There is a lot of hesitation and anxiety when it comes to selling green cleaning products in the Jan/San Market. The push back from customers at times due to negative perception and is often answered by resorting to a version of the old standards. In an article about green products from Sanitary Maintenance, Ronnie Garrett points out that “Distributors can work around these perceptions by selling a green philosophy.” The green philosophy is fine to have but might be the wrong topic to lead with. A more correct way to convince customers that green cleaning products are the better choice is to use a clean philosophy. But there is one sure way to convert them, Stop Selling Green!
It’s The Results That They Buy
I truly believe that green cleaning products have risen in quality, effectiveness and offer a much greater value than ever before. They are safer, easier to use and save thousands of hours of ridiculously hard work. If this is the case, then why do so many resist using them? Perception.
They have not been shown as a better cleaner, which as a custodian is really all I care about. I want my job to be easier and make my boss, customers, students, teachers and myself feel like I have done a good job. Period. If you tell a custodian that they need to switch the products I am using to make the world better, there is no payoff for them. No one at the E.P.A. is going to pick up the phone and demand the custodians get a raise because they did “the right thing.”
And oh, by the way, you are going to have to probably change your procedures, routine and learn how to use different tools as well. That sounds like a bunch of wasted time to me.
Breaking The Green Cleaning Product Barrier
First you yourself have to learn the products but more importantly, you have to believe in them. Go on. Get out there and experiment. I am sure your vendors will be happy to provide you with all of the sample product and demo equipment you will need.
Learn what happens when a microfiber mop needs to be changed and see how much cleaner the floor is compared to a rotten cotton mop.
Discover that the window is streaking because of the chemical residue and after cleaning it a couple of times with a green cleaner and microfiber cloth, the film is gone.
Spend an hour in a restroom cleaning grout that although mopped every day with traditional methods, releases a seemingly never ending flow of dirt and bacteria and stench until it is actually clean. Feel the difference in the surface once it is really clean.
Selling Green Cleaning Products
Now that you have taken the time to see for yourself the results of green cleaning products, roll them out to your customers, but instead of telling them they are green, tell them that you have the answer to their problems. You are about to make their lives a whole lot easier.
Show them the process and result of using a microfiber mop correctly. Point out that it is a lot less weight to sling around and that their back isn’t taking the same abuse as it always does.
Have them clean the glass twice and then have them slide their fingers against the glass and feel the difference between their results and residue free cleaning. Show them that their floors are affected by this as well.
Volunteer to bring a no-touch cleaning machine into their restrooms and demonstrate the effectiveness for actually removing years of build up from the grout lines. After you’re done, make evident that the floor is no longer slippery. Traction!
It’s not their fault the facility is this way, it’s the fact that they haven’t been exposed to the correct information and supplies. After all, you can’t achieve great results without the proper knowledge and tools
The Green Cleaning Hook
Once they can see for themselves that better results are possible and that it actually makes the tasks at hand easier, they will want to change. It only makes sense right? “You mean I don’t have to deal with sticky restrooms floors anymore? And all it takes is a couple of changes to procedures and routine? Sign me up!” The green cleaning products are wanted, not because they are green, but because they work.
Epilogue – Going Green
When they call you a few months later in a panic because their boss just requested that they make the switch to green cleaning products, tell them, they are already there.