Follow Up

​Are You Following Up?

[How to Increase Your Commercial Cleaning Sales Conversions.]

In a perfect world, your commercial cleaning sales conversions would go like this:

“Hi, I’m calling because I need a commercial cleaning service.”“Great, that’s what we do.

How about if I come out tomorrow and give you an estimate? Around 10AM?”

“Perfect. See you then.”

But in the real world, conversions are rarely that smooth.

Enter the key ingredient: following up.

How Important is Follow-Up?

If you run a commercial cleaning service, you will understand that follow-up is absolutely crucial.

As part of my client service, I regularly talk to commercial cleaners who lament that they work tons of leads from prospects who seem interested, but don’t ultimately turn into clients.

One of my first questions is always, “How are you following up, and how often are you following up?

”While there are exceptions, more often than not I’ll hear something like…

“Follow-up. Right. We should probably start doing that.”

Read any B2B marketing resources, and you’ll soon learn the importance of following up.

You’ll see things like,

“…follow-up is one of the most important aspects of B2B marketing” (Kinetic Business Marketing), and even, “…follow-up is why 10% of sales agents are closing 90% of the deals” (ringDNA).

Do you want your company to be getting those deals?

Then you have to start following up.

Don’t Waste Your Leads

Through modern digital marketing, it’s easier than ever to generate leads.

Instead of making annoying and invasive cold calls or sending out salespeople to knock on doors, you can automatically warm up leads and get interested prospects knocking on your door, using techniques like SEO, paid search, and informational content and our proprietary Commercial Lead Engagement And Nurturing (CLEAN®) System.

Once you’ve put in all of that up-front work to generate those leads, it’s much more efficient to follow up with them rather than generate a whole new batch of leads.

You already know that those prospects are interested, right?

Now it’s time to get that money in the bank rather than throwing it out the window.We call this avoiding the Leaky Bucket.

Track Every Lead

Many clients come to me with no follow-up tracking system whatsoever. I ask how they’re tracking who to follow up with, when to follow up, and what the outcome was. I ask whether they’re making sure to follow up with every lead within the shortest possible amount of time, so that the competition doesn’t get there first.

Sadly, many commercial cleaning companies are so focused on their day to day work—cleaning, management and even cold-calling—that they fail to put lead management systems in place.Well unfortunately that can be very short-sighted and, over the long term, it can cause your business to fail.

But what if you could have a steady flow of warm leads, fresh contacts, sales conversations and an automated follow-up system in place?

You think that you have a solid client base right now, but what happens when some of those clients move on to a different service, relocate out of your area, or go out of business themselves? You need a steady pipeline of new leads to keep your business thriving.

If you’re current ‘system’ seems to be lacking effectiveness in getting desired results or efficiency in generating deals, you should review our free video case study. 

Get There First

When a potential client contacts you, they generally need you to solve a problem.

Maybe that problem is critical. Their current cleaning service didn’t show up, or the office is filthy and they’ve got a major client coming in tomorrow, or someone spilled a gallon of grape juice on the new rug and the landlord is furious. They’re in crisis mode, and you know who they’re most likely to hire?

The cleaning company that responds in five minutes, not three days.

I ask all of my clients this question: has a client ever complained about you responding to them too quickly?

Think about it.

Is there ever a disadvantage to following up immediately? No way. So, another key to effective follow-up is that it has to be prompt.

If you’re struggling to follow up on leads in a timely manner, let’s get a better system in place so that it doesn’t feel like such a chore or a dog chasing its tail.

Make It Easy for Your Clients

When commercial cleaning clients come to me for help growing their businesses, I diagnose a lot of them with a major problem: a surplus of optimism.

They’ve got a few jobs, so it’s only a matter of time until the referrals start coming in, right?

They fire off a quote, and then hope that the client will follow up with them.

But How Many Times Should I Follow Up?

I get asked that a lot too. And after testing many different methods, one thing is clear…

You need to follow up as many times as it takes to get an answer.

Now this doesn’t mean spamming or bugging the heck out of prospects. No.

It means showing up consistently, with valuable reminders of how you have the answer to questions. Or the solution to a problem. It means staying the course and staying in front of potential clients with value even if you get a ‘No’.


One of the number one ways to succeed in the cleaning business is to make your clients’ lives easier.

Show up on time.

Be completely and totally reliable, every single time. Remind them of upcoming events: do they need extra cleaning over the holidays? Could they use some deep cleaning over the summer, when employees are on vacation? And the first place you make life easy for them is when you follow up on their initial inquiry.

Next Steps

Now that you understand why follow-up is important, it’s time to start doing it. Let’s turn your very next lead into your new favorite client. BR Marketing is here to help.

Review our new case study here: 

How To Generate New Commercial Client Accounts Every Month & Stay In Front of Key Decision Makers - Without Working Crazy Hours or Getting Into Bidding Wars.

Then if it makes sense, we can set up a time to discuss your business further.

Find out why business owners have trusted Bref to generate more than $10 million in revenue, and let him get to work on those same results for you.

Contact us to find out if our Commercial Lead Engagement And Nurturing (CLEAN®) System is a good fit for your business. We have multiple strategies and over the course of your complimentary strategy session we’ll uncover which, if any, may make sense for your specific business.

Spaghetti Against The Wall & Commercial Cleaning Marketing

Spaghetti Against The Wall, or a Laser Focus?

Is Your Marketing Producing Results?

When companies get sub-optimal results from their commercial cleaning marketing efforts, they’re often working really hard for those results.

Their marketing is going nowhere, but not for lack of trying to do better. So what’s missing?

One word: focus. Let’s take a look.

Shotgun, or Rifle?

Clients often come to me because they’re investing tons of time, money, or (worse yet…) both and still not getting the business development and marketing results they want.

It’s a question of finding the right tool for the job.

These companies are marketing with a scattershot approach rather than a rifle approach.

They’re throwing the spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks, rather than focusing like a laser on their goals and how to get there.

So if you don’t have enough good leads coming in, or if you’re not converting enough of those leads into paying customers, you first need to take a look at your focus.

For starters, do you have a clear positioning statement, like “We’re a commercial cleaning company, serving medical and dental offices in the Miami area,” or “Our commercial cleaning company serves salons and spas in greater Boston, providing high-quality work with a personal touch”?

Otherwise, you’re racking the shotgun and wasting a lot of your marketing budget and energy, because you don’t know who you’re trying to reach (and trying to reach everyone is a losing proposition).

Are You Marketing to 21st Century Clients Using 20th Century Methods?

Another typical mistake: focusing on print advertising (often a waste of money), or having employees grind out continuous cold sales calls inefficient).

Are your efforts 'outdated'?

If you’ve been running your cleaning company for years, or even decades, you probably remember the day when yellow pages listings, shopping cart ads, and clipper coupons were THE way to get results. Combine those with a few cold calls and you were all set!

Unfortunately, that was (literally) the last century, and digital marketing is a whole new world. Not only do you need to get on board, you have to: otherwise, your clients are going to be finding your competition, not you.

Yelp, the local business review service, reports that a whopping 85% of US consumers search online for local businesses. This can easily translate to business decision makers who are also consumers at the end of the day.

So if you’re sticking with your old-school marketing methods, you’re literally missing out on 85% of your potential customers; and that’s no prescription for success.

What’s The True Cost of Your Business Development Efforts?

I talk to lots of commercial cleaning company owners who THINK they’re doing low-cost, or even free marketing. “We have one of our administrative people make sales calls, because we’re paying them anyway.” Or “An ad in the local clipper coupon book only costs us a few hundred dollars a month.”

But after we do a deeper dive, they realize that the waste involved in those efforts is enormous.

That administrative employee could be focusing on keeping your current clients happy, for example.

We all know that it’s a lot cheaper to hold on to a current client than to land a new one. What if, instead of making pointless (and annoying) sales calls, that administrative person could call all of your current clients and see how things are going? What you’re doing well, and what could be done better? You might even get some new business ideas out of those conversations.

And instead of that clipper coupon ad, what if you could hold a customer appreciation event, or send all of your contact people a restaurant gift card as a thank-you gift?

What if, by hiring a professional to implement a robust digital marketing plan, you could actually save money while growing your bottom line?

Because the true cost of those misguided marketing efforts isn’t what you spent on the ads, it’s the opportunities you missed out on.

The true loss isn’t the $500 you spent on the coupon book ad, it’s the $50,000 contract that the other cleaning company in town just landed.

How A Professional Can Help

At BR Marketing, we specialize in one thing: results. If your marketing campaigns aren’t getting the results you want, something needs to change. We’ll work with you to determine:

  • Your marketing goals: do you need more leads coming in the door, more revenue in general, more leads that convert into customers?

  • Your constraints: what’s holding you back?

  • A roadmap for success: what do we need to do to make this your most successful year yet?

  • Are you ready? Like all great relationships, we make sure that there is full commitment to success both ends. We uncover this on our free strategy session call.

  • How to make our services pay for themselves. When it comes to digital marketing, your marketing dollars should be paying off twofold, threefold, or more. 

Find out why small business owners have trusted our founder, Bref McHugh, to generate over $10 million in sales for them.

Want to scrape that spaghetti off the wall and find your laser focus? Let’s chat.

The Leaky Bucket Syndrome

Imagine you’re driving around town knocking on doors to get new clients (we cover more on the problems with door knocking later).

This can hard enough as it is.

Maybe you connect with the decision maker but you probably don’t. At least you know the person at front desk.

You made 10 calls and it’s time to head back to the office. Just as you’re pulling in, you look in your mirror and to your disbelief, you see a bunch of dollar bills blowing out from the back of your car.

“How long has that been going on?!” you wonder.

All you can see is money blowing down the street.

If Money Was Falling Out Of Your Pocket, You’d Want To Know About It Too, Right?

At BR Marketing, we work with commercial cleaners and janitorial companies.

We know how hard it can be to work a list of leads and get new clients. But the work doesn’t stop there.

Many cleaning businesses are trying a shotgun approach and hoping that they can work the numbers game. (That in itself can be a problem, because you’re sacrificing quality over quantity and potentially wasting energy on bad prospects.)

But the main problem is they don’t focus enough on what happens after they connect with these people - which is crucial.

Leaky Bucket Syndrome

Leaky Bucket Syndrome

This is what I call the Leaky Bucket Syndrome – when we focus so much effort on getting more “into the bucket” but neglect to make sure that that bucket itself is still full.

While regularly searching for new leads is a good thing, it’s only worthwhile if those leads are being converted into commercial cleaning jobs or high-paying janitorial accounts.

You can get all the clients in the world, but if your systems aren’t set up properly to engage, nurture and serve those clients, then they will end up leaking right on out over time.

And this leak isn’t water either. It’s losing customers, market share and cold, hard cash.

How do you Solve a leaky bucket problem?

You’ve basically got got 3 options.

  1. Plugging the leaks

  2. Adding more water or

  3. Getting a new bucket.

At BR Marketing, we have a system that not only plugs the leaks in your bucket, but we can also provide additional buckets of customers and a tap with which we can control the flow of leads.

How does it work?

You can essentially break down our system into 3 parts:

  1. The Process
  2. The Parts
  3. The People

The Process

You won’t find our processes anywhere else. That’s our secret sauce. We design, build and execute a custom targeting, lead generation, engagement, nurturing and follow up machine that drives results and ROI.

All you have to do is follow the process, speak with prospective clients and schedule your demo or consultation.

The Parts

We use a proprietary business development platform combined with premium software applications to generate consistent client engagements.

The People

Our team are results-orientated and client-focused. Led by Bref McHugh, who has over a decade of business development and marketing experience - our people do what technology just can’t.

And the results of implementing this system correctly?

You’ll have a business development and growth engine that functions smoothly, steadily and effectively – so that you (and your team) can focus on the next job, key accounts and retaining happy customers who refer to others.

Feeling Stuck?

We know from speaking with clients that the same old methods won’t even get you the same results any more.

Grinding out more cold calls, door knocking, flyers, direct mail, networking, or going to more conventions. All of these and many more lack a crucial component - the ability to follow up effectively and to automate the process.

Traditional business models are becoming outdated and current business systems (or sometimes lack thereof) are losing them money.

At the end of the day the leaky bucket is a direct threat to not only growth, but to the very survival of your commercial cleaning company.

It was clear for some of our clients that this could impact the legacies that they hoped to leave for their children.

We want  to help you avoid that - sign up for a free strategy session today.

Leaky Buckets Don’t Lie When It Comes to Raw, Hard Math

How much does it actually cost you to acquire a new customer?


Don’t worry - a lot of our clients didn’t have an answer for that question until they started working with us.

Leaky Bucket Syndrome

It can be anything from 6 - 8 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

This makes attracting, converting – and keeping – existing leads coming into the business a must for anyone operating in a competitive environment such as commercial cleaning and janitorial.

To calculate your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), you simply add up your sales and marketing costs (for a specific time) and divide by the number of new customers. Your sales and marketing costs should include advertising, salaries, commissions, bonuses and overhead.


So if, for example, your annual sales and marketing costs were $50,000 and you gained 25 new customers, your CAC would be $2,000.

If your average commercial cleaning account generates say $6,000, then paying $50k to add $150,000, which is an ROI of 300%.

You’ll want a low CAC, obviously. But once you establish a benchmark, an increasing CAC will indicate a possible problem with your sales or marketing effectiveness and once you know this, it can be addressed.

Now consider how much more you could achieve (both in your business and at home with your family) if you had a system humming in the background, knocking on digital doors for you

(To access the CAC spreadsheet, please click here.)

To access more resources including Marketing Math & Metrics, click here)

Do You Suffer From Leaky Bucket Syndrome?

These kinds of holes in your bucket are truly draining. Mentally, emotionally and financially.

As Jim Rohn said…

”Either you run the day or the day runs you”

The good news is this: ALL of these things can be solved with the right systems and team in place.

Next Steps

So before you fill up on gas and hop into your car, consider reaching out to us for your complimentary business Strategy Session.

We’ll take 30-45 minutes to go through what you’re doing, challenges you face and opportunities that need to be seized. You’ll gain a clear understanding of what it will take to grow your business to where you want it to be.

You’ll understand how to fix your leaky bucket.

Then we can discuss our process. And don’t worry - we don’t do sales pitches because you are either a fit, or you’re not and either way is OK.

To your success.

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Top 5 Challenges for Commercial Cleaning Companies

Commercial cleaning

A lot of people take the contract cleaning business for granted.

How hard can it be, right?

Maybe they should shadow you for a day…

The work can be demanding enough, but then there’s the ins and outs of finding customers, hiring and training employees, new technology and staying competitive.

Based off conversations with clients and feedback from within the industry, we have compiled a list of the Top 5 Challenges for Commercial Cleaning Companies.

  1. Business Development & Marketing Changes

Getting a steady flow of new jobs and high quality accounts is the lifeblood of every commercial cleaning business but the problem is that most people have no idea how to do it consistently, beyond relying on referrals that trickle through...

Traditional cold calling-whether on the phone or in-person has become much less effective.

Who really has the time today to take a cold call? Most business owners (you included) need to calendar all meetings. To quote Jim Rohn…

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

Another factor is that more and more business owners and building managers have the tendency to select cleaning contractors by doing their own online research.

The good news is that there has never been a better time to rapidly grow your cleaning business! With so many great marketing tools available, and the ability to track and measure success - now is the time that we’ll see the growth of many privately owned contract cleaning companies.

2. The Digital Revolution

Related to marketing changes, internet search platforms like Google and Bing continue to make several adjustments that affect how visitors find businesses, and these changes will continue. Cleaning Contractors must stay aware of these changes and how they impact their online presence.

Businesses can literally change overnight if you are not prepared for changes on these digital platforms.

Make sure that you have an expert on your side to help you navigate the digital playing field. If you feel like you are ready to put your foot on the accelerator and dominate your market, then contact us to see if our process is a good fit. We give our contract cleaning clients a serious competitive advantage.

3. Hiring

The continued strength in the economy this year, has increased the confidence for many cleaning contractors who are more targeting aggressive growth and plan to hire more full-time workers. But with growth can come pain. Hiring can be time-consuming, costly, and a fresh challenge for newer companies.

But as every successful cleaning business knows, employees are critical to your success; after all, it is the quality of their performance that directly determines whether your customers are satisfied or not.

A recent article in entrepreneur recommends to take time and learn as much as possible about effective hiring practices before starting the process.

Look for ways to help staff want to do their best. Train them well, don’t micromanage, and treat them with respect. Provide bonuses and incentives for top performance, and consider offering perks such as flexibility to use company equipment in their own homes.

4. Competition

Let’s face it - people are buying a book on Amazon and starting a new cleaning business overnight.


A report from IBIS World lists 904,718 janitorial businesses in the United States alone!

It has never been more important to be able to clearly articulate your business’s Unique Selling Points (USPs) and what sets you apart from the rest.

To find out how to avoid the trap of becoming just another name on a potential vendor list, book your complimentary strategy session with us.

5. Wages & Benefits

A few years ago, many cleaning companies were concerned with how the Affordable Care Act was going to impact them. Now there seems to be more attention on raising the minimum wage in some parts of the country and such changes can directly affect the commercial cleaning industry, pricing, and profit margins.

Some things are out of our control but we must control what we can.

Are you on course to reach your goals this year?

Set up a free 30 minute strategy session with Bref McHugh, to analyze your business and get a clear understanding of exactly what it is that you need to do in the next 12 months to move your commercial cleaning business to the next level.

Your Business is Being Audited

Marketing Audit

What now?

Do you fly into panic mode, or calmly absorb the news?

Wakeup call: you should be auditing your business

Now I’m not sure if your business is actually being audited, and hopefully not by the IRS anyway.

But let’s talk about the kind of business audits you should be doing, whether the IRS forces them on you or not.

Would you drive cross-country without getting a tune up?

In order to grow our client’s business and really turn the needle to get better results, we’ve got to pull the hood back once in awhile and review current performance.

A lot of clients come to me with little knowledge about their key business metrics. They have a vague notion that they’re not earning enough money, or not getting enough inquiries from potential clients, or spending too much on advertising for the amount of business it’s generating.

Do you know your business’ vital statistics?

As part of our digital marketing audits, we pull back the hood on your business development and marketing activities, and take a hard, honest look at what you’re doing and what results you’re getting.

We help you get get more specific. With most of our digital marketing processes, we can drill down to the dollar and day to see exactly how your business development campaigns are performing.

Here are some questions I ask every client who comes to my company for marketing help:

  • What goals have you set for the year, and how are they going?
  • What challenges do you face in your business right now, and what’s your plan to overcome them?
  • How are you doing relative to the competition? Is someone outpacing you?
  • How much are you growing, in terms of client base, revenue, or both?
  • How are you tracking your marketing efforts and results?
  • What is your marketing ROI (return on investment)?
  • Do you know your CPA (cost for each new customer acquired) and CPL (cost for each new lead acquired)?

For some businesses, gaining clarity on these areas alone can be worth it’s weight in gold.

Why, why, why?

While answers to the above questions are critical in understanding business and marketing performance, they pale in importance to knowing exactly why you are in business in the first place.

What is it that your business needs to deliver for you? What are your ultimate goals as a business owner and how do you achieve them?

Most importantly, are you wasting your two most precious commodities—your time and your money—on business development efforts that don’t work, or that don’t fit your goals?

As a business owner, you make lots of sacrifices. “Shark Tank” investor Lori Greiner hit the nail on the head when she said, “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week” (source: Business Insider).

The key is to make sure that that extra effort isn’t wasted, and you don’t know that until you audit what you’re doing now.

Cut the Fluff

At BR Marketing, we specialize in results-orientated marketing campaigns. We cut the fluff and find out exactly what we need to do move your business from X to Y so that you can get what you really need to enjoy the lifestyle that you originally invested in.

Get your Free Marketing Audit

Contact me for a quick chat to see if our process is a good fit for your service-based business. We’ll set 10-15 minutes for a quick chat and if it makes sense we can go ahead and provide a complimentary digital marketing audit.

Just send me a message or schedule time right here: Chat with Bref.

We’ll help you get meaningful answers to the questions above (and more), and most importantly, we’ll make sure that you move toward a zero-waste model, where every dollar you spend on marketing is multiplied in terms of your real results.

Unlike an IRS audit, our audits are something you can actually look forward to, as we help you improve on what you’re already doing, or get a bigger bang from your marketing buck.

If it’s been way too long since you looked under the hood of your business, let’s talk.

You deserve to have this year be your best year yet, and BR Marketing would love to help you get there.

Click Here to Apply for Free Strategy Session

The ROI-Generating Machine

Solar Dictionary

Marketing your business shouldn’t hurt.

If I say, “digital marketing,” and you think “expensive, annoying, and a waste of time,” then something’s going wrong.

In fact it’s never been easier to attract new clients, familiarize them with your products and services, and convert them into paying clients. With the proper digital marketing strategy, you should know where every marketing dime is going, and where every click is coming from. Your digital marketing should be an ROI-generating machine.

You should know exactly how much you are getting back from every $1 you put into your marketing efforts.

Let’s take a closer look.

The majority of my clients are already doing some sort of marketing when they come to me. They have a website…but it’s not generating many business inquiries. Maybe it’s not generating any leads.

They’re 'on social media'. Sometimes they’re on lots of social media. But it’s the same story: when I ask them to name the last time they got an inbound inquiry from their social media presence, they honestly can’t remember. Maybe they’ve never landed an actual paying client through social media.

Google? "Yes people find us through Google" some say.

SEO or SEM? "Uh-huh?" OMG.

Ask: What are doing? Where are you spending? What is it returning?


Many lack focus, and they’re trying to handle their entire online presence manually, with zero automation.

When a thought pops into their heads, they post it on one of their social media accounts. But then, they’re done.

They've asked for some reviews on Google and they have a guy who is "helping to get them ranked on page page one".

Maybe they've even tried direct mail or radio ads.

They forget about exactly what specific outcome they need to grow revenue and they go back to putting out fires within their business, rather than working ontheir business.

They have no consistent message or clear marketing target. It’s not hard to see how this quickly translates into:

  • Lack of results
  • Loss of confidence in the whole idea of digital marketing
  • Sinking tons of time and money into promotion, then deciding that “digital marketing doesn’t work”
  • Falling back on the same outdated marketing techniques that aren’t bringing in enough leads to start out with

The Good News

Installing an ROI-generating machine in your business is easier than you think.

Here’s the difference when you work with me: my business is 100% (literally, 100%) about client results. If you’re not seeing measurable, trackable results such as:

  • More incoming leads; desirable clients knocking on your door rather than the other way around
  • More new clients
  • Increased revenue

…then you’re wasting valuable time and money.

And nobody really wants to do that. Not you and not me.

That’s why my clients love my results-orientated relationship with their business. We don’t over promise and we only work together if we are a good fit.

I hate it when people waste my time and money. Listen, as business owners we work hard for our success. But running a successful business means doing what you do best, and partnering with experts to help move your business to the next level and accelerate results.

When you work with me to grow your business, we will get that ROI-generation machine in motion. You can expect:

  • Expert guidance to identify one clear goal for your marketing campaign. Do you want to increase sales in a specific service offering? Double your revenue? Grow your overall client base? I’ll talk to you, and more importantly I’ll listen to you, to identify your goal.
  • A done-for-you client acquisition system with every step aimed at your specific result. Forget about wishy-washy targets like “increasing brand recognition.” I know that what you really want is more leads, better client appointments, and more money in the bank. My proven digital marketing systems will help you get there.
  • A 100% results-focused approach. My ultimate goal is that you, like many of my clients, tell me that your biggest problem is keeping up with your inbound inquiries. Forget about cookie-cutter approaches. I’ll keep tailoring your plan until you see the results you want.


The result of this is that you will have a predictable system to generate consistent results and you'll know how your marketing is performing down to the dollar and day.

Here’s another factor to consider: lots of businesses are recognizing the ROI-generation value of digital marketing.

But is that media-savvy business you, or the competition?

Whether you love or hate the idea of digital marketing, it really comes down to this…

If your business isn't growing, it’s shrinking.

Like a stagecoach driver insisting that the automobile is a passing fad, you’ll be stuck relying on potential clients to see your newspaper ad, billboard, or phone book listing while your competitors are busy hiring staff to deal with the incoming leads from their online presence.

Don’t be that stagecoach driver.

Let me help you take the next step by setting up your own ROI-generating machine.

Click below to schedule your free strategy session, and let’s start talking about how to make this your best year yet.

Click Here to Apply for Free Strategy Session