15+ Window Cleaning Canvassing Tips and Sales Scripts to Help you get More Customers, Fast
Door-to-door canvassing — i.e. knocking on strangers’ doors, giving them your best sales pitch, and hoping they sign up — is hands-down the most popular way to get new window cleaning customers, fast.
While there are more scalable techniques, like online marketing, advertising, and referral programs, window cleaning canvassing is a quick, proven method that anyone can learn.
Keith Kalfas famously started his now-massive window cleaning business by winning 42 accounts in just 48 hours by knocking on doors and pitching his heart out.
Now, canvassing isn’t fun at first. Even for trained salesmen, it can be nerve-wracking, time-consuming, and flat-out discouraging. What do you say when your potential clients answer the door? What if they aren’t opening the door in the first place?
We scoured the web, spoke with window cleaning experts, and gathered our favourite sales-closing strategies to help you improve your process and your odds of success.
— Stephen Richardson, aka SteveO the Window Cleaner, 20/20 Window Cleaning
Door to door cold calling has been the best thing for growing our business. The cost of doing this is minimal and it can get you a lot of work quickly for your window cleaning business.
- Window cleaning canvassing tips
- Sales pitch examples
- How to follow-up
- How to stay motivated and not get discouraged
As you read this, just remember: starting a window cleaning business is hard. For many, the hardest part isn’t the work itself. It’s finding and keeping new customers without resorting to undercutting and nasty competitive tactics. Don’t get discouraged. Window cleaning is profitable and there are customers who need you! Refine your canvassing technique and each day you’ll get closer to growth.
Window Cleaning Canvassing Tips
Before you even think about knocking on someone’s door, read these tips to prepare yourself and improve your odds of success:
1. The #1 canvassing tip
It all comes down to personality and setting yourself apart. Homeowners and store managers are bombarded with sales visits every week. The problem is, many of these canvassers aren’t prepared. They show up without a pitch, don’t dress well, and don’t run a professional, efficient operation. Start on the right foot by clearly knowing your competitive advantage: is it your customer service? Your seamless booking process? Instant estimates? Know your difference and don’t be afraid to flaunt it.
2. Plan smart routes
Always start canvassing in the same neighborhood as your existing customers (even if you only have 1 or 2 so far). A geographically dense customer-base means you can optimize routes, save on fuel, and hit up more jobs each day.
3. Scout job details from the road
How many windows are there and are they accessible? If it’s a storefront, are there signs, tables, or chairs that need to be removed? For residential, is there a locked gate or ‘beware of dog’ sign? You can gather valuable details and save time creating an estimate before even stepping foot out of your truck.
4. Be mindful of hours
Families don’t want to be disturbed during busy mornings or when the baby is sleeping, and store managers shouldn’t be bothered during peak business hours. 10-8 pm Monday-Friday, and 10-2 pm Saturday-Sunday are usually safe, but study your potential clients’ schedules to be sure.
5. Keep an eye out for service vehicles
6. Look for dirty windows...or not
Some window cleaners swear by storefronts with dirty windows because it’s a natural way to start the pitch. Others believe that storefronts with clean windows are an easier sell. Instead of selling the value of window cleaning, you, you just have to sell yourself. Observe which strategy works best for you and adjust your canvassing accordingly.
7. Presentation is everything
Speaking of selling yourself, we can’t overestimate how important presentation is. Whether you’re canvassing or on the job, always show up in a clean uniform, branded vehicle, and present yourself as a licensed, insured, and professional company. Your attitude should be positive and professional, too. Some window cleaners suggest listening to pump-up music in their car – whatever helps get you excited!
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8. Take note of where you leave business cards
While face-to-face sales pitches are the best, sometimes you have to leave a flyer or business card. In those cases, take note of exactly who you gave the card to, and get their number. That way you can follow-up by phone and speak to exactly the same person to build rapport.
9. Be prepared for when they say yes
Don’t make the mistake of letting an interested client slip through the cracks! As soon as someone says they want your services, add their details to your customer database. Here’s what you should write down:
◦ The client’s name, address, and phone number
◦ Types and number of windows
◦ Frequency and price quoted
◦ Date of first clean
◦ Photos of the site
◦ Additional info (i.e. access to the back? Tinted windows? A dog? Preferred entry times?)
You can write this information down by hand. But if you’re serious about getting a high volume of new customers, you need a CRM.
A CRM, or customer relationship manager, is like a digital Rolodex where you can keep track of client information, account notes, and service history. Jobber’s CRM is available on mobile app and desktop, so you can add and edit client information from anywhere, including their doorstep.
Window Cleaning Sales Pitch Examples
Now, let’s go through some real canvassing script examples. Remember, each person’s time is valuable—and so is yours. You have just a few seconds to establish friendly rapport, explain your value, and ask for the sale.
The basic script is always the same: walk up confidently, introduce yourself, ask to speak to the decision-maker (either store manager or homeowner), and pitch your competitive difference.
Each one takes a slightly different spin, so see what works for you.
10. The ‘assumed sale’ pitch
ompare these two scripts:
A. “Hi, do you need a window cleaner? ((NO))
Can I give you an estimate? ((NO))
Here’s the estimate, can I do your windows? ((NO))
B. “Hi, I’m Sam from ABC Window Cleaning. We’re a professional company working with lots of storefronts like yours. I’ve just done a walk around your building and created this free estimate. How would you like it if we cleaned your windows today?”
Why this works: The difference, as Josh Cronin points out, is that you’ve just skipped 3 chances for a no. Remove the opportunity to say no, be proactive, and show your prospects why they should choose your business — even if they weren’t looking for it!
11. The ‘FOMO’ pitch
“Hi, I’m Sam from ABC Window Cleaning. We’re in the area cleaning Dave and Amanda’s places nearby, which they’ve said has really increased their curb appeal. We’ve got licensed, insured cleaners on standby. How would you like to see what we can do for you?”
Why this works: By name dropping a few nearby neighbors or businesses, you’re establishing your credibility and creating a ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO). The person will realize hey, if my neighbors have clean windows, I better have them, too! Plus, you’re creating a nice dense customer base so you can optimize routes on future visits.
12. The ‘true professional’ pitch
“Hi, I’m Sam from ABC Window Cleaning. I’d like to be set up on your vendor list for window cleaning services, can you please help me with that?”
Why this works: As this expert puts it, “first, you come across as a professional who knows what they are talking about when a business has an existing vendor list. Second, you will remind other businesses to get their act together and to have an organized vendor list to call on.”
13. The ‘be friendly, be nice, and give them a price’ pitch
According to Stephen Richardson of 20/20 Window Cleaning, the most important thing to do in a pitch is to relate to them in something other than window cleaning, and always give them a price, even if they say they’re not interested. “I say ‘here’s the bid. In case an emergency comes up, you’ll have a number, a person, and a price. It really works.”
Why this works: It’s all about building rapport and giving the client what they need to make a decision, even if that decision isn’t right away. Ask them about their business or their garden. Empathize with them on how hard it is to do the cleaning themselves, how many other chores get in the way. Ask them about their daily routines, their upcoming weekend plans…be genuinely interested in building rapport, and you’ll get yourself a customer for life.
Check out Stephen’s advice on getting storefront window cleaning jobs below:
14. The ‘superior tools’ pitch
“Hi I’m Sam from ABC Window Cleaning. Let me give you a little more information and tell you why we are different to your average bucket and ladder window cleaner. We use a pure water system, which is completely ladderless, so there is no risk of damage to your property. We clean all the sills, frames and doors using pure water. Pure water dries to a smear free shine leaving no spots or streaks whatsoever…”
Why this works: This fantastic example comes from a real life scenario! While fancy tools and techniques aren’t everything, being able to set yourself apart and show that you are a true expert in your field can really impress potential clients. Emphasize that your tools are safer, faster, more efficient, and won’t disrupt the privacy of their homes, and they’ll never sign up with a bucket bob again.
15. The ‘instant schedule’ pitch
“Hi, I’m Sam from ABC Window Cleaning. We’re running a promotion in the neighborhood today for monthly, biweekly, or quarterly storefront packages. I’ve got openings today, Saturday, and Tuesday. Now I know it’s hard to find reliable window cleaners, but I can guarantee that we always call to let you know when we’re coming around, and you can always reach us by phone, email, or text for any reason whatsoever. So, what day works best for you?”
Why it works: Having your schedule on hand shows potential clients you mean business. Of course, for this strategy to work, you need an efficient scheduling process and client communication tools. Jobber’s window cleaning software lets you view your schedule from your mobile device, reschedule easily with a drag-and-drop calendar, and send on-my-way text messages to really impress clients.
How to Follow-Up with Window Cleaning Leads
Door-to-door canvassers have to get used to hearing ‘No.’ But that doesn’t mean your job is over. When Stephen from 20/20 Window Cleaning broke his shoulder, he had to spend 6 months canvassing just to make a living:
“I would go out for 8 hours a day, do a whole shopping centre, every store, and just get them a bid. And then follow-up within 24 hours, at the end of the week, and the end of the month. It does work.”
Here’s how to do it:
• Get the name and number of every single person you meet who gives you a ‘yes’ or ‘maybe.’ Even if they gave you a no, it can be worth it to follow up.
• Call or email them within 24 hours with a friendly, personal message (mention something from your in-person conversation)
• Re-iterate your competitive difference
• Email them a professional window cleaning bid
For more ideas and examples, get our full guide to following up with clients after a quote.
How to Stay Motivated During Canvassing
Canvassing can be discouraging. Especially if you’re just starting out, there will be days when you don’t get a single customer, or where the rejections feel particularly painful.
The important thing is to remember that the more you do it, the better you’ll get. The better you get, the more established you’ll become, and everything from getting new customers, to referrals, to recurring contracts will become easier.
To stay motivated, try using some of the different techniques above to keep things interesting. Stay calm and speak slowly and clearly so that you don’t get muddled (it’s normal if you’re nervous.) Finally, join some window cleaning or small business communities where you can share and exchange tips with people who’ve been through this before.
Are you on Instagram? Let us know your window cleaning canvassing tips or questions by tagging us @getjobber! We’re here for you.