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 2003
Flippin' 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.

Regards

Musicman
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 20 November 2003
Hey 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.

Musicman

PS What were you doing up so late - did you have to change the bed sheets or something?
Posted by petra (petra), 20 November 2003
I 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
Petra
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 20 November 2003
Regarding 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?

Mike

Posted by DP (DP), 20 November 2003
Fox, I'm with Musicman, " me toes are curling up here"! Wink 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) †Tongue

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.

Kick Backs:
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................... Grin

Posted by Terry_Burrows (Terry_Burrows), 20 November 2003
WinkI GIVE MY CONTRACTORS A BOTTLE EVERY YEAR,BUT I HAVE SEEN THE BACKHANDERS,AND I HAVE SEEN RIGHTHANDERS AS WELL! Shocked I THINK IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH IS THIS CONTRACT WORTH! Wink AND THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE CAN PUT A LOT OF WORK YOUR WAY WinkAT THE END OF THE DAY WE ALL HAVE TO LIVE Wink
I THINK SOMEWHERE ITS CALLED RUNNING A BUISSINESS AND THE UPS AND DOWNS,AND TRUST ME Huh I HAVE BEEN THERE IT NOT NICE! Embarassed Undecided Huh
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 20 November 2003
Hi 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'?

Musicman
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 21 November 2003
I'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 2003
NOPE I DIDNT LOOK AT THIS SITE AT http://hotandheavenly.com/cleaning.html WHATSOEVER AND I DO NOT INTEND TOO!!

"flippin heck $150 an hour" OOPPSGrin
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 21 November 2003
Hi 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.

Shocked Roll Eyes Tongue Cheesy Kiss
Posted by petra (petra), 21 November 2003
Well 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.. Grin Grin
Petra
Posted by BusyBs (BusyBs), 21 November 2003
hi petra,
when you have done your research could you send me a copy, i think this could be interesting !
lol
donna
Grin
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 21 November 2003
Well actually Petra I could do that for you... Wink

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!! Shocked
Posted by petra (petra), 21 November 2003
Just what i was thinking, did not think that many of you would be interested
Wink Tongue
Posted by DP (DP), 22 November 2003
Petra: not sure "interest" would be the problem, those thong's really chaff  Wink

Musicman: I was gonna ask what instrument you play (dont think I want to know now)   Cool

The health and safety policy would make an interesting read though.  Grin


Posted by Fox (Fox), 26 November 2003
hi 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 guyHuh! †any opinions?

Do they really keep you alert - Musicman?


Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 26 November 2003
Good 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!! Shocked

DP - I play bass guitar (5 string, so I can go deeper than most). Wink

Petra - thanks for the private message but I don't do that sort of thing - there are some things money can't buy!! Embarassed

Musicman
Posted by Fox (Fox), 26 November 2003
DP:

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 2003
THE 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 [Tongue]

What dolphins Huh? all I see is a jug ! Does that mean I passed .So what we calling the new company then †Grin

Fox looks like your on quality control  Lips Sealed

Posted by Fox (Fox), 29 November 2003
Ok 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 2003
Ouch !! Are you serious, how did I get on the other side of that one,  Tongue

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  Grin


Posted by Fox (Fox), 29 November 2003
come 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 †Wink
Posted by DP (DP), 29 November 2003
I 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.  Smiley

By the way check your PM's


Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 29 November 2003
If you're still considering a name for you nude male cleaning company I have a couple of suggestions:

Hygiene Hunks

or

Gods of Gleam

Anybody else got any suggestions? Catch you later.
Posted by Fox (Fox), 1 December 2003
Thanks 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!) Lips Sealed Promise won't tell!
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 1 December 2003
Hey 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'.

Later
Posted by Fox (Fox), 1 December 2003
I come up against a problem!  

Where am I going to get the cleaners to pin their ID badge?  
Posted by DP (DP), 1 December 2003
Um 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 †Lips Sealed

Posted by Fox (Fox), 1 December 2003
Aw 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 ------------

Humour!!!

I was thinking more colour coded feather dusters!


Posted by petra (petra), 2 December 2003
sorry 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 2003
Hi 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 2003
I 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.....
petra
Posted by Fox (Fox), 2 December 2003
Why 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!  Grin

Hey you guys out there am only looking for pics of you in thongs for the selection process!

Any takers?  Wink

Posted by petra (petra), 2 December 2003
If you need a hand with the inteviews feel free ..

Posted by DP (DP), 2 December 2003
Didnt think this thread could get any worse

I was wrong!  Wink
Posted by petra (petra), 2 December 2003
So your glad Im back..missed me...
Petra

Posted by Fox (Fox), 2 December 2003
Hi 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 2003
ON 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 2003
Thats not Pamela, thats FOX looks just like her, although Iv never seen her blowing a gun before.

lets see


PAMELA



FOX

NOPE cant see any resemblance myself

Posted by DP (DP), 3 December 2003
PETRA 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.  Sad
Posted by Fox (Fox), 3 December 2003
Thanks DP!

John - I have not noticed the resemblance to Pamela,
think that might explain why 90% of my client base is male!  Cheesy
Posted by Fox (Fox), 3 December 2003
Hi 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 †Smiley

(Petra won't let me interview her hubby - I wonder why!!)
Posted by Musicman (Musicman), 3 December 2003
Hi 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 2003
ooohhhh! 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  Smiley

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 2003
I would gladly put my hubby forward for an interview, but he would not turn up...he's shy...
Will check my dates
Petra
Posted by Fox (Fox), 6 December 2003
Hi 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?  Roll Eyes
Posted by poleman (poleman), 24 December 2003
I 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,

andy
dorset
fed member  


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