I often re-clean carpet that another carpet cleaner cleaned poorly. It makes me the hero. But, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
Let me explain, but first, in the photos below, you can see an apartment cleaned by another carpet cleaner. When I arrived, I thought there must be a mistake. There was no way this carpet was professionally cleaned. Nevertheless, the property manager assured me they were cleaned by another well known company. He even watched them do it. The carpet cleaner did the whole one-bedroom apartment in 20 minutes. It took more than a day to dry. Yikes! That is what we call in the industry, splash n’ dash.
The photos below show the areas after I re-cleaned the carpet. It was incredible how much more soil came out. This carpet is past its life span. As you can see in the photo, there is some shading from wear (I’m not a miracle worker, despite what some say), but it is now clean, safe & healthy for the new tenants. So why the dramatic difference in results? To answer that, we need to travel back in time to the 1890s.
What Can a Carpet Cleaner Learn From the 1890s?
Jeffery Gitomer in his blog article, Why is John Patterson the father of American salesmanship? says the following: “Patterson was a thinker; he was a risk-taker; he was a reader; he was an entrepreneur; he was a teacher; he was a student and he was a salesman. Certainly the best salesman of his time. Arguably the best salesman of all time.”
In the post-industrial revolution landscape, sweatshops were the norm. Patterson understood a simple yet fundamental truth that shaped his business practices. A small business is a reflection of the owner. If someone runs a sweatshop, it speaks volumes about that person. Patterson was known to be a man of high moral character. It is not surprising that such a man cared about the working conditions of his employees.
Patterson wanted natural light and fresh air for his factory workers. His design included openable floor-to-ceiling glass windows. He even hired a famous landscape architect to create spacious lawns and flowerbeds. Wow. His competitors must have thought he was crazy! Can you imagine the extra cost involved?
If he spent that much time and money improving workplace conditions, imagine how much time and care he put into running his business. His sales training manuals are incredible, but that will be a future blog post. When he launched his newly formed sales team, Patterson coined the phrase: “We cannot afford to have a single dissatisfied customer.”
A personal favourite, often attributed to Patterson is the saying: “Good enough is the enemy of all progress.” Both of these business mantras speak volumes and are more valid than ever. They are timeless principles that define our little boutique business.
Back to the Future
You see, it’s not that I am better than most carpet cleaners or have some special tricks (actually I do, but that’s not the point), just that many carpet cleaners are that bad. Yep, I said it. It needs to be said. They have no pride in what they do, and many don’t care. Can you imagine the poor people that are moving into this apartment? It was unhealthy. What if they had young children?
As carpet cleaners, we have a moral obligation to leave the carpets as clean and safe as possible. We need to clean for the people moving in, not the people moving out. Since when does professional carpet cleaning no longer stand for anything? Nevertheless, the property manager assured me they were. He even watched them do it. The Sometimes that means we suffer a loss. You win some, and you lose some. When you think about it, you do not lose anything if you do what’s right.
That is why in the land of the blind, the one-eyed carpet cleaner is king.