Cleaning – Carpets: Bruce Williams, Ioniclean Carpet Cleaning

Bruce Williams

Cleaning – Carpets

Summary: Bruce Williams of Ioniclean Carper cleaning has never leveraged traditional marketing for his business. He depends 100% on word of mouth advertising from friends, family, clients, and BNI. Three years ago Bruce found a chapter in the BNI Utah North region that was a perfect fit for him. He’s generated over $100,000 in closed business from his group’s referrals, that’s 30% of his annual business. Bruce loves the training provided by BNI and feels it is critical for people to learn how to represent themselves, how to present themselves, and how to best leverage their time in BNI.

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Laura Viskovich: Hello and welcome to the Professional Business Connections. I’m Laura Viskovich and I have a really fascinating story today to share with you. Bruce Williams is from Ioniclean. Welcome to the show.

Bruce Williams: Thank you, Laura.

Laura Viskovich: I’m really excited to share your business growth with everyone. But firstly, how did you get into Ioniclean?

Bruce Williams: I wasn’t looking to be a carpet cleaner. That wasn’t my goal in life. That’s not my end destination. But I was looking for a new business opportunity and the technology that I found with Ioniclean, I was introduced to it, and it fascinated me, it spoke to me. And I felt like that I could really help people in a different way than I was used to with traditional carpet cleaners. So, that’s how I got started in the carpet cleaning business.

Laura Viskovich: I want to know all about it. Just really, you know, take us through that Ion thing of the whole business name.

Bruce Williams: Okay.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Bruce Williams: Okay. So, Ioniclean, the reason I’m named Ioniclean is because my technology is based on ions. And this is a little bit – it’s hard to explain for people and that’s why referral marketing is so important to me is because people will tend to listen to the referral and they don’t have to understand the technology because the technology is not as easy to understand as vacuuming water out of carpet, right. But it’s ion-based.

So what we’re doing is we take positive charged ions as part of our cleaning solution. We get the carpet to release that and bond to the solution, which sits there suspended and then we take the opposite charge and draw it out just like a magnet would. So, that, in a nutshell, is kind of the easiest way to explain what we’re doing. But it’s the results that really speak to people because they don’t quite understand how that all works, but they do understand the results and they see the clean carpet done in a healthy and environmentally conscious way. So, yeah.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. I’m all about the healthy, that’s great.

Bruce Williams: Yeah, me, too.

Laura Viskovich: Okay. So, you mentioned referral marketing. So, is that how you grow business 100% or do you do multiple areas?

Bruce Williams: No, I do 100% referral-based marketing. So, in the six years that I’ve been in business, I have never spent any money on advertising – I mean, business cards and – I’ve made some flyers and things like that, but I haven’t done traditional advertising in any way. So, it’s all been referral-based marketing whether it’s family, friends, but contacts that I’ve made through both BNI and the Chamber of Commerce.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So, why do you feel that referral marketing is so, so powerful?

Bruce Williams: For me, it was all about building a very strong base. And referral marketing is so powerful because they – like I mentioned, people don’t necessarily understand my technology, but they appreciate when somebody refers them, they go, “We’ve used this guy, we trust him and he’ll do a great job for you.” That makes a big difference to people and then they don’t necessarily have to understand how the technology works. They’re much more accepting of it.

So, a referral builds a much stronger base for me versus people that are spending a lot of money on marketing and usually, they get a one-and-done kind of situation because that person is going to look for the next coupon to come along and try the next guy.

So, the combination of my unique technology, because I’m the only guy in the Northern Utah area that has this technology license, and the fact that I’m being referred, that has built a very strong base. So, now, I get referrals from my own customers as well as BNI and that’s how my business is growing.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So, you’re in the Chambers, you’re in the BNI. So, you’re in BNI Utah North, which chapter are you in?

Bruce Williams: Red Hot Referrals.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So, what sort of a percentage are we looking at for your business from BNI?

Bruce Williams: From BNI, I am getting third of my business, 30% of my business, which – so year-to-date, it’s about $30,000. And lifetime, I’m close to $100,000 in –

Laura Viskovich: Right. How long have you been in BNI?

Bruce Williams: BNI has been part of – well, this chapter, I’ve been in three years, going on four years now.

Laura Viskovich: Okay. So we had a quick chat before, and you said that you were in BNI previously, you had an experience and then you went to another chapter and it was a completely different experience. So walk us through that journey.

Bruce Williams: Yeah. The first chapter that I joined was a great chapter and I developed a lot of friendships and relationships with people, but it wasn’t – it just wasn’t the right fit for me. It wasn’t working for me.

And so I transitioned out of that chapter and didn’t renew, and then I got a call from a friend who said, “Bruce, you’ve got to come check out this new chapter. It’s really cool, and they need a carpet cleaner, and you would be a great fit,” because – and this person that referred me was very familiar with my technology. So he was very adamant and he kept calling me, and kept calling me, and kept calling me, and I finally said, “Okay, I’ll come.” But I wasn’t really anxious to join a BNI chapter that time. I didn’t know it was the right thing.

I got involved with this chapter. The people in this chapter are amazing and I just met a whole – it’s been a whole different experience that I’ve had with this chapter versus my previous chapter. It’s been a great fit for me, and there’s no way that I would want to leave this chapter. I hope they don’t ever kick me out.

Laura Viskovich: Oh, that’s lovely. So your experience as a new visitor, I guess, you would call it, going from that first chapter, did you visit multiple chapters before you joined that one?

Bruce Williams: Yeah, I’ve been – not multiple, but I had had some exposure to BNI. But no, that was – when I joined that first chapter, I didn’t really do my due diligence. And I thought that maybe it would work out a little bit differently, but it didn’t, and that turned out to be okay because what it showed me was that the chapter that you join, the personalities that are in the chapter, the feel of that chapter, how you fit in makes a big difference. And yeah, so I would encourage anybody that was looking to join a chapter, interview the chapters, see what they’re like, see how they fit, and then come to ours, and you’ll find out what the best one is like.

Laura Viskovich: Fantastic for you, the person, right. You’re cheeky, I love it. So I hear that the training in BNI is fantastic. They walk you through on how to build relationships, how to do your one-on-ones, Givers Gain, so walk us through for you, the training that you’ve done. Did you go to the MSP, which is called the Member Success Program? Did you do the University – BNI University? Walk us through what the training was like.

Bruce Williams: So I’ve done the in-person trainings. MSP, I’ve done a couple of times. I’ve done some leadership training as I’ve had some leadership roles in my chapter and things like that. So yeah, those trainings are, I think, critical for people to learn how to represent themselves, how to present themselves, and how to best utilize the BNI experience.

I think there’s a lot of industries that are hard to get started in a BNI. So they may join a BNI thinking that they’re going to get a lot of business out of it. Well, they will, but it does take time for certain industries, certain types of businesses to develop those relationships.

Carpet cleaning is kind of an easier one to refer. There’s usually a lot more immediacy involved in that, so people find it easier to refer. However, in my experience with my business, the type of carpet cleaning that I do, I’m not the – like I mentioned, I’m not a coupon carpet cleaner. So I’m not – I’m not actually the carpet cleaner that’s going to go out there and be the cheapest for them. But what I do is high quality and huge results with my carpet cleaning, the process that I use. And then my customer service level is I stand behind what I do. And if they’re not happy, or they have a poor experience, then I would be there to back up what I do.

So, you know, those are some of the differences. But yeah, the education is very important because, you know, people need to know how to utilize BNI and sometimes what the timeframe is going to be for their business, you know. Financial planners, I see them and there’s a long cycle for those people to earn trust in their chapters.

So for them, they may need to be in it for a couple of years to start seeing the results. But if you’re looking for the quick – you know, the quick overnight success, you have to evaluate what your industry is and see how that fits.

Laura Viskovich: And is there a particular type of industry that you would like to see in your chapter?

Bruce Williams: Oh, yeah. Our chapter – not for me personally but for our chapter.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Bruce Williams: You know, handyman services would be huge. I mean, we could literally create a business out of a handyman service with everybody that needs that type of service.

[0:09:45] [Lawn] care service, we actually just had somebody in our chapter meeting today. So I believe that they’re going to sign up. But, you know, our chapter was very coy about it, too. They’re like, “We want you to sign up. We have business available to you, but you need to be a member of this chapter and we need” – you know, it’s all about developing that trust.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Bruce Williams: But the first level of trust is committing to join the chapter and committing to be a part of it.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah, because the more you go back each week, you’re – you know, you’re getting the visibility. And so –

Bruce Williams: Yes.

Laura Viskovich: – the more visibility, it builds the credibility –

Bruce Williams: Yes.

Laura Viskovich: – and so forth. So you’re building the trust and then you get many more referrals.

Bruce Williams: Yeah.

Laura Viskovich: So what I’m hearing is each week everyone’s joining together to build those relationships so that you – everyone’s referring, Givers Gain.

Bruce Williams: Yeah.

Laura Viskovich: So the people in the group, it’s those people who have the network outside of the group. That’s where the business comes from.

Bruce Williams: Right.

Laura Viskovich: Is that correct?

Bruce Williams: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, I’ll pick up business within the group.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Bruce Williams: They’ll give me a try because they want to know what it is I do and they want to know, you know, how my process works and does it work, before they refer out.

Laura Viskovich: Okay.

Bruce Williams: Right?

Laura Viskovich: Got it.

Bruce Williams: So it might start with business within the group but, you know, I don’t want to build my business based on what I’m getting out of the group. I want to build my business based on the people that they know –

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Bruce Williams: – and the resources outside my group.

Laura Viskovich: And that’s the true power, isn’t it?

Bruce Williams: Yes.

Laura Viskovich: Wow.

Bruce Williams: Absolutely.

Laura Viskovich: Amazing. Wow. If there’s anyone out there who’s looking to visit a networking group – a BNI group, what would your tip and trick be, to that person?

Bruce Williams: I’ll tell you what my experience has been is – and we’ve covered this I think, but you want to give multiple groups a try. You want to see and basically interview the group.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Bruce Williams: Not going there and thinking, “Okay, this – you know, I’ve heard this group and it’s BNI and well I want to be involved.” It’s about interviewing the group and making sure that you find the right fit. So, you know, kind of put the brakes on a little bit and make sure that you find the right fit for you. Of course, that’s based on my experience, you know, and everybody’s different.

Laura Viskovich: Yeah.

Bruce Williams: But yeah, that would be one of the things. And then for me, it’s about the relationships. It’s all about the friendships that I’ve developed, the relationships of resources that I typically would not have known about. For example, you know, “Where do I go to fix – get my car fixed?” Well, because of my BNI group, I have somebody that I completely trust and I wouldn’t go anywhere else. And so, you know, those are things that were a benefit to me. You know, the business is a benefit, but the relationships also that I have are a huge benefit for me.

Laura Viskovich: Amazing. So powerful. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing you story.

Bruce Williams: Thank you.

Laura Viskovich: I’ve gotten a rush of energy from it, so thank you.

Bruce Williams: Thank you.

Laura Viskovich: Wow. Bruce Williams, what an amazing story on how he builds relationships and, you know, has grown his business from there. So we’ll see you on the next show of the Professional Business Connections.

2018-11-29T18:57:42+00:00By |Categories: Cleaning - Carpets, Interviews|

About the Author:

Laura Viskovich is the Communications Director of the Professional Business Connections located in Salt Lake City, UT. As a classically trained actress and dancer in Sydney, Australia, eight years ago she had a dream to create a children's entertainment company. Today Laura has expanded her business from Australia to the United States. She's a speaker, trainer, and an expert at relationship marketing. She understands the value of creating and maintaining strong long-term relationships and connecting other like-minded individuals.
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