Why we educate our clients rather than sell our clients
One of the biggest gaps in janitorial pricing in janitorial sales is between the prospective client and the janitorial service provider.
I want to explain this in a little more detail. We will often go on a walk-through to explore a prospective client’s needs in the facility, and the scope of work required and will review all the areas included in the scope of work. Many times, based on the size of the building, we can put rough numbers to paper right away and determine the range of pricing that exists for the property. This includes sitting with the prospective client at the end of the walkthrough and sharing how we arrive at our numbers in a rough range of pricing.
The next question we’ll ask is, whether or not we are higher or lower than their current provider based on this pricing frame. Many times we will hear that our pricing is higher and the client will share with us what they are paying right now.
At this point, we take the time to demonstrate how we arrived at our bid, in detail. We try to educate our clients because if we can educate our clients on how we arrived at our bid, we can show why they’re dissatisfied right now.
We often discover their current provider is dramatically lower than us, 10-, 20-, 30%, or more than what we’re bidding.
How can that be?
Because the current provider hasn’t included the proper budgeted hours for cleaning and the delivery of that service. In our experience, there is a high correlation between the delivery of service (performance) and the cleaning itself.
Industry’s Dirty Little Secret
Put simply, if you cannot work within your budgeted hours for the scope of services, the cleaning provider is forced to cheat on the scope of services by either getting creative with their practices or paying their staff less. If they pay their staff less, you get lower quality personnel. If the quality of personnel isn’t as high, you essentially create a high turnover. In time, that turnover creates a cycle of inconsistent delivery. So you end up chasing your tail, your tail as a janitorial service provider.
What separates us from most cleaning providers is the focus we put on educating our clients on this aspect. Because if we can educate the client, we may not win the business, but we’re walking away with more credibility and there will come a time, more than likely when the client will need to address this.
They will need to address the shortfall in service. This means they will need to either get creative in their pricing structure or look at their service delivery and match it with their pricing. Sooner or later, they’re going to come to that realization. The quicker we can show them what’s happening, the quicker we can frame the understanding of how their work and their service right now isn’t meeting the budgeted hour’s expectation. The sooner they can understand that the better off they’re going to be. What decision they choose to make at that point in time is entirely up to them.
Two Little Words That Make All the Difference
But we want to share this with our client to create an expectation of consistency and transparency. The more that we can provide this transparency in budgeted hours and share with them the proper forecasts for doing the work, the more clearly we can demonstrate why they’re not getting the proper delivery right now. And they’re not going to be able to get the proper delivery where they’re priced right now.
Some might say this is going to eliminate a whole series of clients, and that’s possible. But it’s better to work with clients that are realistic about how their needs match up with their budgeted hours than to work with clients who don’t think this way. And if they don’t think like this, they will continue to fall into the cycle of disappointment. And the integrity of the service provider falls because they’re not being transparent about this reality.
It’s our relentless pursuit of consistency and transparency that drives us to educate our customers, rather than simply sell to our customers.