Referrals for house cleaning?
Referrals, also known as: word of mouth advertising, is when someone else recommends you or your service- because they are satisfied customers. Should you ask for referrals or just hope people give them to you? This one is up to you. Some independent house cleaners do ask for referrals, and some advertise they offer referral fees or discount a cleaning if sent a referral. It depends entirely on how you feel about the referral and recommendation process.
Personally, I don’t ask for referrals for house cleaning, and I NEVER advertise I will pay a referral fee to someone who gives me one. (I do pay a referral fee, but I don’t ever advertise it.) To me it seems somehow manipulative to ask for referrals, and I don’t want my clients sticking their neck out for me, unless it is genuine and a referral is how they really feel about me.
Your client will feel very differently, and show a greater enthusiasm about you and the cleaning service you provide, if they decide to recommend you all on their own, than they will if you ask or bribe them.
- If you are good at what you do – you will get referrals.
- If the client feels you offer a good product at a fair price – you will get referrals.
- If you show up on time, on the day you have scheduled – you will get referrals.
- If you are efficient cleaning house – you will get referrals.
- If you treat the client’s property and animals with respect – you will get referrals.
- If something goes awry and you handle it professionally – you will get referrals.
- If you are confidential and don’t blab to the neighbors about your clients – you will get referrals.
We live in an era where everyone is seems has home security cameras. How you clean, how you treat their stuff, how you treat their animals is all caught on camera, and your client could be watching you remotely from their smart phone or tablet.
ASSUME you are always being watched when you clean.
So are you asking for referrals? No. You are earning them. Earning a referral is far more powerful than asking will ever be.
So you are just starting out your business and you will be running flyers until you get your business off the ground. From day one until your last day in business – work this phrase into your conversation:
“I work by referral only.” If you are just starting out and you don’t have any clients, you are expanding in the area so you are doing a one time, initial introduction to your company, but you work by referral only.
For the dozens of times I’ve relocated and started a house cleaning company in a new area and I’ve done the initial flyer run I’ve included this phrase on my flyers in small print at the bottom.
Hi I’m Angela Brown and I’m your new neighbor. Learn more about me and my services at: www.AngelaBrown.com I’ve owned a professional house cleaning company for several years and I’m really good at what I do.
I’m consistent, I’m reliable, and I’m flexible and efficient.
- If you don’t need my service today, save this until you do. This is a one-time only introduction as I relocate. I work by referral only.
Now you have just created a sense of scarcity – this is a one-time only introduction, so people WILL save your flyer…and call you now, or later. You just said you won’t be running anymore flyers. This also suggests you expect to be super busy with your new referrals, and somehow confident enough not to have to run flyers a second time. Bravo! You’ve just painted a picture of elitism.
You also mentioned that you work by referral only – which suggests you offer a premium service worthy of a referral.
In the world of house cleaners – there are not many who can or will say they work by referral only. Your saying so set’s you apart from all the others, including franchises that spend thousands each year on advertising.
You are a small business – a one man or woman show at this point, and you have complete control over the work you do.
And here’s the truth, if your schedule is filled to the maximum (20-30 houses) you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on advertising. It’s not cost effective in any way to pay to advertise.
If you are sloppy, lazy or unreliable, you will HAVE to pay for advertising to keep new business coming in. Word of mouth advertising is WAY CHEAPER and far more effective than any advertising you will ever pay for. Remember that.
If people know you work by referral only…when they talk about you — what do they say? They say what they know, which is: you work by referral only. It’s powerful stuff – like it or not, you teach your clients up front how they feel about you by the image you project, and by the subtle things you say.