How deeply do you need to look when evaluating a building?
The real question is: If you are not looking deep enough, how can you be sure the building qualifies to be part of your company''s future?
The first part of a management and marketing plan for a building service contracting company should be the types of buildings — your customers — that will help your company move forward into a profitable future.
The great part about the exercise of protocol development is that it can be whichever modus operandi you choose as a service provider.
The first evaluation that can be a determining factor for serviceability, and sometimes finding out about the attitude of the prospect, is the outside condition of the building.
Pulling into a litter filled, overgrown landscape area, sun faded parking lot or other things of the like should give you a set of clues to help determine if your company values will be met by signing a prospect to a contract.
Perhaps thinking about sales prospects like a college football recruiter can give you some insight into how you should prepare your potentials list.
Collegiate recruiters are certainly looking for more than just a competent set of skills to play a position; they are looking for intangibles that could include team chemistry, academic skills, personality, future potential and ability for the recruit to sway other recruits to attend the same university.
Similar things can apply to your recruiting focus, including:
- Does this prospect have the right stuff to earn our services?
- Will this prospect help us sell other prospects?
- Will this prospect help our staff feel a sense of pride or accomplishment when servicing this building?
- What will this prospect do for our customer chemistry?
- Will they fail to understand basic maintenance practices, causing misunderstandings with staff?
- Will this prospect be respectful of our professional attitudes and training?
Prospect attitude is certainly something to address as you build your prospect list, but not the only thing that should be listed.
You may want to determine which types of buildings your company can service most profitably.
Does your company work better in a campus-type building setting?
Perhaps your company thrives in high-rise or low-slung style buildings.
Which part of your city or region makes the most sense from an employee recruiting method?
Do most employees drive directly to the building or do they rely on public transportation?
Other building considerations could be the type of activity that occurs in the building.
Is the structure office-only or office and factory, where shop employees can track all manner of soil types onto many different types of flooring and restroom surfaces?
How about amount of outside traffic, such as retail buildings, malls or indoor shopping centers, versus retail environments where moving from store to store can be affected negatively by weather related issues?
There are so many different variables that need to be addressed by a plan of action to find out where you should spend your marketing time, dollars and energy.
A complete focus of that activity, matching it with the right prospect mix, will target a very specific group of prospects that, in the long run, will help you grow profitably.
Since planning is the first function of management, your company managers must plan for these specific types of prospects — or end up taking whatever comes your way.
Unfortunately, the shot-in-the-dark approach may not give you the customers needed for a profitable future.
Think about this when you are setting up a sales route to help your business building strategy.
Dane Gregory is the commercial sales manager for Bridgewater Corporation, which owns Interlink Supply. He works with commercial cleaners to help them build their businesses by adding services without a lot of additional cost. He also helps them with technical aspects of cleaning carpet, tile and grout and stone surfaces. Gregory instructs classes for each floor surface as well as the Commercial Cleaning Initiative, which covers all these floor surfaces. He may be reached at Dane.Gregory@Charter.net.