Referrals - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 08-28-2008, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 70

Ther might already be a thread created but I couln't find one. I'm having a very HARD time getting referrals or word of mouth. I already have a $10 0ff for refrrals that take my service and recently I left a list numbered 1-10 and NONE of the customers filled it out! ANY suggestions??????? Word of mouth is NOT the best advertising for me!
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post #2 of Old 08-28-2008, 07:29 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,083
We recently had cards made up that each of our associates carry and leave at customers homes. On each card the Associate has a place where he/she writes in their own name on the back the cards say -

Refer us and Receive $30 off for each job booked
Sign this card and have your friend give it to us when they are signing up for services. After their 3rd cleaning you, your friend & your MTO rep will each receive a $30 bonus or discount for future cleanings. There are no limits to the discounts you can receive. Call our office if you need more cards

My staff get really involved with handing out these cards, they even hand them out to friends and neighbors (people in grocery stores, etc....) My customers love passing them on because they are helping out more than just themselves.

The $90 per job costs out to less than a yellow pages ad and the return is much much better
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post #3 of Old 08-29-2008, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Thanks, That sounds like a good idea. I'm not sure about having cards made up just because I have hand written that on business cards before and nobody hands them out. I ask myself all the time "doesn't anyone want to save $$ these days?" Do you think I should increase from $10 to $30 savings for referrals that take my service? I'm desperate to gain more business and I have tried EVERYTHING!!!!
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post #4 of Old 08-29-2008, 10:18 AM
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Location: California
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$30 may be too high for you right now, find an amount that you are happy with and use that.

I have the cards made by Vista prints - I caught one of their deals and I think I got 500 cards for around $11 (because I had the back printed)
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post #5 of Old 08-29-2008, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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I joined a referral organization about 1 yr ago called BNI it has worked out great for me and has brought me a lot of work. Just go to and you can find a local chapter in your area. You meet once a week with a group of local business people and help each other grow one anothers businesses by sharing referrals. It's great! Good Luck

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post #6 of Old 09-12-2008, 03:07 AM
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Location: Phx, AZ
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Send a message via Yahoo to Lou
what do you have in place for marketing?

Hoods & More
Phx, Az
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post #7 of Old 09-14-2008, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 70
I've been in business for over 9 months and already marketed and been unsucessful. Here are my attempts:
regular flyers, postcards, car magnets, business cards to anywhere I can think of, referral sheets to my existing customers, constant posting on CL, google ad words, tons of free advertsing sites, and bochures. I have tried just about everything that is FREE. If it's not free I will just keep thinking of other ways. Word of mouth is supposed to best form of advertising right? not in my case! Now, with the rise of gas prices I'm scared! There is one other method of advertising I'm going to attempt then after that I think I've given up on advertsing and marketing. Every area is different so what might work in your area, chances are I've tried it in mine. If anyone can recommend something I haven't yet tried and it's free I'm up for suggestions!
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post #8 of Old 11-04-2008, 11:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5

New to Remember that this is a rough economy right now. Never give up! I agree that word of mouth is the absolute best way to get a referral. We take pride in our cleaning and when we do not get referrals, it is tough and sometime defeating.

I owned a successful cleaning company in Austin, TX for four years and I cleaned 48 homes a month along with 20 commercial cleanings and some addt'l construction clean-up jobs. I never had to advertise!'re right when you say 'the area your in' matters. Some people just dont refer. We had to move so I sold my client list to another company of the same caliber as mine.

I started a new cleaning business just recently in the Ft Worth area (smaller community). I have joined to following to get the "WORD" out:
  1. Try "Moms" clubs - find them online and see if they have a chapter in your area. EVERY mother needs help and would rather spend time with family than cleaning her home. I joined MOPS and it has been a great referral for me as well as being able to help Mom's have some peace of mind! There is also Mom's Club International and several others.
  2. I joined Toastmasters International - this is a professional speaking group filled with a major network of people. I joined mostly for the Commercial cleaning part of my business but also to learn additional leadership skills necessary to run a successful business. It was only $75 a year for my area.
  3. I also joined 2 other network groups in the area - you might search for women specific network groups as women are the ones who usually hire cleaners.
  4. I have put flyers on Upscale Apartment/Townhome doors since these are the clientele I market. I just printed 50 pages with 4 flyers up on the page and cut them. They are professional, easy and small enough for prospective client to stick on the frig (until they are ready).
  5. Lastly, since it is the holidays and this is the BEST time to market Residential cleaning....everyone wants a "CLEAN" home for their guests, I have spent just $15 at Office max (.29 color copies for holidays) and $10 for 90lb cardstock. I made a flyer and have been handing it out to Salons/Day Spas, Pediatric Offices, Starbucks...for advertisement. I offered a special of only $10 off regular price cleanings and .09 cents a sqft for Detailed, top to bottom cleanings. Since I just did this today, I will post back on the results......
Start thinking who your market is and go with it. A little expenditure now may reap great rewards later.

Sorry for the lengthy post. I hope this helps or gives you some ideas on how to market other ways that maybe you have not tried and that will not be a big expense for you. God bless and GOODLUCK! DONT GIVE UP!

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post #9 of Old 11-05-2008, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 70
Most places around my area don't like soliciting and won't allow you to put up a flyer or leave cards. Been there done that! As for Mops, hmmm I will give that some thought. What my MAJOR downfall is with my business is that I'm not a people person (customer service or sales) I'd rather stay to myself. I can clean like no ones business, but to go out there and get business, that is another story. I see my problem for the most part but don't know how to change it. I'm giving this business until the first of the year then possibly relocating. It might not be what I'm intended to do in life. The problem is I don't like to quit. Thanks for your wonderful suggestions!
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