Implementing a Foolproof 5-Stage Sale Process with Mike Michalowicz

February 13, 2021 in Business

Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team

Your sales process is one of the most critical aspects of your cleaning business. It’s how you make your money, nurture relationships, and grow your maid service. 

Despite its name, your sales process actually includes so much more than just the act of making the sale. 

To truly master your sales process and create a system that guarantees a sale and repeat customers, you need to connect with your customer and learn as much about them as possible before you sell. After the sale, you need to continue the relationship to get them coming back as a repeat customer. 

In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of the five-step sales process as defined by Mike Michalowicz in his latest book “Fix This Next” and how it can help revolutionize your cleaning business. 

Make the connection 

The first step in this five-step sales process is making the connection. This includes making the physical (or virtual) connection with your customer and learning about them. In this step, you want to identify their pain points to offer them a customized solution to their needs. 

In a pre-sales call, ask your customer what their pain points are. 

How you phrase this question is just as important as how they answer it. To truly understand how your service will help, don’t ask them, “do you want your house cleaned” but rephrase the question as “what frustrates you most about your house or cleaning your house.” 

This will help you get to the bottom of what hiring a maid service really means to them. People buy things for the feeling and emotion that it provides. So when shopping around for a maid service, they’re not just buying the benefit of having a clean house. They’re buying the benefit of what a clean house affords them. 

For some people, this means spending less time cleaning and more time with their families. For others, it might mean more peace of mind that they’re living in a cleaner and more sanitary environment. 

During this phase, and your first interactions with your client, get to know them and their ‘why’. This will allow you to find commonalities with them and build trust that will not only sell them on your business but keep them coming back long term. 

Come to an agreement 

When agreeing on the services you’ll provide, it’s key to keep in mind the ‘why’ you learned about your customer in phase 1. The agreement you make with them is not about your physical services but about how your services will add value to their life. 

When making the sale, it’s also important to set expectations for both parties involved. This means letting your client know exactly what they can expect from a cleaning with your maid service. In return, you also need to let your customer know what you expect from them and how they can best prepare for the cleaning. 

When onboarding them, give them as much information and detail as possible about what you need from them. This includes letting them know exactly what time you’ll arrive and ensuring that they are there to let you in. Make sure you set proper expectations about how they will handle things like pets, where you will park, and how long the cleaning will take. 

Additionally, set payment expectations and let the customer know when they will need to pay and what options they have for making payments. Setting all of these expectations prior to the cleaning will help you manage the quality of the cleaning against any unrealistic expectations that the customer had. 

Deliver on your promises

Create a checklist of things they need to provide you with before the cleaning, and in return, give them a list of everything they can expect once the cleaning is complete. This way, there are no surprises. They will know exactly what will be cleaned and can make any additional comments or requests before the cleaning begins. Then, once the cleaning is done, you can walk them through everything on the checklist to ensure they are satisfied. 

During the cleaning, over-deliver on your promises. It may sound cliche, but overdelivering in even the smallest ways will make your maid service stand out. Doing a few extra things that aren’t on the initial checklist can make your customer feel extra special and cared for. This can include leaving chocolate on their pillow, a sweet note once you are finished, or a flower in the kitchen. 

By not setting this as an expectation but making it feel like something extra, you’ll establish yourself as a business that goes above and beyond to make your customers happy. 

Collect your payment

Before the cleaning takes place, make sure you’ve set the expectation on how you will be paid, when you will be paid, and how much the client will owe. During the initial connection process, it’s important to sell yourself as a solution to their key pain points and not just as a deliverer of services. This will ensure that the customer will never question your value or look elsewhere for a better deal. 

Once they’ve agreed that they want to work with you, you can offer them creative ways to pay, such as payment plans or monthly subscription. You can even create custom packages for clients who want specific things or want to follow a particular cleaning schedule. During this process, your goal is to figure out the best way to make this new customer a repeat customer. 

When you can sell a client on a package of multiple cleanings, you can also optimize the process by getting to know their home, and finding ways to improve their quality of service every time. This will create happier and less demanding customers who will leave you better reviews and have fewer complaints. 

Secure Recurring Customers 

After the payment has gone through and the customer is happy with their cleaning, you need to figure out how to turn them into a repeat buyer. This can be done in the payment process, as we mentioned, by selling them on a package or monthly subscription. But if they aren’t willing to commit to that at the time, there are still ways to nurture the relationship and keep them coming back. 

Once the initial cleaning is over, make sure to send a follow up of what was included in the cleaning. Itemize everything that you did on a checklist so that the customer appreciates every single thing that was done. 

In this follow-up, you can recommend when they should book their next appointment or offer them some sort of incentive to book their next cleaning. Do what you can to create momentum so that they are excited to make another appointment with you. 

You can also make recommendations of other services based on your observations during their cleaning and create custom offers for them. This can include things like a deep cleaning of individual rooms, specific services for cleaning pet hair, aromatherapy services, and more. 

Final Thoughts 

While these five steps can get you more repeat customers, you don’t have to implement them all at once. You can start slow and add these steps into your business as you find new ways to reach your clients. 

Do this, and watch your cleaning business continue to grow because you have a reputation for excellence. The more of these stages you implement into your sales process, the more you’ll be able to differentiate your maid service from your competitors. You’ll be able to charge a premium and have happier, longer-lasting customers. 

If you want to dive deeper into these five steps and learn more about how you can implement them, check out Michelle and Mike’s full interview from the 2020 Maid Summit. You can also get a free evaluation of your business and sales process at

About the presenter

This post is based on a presentation by Michelle Myers featuring Mike Michalowicz, author of “Fix This Next” and “Profit First (a MUST-read for business owners)” Michelle is the founder and CEO of Pink Callers. In this post, Mike and Michelle give a rundown of The 5 Stages of a Sale from Mike’s latest book, “Fix This Next.”

This talk first aired at the 2020 Maid Service Success Summit.

The Maid Summit is an annual online event that brings together the most successful leaders in the cleaning industry, like Debbie Sardone, Angela Brown, Courtney Wisely, Amy Caris, Chris Schwab and more. Get free access to masterclasses and workshops that will help you to grow, scale and automate your cleaning business so you can get more leads and create more profit. Make sure you’re on our email list to find out how to get free tickets to the next event.

For even more tips on how to grow your cleaning business, check out all 40 replays from the 2020 Maid Summit. The Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid, features presentations from the top cleaning industry professionals and maid service owners sharing the best information to help your maid service thrive. 

If you found this article helpful, check out these other ones on ZenMaid Magazine too:


Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc. He started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. He created ZenMaid scheduling software to help other maid service owners do the same.

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