I was just going over my credit card statement (Did we really spend THAT much money last month?) and it struck me anew just how much the world has changed over the last ten or twenty years. (Maybe spending the last thirteen years in a Third World country, the Dominican Republic, has had a “Rip Van Winkle” effect on me!)
It is amazing how many entries in my Mastercard statement are recurring and automatically withdrawn from my account without my agreeing to pay them each time. Utility bills, mortgage and car loan payments, cable TV bill, Internet service and yes, even my weightwatchers.com monthly payment! (Gotta keep my slim, girlish figure, you know!) All of these payments are withdrawn “painlessly” and most of the time (unless I am casting about for a blog entry!) I am not even aware of them.
So, how can you tap into this “painless” revenue stream from your customers that due to its regular nature is more or less “guaranteed”? Seriously look into offering a regular carpet maintenance plan for your residential customers. (If you are not already promoting regular, contract cleaning for your commercial accounts you have some big issues in your approach to business. Or maybe you are wealthy enough to not worry about it!)
I first learned about the pre-paid residential maintenance plan idea over thirty years ago from Jeff Bishop who no doubt learned it from the inimitable mind of Ed York. Over the years we tinkered with it and it now forms the basis of our SFS “Stay Beautiful” program. Quite a few of our Strategies members have implemented it. Here is how it works:
1. Charge the customer for the initial cleaning. This is important so that you are always “ahead” of the customer payment wise.
2. Charge them a percentage of the initial cleaning each month. We always used 10%. Easy to calculate and it gives the customer a great deal since for this 10% we would come in at the six month interval and clean all the “open areas”. And at the end of twelve months we would do the full regular cleaning for no extra money.
3. To the customer this appears that they are getting two cleanings for the price of one. Assuming you are charging adequately for your regular services it is also a good deal for you.
4. Have the customer sign a form for an automatic withdrawal for the monthly amount from either their checking account or their credit card.
Once again, this is a great program IF you set it up and market it right. Not all of your clients will go for it but it makes a nice option to present at the end of the job.
Director of Training
Jon-Don’s Strategies for Success
PS: If anyone wants more information on this program, including justifying how you make money at the 10% per month percentage, just download my Stay Beautiful program Special Report. IF you want the whole turn-key package with the contracts and procedures all written out you are going to have to attend Jon-Don’s Strategies for Success seminar! But the Report has enough information if you are brave enough to re-invent the wheel from scratch.