How Do I Build Credentials?
Excellent Question, especially if you’re just starting out and you don’t have any house cleaning experience yet. Your credentials are the reasons people will or won’t hire you. So you will need to answer some basic questions up front that will remove the fear of someone bringing you into their home.
Do You Have References?
References are a good way to build credentials, but if somebody asks if you have them and you don’t — be honest. Say:
“I cannot provide any references at this time.” (Pause for dramatic effect. This is so disarming, and honest that what you say next will cement your sale.) “But I’d love one from you. I do offer a 100% money-back, satisfaction guarantee and here’s how it works: I come clean your home, and when I’m done I will have you inspect my work. If you do not like for any reason, the work I have done, you don’t owe me a dime. If when I’m done, I pass your inspection, you pay me, we set a regular schedule for me to return, and you write me a reference I can share with your neighbors.” Deal?”
And you say this with a smile on your face and with utmost confidence. I’ve never run into a person with all of the people I’ve trained, who didn’t land the deal.
Do You Offer a Satisfaction Guarantee?
Your Satisfaction Guarantee can be whatever you want it to be. I recommend an iron clad, 100% money back, satisfaction guarantee. If for whatever reason your client is not completely satisfied with the work you have done, you refund their money.
This does three things:
- It forces you to do your best work, every time you go clean a house.
- It shows the client you’re not messing around, and you stand behind your work.
- It will bring you more referrals when clients brag to their friends about how you operate.
In twenty four years of cleaning, I’ve had one client get their money back and it was because she didn’t clear the new house cleaning expense first with her husband who managed the family finances. When he returned home he said they couldn’t afford a house cleaner since they were in so much debt – and to keep peace in their family I insisted there was no charge. They fought over it because she wanted to pay me something and he wanted to pay off debts first. I left quickly as not to get involved in the family dynamics and she ended up sending me a bunch of referral business.
This is an activity you can do today. Call the insurance company and get signed up for bonding and insurance. They will ask you for your company name or if you are doing business as yourself.
If you advertise that you are bonded and insured, it looks like you know what you are doing. If you are not familiar with bonding and insurance, check out the section in this free ebook on “Bonding and Insurance”.
Bonding and insurance is a deal breaker for most people. House cleaning is a really competitive business and there are a hundred people who are bonded and insured waiting in line for your clients. Don’t lose business because you don’t understand the importance of it, or are too cheap to buy it.
It is where you list how you have been trained to clean houses. When you pay $25,000 – $80,000 to buy into a house cleaning franchise, you are attaching your name to existing credentials and you learn their marketing and “How to Clean” systems.
As the owner of an independent house cleaning company you will be creating your own credentials and you can do this by scouring the internet and learning everything you can about house cleaning, reading Pinterest pages or blogs and hoping it all works. That’s what I did when I got started and it took me 8 years of trial and error to figure it all out. LOL
(Don’t be me.)
Or you can join a world-wide recognized training program like the one offered at www.SavvyCleaner.com and find all the training you need in one place. It is super affordable compared to a franchise and carries as much weight.
Do you Have any Certifications?
By going through the online Savvy Cleaner® program, you will become trained and Savvy Cleaner Certified®. And you can proudly say you are. You can explain to your clients that you have been trained by the world’s largest and most comprehensive on-line training program for independent house cleaners and that you understand and meet all of the OSHA standards for house cleaners.
You can join your local Chamber of commerce, Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List (those three are not necessarily going to help you – but will give you instant credibility.)
Once Savvy Cleaner Certified, you can join the Savvy Cleaner Network® which is a private, community of other house cleaners who troubleshoot industry issues, and support each other, and attend live/ongoing training.
Your continual training and support is paramount to many home owners. Your clients want to know that people who are coming in their home to maintain their most valuable asset, (their home) are on the cutting edge of information.
- You provide an excellent service that everybody needs
- At an affordable price
- With the assurance of proper training
- Ongoing training and support
- Satisfaction Guarantee
- Backed by bonding and insurance
- And…you accept credit cards.
This answers enough of the questions that you will book 99% of the jobs you are called for.
Congratulations! Now you have the credentials you need for your new house cleaning business.