This is the last business update on my new solo cleaning business for 2019. What a way to go out! Andrea Szlavik of A2Z Realtor Pa assures Ken that he is not a cleaner who happens to do business. He is a business person that happens to clean. This is a big difference. Let's dive into this week in my business!
We had a business showcase presentation from Laney Landis this week at MCBA. She is the 5th generation owner (over 200 years in the family) of Old Village Paint. I was mesmerized at the history of this American Pre-Civil War paint company. I happened to record this meeting as I wanted to learn each member's business better. This was very fortuitous as Laney was sad she didn't have a recording of her showcase on her family company. Afterward, I told her of my bootleg recording and sold it on the black market for a can of paint. Just kidding. I sent it to her after the meeting and she was so pleased and thankful. As I've shared many times, always look to sow good seeds.
I also connected with a few other members after this meeting. James wanted to set up a 1-to-1 breakfast meeting to get to know each other's stories better. Charley wanted me to start sending me cleaning referrals. Paul wanted to connect. I am becoming a trusted face & member and others recognize that and want to get to know me better to refer me.
I met Andrea Szlavic on NextDoor last week and she added me to her realtor preferred vendor list. I was very thankful and asked if she would like to grab a coffee and connect. She opted for breakfast at a brand new local spot called Sammy's Bullfrog Cafe in Harleysville, It was a productive meeting where we shared our business stories with each other while enjoying the new flavor in town. We discovered a common connection as well. I had attended the Growth Now Movement LIVE! Conference in Reading, PA with Justin Schenck. While at this conference, I met another Keller Williams realtor at the same office as Andrea. It's a small world, after all. At the end of the meeting, I asked her this question. "Why did you add me to your preferred vendor list without meeting me or seeing my work quality first?" Her answer floored me and became the title to this episode.
"Because you set yourself apart by reaching out to me first on NextDoor. That told me that you were a business person that did cleaning verses a cleaning person that tried to do business. Most cleaners don't take that initiative."
As we parted, she assured me that she would get me out to her team's office in the spring for a real estate cleaning presentation. Then instead of getting in my car, I went back into the cafe and asked to speak to the owner. They were hesitant as they assumed I wanted to complain. Then I told them that I enjoyed the experience and would like to leave the cafe a 5-star review on Google. The hostess introduced me to my breakfast waitress, who was also part owner in the brand new cafe! She was very grateful and told me where to leave these reviews and asked for my cleaning business card. I left one on the cafe's bulletin board and went home.
Once I got home, I followed up by giving 5-star reviews on Google, NextDoor, and Facebook for Andrea and the Bullfrog Cafe. Andrea and Kayla (my breakfast waitress) were so thankful. Again, these are good seeds!
After leaving the reviews, I checked my phone and had a missed call and voicemail from Sean at the grocery store. Do you remember in "I'm the Only Cleaner" when Vernessa gave me the lead for her common areas cleaning? This was Sean's follow up. Unfortunately, he is looking for a company to service the entire grocery store! This is way out of my league, but I'll still connect with Sean and see if I can help.
Do you remember Eva Finlan from "Building My New Cleaning Network II" and the referrals she gave me. I heard back from one of them this week and added him to my cleaning newsletter. His local company is evaluating their cleaner soon and my name will be top of mind if he happens to see my newsletter. I also followed up with my friend Dexter from "Free Donuts" as we still need to get together for breakfast.
I completed my first house cleaning estimate this week from Bill's referral and emailed out her proposal. It looks pretty good, but you just never know. Shortly after sending this proposal, Kayla from the Bullfrog Cafe emailed me back asking if I'd come in for a cleaning estimate. I love this! It's so fun to sow good seeds and start to see the harvest.
I continued to market from home as well. Teresa connected with moms on our local Facebook Mom's group. I started conversations and build relationships on LinkedIn and NextDoor. One of my conversations from last week made it to the next level. Tom was one of my new LinkedIn friends. We had a lot in common. We both graduated Penn State, knew some of the same people, and were the same age. He is a financial planner and worked under a mentor at a local Edward Jones office. Last week, cleaning came up and he stated that they had a cleaning service and were happy. Everything changed. He shared over LinkedIn that "they were now looking for a new cleaner and thought of me." I connected with Tom's office manager Marci and set up an estimate for next week. You just never know! Oh, and I added Tom to my cleaning newsletter email list.
Here is my LinkedIn takeaway. My first approach was to target office managers on LinkedIn. This produced not results because there was no trust. Then I changed my strategy to connect with mutual connections for the trust factor and look to grow those new connections with more trust. I did this with Tom and it lead me to his office manager for an office cleaning estimate. I have no idea how this will go next, but the opportunity was created solely due to trust.
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.