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Spring cleaning: Reap the rewards of your efforts

September 19, 2010
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Spring cleaning has long been a challenge for cleaners.

Facility managers rush to get bids to secure contracts, or schedule additional staff to meet cleaning demands. But for building service contractors (BSCs), spring cleaning means one of the most profitable times of the year for them to showcase the different services their janitorial companies offer and to up-sell the customer on the extra, semi-annual or annual tasks.

Turning spring clean into spring green
The key to upselling your services to your client revolves around a good marketing strategy: Contractors should develop a special promotional brochure, flyer or e-mail showcasing the special services they offer at this time of the year.

When it’s time to schedule an appointment with your client and get to work, remember: You are the cleaning expert, and your job is to tell your customer what he needs, why he needs it, and when the cleaning should be done.

In a nutshell, it’s your job to create the need for the extra cleaning services.

Education: A persuasive tool
How do you convince a client of the need for carpet cleaning, pressure washing of the parking lot, or window cleaning? If your operation has previously performed these services for the client, the selling is easy.

However, if you are selling in un-chartered territory, i.e. new manager, new facility, persuading your client to add these services may be a tougher sell; your biggest negotiating tool in the cleaning industry is education.

Part of sales involves educating the end user. How will the client know what the facility needs, and how often — unless you educate the client on the reasons, and more importantly, the consequences of not employing the proper maintenance?

Value-added services
For an in-house operation assigning your staff specific duties this spring, and a contract cleaning company looking to put more money in your pockets, here are some services to offer your facilities — from top to bottom — and reasons they would accept them.

Service: Ceiling cleaning and ceiling tile replacement
Reason: Perform in areas having brown tiles or ceilings, to determine leaky pipes, possible mold growth; all ceilings should look neat and clean.

Service: Wall washing
Reason: Remove fingerprints, dust on walls, and improve indoor air quality (IAQ).

Service: Partition cleaning
Reason: Partitions are often neglected, and fabric partitions trap dust and indoor allergens.

Service: Detail work of contact areas: Shelves, desks and computers
Reason: This will improve employees’ health after winter’s cold and flu season; it’s very important that total disinfection of all high-contact areas reduce spread of cold and flu germs.

Service: Window cleaning
Reason: Erase winter’s grime, dust, and insect carcasses to improve professional image; it increases employee morale to look out clean windows.

Service: Carpet cleaning
Reason: Eighty-five percent of dirt comes in on the bottom of shoes — not to mention winter’s salt and snow remnants that lay embedded in the carpet fibers.

Emphasize that carpet maintenance will improve the overall building IAQ, but improper carpet maintenance, or neglect, can result in worn-out traffic areas, and decrease the life span of the carpet.

Service: Stripping and waxing of floors
Reason: Protect the underlying floor, remove all of winter’s grime, and maintain a professional image.

Service: Grout cleaning and re-sealing
Reason: Eradicate the muck and dirt winter left behind. Re-sealing and scrubbing grout can protect the life span of the floor and keep grout from eroding.

Service: Pressure washing of sidewalks, parking lots
Reason: Decrease the amount of dirt that gets tracked into the building on the bottom of shoes, and maintain a professional building image.

Service: Ultrasonic blind cleaning
Reason: Clean all the dust, mechanisms, pull strings and head rails. Clean blinds help keep IAQ — and appearance — at a high level.

Laura Dellutri is a successful building service contractor, public speaker, author and cleaning consultant who is fondly known as "The Healthy Housekeeper" and has appeared numerous times on HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and all the major television networks. She welcomes feedback, so send e-mail to or Visit her website at

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