-around. Simply point out some work that you can help them with. It may add incremental sales to your service call. If time does not permit, no problem! If the customer is interested, it will give you a reason to come back!
Complaints are sales.
It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience. How you handle a customer complaint can either lose a customer (and everyone they know) or gain a customer for life. A customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if there is a service related problem than a price or product related problem.
Meet The Neighbors:
The nextdoor neighbor is either a potential customer or a potential complaint. Always wave and smile to neighbors if opportunity presents itself. Go out of your way to personally thank neighbors who have allowed property access, moved vehicles, or were helpful in any way. Dog-walkers and passers-by are often my next customers. Remember, a bitter neighbor may poison a happy customer's well. You may be left wondering why they never called you back.
Give Yourself A Reason To Come Back:
You've completed the job, now it's time to set the next appointment. Try to schedule the upsell that the customer was interested in or perhaps an additional routine service that you offer. Gutter cleaning and window cleaning are two services you can provide that will put your customer on a regular maintenance schedule. You may have other talents or abilities that come to mind. Providing a routine service is a great way to market to existing customers. After all, we know that it is 5X cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. You already have a satisfied customer, dont forget to market to them. Schedule the next appointment from the driveway and put it in your calendar. Fill time slots that you may anticipate will be slow seasonal times. An e-card is a great way to get your number on the customer's phone. Business cards and refrigerator magnets are nice, but their phone is where you want your number. Add keywords to your e-card. That way, even if they forget your name they can type in "power washing" and you will pop up. Collect email adresses and mobile phone numbers for email blast and SMS marketing.
Ask For The 5-Star Review:
We usually know when the customer is extremely satisfied. The post cleaning walk-around is the perfect time to ask for your five-star review. The property is sparkling! No critters, plant life, or elements have yet to soil your masterpiece. There is no existence of buyer's/spending remorse. Ask immediately. A convenient, easy way to get your review is to send a link to the customer's mobile phone. They will see an SMS message they can respond to rather than go out of their way to search you online.
Icing On The Cake
You have to BAKE the cake before you can ICE it. Once you have operations, marketing, and customer service in line, then go after assets, branding and advertising. Big trucks, wraps, and fancy lights are fun, but 100 five star reviews tells a story!
I hoped this helped someone and possibly ruffled some feathers. It's just my two cents so take what you can use and ignore the rest. Now wash-on!