“I’m only attracting price shoppers and tire kickers.”
If you’ve ever said any of these phrases, know that you are not alone.
Also know that in most cases, they are false statements.
Most business owners have a false reality of what it takes to convert leads effectively.
Just like you need systems & processes to schedule estimates, manage your cleaners, maintain cleaning supplies and inventory in stock, payment processing etc., systems & processes are needed in order to convert leads!
This is very unsexy, but worth a chat if your goal is to get more cleaning clients this year.
1. Referral Base (Why relying on referrals hurts businesses)
For businesses that have big plans on expanding, I believe this is the most important concept for a business owner to understand when it comes to web leads.
You see, a lot of business owners are proud to announce that they’ve built their business off of referrals or word of mouth.
But just ask any business owner in this industry generating over $500k in annual revenue and I can guarantee they will tell you that referrals are only part of their growth.
Now, the point is not to say you should or shouldn’t be at a certain revenue mark - the point is relying on referrals to grow your company will only get you so far.
And when you’ve been dealing with referrals your whole career, you’ve been dealing with (what we call in the marketing space) warm or hot leads...These are the easiest type of people to close!
Since these referrals are likely coming from your immediate network, the Know, Like & Trust factor (KLT) has already been established. They won’t require much persuasion or nurturing.
All it really takes is a 1 minute conversation with this person to schedule a cleaning appointment.
Internet leads, on the other hand, don't convert with the same (lack of) effort.
They need more impressions before you can really knock down that trust barrier. This is what many business owners don’t realize.
Business owners have a false perception of what gaining clients looks like because they’ve never really had to put much time & energy into.
2. Following Up in a Timely Manner
Here’s some stats you should know:
Did you know leads are about 10x less likely to respond if you contact them after the first five minutes of opt-in?
What about after 30 minutes? 21x less likely.
Now, you want to know the average digital lead response time is for a small business?
Meaning most businesses, including other cleaning companies, are severely underachieving when it comes to drumming up new business.
Let’s focus on the first stat because the first 5 minutes are the most influential to any future sale.
Whether the leads you generate come via phone call, email, or form submission, you need to make sure they get contacted as quick as possible.
If not, there's a good chance they'll lose interest or call your competitor instead.
For starters, make sure that you are answering your phone.
A ton of businesses, including those who pay for advertising where leads come via phone call, admit to never answering their phone to unrecognized numbers.
Unless you enjoy flushing $50 down the toilet for every $100 you spend, stop rejecting calls.
If you miss a call? Call them back immediately!
Not after you go to Target to pick up something.
Not after you make yourself something for lunch.
Not after you scroll through my blog articles or YouTube videos for 15 more minutes.
If for whatever reason these continue to be an issue for you, consider hiring somebody in-house or outsourcing to a call center. I know gyms who reached exponential growth thanks to a service like this!
If your primary way of receiving leads is through a web form, make sure you have a way to be notified immediately.
Either setting up push notifications through a third-party app on your phone, or using an integrative software to send you SMS notifications (my personal favorite) are great options.
I would avoid relying on email communication for web leads. The chances of you reaching a lead in ideal time are significantly reduced.
3. Volume (The importance of multiple touch points)
According to the National Sales Executive Association, 80% of sales are made between the 5th and 12th touch point!
Statistically speaking, that first call, text message, or voicemail you send out to a lead is not supposed to convert into a sale. Yet, this is where many people give up.
The main reason being they are afraid of pestering leads too much, which is nonsense!
If someone took the time to fill out their personal details in exchange for a cleaning, you have every right to contact them until you either hear a “okay, let’s schedule” or “stop calling.”
Put it this way - Let’s say the same 100 leads are being sent to you and your local competitor down the block...
From the initial contact, you both have the same theoretical odds of appointments scheduled, right?
Now, let’s say over the course of 2 weeks, you on average contact each lead 3 times. Your competitor contacts his/her leads 20 times, on average.
A month from now, who will have more appointments scheduled/ closed clients?
Another thing to consider is switching up your follow-up methods is very much encouraged.
Going back to my example of the Know, Like, & Trust factor that comes with referrals, this is your opportunity to start showcasing this with not just multiple follow-ups, but effective follow-ups.
For example, let’s say over the course of a week, you choose to only call them:
On day 1 you call them.
On day 2 you call them again and maybe leave a voicemail.
On day 4 you call them one last time before ringing the bell.
Between day 1 and 4, what extra value have they gained from you?
There’s probably something they’re still a bit apprehensive about, but won’t openly admit.
Maybe they’re paranoid about sanitation and aren’t aware that you have a strict disinfection protocol for your space.
Maybe they’re having second thoughts about their (lack of) fitness and are worried about feeling embarrassed or exposed after coming to your gym.
Maybe they simply want to build rapport with you before they consider going with your business (this is actually very important).
The thing is, almost all of these questions can be answered in your follow-ups if you play it strategically.
For example, you can swap out the call for a video text message, where you briefly introduce yourself and say you are looking forward to cleaning their home.
(I've witnessed particular success with this!)
You can also get creative and move your leads into an email drip campaign, demonstrating your value as a cleaning service.
Client testimonials, Interviews, “How-to” videos, & Before & Afters are just a few great options of this.
It’s also very important to organize your leads in some type of pipeline or CRM.
No more "keeping track" in your head; you will always overestimate the amount of times you've actually followed up. As more leads come in, you'll also lose track eventually.
There are various options depending on your budget and lead volume to organize leads.
If looking for something quick to get started, a simple Google Sheet will suffice.
Client Example: A very simple lead tracking sheet made in about 2 minutes with Google Sheets.
After years of dealing with the problem of leads not converting with my clients, I’ve learned a lot.
Lots of trial & error, conversation paths, and FAQ with leads inspired me to create my proprietary lead nurturing and sales system.
(Scary... But effective!)
Combined with the tips I shared above, I wanted to create a machine that could run in the background for gyms and fitness studios.
Whether or not you have a complex follow-up system like mine or not, the same principles apply.
As a busy business owner, having your sales & follow-up is critical!
I hope that after reading this article, your perception of lead quality has shifted a bit. My goal is for you to leave with the tools necessary to increase your conversion rate on leads.
About The Author
Evan Leibowitz is the founder of Evan Luis Media. Here in our agency, we specialize in social media marketing, lead generation, and sales funnel implementation for Residential & Commercial Cleaners, and other service-based businesses. We have an insatiable hunger for learning the newest marketing strategies and industry trends because we don't care about what worked yesterday; we care about what's working today.
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