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How to deal with the customer that wants it for less
Sometimes, a prospective customer is interested in hiring a cleaning contractor, but they ask if the contractors can do it for less. In other words, they want a better price. This is not uncommon, says Ron Segura, president of Segura Associates, who consults with large and small cleaning contractors in North and South America.
If you are placed in such a situation, Ron offers the following tips on how to handle it:
* Expect it. Many contractors are caught offguard when the customer asks for a better price. They stumble around, not knowing what to say. Expect it, it happens.
* Are you worth it? Sometimes a contractor wants an account so bad, they sell themselves short and reduce their charge. If you offer a top-notch service and know it, hold your ground.
* What's their time worth? If the customer is changing services due to dissatisfaction with their current provider, ask them how much their time is worth. They likely selected a low-priced contractor, but now they have to call every day, calling about this or that. That takes time, time away from their other duties.
* Justify your charges. Explain how your charge was determined and why the charge is justified. And this includes the profit you expect to make. If there is no profit to be made, why take the account?
* Never apologise. Unless you made a mistake in your calculations, never apologise for your charge.
* Be prepared to walk. If you are not willing to lower your charges, be prepared to shake hands and walk away. It shows confidence, something customers respect. They may even call you back.
* Qualify. This situation can be avoided if you qualify your customer. One way to accomplish this is to ask what their cleaning budget is. If it's too low, you can stop right there.
However, Ron adds there are ways to negotiate a charge.
"Ask the customer if they are willing to make some changes or concessions," he suggests. "If they are, then a price adjustment is worthy."
Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with 10 of those years spent as manager of janitorial /document services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner.
12th September 2019