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Gaining new customers.


wgwindows

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When I started about 2.5 years ago I delivered flyers and a little bit of door knocking and didn’t get any customers at all (apart from a stroppy lady who kept the flyer for 9 months and then rang on Christmas Eve wanting a same day clean 🙄). I then set up a Facebook page and with some ads on there I got some really good and reliable customers. Some hit and miss but overall many more better than worse.

I’ve only been part time due to helping care for a terminally ill relative, but they passed away recently and I’m now trying to expand a bit. So now I’m going to try the flyers and door knocking again. Facebook enquiries have dropped off a cliff and if any come through now, are nearly all from complete messers who are only interested in cheap, one-off prices.

I’ve set up a little website but really I’ve only done it in case anyone needs to “google” me to find my number etc.

Does anyone else find weird/odd patterns of gaining customers?

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Believe it all comes down to what area you are in.. 

 

Some says leaflets have delivered more than expected and others say different.

 

Some say websites bring a lot of work in.. some say different.

 

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34 minutes ago, wgwindows said:

When I started about 2.5 years ago I delivered flyers and a little bit of door knocking and didn’t get any customers at all (apart from a stroppy lady who kept the flyer for 9 months and then rang on Christmas Eve wanting a same day clean 🙄). I then set up a Facebook page and with some ads on there I got some really good and reliable customers. Some hit and miss but overall many more better than worse.

I’ve only been part time due to helping care for a terminally ill relative, but they passed away recently and I’m now trying to expand a bit. So now I’m going to try the flyers and door knocking again. Facebook enquiries have dropped off a cliff and if any come through now, are nearly all from complete messers who are only interested in cheap, one-off prices.

I’ve set up a little website but really I’ve only done it in case anyone needs to “google” me to find my number etc.

Does anyone else find weird/odd patterns of gaining customers?

Good evening. 

First and foremost and on behalf of all of us please except our deepest condolences and we are sorry to hear the loss of a loved one.

 

There are so many people now days that think they can do a better job, 

Society is changing and money is short in some areas. 

The property ladder leap and rented properties are growing and their residents don't want to spend money on glass that they don't own. 

I've noticed that residential cleans are based upon demographics and ages groups in my area.

Instagram is another great platform for advertising and increasing your business footprint.

Follow property lettings and estate agents, local shops and care providers is a good lead.

Wishing you and your family all the best and give your all and get yourself noticed 

 

Austin 

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2 minutes ago, OnPoint said:

Believe it all comes down to what area you are in.. 

 

Some says leaflets have delivered more than expected and others say different.

 

Some say websites bring a lot of work in.. some say different.

 

Very good point. I’m south coast (Dorset) and the other window cleaners I know near me have all gone quiet on new enquiries aswell. On some of the Facebook groups the lads in other areas of the country, seems particularly in the north, are really busy with new customers.

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1 minute ago, Apw1210 said:

Good evening. 

First and foremost and on behalf of all of us please except our deepest condolences and we are sorry to hear the loss of a loved one.

 

There are so many people now days that think they can do a better job, 

Society is changing and money is short in some areas. 

The property ladder leap and rented properties are growing and their residents don't want to spend money on glass that they don't own. 

I've noticed that residential cleans are based upon demographics and ages groups in my area.

Instagram is another great platform for advertising and increasing your business footprint.

Follow property lettings and estate agents, local shops and care providers is a good lead.

Wishing you and your family all the best and give your all and get yourself noticed 

 

Austin 

Thank you very much @Apw1210, that’s very kind. Yes I think you’re bang on with regards to demographics. Interesting point about Instagram - I have it but rarely use it. Might give that a go aswell. Thanks again 😊.

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6 minutes ago, wgwindows said:

Very good point. I’m south coast (Dorset) and the other window cleaners I know near me have all gone quiet on new enquiries aswell. On some of the Facebook groups the lads in other areas of the country, seems particularly in the north, are really busy with new customers.

I'm North Devon 

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Door knocking and flyers is the old-school way of generating new business. Does it work? Yes, it does. Is it cost efficient and a time-effective way of acquiring new customers? Not really...

As with everything nowadays, if you can advertise your business online, you will gain customers much quicker, there will be a steady flow of them and it shouldn't cost you a fortune, if done right.

If you want to keep it basic, you could register with CheckaTrader to get work from there. Otherwise, if you don't mind a bit of technical stuff, then you could try Facebook Ads or even better Google Ads. Both will need some money investing and playing around with campaigns before you get it right, so don't expect any magic by spending 20 quid on it.

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Really sorry to hear about your relative in what is already a difficult time. 

I live up north so could be different for me but whenever expanding I have been most successful when leaflet dropping and then following up with a door knock a few days later when people are likely to be home. My leaflets have my logo on and always have an estimated quote price on them assuming no conservatory/extension on the back. This does take a little longer when leafleting as I write the price as I'm walking up the driveway but I have found this type of leaflet to be much more successful as people have a good idea of price and therefore only get in touch if they are likely to become a customer, many just text to say please add me to your round. 

For any that don't get in touch, if you go and knock a few days later dressed in uniform with the same logo as your leaflets and remind them of the leaflet its surprising how many say oh yes we was meaning to get in touch but been busy. 

I also use FB ads and google ads and find this brings in a little work each week, certainly more than pays for itself anyway.

Hope this is of some help and all the best,

Dan

Edited by danzlfc
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6 minutes ago, wgwindows said:

Thank you very much @Apw1210, that’s very kind. Yes I think you’re bang on with regards to demographics. Interesting point about Instagram - I have it but rarely use it. Might give that a go aswell. Thanks again 😊.

follow me aw_servicesuk and follow my followers a great friendly and helpful community just like all on here 

3 minutes ago, madeads said:

Door knocking and flyers is the old-school way of generating new business. Does it work? Yes, it does. Is it cost efficient and a time-effective way of acquiring new customers? Not really...

As with everything nowadays, if you can advertise your business online, you will gain customers much quicker, there will be a steady flow of them and it shouldn't cost you a fortune, if done right.

If you want to keep it basic, you could register with CheckaTrader to get work from there. Otherwise, if you don't mind a bit of technical stuff, then you could try Facebook Ads or even better Google Ads. Both will need some money investing and playing around with campaigns before you get it right, so don't expect any magic by spending 20 quid on it.

some very valid points 

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21 minutes ago, danzlfc said:

Really sorry to hear about your relative in what is already a difficult time. 

I live up north so could be different for me but whenever expanding I have been most successful when leaflet dropping and then following up with a door knock a few days later when people are likely to be home. My leaflets have my logo on and always have an estimated quote price on them assuming no conservatory/extension on the back. This does take a little longer when leafleting as I write the price as I'm walking up the driveway but I have found this type of leaflet to be much more successful as people have a good idea of price and therefore only get in touch if they are likely to become a customer, many just text to say please add me to your round. 

For any that don't get in touch, if you go and knock a few days later dressed in uniform with the same logo as your leaflets and remind them of the leaflet its surprising how many say oh yes we was meaning to get in touch but been busy. 

I also use FB ads and google ads and find this brings in a little work each week, certainly more than pays for itself anyway.

Hope this is of some help and all the best,

Dan

@danzlfc thank you very much. I had a couple of polo shirts and a jacket made with my logo on and wear them a lot. Nobody seemed to take any notice for a while and then a few times all of a sudden people came up and asked me for a card and a some became customers. I think a uniform of sorts helps. Plus where I am there are quite a lot of old people. When I’m going to do a quote I always say “when I knock on the door you’ll know it’s me - I’ll be wearing a bright blue shirt with my name on it”. Goes down well I think and helps you gain a bit of trust.

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Another successful tool for getting the attention of potential customers is to follow the American method and have around 4 signs made 

 

2x2 foot correx sheet which is the same as estate agent for sale signs or UPVC sheet which glaziers use in door panels 

Get some stickers made which is cheap and printed in A3 size 

Ask existing customers on the same road if they mind if you place a sign on their garden for a week and hopefully others will contact you

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On 25/07/2020 at 23:33, madeads said:

Door knocking and flyers is the old-school way of generating new business. Does it work? Yes, it does. Is it cost efficient and a time-effective way of acquiring new customers? Not really...

 

I appreciate your comment and you do offer some very valid and useful advice. 
 

that said you’re not exactly fair to comment that door knocking and leafletting are not cost effective.

as a marketer you should know that the type of marketing will vary to suit the demographic you’re targeting. A sole trader window cleaner who wants a local easy round within an area With a much older population will perhaps benefit more from door knocking and leafleting.

we operate over many areas and use a combination of online, ads and leaflets. In fact we turn down many clients who are older because they want a local smaller business feel. They don’t want to quote via our website which is a requirement for us. We only quote via email.

 

with the greatest respect as I appreciate your position as a sponsor in what is likely digital ads but it does appear as though you do lean with a bias towards paid ads.  This is some instances can be a little misleading for some who are reading. 
 

in the interest of being fair and objective.

you have to appreciate that some may not have the money for digital ads and knocking doors is free. They might not as time effective but when starting out your time is free. Digital ads cost money and the Roi is not guaranteed. If you knock on doors for an hour you may not get any return but no money is wasted.

I’m sorry if that is a bit direct. I don’t take easily to speaking out but I feel it is important to make the point as it could be a little misleading.

to prove my point about leaflets where you have said they are not really cost effective.

we can order a drop of say 15k and the cost of this can be recovered within 6 weeks factoring the revenue received from them and the cost of sales.

furthermore, if I plan the payment of this right and use a credit card I can make the return before the credit card is due for payment. So leafletting is 100% cost  and time effective. 

as with digital and print and in person sales. It depends on how it’s done. There is no ideal solution.

there is only the best solution for that business at that time and with the current competition and their current goals etc etc. What works for business x in 2018 may not work in 2020 for example. 

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@Omega

Totally fair point, I agree with you.

I doubt 80-year old grannies are going to search for a window cleaning service on Google and fill out an enquiry form. However, if you were to post a flyer through their door or even knock, then that would be a more effective way to reach out to that demographic, if not the only way...

The reason why leafleting and door knocking is so attractive to new guys is simply the cost. Door knocking is completely free, but obviously you're spending your time going round, so that could be considered as a cost.

As for leaflets, you can get, say 1k leaflets, printed for less than £50, but then you have to distribute them, either yourself or pay someone to do it, which will raise the overall cost, if you choose to outsource the distribution.

Depending on your area, £50 is not a massive amount of money to spend on Google Ads, but if the campaign is set up right, then you could probably reach out to 5-6 customers within maybe 7-10 days, and not only cover your ad spend, but also make a profit.

The above is of course is a very broad example of what can be done and the results can vary, but I'm just trying to show the difference of time and effort required for local advertising vs online.

If you have ample amount of time and a very limited budget, then you might be better off sticking with flyers and door knocking. but if you want to grow fast and value your time, then online is the way to go.

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scottish cleaning service
8 hours ago, madeads said:

As for leaflets, you can get, say 1k leaflets, printed for less than £50, but then you have to distribute them, either yourself or pay someone to do it, which will raise the overall cost, if you choose to outsource the distribution.

I bought 1000 at the start and went down a street posting where I had one customer. Picked up another two with the flyers and now I have 8 on that street. Other windy is unreliable and I think he may give up soon but I'm not chasing his work. If he does through in the towel then I will probably gain more customers as I know plenty of folk in the area. The reason I like the flyers is because you don't get deflated with constant knockbacks when one just starts out window cleaning. It can be very disheartening and you want to just give up but after a year momentum begins to roll down hill and customers turn to you.

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1 hour ago, scottish cleaning service said:

I bought 1000 at the start and went down a street posting where I had one customer. Picked up another two with the flyers and now I have 8 on that street. Other windy is unreliable and I think he may give up soon but I'm not chasing his work. If he does through in the towel then I will probably gain more customers as I know plenty of folk in the area. The reason I like the flyers is because you don't get deflated with constant knockbacks when one just starts out window cleaning. It can be very disheartening and you want to just give up but after a year momentum begins to roll down hill and customers turn to you.

Horses for courses, I guess.

Distributing leaflets is heavily time-consuming and quite physically demanding, which is not suited to everyone. If you are on a budget and got plenty of time, then it might be worth it.

However, it's definitely very limited in terms of outreach when you start scaling and want to grow your numbers fast.

 

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scottish cleaning service
1 hour ago, madeads said:

Horses for courses, I guess.

Distributing leaflets is heavily time-consuming and quite physically demanding, which is not suited to everyone. If you are on a budget and got plenty of time, then it might be worth it.

However, it's definitely very limited in terms of outreach when you start scaling and want to grow your numbers fast.

 

Its perfect when starting up because you can target certain streets. With the net you will get customers but usually all over the place like I have in an 8 mile radius.

Edited by scottish cleaning service
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I started 7 weeks ago now and have about 80 customers, I would break it down like this:

I have sent about 300 flyers out and still have 1200 on my desk and gained about 6 customers from these. 

I post from my Facebook business page to local groups and surrounding village groups and I've got probably about 50 customers from this. 

At the moment I pay £10 a week for Facebook advertising and have gained about 10 customers from this.

 

And the rest is reccomandations or people coming up in the street. 

 

Flyers for me are by far the most time consuming way of advertising and by far the least productive hence why there is still 1200 on my desk. 80% of my customers all talk and message me through my Facebook business page. I think for me social media has literally been the best thing by a long shot and takes hardly any effort. 

Get advertising on social media and when you turn up and do a house, do a really good job. In nearly 2 months and 80 customers (don't want to jinx anything) , I have had nothing but good said about me and my business and not lost 1 customer as of yet. I still treat every customer as if it was my first. Maybe that will change the longer I'm in this game but it seems to be working for me. 

Me and my wife couldn't watch TV between 8pm and 9pm last night because she shared my Paige on our local villages group again and we had 6 quotes sent out in 1 hour, and got every job. 

 

All the best mate and hope your doing well. I am a newbie in this but will help and give out my experience if I can. 

 

Bongofish

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5 hours ago, Bongofish said:

I started 7 weeks ago now and have about 80 customers, I would break it down like this:

I have sent about 300 flyers out and still have 1200 on my desk and gained about 6 customers from these. 

I post from my Facebook business page to local groups and surrounding village groups and I've got probably about 50 customers from this. 

At the moment I pay £10 a week for Facebook advertising and have gained about 10 customers from this.

 

And the rest is reccomandations or people coming up in the street. 

 

Flyers for me are by far the most time consuming way of advertising and by far the least productive hence why there is still 1200 on my desk. 80% of my customers all talk and message me through my Facebook business page. I think for me social media has literally been the best thing by a long shot and takes hardly any effort. 

Get advertising on social media and when you turn up and do a house, do a really good job. In nearly 2 months and 80 customers (don't want to jinx anything) , I have had nothing but good said about me and my business and not lost 1 customer as of yet. I still treat every customer as if it was my first. Maybe that will change the longer I'm in this game but it seems to be working for me. 

Me and my wife couldn't watch TV between 8pm and 9pm last night because she shared my Paige on our local villages group again and we had 6 quotes sent out in 1 hour, and got every job. 

 

All the best mate and hope your doing well. I am a newbie in this but will help and give out my experience if I can. 

 

Bongofish

@Bongofish not sure where you’re based but I have noticed quite a divider in north/south at the moment. Some of the lads on the Facebook groups in the north are picking up quite a few customers and then in the south gone a bit quiet - only what I’m aware of personally though, won’t be the same for all. No idea if it’s to do with the pandemic or not but seems plausible I suppose.

Facebook had got me some great customers at first (through doing the paid ads). It’s also got a few people who as usual are the sort on social media that basically want one cheap clean and then start messing you about. When I started on there I got much more good than bad which was great, from about last autumn it’s really been nothing but messers generally. Plus the “the windows don’t look too bad at the moment, can we leave it until next time?” brigade.

How do you find walk ups? I took the tip if someone walks up and asks then I give them a price, but don’t clean the same day. I say “I’m back in the area next week” or something like that and do they want me to book them in. That’s sorted out a few good and bad too. I’m happy to one-off’s generally if that’s what they actually ask for though - better the money is in my pocket than theirs.

What I was wondering is if there’s a pattern of which method gets you customers at any one stage - maybe Facebook is good for a few months and then possibly another method might be successful for a while.

PS. Good luck with your new venture 👍

Edited by wgwindows
Missed something out
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It's great you are growing your business but 1 thing. If you are winning 100% of your quotes you might be a bit cheap. Maybe try adding a £1 to quotes and see how you get on?

Good Luck

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16 hours ago, wgwindows said:

@Bongofish not sure where you’re based but I have noticed quite a divider in north/south at the moment. Some of the lads on the Facebook groups in the north are picking up quite a few customers and then in the south gone a bit quiet - only what I’m aware of personally though, won’t be the same for all. No idea if it’s to do with the pandemic or not but seems plausible I suppose.

Facebook had got me some great customers at first (through doing the paid ads). It’s also got a few people who as usual are the sort on social media that basically want one cheap clean and then start messing you about. When I started on there I got much more good than bad which was great, from about last autumn it’s really been nothing but messers generally. Plus the “the windows don’t look too bad at the moment, can we leave it until next time?” brigade.

How do you find walk ups? I took the tip if someone walks up and asks then I give them a price, but don’t clean the same day. I say “I’m back in the area next week” or something like that and do they want me to book them in. That’s sorted out a few good and bad too. I’m happy to one-off’s generally if that’s what they actually ask for though - better the money is in my pocket than theirs.

What I was wondering is if there’s a pattern of which method gets you customers at any one stage - maybe Facebook is good for a few months and then possibly another method might be successful for a while.

PS. Good luck with your new venture 👍

Hi,

I am based in Yorkshire. 

For me personally in my area I won't do door knocking. I actually find it gives a negative response to my company. People answer the door and just instantly want to turn me down before I've even opened my mouth. I guess it is basically the same as cold calling. They just seem annoyed that they have had to stop what there doing and come to the door. Especially when it's a family with young children. Even with the flyering I have posted my flyer through the letter box and gone to the next house and then looked across and seen the previous house open the door and put my flyer straight in the bin. 

In terms of walk ups it all depends on my day. If it's there next door neighbour and I only have 6 jobs on for the day then sure I'll do them at same time. Why stare a gift horse in the mouth? Tell them the terms and you will be back 4 weekly to do them both, if they accept then yes do them, they appreciate it and you get another customer. Why say your back in the area next week when you can have 2 houses on the same street on the same 4 weekly cycle???

Lastly if someone said to me that the windows look fine this time and don't want them done I would drop them. Simple as that. I am not there to be messed about with, I'm there to do my job. Not when they feel like it. 

I can honestly say the thing that has worked for me in terms of keeping customers is , be reliable, do a good job, and if for any reason you can't make the clean re arrange with them the day before and let them know you will be there within the next week on a certain day. But.....reliable is the key thing here. The amount of customers I've spoke to who say they asked for a quote and never came or they came once and never again is crazy. 

I have spreadsheets on my wall of every week of the 4 week cycle and keep them up to date. And at the end of the month I I print new ones off and anyone I've wrote on in pen that have come on board get typed in and so and and so forth. I highlight everyone who has paid in green and then I know who hasn't paid. 

I'm going to emphasise again, be reliable! I leave a slip through the door after every clean with payment details and next clean date on. And I stick to it and customers really appreciate it. 

 

 

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