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Whale Fishing – Landing Big Contracts

When I started in the window cleaning business I had never dreamed that I would one day land a series of jobs worth over $250,000 with one of the “Big Three” automakers.  Heck, I couldn’t even imagine landing a deal worth $15,000 like the one we have with a local college.  I can promise you from first hand experience that these things are very real and completely possible given you pursue them in the correct way. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you purse these “big boy contracts”.


First, you have to be able to service these jobs.  If you’re a one-man show you can’t walk into a $100,000 cleaning contract very easily. I get that.  Although, you should feel a general sense of panic and fear when pushing the limits to what you can service.  Stop what you’re doing right now and think of the absolute biggest single size job you can technically do.  Even if you worked 15 hours a day and seven days a week….what is that number?  That is the size deal you should start with.


 You have to learn how to play the long game with accounts like this.  It is very rare (although possible) to fall into something huge like this overnight.  These deals are almost always the result of long term relationships and gigantic amounts of follow up, sometimes for many years.  Don’t be short sighted with your business.  The long game is boring in the beginning and wicked cool at the end.  Reaching out and scouring your area for high level contacts and relationships and continuously following up is your secret weapon so start NOW!


When you start getting outside your comfort zone it is easy to panic and overprice things.  Make sure you are willing to put yourself out there to have the chance to learn.  Our company’s best lessons came from big scary jobs that initially intimidated us.  Sometimes we priced it wrong and it hurt, but we came away with a dangerous amount of inside understanding going into the next deal.  Also be willing to “invest” in key relationships.  Don’t be a cheapskate and don’t be afraid to sometimes give away small things to enhance the relationship.  I had one account that produced over $50,000 and all I did was clean his personal home windows a handful of times for free as a courtesy.


Don’t think you can walk into these types of bids with a silly one-page price bid.  These guys need to see a little more than that.  Learn how to make videos, or custom booklets, or brochures specific to these jobs.  Build out an action plan with serious details when presenting.  It goes a long way with high level buyers to see that you are competent and have a great plan.  They can never know it’s your first rodeo!  The way that you present your pricing and services is critical to standing out from the pack.  You don’t have to be a computer genius to pull this stuff off either.  Use or if you need help putting together a nice presentation.


 This is listed as the last point here but it probably should be the first.  Good old fashioned follow up coupled with an over the top positive attitude goes a long way in today’s world.  Almost no one follows up like they should.  If you are targeting a large group of high level buyers in a recurring and automated way, I’m telling you that it is literally almost impossible for you to not hook a whale.  Most people get discouraged waaaaay too early.  Keep your chin up and play the long game.

If you need help growing your business check out my training packages at

1 Comment

  • Cashen Smith
    Posted October 8, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Get uncomfortable with Bidding bigger jobs. But Honestly know yout limits. Build brochures for advertising, and be persistent

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