More Marketing Mistakes To Avoid - Which One Is Your Window Cleaning Company Guilty Of?

(#2 in a 3-part Series)

Continuing from the last Business Builder article, marketing is the life-blood of any window cleaning company, whether commercial or residential. And it’s not always an easy walk in the park. Fact is, marketing mistakes will happen and are often unavoidable, especially if you are a new aspiring window cleaning entrepreneur. You’ll make many mistakes as you build your window cleaning business, but don’t let marketing be one of them.

In this’s 3-part series we will break down and point out the most common marketing mistakes that window cleaners are making as they build their companies. And you will also learn how to avoid them or prevent them from occurring again within your business.

Common Marketing Mistakes

Window cleaning business owners fail to make doing business easy and convenient for their clients and prospects. It is not uncommon for window cleaners to make it difficult for their prospects and customers to do business with them.

Remember this; when a customer makes up their mind to call and ask to schedule an appointment with you for a proposal or estimate, it is because they are in effect "ready to buy". You must be “ready to do business” when your prospects are ready to do business. When they make a decision to call you it is because at that point in time, the reason that they are calling has jumped to the forefront of their mind. You have become in effect the most important thing on their mind at that moment in time. Read that sentence again. Knowing and understanding it is the difference between great success and mediocrity in your business.

The sooner you can schedule the estimate with your customer or prospect and get a proposal in their hands, the better your chances of getting the job. The longer you put it off the more likely their priorities are to change or even worse, to find another window cleaner to provide them with the services they desire. Do everything you can to make doing business with your company as easy as possible from the customers point of view. Even though it may be often inconvenient for you to schedule estimates at their requested times, your willingness to do so will pay great dividends.

Over the years, I’m continuously amazed at just how many new jobs my company is awarded simply because we were the only company that gave or showed up for the estimate or submitted a proposal on time. It is far too common in our industry to hear the horror stories from customers about how window cleaners don't show up or even worse, never complete jobs once they have started.

Today in my residential division, 95% of our customers have an estimate in their hands either in minutes, hours, or certainly the same day. Likewise, when a prospective customer calls wanting an estimate for their storefront, my commercial division will have that estimate in their hands within 24 hours. Our competitors rarely have a chance to secure the job. We are incredibly aggressive in getting that estimate to the customer as quickly as humanly possible knowing that a competitor may be right behind us. In my Business Fundamentals section we break the ‘how, what, and why’ down in detail. A higher conversion of prospects to customers does two things – increases revenue and adds to the number of customers in your database you can continue to market to year after year.

There's an old saying that goes something like this:

"If you want to understand why John Smith buys what John Smith buys, then you have got to see the world through John Smith's eyes".

Have you stopped to take a look at the world through your customers' eyes? Do you really know and understand what motivates them to make a buying decision? What are their expectations of you as a window cleaning service provider? Most businesses never take the time to "walk a mile in their customer's shoes" and realize what it is that their prospects and customers really want. Why else would they make doing business with them so difficult?

Take a few minutes and ask yourself these questions:

  • When a prospect or customer calls your company, are they able to receive the information that they are searching for in a cheerful, compelling and timely manner?
  • Does staff answer the phone or immediately return their call or does the customer have to wait until the next day to hear from your company?
  • Are you and your people willing and able to help out and provide accurate information in a friendly manner even if it may not result in an immediate sale?
  • Does your office administrator know precisely what to say to guide the prospect to the sale or is he/she fumbling, vague, unsure? Write a script and have the office administrator practice in front of you until it is perfect. Make it easy for your customer.
  • Do your prospects and customers have to wait longer than they would like to receive proposals and estimates from you company? Our rule is 3 days or less or we mail them a free restaurant gift card.
  • Do you consistently communicate with your customers the status of their jobs and your schedules? Our residential customers on the schedule hear from us 7 times! - including the day prior, the day of, and the day after.
  • How many times does your customer have to call or email you in order for you to fix an issue or complaint? Do you make it easy or do you make it hard?

These are a sampling of the types of questions you must ask yourself on a regular basis so that you can stay on top of any flaws that your customers see when they do business with you. By making it easy and simple, and enjoyable, you will surely attract more customers who will use your services more frequently, and who will gladly provide you with referrals.

In fact, we go as far as having our residential customers submit an online survey that gives them an opportunity to give us feedback on how my office staff treated them and how well our technicians did at their home. It is incredibly invaluable to us, knowing how we are doing, and what we need to do to improve and tweak our systems and methodologies.

Boring and Dull Advertising

When it comes to advertising, most window cleaners are boring, dull, focused on their company, the number of years they've been in business, where they are located, a nifty logo and/or other things that really don't matter.

Very FEW people respond to this type marketing.

Wasted Marketing Effort...

You have to realize that every decision you and I make is based on emotions and then we justify it with logic, and the same applies for everyone and anyone. It doesn't matter if they're rich or poor, young or old. People are people. Traditional marketing strategies just like the ones that were developed, nearly 100 years ago, still hold true today, because people have, and will continue to respond to self-serving emotional appeals.

Let me explain why...

People only care about one thing: WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? They don't really care about you, about your company, the type of trucks your company drives, or those beautiful pictures in your ad, or your logo. What really sells prospects on your services are the benefits that you can provide to them. Now I'm not saying that your marketing and your image should not be professional, that's not the point. Your, what I call “outside perception” is critical and will bring an additional element of success to your company.

But, here's what you must realize:

People don't really buy window cleaning services. They only want the benefits those services give them. The better you can show customers the advantages that they will see for themselves, the more likely you are to get their business. This is a very important point. And once you realize this point, you are miles ahead of almost everybody else competing for the business.

Here's a quick example to illustrate my point:

Customers don't buy window cleaning. What they buy are crystal clear windows; they want clean and beautiful windows - and they don't really care how you do it. So, if you will give your customers what they want in your advertising, they are much more likely to buy from you. If you go on believing everything you've been fed over the years by advertising reps then you'll never make the kind of income you deserve.

You see, advertising sales people are more interested in getting bigger clients and receiving fatter commission checks, than they are in making your business boom. And unfortunately, and along the same lines, most window cleaning entrepreneurs just follow the pack of what other window cleaning companies have done over the years - refusing or not knowing how to separate themselves from the competition.

Tip: When you follow the leader, the leader ALWAYS wins while the follower ‘falls’ behind!

In fact, most of them couldn't give you results and proof that their advertising was working if their lives depended on it. So, unless you like wasting huge sums of cash - you need results oriented advertising! Advertising is probably the single, biggest area where most window cleaners will throw away vast sums of money.

Actually, I want to share with you right now a secret that will instantly make you more money, the next time you run any advertising or even create a flyer. This tip is something not one window cleaner in a 100 understands about advertising or marketing.

Here's A Big Secret To Making Your Advertising Pay: Every ad must have a powerful headline to succeed to its maximum potential. That headline needs to grab the attention of your ideal prospect and tell them ‘Hey-- this is for YOU!’ Remember; people don't care about how great you are. All they care about is what's in it for them, what advantage or self-serving benefit can you offer them. You need to telegraph that advantage in the headline or else they will never know.

Here's Another Secret About Headlines: Great headlines do not happen by accident. They only happen because someone uses a powerful system for creating headlines. And the right headline can mean the difference between a few calls from your ad, or a tidal wave of new business. The next time you glance over your competitor’s ads, or your ads for that matter, pay careful attention to the headline. You'll see almost every window cleaning company who advertises thinks that their company’s name is the biggest benefit or advantage to prospects.

That's nonsense!

Company Name branding

Take a close look at today’s local newspaper tear sheet above (as of this writing). Which headline on the page really JUMPS out at you and why? Do you see the power behind the Morris Jenkins Headline? Most competing companies simply put their logo at the top. No!! This headline draws attention and I promise the prospect calls will come in too.

If you will just follow this one simple (but profound) tip you'll easily get 2, 3, or even 10 times more prospects responding to your ads. And what's more, your ads cost the same amount no matter how many people respond to it. This makes advertising the ultimate in financial leverage when done correctly. In’s Marketing/Domination section, I talk about how to make your advertising pay to increase your ROI on each marketing plate you have spinning in your arsenal.

Marketing Cost/Benefit Calculation

Did you realize your most profitable assets are your current and former customers? Most window cleaners do not realize this. Everybody is always so busy trying to chase after new customers that they neglect what they already have.

Take Good Care of your customers

The fastest, straightest path to developing massive business growth is consistently going after your past and current customers. Your customers trust you, they have faith in your abilities and they like you. They have bought from you before and are predisposed to buying from you again. So, wouldn't it make sense to become proactive, even 'ethically' aggressive -- in marketing to your existing clients?

You'll quickly find your easiest source of new profits, using this one idea. It's downright expensive to get new business. While the cost of reaching your existing customers is almost nothing... you've already paid to get them. You've got to make new offers (whether features or specials) and provide additional services for your customers. This is truly the fastest and easiest way to grow your business. The services you and I offer, call for REPEAT business!

In my company, we use many methods to reach out to our existing customers and one consistently generates in excess of $100,000 in annual revenue with absolutely minimal outlay of money. Do you know which one it is?

Email me directly at and if you can guess which ‘plate’ in my residential marketing arsenal it is I’ll send you the template and details.

So, you've got to continually follow-up your customer base with calls, newsletters, letters, offers, emails, discounts, features, thank you’s, news, special events, and just because. But it can't be the same mindless communications you would normally send out. It has to be self-serving for the customer. It has to be educational. It has to be full of benefits. And, it has to lead them to making the only rational decision they could possibly make -- to use more and more of YOUR services again and again.

Staying in contact with your customers is also an appreciated form of "extra mile service". Your clients WANT to hear from you. Here are a few ideas for communicating with your past and current customers:
  • Seasonal Greetings
  • Thank You Letters
  • New Service or Product Letters
  • Monthly Newsletters
  • Emails Reminder Notices of Service Dates
  • Special Sales and Discounts
  • Informative Reports
  • Blogs

All of these methods can also include offers for new and/or additional services that you may offer. In marketing circles, it is often said that most businesses could double their sales by simply contacting and making offers more frequently to their existing customer list. Don't overlook this powerful strategy in your business!

But in the above list, what are we missing that we learned today to make these forms of communication even more compelling? Do you remember? The answer is a powerful headline that screams for attention, like this…

You get the idea.

Remember, marketing IS your business. What I've shared with you here is another new way of thinking for most window cleaning company entrepreneurs. This is priceless information if used properly. And if put it into action, a million-dollar dynasty stands before you. However, you must change your thinking and put marketing at the forefront. This how I built my company to a staff of 40 dominating the Charlotte, NC market. Email me any of your questions at I always reply.

In review, we talked about not being the one that customers find it hard to do business with. Make it easy and make it fun for them and they will keep doing business with you. We discussed ineffective and effective advertising. You want to stand out so you are the only one they call. Don’t follow the pack and make it harder to create sales. Blaze a new trail. We touched on consistently communicating with present and past customers. There is a fortune in your list. Know what to say, how to say it, and how often and I promise your revenue will build.

If you really grasp this information that I've shared with you today, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. There's no doubt, if you will take control and become your own marketing expert, your business will boom. Until next time…

Jim DuBois is founder of Squeegee Pros, Inc. out of Mooresville, NC. He is the creator of’s, which specializes in aggressive marketing tactics, the importance of internal company systems, and how to dominate your window cleaning marketplace. All things a serial window cleaning entrepreneur should know to build a huge business. Visit the site for a free marketing report. Do you have questions you’d like to see answered in this column? Email them to me directly at or call my office at 704-799-0313.

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