General Cleaning Issues - Floorcare, car valeting, buying and selling businesses, pricing, staffing, market research, etc.
Re: Men or Women?
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 20 November 2003Flippin' heck Fox those are deep questions for this time of night.
I guess it's down to the individual client. In my experience there are certainly some men who would prefer to buy from a woman, and women who would rather buy from men.
Even though we live in the enlightened 22nd Century there is still an element of sexism on both sides.
I believe that the understanding of a clients needs - irrespective of gender, industry knowledge leading to solutions of those needs, and a consultative approach work well.
However I am the first to admit that I would turn on the charm a lot more with a woman if I thought it would improve my chances of gaining a contract!
I'm sure that females also use their wiles when dealing with a man.
I'd like to think that when I am talking to a prospective client I use the term 'operatives' or 'cleaning staff' rather than 'cleaning ladies', although sometimes I will confess to the prospect that most of the cleaners are more likely to be female. I don't think this is sexist but rather a true reflection of the make-up of the work force.
Having said that, in an industrial cleaning situation there are more likely to be a greater number of male cleaners than female - possibly as these positions are full-time.
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 20 November 2003Hey Fox, first of all well done on the £400 p/w contract, it's good to hear that you stood up to the sexist pig and got the rewards.
You are right that flirting only gets you the contract, the secret of keeping the business afterwards is sleeping with the client (apparently)!!
So if approx 40% of your staff are male, approx 60% will be female - confirming my earlier comment!
Ribbing aside, I find the male/female split varies across the 6 counties that I cover, but that in all areas there are more ladies than guys.
I use the line as a bit of spin to help me get the sale as the perception, rightly or wrongly, is that women have a better eye for detail than men. Wouldn't you agree?
As far as back handers are concerned I came across it once shortly after getting into the cleaning industry.
At the time I wasn't sure what I had been asked (couldn't believe my ears), but a couple of years later the Area Manager from the contractor that had the contract at that time came to work for our company and confirmed it. The buyer was paying way over the odds for periodic work and getting 25% back in cash.
Frankly this type of thing sickens me and I would never get involved. I'd like to think that it goes back to the bad old days when I understand it used to go on a lot more.
Perhaps if other contributors could share their experiences we would have a better idea.
PS What were you doing up so late - did you have to change the bed sheets or something?
Posted by petra (petra), 20 November 2003I have never been asked about underhanded cash in contracts, and would never take part in any of it. I know it goes on and one of my competetors gets some of his work that way, good luck to him but he will get caught one day, and i'll come along and pick up all that work on the straight.
As for the men and women bit, there is good iand bad in all, when dealing with a potential contract being a woman yes a bit of flirting does help and if the customer is female that good old woman to woman chat work too, but so does the bit where you need to convince them that you know what they require and that you can confidently meet their need, as every clients needs are individual... that bit does work well
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 20 November 2003Regarding a backhander the question is where do you draw the line? Obviously a brown envelope full of cash is unnacceptable and a diary at Christmas is fine. But how about an expensive bottle of Scotch at Christmas or if you took the customer out to lunch once a year. What if you regularly took the customer out to lunch or you had a box at the local Rugby Club that they could use......are these considered as 'backhanders' or, because it's indirect, do people think thats OK?
Posted by DP (DP), 20 November 2003Fox, I'm with Musicman, " me toes are curling up here"! All good stuff really.
On the gender thing, there are too many variables to give a straight answer, as I have known both men and women succeed and fail based on their gender.
It really depends on type of works, age groups involved and size of contract. I said contract. (what are you lot like) †
I think age and how you present yourself have a more compounding effect then gender.
Smaller works have less for the client to consider, other then value, (that sounded familiar) however the larger the contract the more confidence the client needs which can form the real basis for winning. (damn, that bit didnít).
These days we trade far less in the actual work, thatís often assumed as academic. the real product that is bought and sold is RISK and LIABILITY sometimes confused with ability.
Hypothetically speaking, I would not give a £500k contract to a 20 year old whatever sex they were, yet I probably would with a lesser valued contract.
I think flirting whist trying to win a contract is very dangerous as it assumes a number of issues, any of which could be insultive. After of course "who cares" it can be very healthy and life doesnít have to stop outside your front door, its just flirting after all unless there is something to gain, then I think its something else.
I'm afraid these work on all levels, and although I have taken pride on never receiving or giving in the last 20 years, I know plenty of good people who do every day and not because their work is poor so they have to, which has nothing to do with it.
Often kick backs are built into a system and form part of a deal and donít need to be cash. We all participate in them every day. If you think you donít, your wrong! Ever thought about the 2 for1 down the supermarket or the free gift with your Nectar cards, they are all bribes one way or another.
Kick backs are not in themselves illegal, the trend is to keep them under the table to increase their value. The only thing that makes the act illegal is things like the tax laws, contract or morality issues, the rest unfortunately is simply our own opinions.
So providing it is legal, when does it become wrong, you could be stunned at how little support there is out there on a morality basis, as I was. "Ideals" are a wonderfull thing providing you can truly afford them, lets hope we all can.
I suggest the time when we will all know if it really mattered is when we reflect in our old age from a park bench somewhere. Who knows?
The flirting thingy was a lot more interesting...................
Posted by Terry_Burrows (Terry_Burrows), 20 November 2003 I GIVE MY CONTRACTORS A BOTTLE EVERY YEAR,BUT I HAVE SEEN THE BACKHANDERS,AND I HAVE SEEN RIGHTHANDERS AS WELL! I THINK IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH IS THIS CONTRACT WORTH! AND THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE CAN PUT A LOT OF WORK YOUR WAY AT THE END OF THE DAY WE ALL HAVE TO LIVE
I THINK SOMEWHERE ITS CALLED RUNNING A BUISSINESS AND THE UPS AND DOWNS,AND TRUST ME I HAVE BEEN THERE IT NOT NICE!
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 20 November 2003Hi Fox, tried phoning as you suggested but at £2 a minute it's a bit too expensive for me. Also those bloody adverts at the beginning are driving me mad!
Are you still 'prospecting'?
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 21 November 2003I'm not quite sure where this topic is leading but I read an article some time ago about an american cleaning company that employs topless cleaners.
They trade as 'Bustdusters' apparently!
Posted by DP (DP), 21 November 2003NOPE I DIDNT LOOK AT THIS SITE AT http://hotandheavenly.com/cleaning.html WHATSOEVER AND I DO NOT INTEND TOO!!
"flippin heck $150 an hour" OOPPS †
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 21 November 2003Hi DP, had to check out the site (purely for research purposes of course).
At first I wasn't sure what Terry Burrows meant by 'right handers' but I think I've figured it out now!!
I've never used the smileys before but this calls for them.
Posted by petra (petra), 21 November 2003Well being a female in this thread you guys have got me thinking, all thoses exceutive business women would probaly love a hunky dust busting male, might be worth a bit more research.. I knew this forum would knock out some great ideas, just got to find willing males that look good in a thong..
Posted by BusyBs (BusyBs), 21 November 2003hi petra,
when you have done your research could you send me a copy, i think this could be interesting !
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 21 November 2003Well actually Petra I could do that for you...
When I perform on stage (in my bands that is) I always wear a thong - not that anyone would know. It keeps me alert if you know what I mean (and I'm sure you do)!
A thong would be great for productivity - duster in one hand, polish in the other and I could mop the floor at the same time!!
Posted by petra (petra), 21 November 2003Just what i was thinking, did not think that many of you would be interested
Posted by DP (DP), 22 November 2003Petra: not sure "interest" would be the problem, those thong's really chaff
Musicman: I was gonna ask what instrument you play (dont think I want to know now)
The health and safety policy would make an interesting read though.
Posted by Fox (Fox), 26 November 2003hi everyone
this thread may sound a bit wierd now because of alot of omittions!!! (soz peeps my fault not admins!)
however i still think clients would go for cleaning if it was sold by a woman in a short skirt (as long as he was male!)
as for thongs on a guy! †any opinions?
Do they really keep you alert - Musicman?
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 26 November 2003Good to have you back Fox, did you get lost in your sheets, or did it take longer than expected to 'close the deal'?
The thong keeps me very alert - I don't blink for 1 set of 90 minutes or 2 sets of 45!!
DP - I play bass guitar (5 string, so I can go deeper than most).
Petra - thanks for the private message but I don't do that sort of thing - there are some things money can't buy!!
Posted by Fox (Fox), 26 November 2003DP:
Looked at the site you recommended - the husband loved it - But my cleanings better and at least my t*ts are real!
I reckon theres a market out there for nude men cleaners......
Sorry Musicman forget the thong
Posted by DP (DP), 27 November 2003THE ONLY INTERVIEW QUESTION NEEDED,
HOW CLEAN IS YOUR MIND?
(sorry admin I had to link this somehow, Ive been challenged)
TAKE A LOOK AT THE PICTURE FIRST...
SO, WHAT DO YOU SEE ?
NOW PROCEED AND READ THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION OF WHAT YOU REALLY SAW ... †
Research has shown that the innocent cannot identify the intimate couple because they do not have prior memory associated with such scenario. What they will see are the 9 dolphins.
Additional note: This is a test to determine if you really have a corrupted mind. If it's hard for you to find the dolphins within 6 seconds, your mind is indeed corrupted 
What dolphins ? all I see is a jug ! Does that mean I passed .So what we calling the new company then †
Fox looks like your on quality control
Posted by Fox (Fox), 29 November 2003Ok DP Balls in my court so to speak!!
Alls I can think is after a long stressfull week at work we can all have fun! †
Lets ask some questions!
Petra - Have you ever been propositioned by a client? If so how did you deal with it?
musicman - same question?
DP - have you ever asked the question (I mean proposisioned someone)?
once i get some replies I will tell all!!!!
anyone else out ther with stories to share? †We're all dying to know!!!
Posted by DP (DP), 29 November 2003Ouch !! Are you serious, how did I get on the other side of that one,
NO I havent and I quote the 5th on the rest (just in case the wife reads this, I hate ironing my own shirts !)
Right thats one set of "GM's" coming up
Posted by Fox (Fox), 29 November 2003come on = Thou shall not covet thy neighbours wife
Me = sozz am bit of a relegious catholic girl at heart!
So mail me any time!!!! he he †
Posted by DP (DP), 29 November 2003I never actually knew what that meant, but I just keep thinking what the punishment might be, and I'd rather not come back as a stick insect or whatever in the after life.
By the way check your PM's
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 29 November 2003If you're still considering a name for you nude male cleaning company I have a couple of suggestions:
Gods of Gleam
Anybody else got any suggestions? Catch you later.
Posted by Fox (Fox), 1 December 2003Thanks for that - like hygiene hunks! Sounds like they may bathe a bit more regular than most normal men!
No offence obviously.
Have already had six enquiries (he he) on a goer here - anybody up for it? (private interviews first!) Promise won't tell!
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 1 December 2003Hey Fox, like the picture, always suspected you were blonde!
I have another suggestion for a name for you. How about Sultans of Shine?
If you have your guys vaccuming naked are the doing 'The Full Henry'??
They could do the cleaning to the music of Tom Jones singing 'You Can Keep Your Vac On'.
Posted by Fox (Fox), 1 December 2003I come up against a problem!
Where am I going to get the cleaners to pin their ID badge?
Posted by DP (DP), 1 December 2003Um arenít we all different, do we really need them, if so then I guess its out with the felt tips!
and NO funny faces thats really embarrassing †
Posted by Fox (Fox), 1 December 2003Aw shame - I was looking forward to practicing my art - hmm - the drawing type.
Well done by the way for passing stage one of nude male cleaners ------------
I was thinking more colour coded feather dusters!
Posted by petra (petra), 2 December 2003sorry youy lot been on a family holiday (took my mother what a mistake)
Dp thongs chaff, I have never had that problem... are u sure your wearing them properly
Ok the picture.. well very currupt mind ...sorry
Well yes I have been propositioned, but don't tell, the way I deal with it is , tell them my husband is 6ft 6 and a very jealouse guy in a mild humoured way, but what about the female client that sent me cards and still phones my begging for my cleaning services..and my time to talk.....well I avoid her and fill her with as much stalling bull s..t as possible.
But if he was a good looking client who knows (only joking)
Posted by Fox (Fox), 2 December 2003Hi Petra
Good to have you back.
Why don't you tell the male clients you are into women and the female ones too!
Prob is the male ones will want to watch! The female ones will back off if they think you have a big butch girl looking after you!
Oh gosh -- how my mind works!
What do you think about my new venture?
Posted by petra (petra), 2 December 2003I was thinking along the same lines as you....the way i look at it if your out all day,meetings and loads of stress, what a pleasure to have to go home to a hunky male cleaner, sit on the sofa and watch and destress while he flicks his stuff.....the only thing that would have to be stressed to all potential clients is you can look but don't touch...the interviews would be great.....
Posted by Fox (Fox), 2 December 2003Why do you think I am setting it up! I've got to put all the blokes that apply through every situation that may possibly occur to see the reaction!
Hey you guys out there am only looking for pics of you in thongs for the selection process!
Posted by petra (petra), 2 December 2003If you need a hand with the inteviews feel free ..
Posted by DP (DP), 2 December 2003Didnt think this thread could get any worse
I was wrong!
Posted by petra (petra), 2 December 2003So your glad Im back..missed me...
Posted by Fox (Fox), 2 December 2003Hi DP/Musicman
DP - Could do with some advice on the male way of thinking (for my interviewing research of course) †Can you help?
Musicman - Bet you would have some great input (especially on the throng front- excuse the pun!) What characteristics do I need to look for?
Grateful for any advice - plse help!? †
Posted by john_archer (john_archer), 3 December 2003ON a lighter note fox, do you really look like Pamela Anderson, every one wanted to know but did'nt dare ask.
Posted by DP (DP), 3 December 2003Thats not Pamela, thats FOX looks just like her, although Iv never seen her blowing a gun before.
NOPE cant see any resemblance myself
Posted by DP (DP), 3 December 2003PETRA RE THONG THINGY
Of course I know, I used to wear them all the time. but I got cold ears in the winter and my wife said I looked silly.
Posted by Fox (Fox), 3 December 2003Thanks DP!
John - I have not noticed the resemblance to Pamela,
think that might explain why 90% of my client base is male!
Posted by Fox (Fox), 3 December 2003Hi Musicman - just read your post on the waterless thing, very funny! - good to have you back, but am still waiting for the photo of you playing bass guitar in your thong!
Best get a move on - my diaries getting full with interview appointments.
May need your help after all Petra †
(Petra won't let me interview her hubby - I wonder why!!)
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 3 December 2003Hi Fox, sory no pic available of bass and thong together at same time - can't get camera lens to cover wide angle in two directions!!
Posted by Fox (Fox), 4 December 2003ooohhhh! Definately the type my customers are waiting for then!
Ok booked in for 2.30pm Dec 11th - I can judge in flesh! No skin off my back! he he! Hope your free - pm me
I have got at least 3 more spaces before Christmas but demand is high - so - Petra let me have your free diary dates.
Posted by petra (petra), 4 December 2003I would gladly put my hubby forward for an interview, but he would not turn up...he's shy...
Will check my dates
Posted by Fox (Fox), 6 December 2003Hi peeps
Sorry haven't got back to you all on this thread - too busy interviewing!
Must say though to pick up on the earlier 'back handers' one bloke offered to pay me to do the nude cleaning!
Hmmmm thoughts? If I take him up on his offer would it be taxable income?
Posted by poleman (poleman), 24 December 2003I DO, i do some work for a local building company (builders cleans) and there company rep is one hell of a Flirt its just her way of getting what she wonts, well it works on me,
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