Do you like money? I must admit, I’m a big fan myself. It’s why many of us decided to start a company, to maximize our ability to make money. But you always seem to run into prospective customers who like money even more than you do, demanding discounts or extras or wanting to know exactly how much you charge per window. So how do you get a break from those types of prospects? How do you find those ‘easier to work’ with customers who stop looking for the lowest price and just want the job done right? The answer is easy: Stop attracting customers and start attracting clients. This concept of turning customers into clients isn’t new and several books by authors several times better than myself are available. But I’d just like to go over a few practices and ideas on the subject that pertain to our industry.
In regards to window cleaning, what differences are there in a customer’s priorities compared to those of a client? In short, clients are looking for someone to deal with their problems or project. Customers are looking for a deal. Don’t be the deal guy; customers love that guy. And they’ll stay with him for as long as there’s no better deal. Be the value guy instead. Clients love a good value much more than the cheapest deal, and when they’ve found that value, they stick with it. Your competitor’s flyers and cards go straight to the recycling bin no matter how good of a deal they’re offering.
Clients want a service provider they trust. This goes beyond the fact that they know you’re not stealing your diet pills. Clients want to trust in your knowledge and skill levels. Clients love the thought of a service provider who looks at their home as a unique project, not just another in a blur of “samesies” they’ve snored through during the week.
Clients want the best possible job, crystal clear communication, efficiency, and convenience. They want to pay you to worry about their windows, so they don’t have to. They want someone who can identify any issues their property may have and offer solutions. Clients crave consistency year in and year out. In short, clients are more demanding than customers. But they’re much more willing to pay for what they want if they believe you’re the one who can provide it. Any window cleaners who have clients probably know what I mean when I say, “you can expect a client to call you now and then not to schedule a service but to ask your recommendations about blinds, replacement windows, or even more.” And when you get those calls, be happy! The moment this person had a problem to solve regarding windows, you, the window cleaners, were the very first person that came to their mind. So study your industry, learn about the window manufacturing process, and build your list of local contractors as recommendations. And know what you are worth, and don’t be afraid to charge for it!
The best part about changing your business strategy to attract ‘clients’ is that you simultaneously become less appealing to ‘customers’. My company’s reputation allows clients to ask for available dates before knowing my price. They know I’ll cost more, but they’re already confident of my value. I rarely hear from customers who would typically call and ask how much I charge per window because they already know it will not be the best “deal.”
Now get out there and get some clients of your own!