Almost nothing seems to shut a sales call down like the words “you’re simply too expensive” from a prospective client. While this can create a confusing situation as to how to proceed or even a frustrating feeling that the customer doesn't understand what goes into your work, we understand that this doesn’t have to be the end of the call. In fact, there are quite a few strategies you can use to potentially gain a new client, or at least take away new learnings for marketing your home service business.
Do your research
One of the best ways to feel confident in any situation involving your pricing is to understand the competition and the unique value that you bring to the table. It is helpful to periodically check out the pricing of your competition in the area and look not only at their hourly rates for customers, but what is included in their services. You may find that another company is slightly cheaper than your own, but offers less in the way of niche services. This is helpful to know in case a potential client cites your competitor as a more cost effective option to which you can respond that you supply more.
If through your research you find that your prices are significantly higher or lower than competition in your area, you may want to consider adjusting them to gain more business.
As an example, we found the average cost to mow a lawn in Minden, NV.
Average: between high $60s and $100
Process: You can easily begin collecting information by googling your home service industry in the town you are looking to target. This should bring you both individual business listings as well as corporate estimates from companies such as LawnStarter, for example. By looking through a fair amount of listings and even potentially calling around to a few other local companies you can begin understanding where your prices fall in the spread of things.
Outline your value
This goes hand in hand with competitive research to pinpoint exactly what you bring to the table. If a customer expresses hesitancy to sign up for your service due to pricing, you can remind them of the various services that you offer and the time that it takes to acquire the skills to complete the job to a high standard. You can check out our phrasing below to gain a better picture of how to approach this subject with homeowners.
- Cost of equipment: "Our pricing is set to account for the cost of equipment such as lawn mowers, edgers, and the other specialized tools that the average person does not necessarily have on hand"
- Experience and quality: "We have been in the cleaning business for over 25 years and so we bring a high level of expertise and understanding of how to best care for your home that you won't get with a less experienced company"
- Safety: "There are numerous safety concerns that we have to account for in the tree care industry and if the job is done incorrectly by a less experienced pro, homeowners could experience additional costs for damages"
- Scope of service: “our pricing includes grout cleaning, baseboards, and other details that most cleaners are unwilling to tackle.”
- Other aspects of the service you will do for free: "We provide our on-site construction quotes completely for free with is a valuable offer that you won't be able to find with many other construction companies"
Sometimes the key to understanding why a client is hesitant to commit to your services is simply asking them why they view your price as expensive. This can offer insight into the best path forward with them. If they say you are too expensive relative to another cleaning agency, you can highlight the unique attributes that you offer. If they say that they are on a tight budget as they have three children, you can understand that they might still be interested in hiring you even thought the current price is higher than they would like to spend.
Example phrasing to use:
- "If you don't mind me asking, is there a particular reason why you feel [insert your price] is too expensive?"
- "Are there particular needs you have that you don't feel would be addressed with this price point?"
- "If it's alright to ask, is there a reason that you view this pricing as too expensive?"
Weight the pros and cons
Sometimes the best response is to simply move on from a potential client that you think might spell trouble in the future. If a potential client is difficult to work with from the get go and pinches every penny, the client might not be the best fit for your home service business. How do you determine the difference between a financially conscious client and one that will be unwilling to pay for the cost of your services? For starters, personality might have a lot to do with it. If the caller is unwilling to pay any reasonable amount and are unpleasant to speak with, they may not be worth the trouble. If they are simply exploring the lower pricing options you have, you may have a client that is unable to pay a higher price, but might be willing to spring for one of your lower cost options.
Always be sure to set clear expectations for what service will be rendered and at what price upfront to avoid any costly miscommunications.
The long term commitment
If a client is concerned about pricing, but from the conversation you can gather that they might just be price-shopping as opposed to genuinely unable to afford your services, you may want to consider creating a long term pricing package that creates an incentive for them to sign up for a grouping of services at a lower rate. For example, a yearly subscription for five pressure washing services that saves them $200 by buying as a package deal. One thing to be sure of when you opt for this route is to set a minimum number of services that makes the discount worth it for your business. Namely, if you provide 50% off when a client books 2 services together, you are still only being paid for the full price of one job and so this discount would not make much financial sense for your business.
Throw in a special offer
If you come to the conclusion that your potential client genuinely can't afford your services despite your persuasion, it may be in your best interests to offer them a temporary discount such as 20% off their first booking. This is a great way to get your foot in the door without permanently committing to lower prices across the board. Plus, your potential client will take note of the fact that you went out of your way to address their hesitations with a new pricing strategy. Offering a special discount is one of the strategies highlighted along with six others in our blog on how to close a sale successfully.
Refer them to your website
One of the best ways to avoid miscommunications with clients, is to ensure that both parties are on the same page about the service sign rendered from the get-go. This can be done by having a modern business website that lists your business's services and allows customers to see examples of past work you have done. By understanding exactly wheat you provide and reading past customer testimonials, they may change their mind regarding what they view as expensive pricing. If you are still in need of an affordable and modern business website, ProPhone can help you get a custom site up and running!
Even though sales calls can be difficult and discouraging at times, remember that as long as you continue to put effort into your sales calls, the right customers are out there for you! Additionally, never hesitate to reach out to the ProPhone team with additional questions about client communication.