Gaining Commercial Work

by Kate Baker

Depending on a cleaning company’s preferences and setup, commercial contracts may be the Holy Grail for some folk. No more waiting for Mrs Bennett to remember to pay you the seven quid she still owes you and no more dealing with the hungry Rottie left parked in the back garden. Of course, if Mrs Bennett also owns a company as well, you’re still in the do-do’s!

So, how to attract commercial contracts?

A well designed website is always a good start though pretty useless on its own to attract new business. Without successful SEO implementation, the site will remain off the radar. Links, articles, blogs and other social networking all help but need constant attention to keep yourselves bouncing up to the top of listing pages. Websites should be viewed as part of the bigger marketing objective.

Word of mouth will rarely work on the commercial side of the things as most will be perfectly happy to leave their competitors squandering in the dirt, smugly waving from their squeaky clean premises. Business is harsh – harsh but fair! Well-designed, sign-written vans may help, sandwich-boarding the chaps from across the road!

Flyers, either leaflet dropped or emailed may be successful if you’re lucky, but how do you know that they’ve reached the decision makers? As we all know, most end up in the bin or are directed to trash via the delete button or spam filter. All in all, this method lacks the control of getting past the receptionists’ wicket keepers

Cold calling is another route but again needs a good pair of Nike’s to swerve past the receptionists attention only to find that the decision maker is in another meeting. Also, with the price of petrol nowadays, a Segway or an electric Noddy car is a necessity!

So now we get to telemarketing, many of the problems apparent in the above are still there, it is just a question of damage limitation. Due to cheaper telephone services and without the need for Nike’s (slippers will do) or even navigating a Segway over a kerbstone, telemarketing provides a relatively efficient method of marketing.

The downside of telemarketing is the cost of TPS and TPCS laws, unfortunately it is illegal to pick the Yellow Pages up and call prospects, willy-nilly.  Companies can be fined £5000 for calling companies that have opted out of unsolicited sales calls. The process of acquiring TPS checked phone numbers is relatively simple and there are several companies providing this service – at a price, though deals are available dependent on demand.

The advantages of contact via phone over the routes mentioned above is a question of control. The ability of
the telemarketer to get past the first line of defence ie the receptionist is the first hurdle. Armed, only with a headset and slippers (flip flops will do) there is an improved chance that the defences can be breached in order to speak with the decision maker. If the decision maker is unavailable, telemarketers can then find an appropriate time to call back – the lead is not dead. This, in effect, is a direct improvement on the “straight to
bin, trash or spam phenomenon”.

Another advantage is the ability to create an on-going database of clients’ requirements. Companies
contracted to specific cleaners may reveal details of the current contract allowing you to “stick your nose in” at a time close to contract closure.

Cloud computing has also helped the telemarketers, especially if there are more than one person working for
a client. Document sharing and the ability to update instantly simplifies the process by removing the need to work off multiple records. The client can also monitor the progress of the campaign as it happens and keep a check on how fast the flip flops are spinning.

A well designed PDF flyer raises the stakes even more for the telemarketer when dealing with bosses who
are too busy or too far into their second sandwich. At least the info is reaching the target audience.

All in all, telemarketing offers an accurate record of a campaigns progress and can be referenced for future marketing strategies.