Question: What can I say to “why are you charging me more than last time”?
Steve’s answer: Try “detouring” your customer by changing the scope of work.
What was your response for when a previous customer told you that your price was “too high”? For example, today I just ran into a past client that said my price this year was “too much”. (It was maybe 5% more than two years ago!) So I stuttered and stammered around for awhile and explained to her that the cost of living is higher now plus my family needs to eat, etc, etc, etc.
None of this seemed to affect the home owner so I offered her a free room of Scotchgard application and then she was happy. But when people hit me with the “too high” statement I always feel like I am being put on the defensive. So what did you do with the “you’re too high” accusation?
Defensive in Dallas
Good and very timely question. I’ve been writing quite a bit lately on the fact that the past “Great Recesssion” made it fashionable to “haggle”. So get used to it! (In fact, HERE is my free script on “How to Win Over a Price Shopper”!)
So what to do with Mrs. You’re Too High? Most importantly, you must distance yourself emotionally from this situation. When hit with this “too high” objection our first tendency is to defend ourselves. Not so. (And believe me, as you found out the customer could care less about your family eating!)
Actually, Defensive, I welcomed people bringing up price after we had inspected (never “estimated”) the job. (The toughies are the “Let me check with my husband and I’ll get back to you” and then they call your competitor right after you leave! However, I even found a great reply to this killer question too that let me still book the job.)
A simple and too blunt reply to the “You are too high” statement would be, “Which areas would you like me to skip?” 😉
Or more tactfully and productively put you can say, “Oh, I didn’t realize you had a budget to work with. Soooo, let me ask you, do you ever move the furniture in the family room? No, well if we just clean all the open areas that will save you $43.40 which will bring your invoice down to $256.20. And let me ask you about your bedrooms. You know, if we leave the beds in place and just clean all the open areas that will save you another …”
Simply put, Defensive, I never negotiated my per foot residential prices or our “quality levels”. However, I was delighted to negotiate price as long as it was related to the amount cleaned and/or the time we would spend on the job. Then hang tough. Assuming you provided Value Added Service the last time you cleaned for her the odds are excellent she will cave in!
So try “detouring” your customer next time!
P.S. Interestingly, many times when my crew would come to do the job the home owner would tell them to just do the whole job at the original price. You see, many times the customer just wants the “Illusion of Control“. After you have given this control to them they just pass it right back! Worked for me!