This week started amazing. Lead #2 Kim (from Erika's recommendation) hired me for cleaning. The story of the hire is worth sharing. They were weary of keeping their old cleaner as they were uninsured and minor property damage occurred. I educated Kim on the risk of hiring uninsured cleaners. This lead to a great in-person discussion and estimate. I sent the proposal directly after and they hesitantly agreed. The hesitancy came from her husband that I didn't speak to. He was strictly comparing prices and said I was higher. I pushed back and recommended that they don't allow the current cleaner to come back into their house without proof of insurance. Kim took the advice and her cleaner gave an excuse. They hired me right away.
Perfectionism is a big problem in the cleaning industry. It took me over 15 minutes to say it in the podcast. It's really not that complex. Perfection is working hard to make YOU as happy as possible and you may never get there. Excellence is working hard to make THE CUSTOMER as happy as possible and you absolutely can get there.
I alluded to this story in "There is a Huge Difference". If you'd like to hear this full story, listen to the episode. The quick version is this. I was working from home and noticed a car in our driveway. They were upset and waiting for something. After a half hour, I knew action needed to happen. But what would I do? I chose to assume the best in this person and it paid off big time. The stranded motorist was the owner of a local chocolate factory. Six months later, they remembered me when they needed cleaning. This week, I was able to get the estimate done for Asher's Chocolate. It was a blast! The best part was meeting the 4th, 5th, and 6th generation owners. Great people. Great culture.
The week started with a text referral. I had no idea who the client was until talking to her and connecting the dots to Erika lead #5. Here's the text. "Hello Ken, my daughter got your info from FB about cleaning. Can you send me information about your services?" I could have easily called her, but I used what I learned from "70% Happens Before the Phone Call", asked for her name, and then sent her my website to learn more about our company. She responded with her name, Diane, and thanked me. By the end of the day, she had done her research and wanted to talk, so I scheduled a phone call. The phone call lead to an in-person estimate and emailed proposal by the end of the week.
In Marcus Sheridan's "They Ask You Answer", the author makes a powerful statement. "On average, 70% of the buying decision is made before the prospect talks to the company." This is amazing news.
This week started off great! I got the email back from Doug Floro that they are ready to start me this week. Yay! I've added my 3rd new house cleaning client. Another email came in early in the week from Scott from Asher's Chocolate. They were looking to get a window cleaning estimate. I connected with Scott, he wanted to get quotes on office deep cleaning, floor cleaning, and window cleaning. At the end of the conversation, he said something about his owner recommending to call me and something about being stuck in my driveway. Oh, there is a great story here that I touch on in the podcast but I'll reserve the full story for a later episode.
I had so many quality influences growing up, but not many in the entrepreneurial path until my mom remarried Paul Tibbitts when I was 10 years old. Paul grew up with entrepreneur parents who owned multiple businesses, held real estate, owned an airplane, and understood excellence in all they put their hands to. I didn't understand this until later in life and this episode shares my journey.
In 15 years of solo cleaning, over 75 families have hired me to clean for them. However, I sold my business with 17. What happened to the others? It's simple. This is a seasonal service for some and a lifetime for others. I never tried to figure that out. I just served. I have lots of experience getting "let go", "moved on", "fired", etc. Some let me know face-to-face with a month's notice. Some stopped immediately through email, phone, or text. Others just disappeared (literally a UFO got 'em)! There was only one time that I fired myself. For the sake of privacy, we'll call this customer "Bob".
I break down the numbers in this episode. If you remember, I was at a low point in "Broken Record", making the connection between average SMART goals and average results. I wanted 2020 to connect great SMART goals to great results. Therefore, I had to make a critical change. For the previous 10 years, I've been creating ACTIVITY & OPTIMIZATION SMART goals on my main business and GROWTH SMART goals on my side passion project. This wasn't fruitless as I optimized my solo cleaning business big time, sold it, and we got debt free. However, I left a lot on the table. What could have happened to both my main cleaning business and side business if I reversed the way I set up goals? That's what 2020 would be.
The Smart Cleaning School Podcast helps cleaning business owners from start-up to the struggling solo to the striving seven-figure get SMARTER in their businesses, reshape their mindset, increase productivity, clear the overwhelm, and get clarity through SMART goal-setting & personal accountability. Ken Carfagno is a lifetime learner and teacher. His mission is to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make.