Attend a Demo This Month and Be Entered to Win a Traeger Grill!
Get A Demo

How to Effortlessly Win Your Next Commercial Cleaning Contract

Published on November 20, 2018

While winning a commercial cleaning contract can sometimes feel like an impossible task, don't give up. When you know the right steps to take, the process is streamlined and simple.

Use this essential guide to win your next commercial cleaning contract in NO TIME — with minimal stress.

This easy guide will give you reliable resources and advice on...

  • How to be professional
  • What to do when you lose an account
  • Networking to find commercial contracts
  • How to tell if you and a potential client are a good fit
  • How to bid (and win!) any commercial cleaning contract
  • Questions you should always ask yourself BEFORE any bid

Find out everything you need to know so that you can bid and win ANY commercial cleaning contract - starting now!

Grow Your Cleaning Business... Faster (and with Less Stress)

Instant invoicing

Better scheduling

Manage your clients and employees all in one system

Start Software Tour

Commercial Cleaning Contracts Are Built on Networking

The KEY to gaining more commercial cleaning clients is NETWORKING. This is when you create a list of potential resources to gain more clients. These connections are mutually beneficial relationships with people or businesses.

In order to find new commercial contracts, you have to start with someone. Which means, the more people you network with, the more easily you can land new commercial contracts.

To begin networking, YOU have to initiate it. Your networking list isn’t going to build itself. YOU have to make it happen.

Here's how you can build your own potential networking list:

  • Current Clients
    • Ask happiest clients if they know of any commercial cleaning work they could refer to you. Also, make sure they know the services you offer.
  • Door-to-Door
    • Go to local commercial buildings and speak with the owner. Ask about their current commercial cleaning situation and look for pain points. Even if they’re under contract, you can occasionally touch base and see how things are going - one day they’ll be renegotiating that contract.
  • ISSA
    • Join the ISSA. As a member of the ISSA, you’ll have access to all kinds of valuable contacts. Connect with other commercial cleaning businesses as well as potential clients! You’ll also have the ability to attend exclusive events where you can grow your networking list.
  • Vendors
    • The people who provide you with cleaning products and equipment know everyone in the industry — they work with all of them. Treat your vendors well, and they’ll take care of you.
  • Chamber of Commerce
    • The Chamber of Commerce is a great way to rub shoulders with local business owners, grab coffee with interesting people, and build relationships with people in your community.
  • Local Residential Cleaning Businesses
    • This is especially easy if you don’t work in the residential space (or you’re transitioning out of it). You can offer to refer clients their way for residential work and they can refer to you for commercial.
  • Social Media
    • If your commercial cleaning business isn’t on social media, then you’re missing out! This is the EASIEST way to gain FREE networking. You’ll make your company more discoverable AND create a forum for you to connect with past, current, and potential clients.

Be the "top authority" in the cleaning industry today!

Get your FREE social media bundle

Dress for the Job You Want to Win

No one wants to hire someone that doesn’t look professional.

Picture this…

You’re looking for a new commercial cleaning service for the office building you own, and you meet with two businesses.

The first business:

  • There's no website
  • Vacuum is duct-taped together
  • They’re wearing t-shirts and jeans with “questionable” stains
  • They're driving a beat-up, squeaky, brown Pinto you can hear from the end of your street

The second business:

  • There's a well-managed website
  • They're wearing cleaning uniforms
  • The gear is clean and organized in the back of the van
  • They're driving a clean, blue van with the business’ logo on the side

Why business would you sign a commercial cleaning contract with?

This may be a drastic example, but nonetheless the point is the same. Professionalism is EVERYTHING!

There were several issues brought up in this scenario that you may or may not have noticed. Let’s talk about them...

Cleaning Uniforms

Did you know that businesses with uniforms are more likely to get hired?

Why? Because these businesses were seen to be more professional, capable, trustworthy, and worth the cleaning price.

Plus, cleaning uniforms give you low-cost advertising, protect your employees from hazards, create team spirit, and so much more!

Vehicle Wraps

The first benefit is obvious: vehicle wraps look great.

When you go to a job, your customer base knows you’re a legit business. On top of that, it's low-cost advertising!

Vehicle wraps are way cheaper than paid advertising, and it’s a consistent way for you to effortlessly keep your business in front of the community! Plus, wraps are actually EASIER to maintain than regular paint.

Cleaning Website

A professional cleaning website will provide your potential customers with information about your business. In turn, this reinforces your branding.

In other words, your website is another way to legitimize your business. Also, it increases your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Which means, your website will be MUCH easier to fund and attract more visitors.

Hiring the Right Cleaning Employees

Hiring the right employees is KEY to being a pro in the commercial cleaning industry. In addition, your cleaning employees need to be trained correctly.

Commercial Cleaning Equipment

Remember that ratty, old vacuum we talked about earlier?

Your equipment must be up for the job. No matter how much training your employees have, they need the proper tools to complete their service.

Why? Because having the proper commercial cleaning equipment means your cleaners will get the job done faster and more efficiently.

Also, it creates better job satisfaction for your employees... And happier cleaners = happier clients.

The bottom line? If you look like a pro, then your clients will see you as a pro.

How to Bid (and Win!) Any Commercial Cleaning Contract

At last, you have all this information. Now, it's time to tie together what we’ve discovered so far.

The 5 steps to winning your next commercial cleaning contract are…

1. Check Your Cleaning Pricing

In order to ensure your business is reaching its profit goals, you need to check your cleaning pricing.

If you want to stay in business, then you have to win clients that are actually going to make you money.

One of the most common beginner mistakes is when new cleaning business owners try to make the cheapest bid. However, this is actually how you lose attractiveness to profitable clients.

If you’re selling yourself short, then your clients will think you’re desperate. They’ll wonder why your bid is so much lower than everyone else’s. As a result, you won’t win the bid.

Fix Your Pricing in Under 10 Minutes

This audit will help you find your pricing averages. 
Identify which jobs are profitable – and which ones aren’t. 
Determine how high your prices should be to guarantee you make the profit you deserve.

2. Provide an Itemized List to Your Potential Clients

Businesses are on a budget, and they want to know what they’re paying for.

Your itemized list tells commercial clients why they should hire you over other commercial cleaning businesses. Also, it's another way for you to justify your cleaning prices.

3. Prepare a List of Interview Questions Before the Consultation

Regardless of whether or not the client wants to hire you, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to hire the client.

In order to ensure you're only accepting clients that will make you money, you have to find out if the commercial cleaning contract will be a good fit for you.

Prepare a list of interview questions before the consultation to help you decide whether the commercial cleaning contract will be the right fit.

4. Bring the Commercial Cleaning Contract to the Consultation

This may sound presumptuous to some that are new to the business, but you MUST bring the commercial cleaning contract with you to the consultation. DO NOT give the potential client the ability to go home and think about the deal.

In the marketing world, everyone knows consumers make decisions primarily based on emotion... BEFORE they justify it later with logic.

Get them to sign the commercial cleaning contract when they’re most EXCITED about you.

5. Know Your Commercial Cleaning Business Inside and Out

Be prepared to answer anything and everything about your commercial cleaning business.

Prove your integrity and credibility to your client by bringing statistical information with you to the consultation.

Like we talked about earlier, consumers initially make decisions based on emotion. As a result, if you already have the necessary information while you’re doing the consultation, they’re way more likely to sign a commercial cleaning contract with you.

Not All Money Is "Good Money"

It’s better to turn down a client that’s going to lose you money than to gain a non-profitable client!

In most cases, you’ll be able to explain your prices to your potential clients..

However, you might occasionally run into an impossible potential client. You’ve tried to compromise, but they just won’t budge. They may be looking for a bid at a price you can’t provide for the services they want.

This isn’t a good fit — DON’T sign a commercial cleaning contract with this client. It’ll set the tone for a reputation you DON’T want, and you’ll lose money.

Bottom Line: Know what your services are worth, and don’t accept anything that goes below your minimum profit margin.

The Most Important Questions to Ask Before You Bid

Bidding can be complicated... especially when you don’t know the right questions to ask yourself.

Take a look at a few questions you should ask yourself before you to a potential commercial cleaning client...

  • How low can I go?
    • You need to know how low you can bid. If not, then you may end up bidding too low. You want to ensure every bid you make is going to be profitable.
  • How many people am I bidding against? What’s the competition doing or offering?
    • When a potential client challenges your bid by referencing another cleaning business' cheaper bid, ask to see what services are included. Make sure your bid is comparable BEFORE dropping your price. As always, if the client isn't going to make you money, then turn them down and move onto the next prospect.
  • How good is my relationship with the decision maker?
    • Determining where you stand with the decision maker is arguably the most important question to ask yourself. No matter what the answer is, you must ask yourself if there's anything you can do to improve it.
  • What can you upsell on this contract?
    • Cleaning upsells allow you to bid lower and still getting your money’s worth. Generally, upsells are way easier to sell to an already existing client than to get a potential client to swallow a bid for every service you offer.
  • Can I meet the potential commercial cleaning client’s needs?
    • Knowing whether or not you can meet this potential client’s needs is important. Your commercial cleaning services WILL NOT be a perfect fit for everyone. You have to know when it’s time to tell a potential client that you’re not a good fit for them.
  • Will I make a profit on this contract?
    • If a potential client isn’t profitable — don’t sign with them. You’re not a nonprofit. You’re a business. Businesses survive (and thrive!) on profit. If this client won’t be profitable, it’s time to throw in the towel.
  • Are there any potential networking opportunities?
    • There are ALWAYS potential networking opportunities. If this client signs a commercial cleaning contract with you, don’t be afraid to ask your happiest clients about potential local clients.

What Happens if You Lose a Commercial Cleaning Account?

We’ve all been there. Some clients will leave when the annual commercial cleaning contract is up. Other clients will leave before the contract is up.

However, one thing is for sure... You WILL lose clients.

After all, losing clients is a natural part of doing business. It’s nothing personal, but for one reason or another your client has chosen someone else for the job.

When you inevitably lose a client, be POLITE.

You want to end things on a good note. There’s still a chance they’ll come back to you in the future.  In fact, you should be touching base with former cleaning clients every few months to see how things are going.

Always try to convince your client to stay...but don’t be desperate.

You may try to offer them a better deal, but accept their answer when the decision is no. If you don’t get emotional and let them know you’re still available, they’re going to remember you when they themselves or someone they know needs commercial cleaning.

Do not take the loss of a client personally.

Often times, a client is terminating service based on budget cuts. In a lot of cases, the company that undercut you is new — and not profitable. They might go under before the contract is up, leaving your former client in the lurch and ready to bring you back.

Sometimes, a client is terminating their service due to poor satisfaction.

Review your business and determine whether you're maximizing your potential. ALWAYS ask them WHY they’re terminating their service, so you can evaluate.

Win back your clients with this “Done-for-You” Email Campaign!​


Win ANY Commercial Cleaning Contract

This easy guide is KEY to winning your next commercial cleaning contract.

Use these strategies to help you win ANY commercial cleaning contract. Plus, you'll know which contracts are the best for your commercial cleaning business.

If you follow the steps in this guide, you’ll win commercial cleaning clients who are a great fit and will stick around from year to year.

Now, get out there and win those commercial cleaning contracts!

Related: Cleaning Marketing: The Complete Guide

Originally published Nov 20, 2018 6:00 AM, updated June 1, 2021 2:48 PM

Alyssa Sanders

Alyssa is the Team Lead of Creative Marketing at Xplor Field Services. When she's not writing or creating content, you can find her watching a new sci-fi series or shoving her nose into a book.


Free Downloads

Pricing Calculator

Quick guide to fixing your pricing.

Wage Calculator

Quick guide to fixing your employee wages.

Win-back Email Bundle

Win back your clients with this "Done-for-you" Email Campaign!

Leave a Reply