Be a Resource, Not a Commodity
This will be short and sweet. One of my favorite books is "The Go-Giver" by Bob Burg. Here's the excerpt. "In a brutally competitive world where everyone seems to be fighting to earn more and achieve greater success, 'The Go-Giver' offers an alternative set of business success principles built on giving and adding value to others." This is a must read for all business owners. I have made it a must read for my kids as we teach them the value of entrepreneurship and service. They go hand-in-hand. You can't be an entrepreneur without serving others. About 2 years ago, I had a chance to be on a Total Life Freedom Community Call with Bob Burg. What a treat. He was so full of wisdom on building relationships in business. But it was this one-liner that moved me the most.
"If you sell on price, you are a commodity. If you sell on value, you are a resource."
This hit the nail on the head to all of the questions I've ever been asked. "Ken, how did you charge over $100 per hour cleaning houses?" This same question popped up so many different ways as I shared my story on social media and inside online cleaning groups. Many were in disbelief that I ever earned that much. To me, it was a simple process that I call the ISO Model. I have known that trust is at the core of this upward price trend. I have known that I needed to become the community specialist for cleaning. I had to be different and set apart from the masses to charge what I charged. This one quote from Bob Burg helped me take what I knew and put it into an easier teaching format. Let's try this out!
What is a commodity? Let's define it from Webster.
"An economic good: such as a product of agriculture or mining, an article of commerce especially when delivered for shipment, a mass-produced unspecialized product."
Typically, a commodity is something that everybody needs and uses. There are many who sell them and compete for thin margins. How many cleaners out there are treating their business like a commodity? They are selling or offering their cleaning service as the low-cost option. They are assuming that every cleaner is the same, offering the same, doing the same thing. Therefore, they need to sell on having the lowest price. This is a model that does win in cleaning, especially in commercial cleaning. It's the Walmart Model. Sell on price and create a ton of volume to make money.
There is another option. What is a resource? Webster says this.
"A source of supply or support : an available means, a natural source of wealth or revenue, a natural feature or phenomenon that enhances the quality of human life, computable wealth, a source of information or expertise, something to which one has recourse in difficulty, a possibility of relief or recovery, a means of spending one's leisure time, an ability to meet and handle a situation."
There are a few pieces of Webster's definition that I want to pull out and ask you.
I have done all 3 of these to become a valuable resource in my cleaning career. This has positioned me as a resource and I've sold on the value that I add as a resource. This is why customers are willing to pay more for our services than a commodity cleaner. Do you see the difference?
Check out my interview with the T-Bag Company Founder, entitled "Respectful, Reliable, Responsible with Damon Washington". You can purchase any of the T-Bag products at a 10% discount through the Smart Cleaning School Resources Page at smartcleaningschool.com/resources.
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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.