The Landscape of Window Cleaning is Changing

A special yearly issue of Success Magazine called "The Selling Issue" quoted Scott DeGarmo:

"The big money goes to those companies with superior marketing operations. Entrepreneurial companies of today must evolve from being sales oriented to being marketing oriented in order to now win the consumer."

The question to you is: Are you evolving with the changing landscape of business? Are you ahead of the curve, with it, or behind it?

Window Cleaning Business Landscape

Hello Again! It’s Jim DuBois with WindowWashingWealth.com. Today, in our continued Business Builder series we are going to discuss the changing landscape of marketing and why you as a window cleaning business owner may be falling behind. Only 28% stay with or ahead of the curve.

Let me explain this and why it's important to focus on marketing instead of selling. There was a time known as "the days of simple selling." The days of simple selling are generally considered the days before 1980 or, in some industries, before 1990. In this period of selling, it was a lot easier for a salesperson to go in and sell to a buyer. The reason was simply because the marketplace was a lot less crowded. 

For example, years ago the primary advertising medium for most businesses was print advertising – newspapers, and the yellow pages. Just place a nice big ad and watch the calls come in. Simple. Today there are a myriad of marketing mediums – websites, google, Facebook, Instagram, email, and so on. The ‘landscape’ of people, different generations and new technology makes for a new but also challenging marketing environment to get the best bang for your buck.





In 1980 for example, if you wanted to buy a Ford pick-up truck, where did you go? You went to the dealership. This was the only way to see your choices and ask your questions. You couldn't go online or to Books A Million and read ten different magazines that compared and contrasted new trucks and cars because these sources of information did not exist. The dealership was the only source of up-to-date information. Same with travel agents and so many other types of businesses. In the days of simple selling, there was less competition, fewer choices, and it was easier to make a buying decision. Let's wrap this up by saying, "in the days of simple selling, the seller had the power because the buyer had very limited options." 

Not Today! The Days of Simple Selling Are Over

Now we've got a new situation; buyers no longer have to rely on limited sources of information about a product or service or in our case window cleaning services. The landscape of business now involves more competition than ever before. Now there’s information at anyone’s disposal, and more choices. In the past, reviews were non-existent. Now it’s a force to be reckoned with because it levels the playing field. All of these circumstances create more resistance for those brand-new in business making it more difficult to “compete” in this ever-changing market of business. And let’s not forget those of us that have been in business for a while too.

I was talking to a new Window Washing Wealth Licensee last week. He has been in the business a long time and is slowly losing traction to create growth in his business. The new buzzwords of business he is faced with today are over his head like it is for so many others. The landscape is changing and you, like him, must open your minds to accept the new reality. He is now taking charge of his business and his market by staying with this new curve of marketing and company perception.

Marketing and Company perception

This landscape has made buying cycles longer. There is now price competition that didn't exist before because the word is easier to get out for all to see. Products are becoming commodities and a lot of the marketing messages are identical. Because of all of this, a wedge has been created between the seller and the buyer. This wedge is called "The Confidence Gap." 

This confidence gap is the consumer's inability to determine whether any of the products or any of the services are any better or worse or any different than any of the others. This creates a big problem. What you need to understand is that people, who will be buying from you, have all these different choices. It's very difficult for them to determine whether you are any better or any different from anyone else. So your marketing goal needs to narrow the Confidence Gap and restore the consumer's trust and confidence that you are the company to choose. 

How Do I Fix This Problem?

The questions you may be asking yourself are "How do I figure this out?" and "How do I compete?" Go to the business section of any bookstore and you'll find all kinds of books on this topic. You'll find things like "Better Customer Service." The theory is if you have better customer service, you'll have more customers. The problem with this philosophy is you must have a customer first in order to give them service. You can't just say, "I've got great customer service." It doesn't work that way; you must have a system that will drive the customer to you!

One of the things you might hear business gurus say is, "If you have more sales training and if you are better at sales, then you'll be able to get more customers." The problem with that is, again, you've got to have prospects in order to use your sales skills. If you look at all the sales training books and all the sales training seminars, they are all short on advice in this particular area, which is: "How do I find someone to sell to in the first place?" 

I teach businesses, just like yours, how to innovate and market your company so it becomes instantly evident to your prospects that you are the best choice for the services they are seeking…Or go to WindowWashingWealth.com/testimonials.

I implement a system that articulates your selling advantages in such a compelling manner that it leads prospects to this one simple conclusion... "I would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else but you... regardless of price!"

And it does not include things like:

  • Quality Service
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • On Time
  • Insured, Bonded
  • Experts In…

No. Everyone already says these! Everyone. You have to brainstorm new ideas that separates you from your competitors. For example, in one of my company’s marketing mediums, I use the headline:

WARNING: Do Not Call Any Window Cleaning, Pressure Washing, or Gutter Cleaning Company Until You Read This!

The advertorial proceeds to keep their attention directing the prospect to a free report explaining all of the reasons why. This quickly begins the process of closing the confidence gap. Do you see what I mean?

There is another way that business books and business gurus tell you how to overcome this Confidence Gap. By using advertising tricks and techniques by tricking people through misleading advertisements to call you or come in. Some call it ‘bait and switch’. For example, I saw a car ad that said, "Pay no tax on all new vehicles." Do you think that sounds like a pretty good deal? If I weren't paying any tax, then I could probably save a couple grand. The problem is when you looked at the fine print, it said, "Customers responsible for all sales taxes, state, and local. The dealer will pay for the inventory tax." This is a sales trick. It does nothing to build trust and confidence. Instead it builds contempt, hatred, and suspicion. The result is a widening of the Confidence Gap when the goal of the advertisement should have been to narrow it. 

These examples reveal a problem. We used to have the days of simple selling, now we have this confidence gap. You, as a window cleaning business owner, need to overcome this in order to be successful. You need to find a solution to the problem. You need to separate yourself from all of this clutter.

If your residential window cleaning prices are high (like mine), have reasons to support it, reasons to demand your higher pricing. We’ve all heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.” If you are competing with all of the ‘bucket bobs’ out there, you are doing it WRONG! Do we compete with them? Of course, but rarely with price. But then again, no, not really. They compete with me. We outshine all of our competitors with Outside Perception, Inner Reality, World Class Service. And marketing. Things most of our competitors (including national franchisors) know virtually nothing about.

Now let me qualify this by saying my company’s residential target market is:

  • Upper Middle Class
  • Affluent
  • Super Affluent

Not the lower and middle class market. We demand high pricing and have all of the compelling reasons to support it. Things you should be working on this year if not already implemented.


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How Do I Get The Customers To Actually Want To Do Business With Me?

Are you familiar with Napoleon Hill? He wrote the book Think and Grow Rich. I urge you to read it. He had a saying that went like this: 

"It is as useless to try to sell a man something until you have first made him want to listen as it would be to command the earth to stop rotating."

Customer Acquisition

Do you believe that? Think about it; if they don't want to listen, trust me, they are not going to want to buy what you are selling. They are going to view you as an annoyance. That's where the difference between sales and marketing come into play.

In marketing, your nurturing consists of two things:

  • Communication
  • Consistent Contact

You have to continuously communicate with your prospects why they would want to do business with you… and you have to say it in a way that makes them believe it and take action… when THEY ARE READY. If you will do this consistently, you will win the lion's share of the business. In my business we have 9 Touch Points we use stay in contact with our customers. And these touch points propel our customer retention rate to over 90%.

Here's why:
  1. None of your competitors are doing it, so you win by default.
  2. If you do this properly, you will be building your case and as soon as the prospect has a need, you will already be the OBVIOUS CHOICE to do business with.

I teach these exact principles, the exact strategies right down to the what, where, and words to use. In other words…

How To Politely Never Ever Go Away

(and why they won’t want you to!)

In sales, what you are doing is trying to make people want to listen to you in a sales situation. What we're presenting is a marketing program that does the job of making people want to listen. It prepares the buyers so they will come to you and you will have an opportunity to sell. Sales skills are still very important, but your time is used more productively in closing sales rather that chasing them down.

For example, once a lead comes in to our office, our residential schedulers know precisely what to say and how to say it using scripts I created so there is no guess work. This in turn edges up lead to customer conversion.

Marketing Is The Tool You Must Use To Bridge The Confidence Gap

Marketing as a Tool

Marketing needs to be concise, well-articulated, and powerfully stated. It is low or no pressure. Marketing is one-way communication. It's not afraid of rejection. It's not obtrusive. People can review marketing at their own pace, when it's convenient for them. And, if they aren't interested, they can ignore it altogether. No commitment. That is why we need to talk about a marketing program.





We implement processes that help overcome this Confidence Gap. It accomplishes this by addressing two points - the Inside Reality and the Outside Perception.

Inside Reality

The inside reality is everything your business does that makes you valuable to your customers. It is what gives you a competitive edge in the marketplace. It is all of your skills, your passion, your systems, the way you conduct your business. The outside perception is how customers and prospects perceive your business. It is the ideas and impressions consumers gain from your direct and indirect communication with them.

The Outside Perception Of Your Business Should Match The Inside Reality

To be successful in business and to continue that success, your inside reality and outside perception should match and blend.

Branding – Marketing - Website – Customers – Retention

(and the cycle endlessly repeats itself synergistically)

If you spend all your resources developing the inside reality and neglect the outside perception, you will be frustrated wondering why you are having minimal results with your superior services. On the flip side, if you focus solely on the outside perception and neglect the inside reality, prospects will soon find there is little value in your service and you will get little, if any, return business.





To conclude this article, I would like to reemphasize the point just made. Consider, and I paraphrase Jim Rohn, a great business philosopher, in a lecture about personal communications. He said:

"First, have something good to say. Second, say it well and third, say it often."

Use the above principles to incorporate all three of these communication elements thoroughly. About 25% deals with having something good to say or the "inside reality", the remaining 75% deals with saying it well and saying it often or the "outside perception."

Stay on the cutting edge of this changing landscape of business. Become one of the 28% that demands the lion’s share of the business in your area.

That’s it for now. Remember…

National Window Cleaning Day Announcement

If you have a specific topic you’d like to see discussed in the Business Builder section, just let me know. My email is jim@squeegeepros.com. Thanks for reading.

Jim DuBois is founder of Squeegee Pros, Inc. out of Mooresville, NC. He is the creator of WindowWashingWealth.com, a Business Coaching/Mentoring Program for window cleaning entrepreneurs. Jim 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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