The 60-25-15 Rule?

Written by Jim DuBois

Hello. Jim DuBois here again from WindowWashingWealth.com. Continuing from the last Business Builder article, there’s always something to talk about when it comes to marketing your window cleaning company, whether commercial, residential, or high rise. And maintaining your company’s revenue is not always an easy walk in the park. So, what is this 60-25-15 Rule?

Stable Business Revenue

Is this a new diet? No, this has nothing to do with a new diet. Instead, it is a foundation of how to invest your money, time, and effort in marketing, growing, and maintaining your window cleaning business. When investing your marketing efforts and dollars, usually those in the business who come to me are looking for ways to get new customers. And that is where most of their resources are invested. But according to the 60-25-15 Rule, this is counter-productive and can work against you. In other words, you need balance.

In essence, here is the 60-25-15 Rule:

  • 60% of your marketing efforts should go towards retaining and marketing to current customers
  • 25% should go towards getting new customers
  • 15% should be invested in getting back inactive customers.
Now, let's go over each portion in detail. Keep Customers Engaged

This is the percentage of all your business building-building activities and resources that you need to devote to retaining your current customers. Think about it. It is MUCH easier to keep a current customer than it is to go out and prospect for a new one. We had a meeting in my office in March talking about this exact topic and it spurred me to write this article. How much money are we (you) spending to get new customers and how much money are we (you) spending to keep existing customers?

There are several reasons why it easier to keep a current customer: We are creatures of habit. It is easier to do what we are doing than it is to do something different. The same is true for your customers. If they are already coming to you, then it is easier and more PREDICTABLE for them to keep on coming to you than it is for them to do something different. This is because:

  1. You already have an established relationship. One of the biggest barriers in getting new customers is that prospects don't have a relationship with you, and don't know you from Adam. It takes a long time to build a relationship with a customer, so instead of throwing it away and trying to start all over with a new customer, you should focus on strengthening this relationship.
  2. The lack of marketing costs. You've already paid the initial investment in getting your current customer base. So now it costs you a lot less to keep marketing to these customers than it would be to start all over and market to new ones.

Also included in this 60% are getting referrals from, and cross-selling to, your current customers. You should focus a tremendous amount of your efforts on getting referrals. It isn't enough that you deliver a high-quality service, and then sit back and wait for your customers to refer their friends and families to you. You have to actively solicit referrals. If you are truly providing a high level of service to your customers, most won't have a problem providing you with referrals when you ask them.

In the meantime, keep in mind that 80% of all your referrals will come from 20% of your customers. So, make sure you go out of your way to cultivate relationships with those customers who refer the most customers to you. As for cross-selling (up-selling), the basic precept is that if you provide a great service, your customers will be happy to purchase additional services that you offer. Way back, I was a window cleaning only business. Today we are a marketing company that offers window cleaning, pressure washing, and gutter cleaning – residential and commercial. In my residential division, adding pressure washing and gutter cleaning alone increased our revenues almost 50% by cross selling those services.

For instance, you can offer the above, but also offer holiday lighting, snow removal, gutter protection systems, screen repair, hard water stain removal, glass scratch repair, etc. If you are not already providing additional services to help your customers, I would highly recommend you do so. For one thing, they will appreciate you recommending services that they will probably seek out at some point anyway. And if you don't offer these services to your customers, they will get them elsewhere. As an added bonus, you might be surprised at how much these services will increase your bottom line like in my company’s case. 50% additional revenue is significant for any business!

So, going back to the cost of keeping existing customers, did you know that on average, finding a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one!

That’s reason enough right there to start marketing to your existing customer base. Here are 10 expert strategies to motivate your customers to keep coming back.

  • Talk to them. How you communicate with your customers isn’t that important; what’s important is that you do it! Stay in touch with email newsletters, mailings, and your blog. These methods remind your clients and customers that you’re around when they need you. You can even call them to let them know about a sale, a new service you are offering, or just to say thank you and ask if there’s anything else you can do for them. Put these kind of calls in rotation with your office staff and you will be amazed at the loyalty you will create with your customers.
  • Get personal. If you want your company name to be the first thing people think of when they need your service, you need to build personal relationships with them. That’s why it’s helpful to call or send a card on special occasions — like birthdays (if you have them), special promotions, and of course holidays, any holiday like national Hot Dog Day which is in July. Go to nationaldaycalendar.com for ideas. And May 10th is National Clean Up Your Room Day which makes for a great promotion.
  • Show your appreciation. Letting them know you appreciate them builds a personal link and can help keep clients loyal. Something simple like sending a $25 gift certificate off their next service, or take your top 50 or 100 customers and send them a $3.00 or $5.00 gift card to a coffee chain, saying “Have a Drink on Squeegee Pros!” goes a long way in relationship building. You may consider thank you notes to be no-brainers, but you’d be surprised at how many of us neglect to write them. Take the time to show your customers that you genuinely appreciate their business, and they’ll remember your thoughtfulness.
  • Bring people together. There’s a percentage of your customers that have their own customers in their job or business. Linking up your clients and referring them business is a powerful way to encourage loyalty. People never forget who referred them, and by helping them grow their business, they in turn might need your services more as well.
  • Take them out. Regular face-to-face contact will go a long, long way, but is not an easy endeavor. Offer to get together over lunch, and try to spend time in a non-sales capacity. Our commercial side lends to this activity more-so than residential. We have a small handful of high paying commercial clients, one in particular that we’ve done this with and is responsible for 100’s of thousands of dollars in revenue over the years.
  • Manage your reputation. Just as an unhappy customer can cause a lot of damage to your business reputation, good customer service keeps people coming back and brings in new customers over the long term. Treat your customers just like you’d like to be treated. We had an issue that came up this morning where a window cleaning customer was unhappy about how his sills looked, but brushed it off as no big deal, so our residential administrator did not call the customer back. He then sent over a filled-out survey explaining the issue, so he was called, and we took full responsibility for our error, offering him a redo, and a discount on his next window cleaning. Reaching out to him despite, made him feel better about us and the chance of him calling us again is now much better and will hopefully keep our reputation intact with him.
  • Spread the good news. If an article is written about your business or you are quoted in a newspaper or magazine, send copies to your existing customers and clients. This will keep you in mind, bolster their confidence in you, and encourage them to recommend you to others. We’ve been mentioned in a couple of magazines in our area and it makes for a great announcement.
  • Ask for feedback. Ask your existing customers if there are ways you can improve your service. When you ask customers for feedback and take their concerns seriously, they feel a sense of ownership in what you’re doing and thus become more loyal to your services.
  • Follow up. You can’t reach out to someone once and have a customer for life; it will rarely if ever happen. You need to reach out to them regularly. Like anything worthwhile, consistent follow-up requires a lot of effort, but over time you’ll reap the benefits of a steady stream of repeat business and also referrals.
  • Get involved. It’s important to demonstrate your commitment to your community. If a client has a particular charitable venture, consider contributing time, money, or goods to the cause. And if you do, put it on your website and let the customer know. Spreading the goodwill creates loyalty.

The bottom line is,

Become The Obvious Company To Call!

Just staying in front of the customer goes a long way to ensuring loyalty over the long term.

Top performing businesses understand that when the right marketing messages reach current customers at the right time they can have a measurable impact on revenue goals and customers' lifetime value (CLV).


Keep reading below...

There are 3 main reasons to market to existing customers.


Reason #1) To Increase Retention

When done right, marketing to your current window cleaning and pressure washing customers can increase retention by reminding them of your company, its services, and their value. Being at the forefront of your customers' minds reinforces your relationship with them, making them more likely to stay with your company.


Reason #2) To Increase Revenue

Current customers are generally more reliable buyers than new customers. As you upsell, cross-sell, and offer other marketing offers to existing customers like mentioned before, they're more likely to purchase. Research shows that existing customers are also more likely to spend higher amounts.

Revenue can increase so significantly because current customer purchases have higher margins than those of new customers. With new customers, you need to spend time and money explaining your company, your offers, and your value while you build trust. For example, if you are a window cleaning only company and you decide to add pressure washing services to your existing customer base, your revenues will soar with the announcement just because you reached out to them. We are about to add a new service and I am ramping up the marketing to do so. We will make it a HUGE Big Deal to our existing customers. And we expect our phones and email box to go crazy when we announce it.


Reason #3) To Increase Acquisition Through Customer Advocacy

The final reason behind marketing to current customers is their power to influence your prospects. By inserting happy customers into your sales and marketing processes, you can attract prospects, convert them into leads, and even nurture them until they become customers.

Current customer advocates are often willing to tell their success story with your services in blog posts, interviews, video testimonials, if you ask. On my company’s Squeegee Pro’s website, we have 3 or 4 video testimonials that say it in words that I just can’t and it becomes very powerful. These testimonials provide social proof, and help both draw new prospects into your lead funnel and give buyers confidence in your services as they make their final selection as to which company to choose. Such as the link above or here for Window Washing Wealth.

Window Washing Wealth

This is the percentage of your resources that you should invest in getting new customers. This includes print and digital advertising, etc. The problem here is that most window cleaning companies do the opposite, and instead devote 60% of their resources to getting brand new customers. However, if you market properly to your current customers, this 25% will be sufficient to help you offset customers that drift away, and to keep your business at a level at which you are serving your ideal number of customers and maintaining the revenue you desire.

Wealth Building for Small Businesses
Finally, this is the percentage of your resources that you should dedicate to reactivating inactive customers. 
  • Why did the customer leave you? 
  • Do they feel that they no longer need your service?
  • Was the price to high?
  • Was the quality of work poor?
  • Was customer service not on their game?
  • Or did you make a mistake somehow, and they felt they weren't being treated right?
Well Treated Customers

You need to determine the reason, correct the situation if possible, and continue marketing to them. Normally making time to reach out by phone works pretty well in diagnosing the issue and then sending them a letter or newsletter or select email on a monthly basis helps in keeping you in the front of their mind. And when the time is right, many will eventually come back.

If a relatively large percentage of your customers are leaving, then you might need to do some self-diagnosis on your company and determine what’s going on. Perhaps it is a bad employee that is tarnishing your reputation. We have a saying in my office to help preserve our company reputation and company culture within and that is, “If there is a cancer spreading, it will be immediately cut out.” 

As a final word, the 60-25-15 Rule is normally effective for window cleaning businesses that have been around for a few years. Prior to that, a much larger percentage of your marketing efforts will go towards getting new customers. And if you are a new business, then virtually all of your effort will go towards getting new customers.

If you really grasp this information that I've shared with you today, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. There's no doubt, if you will take control and become your own marketing expert, your business will boom. Until next time…



Jim DuBois is founder of Squeegee Pros, Inc. out of Mooresville, NC. He is the creator of WindowWashingWealth.com, which specializes in aggressive marketing tactics, the importance of internal company systems, and how to dominate your window cleaning/pressure washing marketplace. All things a serial window cleaning entrepreneur should know to build a huge business. Visit the site for a free marketing report. Do you have questions you’d like to see answered in this column? Email them to me directly at jim@squeegeepros.com or call my office at 704-799-0313.
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