Carpet cleaners are almost always looking for new ways to generate revenue, and although we may hear discussions about offering this or that add-on service, one of the most significant ways to take a carpet cleaning business to a higher level is to take on commercial accounts.
This could include accounts in an entire assortment of industries, from food service and schools to medium and large office buildings. Very often these locations are cleaned in house or by hired contract cleaners that provide an array of services — that is, except for carpet cleaning, specifically, carpet extraction.
Before you start knocking on doors or responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) for carpet cleaning work, I want to give you a little heads-up on how the game has changed in the past few years. The days of just responding to an RFP or bidding on an account, in this case to clean their carpets, and then waiting to hear from the prospect are coming to an end. This is especially true when working with larger organizations — schools and universities as well as corporate campuses — but we are seeing this filter down to smaller organizations as well.
And the big change is this: You are going to be expected to give a presentation. Typically, once the organization has narrowed down the RFPs to three to five contenders, the applicants are all invited to the prospect’s facility to give a presentation. The prospect presentation is usually about 30 to 60 minutes, usually in a conference room, and usually with all contenders presenting on the same day. So, don’t be surprised if you pass one or more of your competitors on the way in or out of the building.
Having the presentations on the same day makes it much easier for the prospect. First, they will likely have a few people attending the event and will have had to work around multiple schedules. Second, they are better able to compare the contenders when they see them one right after the other.
Things to do and not do to win carpet cleaning contracts
Before we go into how to structure your prospect presentation and ways to make your presentation stand out, there are a few dos and don’ts we should cover:
- Do arrive at the scheduled time; tardiness will count against you.
- Do dress appropriately, such as wearing business casual attire, although suit and tie are not usually necessary. (Note: It’s usually better to be overdressed than underdressed.)
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