Bidding Residential Cleaning Jobs – Secrets and Tips (2017)

Bidding residential cleaning jobs is not a mystery. Today on Ask a House Cleaner we cover some secrets and tips to prepare you for your initial walkthrough. Learn about the cleaning proposal, cleaning contract, and questions homeowners will have. Arrive with confidence when you deliver your free in-home estimate, and become a Savvy Cleaner because you’ve landed the deal. Cleaning bids have never been easier.

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 Hi there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a housecleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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woman scared about bidding cleaning jobsQuestion: What Should I Do When Bidding a House Cleaning Job?

Now, today’s house cleaning question comes from a girl who is starting a cleaning company and she’s about to go out and bid her first job.
And she’s really nervous. She says “I’ve got so much angst I can’t even face myself.” She says “I’m naturally a really shy person. I have no idea what I’m supposed to say, I know I’m going to blow this, can you help me?”

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Answer: Bidding Residential Cleaning Jobs – Secrets and Tips 

problem - solution compass to bidding cleaning jobsYes, I can help. Okay, so this is a really fun place for you to be. Because as you start your new business there is going to be some angst. If there wasn’t, I would be scared for you. Right? You’re doing something brand-new. You’re jumping out on a limb, you’re trying something you’ve never done before.

So, yay! This is so exciting for me to see you in this position.

Now, you’re about to go bidding a customer’s house and I don’t know why they called you, but obviously, you’re doing something right. It was either a flyer that you put out, or someone has recommended you, or someone heard that you’re starting a house cleaning business.

Or maybe they responded to a Facebook ad that you put together I don’t know how they found you.
But they called you because somehow, they believe you are the person that can solve their housecleaning problems. So, I’m very excited about that for you. You’ve already done something right.

Don’t Get The Imposter Syndrome When Bidding Cleaning Jobs

imposter syndrome head maze before bidding cleaning jobs

There is what we know and as The Imposter syndrome where you think in your head “Well you know, I’ve never been a business owner. I’m kind of new at this, I don’t really know what to say, I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Okay,  first to feel this way is completely normal. Many new business owners feel this way. Those feelings live in your head and it’s okay if they are in your head. But we need them to stay in your head.
You don’t want to bring those feelings out to the customer and have all kind of weird body language where your you know twisting your hands and you are slumped over and you’re looking down at the floor when you should be looking at your customer. We don’t want any of those things. Right?

With confidence comes the ability to present your offer and way that makes the customer believe that you have the answer to their problem.

 
Preparation  is Necessary When Bidding Cleaning Jobs

So right now I have a whole bunch of homework for you if you’re doing your first bid tomorrow here’s what you need to do today. 

Sit down with a pen and paper and write down the questions that a customer is going to ask you. And they are things like man writing questions before bidding cleaning job

  • Do you work on the weekends?
  • Are there specific set hours that you work?
  • Do you charge more to work on holidays?
  • Do you bring your own cleaning supplies?
  • Are you planning on using my vacuum or do you bring your own?
  • What happens if you get locked out of my house?
  • What is your plan and who are you going to call?
  • Do you keep the key of mine or do I just give you an alarm code?

They’re going to ask you a whole bunch of questions.

So, walk through the questions in your mind and create some answers. These answers set the stage for how you’re going to run your business.

I do not want you to show up at your customer’s place of business and start winging it and making up those answers on the spot.

Find Out What is Important to Your Prospect When Bidding a House

When you’re bidding an estimate for a customer we call that “the initial walkthrough.” You’re going to walk through their house, and they’re going to give you a little tour. And they’re going to tell you about their house and what is important to them.

I want you to ask them; “What is important to you?”

Ridges StillBecause you’ll hear all kinds of crazy stuff that you would never suspect. For example, there was one woman who said what was most important to her where the ridges.
What we’re talking about is the part of the stair on the outside of the rails. 
Those are the ridges. She was going to check the ridges that is how she would know
her house was clean.

So, you make a note of that. Okay? Because the day may come where your time is gone and you have to scoot out of the customer’s house because you’ve got to get to the next house. If there’s something you have to skip, on this woman’s house you don’t want to skip the ridges.
Because if she comes home and that is her hot-button, and that is important to her, if you skip what is important to her.  She’s going to let you go.

What Are The Questions A Prospect Might Ask You When You’re Bidding The Job?

So, what you want to do is you want to walk yourself through all of the questions that a customer might ask you.
Then I want you to come up with your own questions. I want you to have questions you are going to ask the customer. And these are questions that will help you do your job.

  • Do you work out of your home or do you go to an office?
  • Will you be at home while I’m cleaning?
  • Will you leave me a key or an alarm code?
  • When was the last time your house was professionally cleaned?
  • How many children do you have?
  • What are your children’s names?
  • What is your dog’s name?

These are things that you’re going to be referencing for as long as you have that client.
“Oh yes, I cleaned Megan’s room” And you know it’s Megan’s room because when she walked you in there and she said “this is Megan’s room” you made a note of that on your worksheets.
On your worksheet, as you go through every time you clean, you’re going to write down “Megan’s room” Right? This is information you need to have.

Rehearse Your Job Bidding Questions and Answers in Front of The Bathroom Mirror

Movie Clap board announcing scene bidding cleaning jobNext, take the questions that you have and go stand in front of your bathroom mirror. Put on your best smile stand up straight with great posture, and ask those questions into the mirror.

Watch how you look when you ask those questions.

Are you asking the questions while you’re looking at the floor and you’re playing with your fingernails?

Are you looking at the customer right in their face and you’re smiling and you like “Hey I got this!”

See it’s a very different presentation. So,  get really comfortable with your presentation before you go to present that in front of a client.

Ask a Family Member or Friend to Role Play With You

Ask a family member or a best friend to come over today,  and do a pretend mock-up of the initial walkthrough with you. Have them throw weird questions and odd scenarios at you.

Because when you walk through the house of a prospect they will throw things at you like “well that’s not important to me.” “Do you clean that anyway? That’s not important.” 

And you don’t want to overpromise and say that you do things that are not important because time is money when you clean houses. So let it roll seamlessly off your tongue;

“If that’s not important to you, let’s not clean it. Let’s not spend your money cleaning something that is not important to you. Let’s focus on the things that are important to you because I am only one person, I have a finite amount of time. So, let’s focus on the things that are important to you.”

But they’re going to ask you questions like; “What do you do every time you come?”

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Don’t Worry, Everybody Starts Out as a Newbee

(Shush) This is the first time you’ve ever come to the client’s house. You don’t do anything yet. You haven’t done anything yet. This is your first house. Right? But you want to act as if.

“In my company, every time we come we do this series of things. Here are checklists that I check off as I go through the house. The things that I check off on this checklist are things that I’m guaranteeing on my satisfaction guarantee.”

“If there’s something that’s on this list that is not important to you let me know right now. I’ll cross it off. And when I come to your house we won’t do that. That’s not where we’ll spend your money and my focus.”

And all of a sudden it sounds like you’re a real professional and like you know what you’re talking about because you have this confidence.

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Tips for Tomorrow When Bidding The Job For Real

Wear your uniform. Whatever your uniform is. Wear your uniform and act as if “Yes, this is how I dress every day when I clean my houses.” They don’t know this is the first house you’ve ever cleaned. Don’t tell them that. Just show up and act as if “Yes, I do this all day every day.”

Make sure that your car is clean. Make sure that you’re in your uniform. And make sure that you’re on time.

Being on time is going to be key. Because you’re sending a message from day one that when you tell people you are going to be there at 10 o’clock in the morning, you will be there at 10 o’clock in the morning.

Don’t show up 20 minutes late to your job interview or guess what? You’re not going to get the job. Just plain and simple.

If you tell somebody something make sure that you keep your word. That is very important from the very beginning.

Most Important, Don’t Forget Your Smile

woman holding up HUGE smile when bidding cleaning jobIt’s very disarming when you show up and you’re like “Hey I have answers to your house cleaning problems. I’m a happy person. I’m easy to get along with and this is going to be a fun job.”
Here’s the secret that you need to think about, the person that’s having you come over to their house. They don’t want to have eight house cleaners come to their house and bid jobs. They don’t want to do this 5 times. They want to do it once.

If you’re the first person that they called, they want you to be the person that says “Yes I can help you. Here’s how much it’s going to cost. Here’s how we can work together.”

They want you to solve their problem they don’t want to have to keep interviewing people.

So, don’t show up and say “Well I hope I get the job.”
Show up expecting to get the job.

“I expect to get this job. I don’t want to go out and find 8 other people that I have to go bid jobs for. You don’t want eight people you have to interview. Let’s just do a deal. What have we got to do?”

Be Flexible. Be Willing To Negotiate When Bidding the Job

Be willing to negotiate. I got to a lady’s house one time, I was bidding a job and she says; “YOUR PRICE IS TOO HIGH.” Scale weighing difference of price bidding cleaning job
“Alright, how far away are we? What is what is the difference between my price, and what you’re willing to pay?”

Do you know what she told me?
“Four Dollars!”

I was charging $4 too much to clean her house.

And I said “Well, I would hate to lose a customer over $4 per house. And I’m sure you don’t want to go through all of this again, because how many people do you have to interview before you make up the $4 that you’re losing by sending someone away?”So, let’s split the difference. I’ll come down two dollars on my price, you go up two dollars on your price and we have a deal.”

She’s like; “Okay!” Two dollars!
Yay! And I booked a deal on the spot. What is that?

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Don’t Give Away The Farm – Try To Be Fair

Who does that?
But how far away are you? And if you can work out a deal with a customer, work out a deal with the customer.

So, be willing to negotiate a little bit. Be a little bit flexible. Find out are they just screwing around with you. I think she was just screwing around with me.
I think she was just trying to get a deal or a discount or something that.

(If you are not sure whether you should set your price by the hour or the job read this.)

Okay, so when you show up, you want to show up with that confidence. You want to show up with a smile. And then the last thing that I have to remind you to do is you have to ask for the sale.

Ask For The Sale When Bidding The Job

man closing sale after bidding cleaning jobSo, when you’re at the customer’s house and you go through the whole process, you’ve asked all of your questions, they’ve asked you all of their questions. At the very end, you have to say these words “I would love to be your housecleaner when do I start? I have an opening Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. Is that soon enough for you?”

And you have to ask for the sale. Because you will never make a sale that you don’t close. 

  • So, don’t screw around.
  • Don’t waste a bunch of time.
  • Go expecting to get the job.
  • Show up.
  • Give them the confidence that you’re the person to get the job.
  • Ask for the sale, and then guess what?
  • You’re hired.
    Boom!

That was awesome, right?

Okay, you got this.

Go out there tomorrow, do an amazing job and just remember what we talked about today. Because I want this for you. This is the beginning of a really big, fun, exciting career for you.
Share Spacer Savvy CleanerWas this tip helpful? Please pass it along to a house cleaner in your life. Thanks. 🙂

So, until I see you again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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About @SavvyCleaner // Angela Brown

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru // Founder of SAVVY CLEANER // Author of the book: How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company