In the competitive landscape of service-based businesses, acquiring commercial accounts can be a game-changer. Securing contracts with corporate clients or organizations can provide a steady revenue stream, enhance brand reputation, and open doors to larger projects. However, obtaining commercial accounts requires a well-thought-out strategy and relentless effort. In this blog, we will explore some effective strategies that service-based businesses can employ to win more commercial accounts, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned vet.
Know Your Target Market
Understanding your ideal commercial clients is paramount. Conduct thorough market research to identify potential industries and organizations that would benefit from your services. Tailor your marketing efforts and service offerings to meet the specific needs and challenges faced by these target businesses. A focused approach will demonstrate your commitment to addressing their unique requirements.
For example, a junk removal company might focus on acquiring retail accounts, given the types of items retail customers tend to have haul-away needs for. Think overflow boxes, bulky furniture, and appliances, overflow dumpster trash, pallets, old shopping carts, and so on. Most of these organizations don’t have the time or desire to handle those jobs in-house, so they’d be incredibly pleased to have a reliable partner they could lean on when the times arise.
Build a Strong Online Presence
In today’s digital age, having a robust online presence is vital. Create an informative and user-friendly website that showcases your services, expertise, and successful projects. Leverage social media platforms to engage with potential clients, share valuable content, and build a community around your brand. Regularly update your blog with informative articles, case studies, and testimonials to establish credibility and trustworthiness.
Beyond this, you may want to consider building a page/pages tailored specifically to “commercial xyz” (fill in your service). The goal here is to optimize your website so that when commercial accounts are browsing the web for services like yours, you pop up! A landscaping company might create a drop-down option under their “services” tab at the top of their homepage, allowing the web browser to select either “residential” or “commercial.” If they choose the latter, the next page can speak directly to why it’s advantageous to have a contract in place with a single provider for all their landscaping needs. Better pricing due to volume commitments, the ability to forecast budget, and relationship building (trust) are all top priorities for companies, so if you can speak this language, via your website, you’ll win.
Networking and Referral Programs
Networking is an invaluable tool for service-based businesses looking to secure commercial accounts. Attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows to connect with decision-makers in target organizations. Foster relationships with existing clients and request referrals from satisfied customers. A strong referral program can exponentially increase your chances of obtaining new commercial accounts.
And don’t snuff at the short-term losses of giving up some referral fees, relative to the long-term gains you’ll see by pulling in said commercial account. It’s a small price to pay to become a trusted service-based partner who yields $500k-$1M in recurring yearly revenue. From one account!
Personalized Outreach and Relationship Building
Cold-calling and generic emails are often ineffective when targeting commercial clients. Instead, focus on personalized outreach. Research potential clients, understand their pain points, and tailor your approach to address their specific needs. Building a relationship based on trust and reliability is crucial for securing long-term contracts.
This is not to say that some of the “cold outreach” avenues should be avoided. No. Rather, become familiar with how your target audience operates, from the outside in, then use the tools at your disposal to gain interest. Email, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and most other social media outlets are your friend.
Offer Value Through Free Workshops or Consultations
To showcase your expertise and build rapport with potential commercial clients, offer free workshops or consultations. Demonstrating your knowledge and providing valuable insights can leave a lasting impression and increase the likelihood of them choosing your services in the future.
To take this a step further, document these interactions. If you get the chance to mow the lawn of a commercial building, film it and then publish the before and after across socials and emails. These don’t have to be Academy Awards-worthy.. an iPhone can do the trick.
Highlight Success Stories and Testimonials
Success stories and testimonials from previous commercial clients can be powerful tools in attracting new ones. Use case studies and success stories to illustrate how your services have positively impacted businesses similar to your target clients. This social proof will instill confidence in potential clients and demonstrate your ability to deliver results.
Plaster these all over your website and social pages. But be strategic about it. Nobody likes to be spammed, even inadvertently. In the words of Gary Vaynerchuk… “Jab, jab, jab, right hook.” You want to give value 10 times before you ask for anything in return.
Stay Ahead with Innovative Services
Innovation is key to staying ahead of the competition. Continuously seek ways to improve and expand your service offerings to cater to the evolving needs of commercial clients. Be proactive in suggesting new solutions that can add value to their operations and help them achieve their goals.
If you’re a landscaper and you land a commercial account, who likes you, and then asks whether you can also provide cleaning services. Consider taking that on, whether you in-source or outsource it.
Offer Competitive Pricing and Customized Packages
While pricing should be competitive, focus on the value you bring rather than just the cost. Tailor your packages to suit the specific requirements of each commercial client, demonstrating that you understand their unique needs and can provide the best solutions.
Pro tip: review MSAs (Master Service Agreements) with a fine-tooth comb and don’t be afraid to redline. These contracts can come back to bite you six months later if you miss an important clause because you were so eager to get the contract signed on the front end.
Maintain Excellent Customer Service
Customer service can make or break any business. Ensure that your team is dedicated to providing exceptional service throughout the entire client journey. Satisfied clients are more likely to provide referrals and consider your services for future projects. Go beyond what you ‘think’ is good customer service. TRULY take care of your commercial accounts. Give without expecting anything in return, follow up, make calls to ensure happiness across all departments, drop in unannounced just “to see how things are going,” and always build that rapport.
Be Patient and Persistent
Obtaining commercial accounts can take time and persistence. Rejections are inevitable, but each “no” brings you closer to a “yes.” Stay patient, continuously improve your approach, and maintain a positive attitude.
Acquiring commercial accounts for service-based businesses is a multifaceted process that requires dedication, research, and adaptability. By knowing your target market, building a strong online presence, networking, and offering personalized value, you can increase your chances of securing lucrative commercial contracts and fostering long-term business relationships. Remember, the journey may be challenging, but the rewards are well worth the effort.