One of the biggest challenges for trades business owners, is knowing how to manage the price-conscious customer who may be ‘shopping around’ for the cheapest option. Not all potential customers fit into this bracket (and ideally, this is not the type of customer you want to attract and work for consistently), however you may come across a situation where you have a dream customer who does query your price. How do you deal with this confidently and still win the business?
Let us talk about this as three separate phases:
This is the foundation of your strategy. I am going to make an assumption here that you:
- Present yourself as a business owner/professional vs. a typical tradie
- Deliver a world-class product/service
- Continually aim to get better.
To begin with, it is essential to know what you are actually selling and really, you are in the business of “solving people’s problems”. Alongside this, understanding what your customers are actually buying is important. Which is, “Can I trust you to solve my problem and provide certainty?”
Know that it is not about what your product or service does that is the real challenge, it is the fears and concerns that your potential customer has in dealing with you or your industry; particularly if they have had an unfavorable outcome in the past. So, as well as delivering the product or service, it is important that you build trust and certainty as quickly as possible.
The higher the level of trust and certainty, the less the price question/objection comes up. The lower the trust and certainty, the higher the level of pricing objections.
Ensure you have the following ready:
- Brochures/collateral – for your business and products you use
- Proposal templates (for project work)
- Clear pricing
When the price question does arise, it is important that you respond appropriately. Instead of allowing your fears to dictate your actions, ensure that you respond by educating on value. Planning is about ensuring that you have the tools to be able to share and explain the value that your company provides, the quality that it delivers and to educate the customer, rather than selling at them.
If you have planned out your sales/presentation process, then this should form part of the overall recipe. Explaining to, and educating, the customer about what they are going to receive with ‘trust and certainty’ will help minimise the overall pricing objection.
It is not a matter of “if”, it is a matter of “when” you have to deal this challenge. Therefore, it is important that you practice in advance for when this situation arises. Jim Rohn once said, “Take every opportunity to practice your communication skills so when the situation arises you have the gift, the style and the clarity to deliver the message.”
I suggest practicing with a team player so that when you are on the “field”, you are not practicing on your customer, you are ready to play.
Here is a suggested script/dialogue for when the pricing question comes up.
Customer: “Can you do a bit cheaper than that?” or “That’s a little more than I thought it would be!”
You: “I completely understand that you may wish to review the pricing on the job; often other customers ask about the price as well.” (Show empathy/understanding – and make them feel that they are not the only one who asks this.)
You: “Do you mind if I ask, which aspect of the price would you like me to explain/run through with you? It is usually around the materials/product we use or the time/labour?” (Wait for their answer.)
Customer: (It will either be materials/product or time/labour or the overall price. They may even compare you to a significantly cheaper price from a competitor.)
You: “Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Is it ok to explain a little about our pricing?” (Wait for a YES – this is important!)
You: “We are rarely the cheapest in our industry, however let me explain why.” (Then go on to educate on the quality of products and the professionalism/expertise of your team.)
The more often you get presented with an objection around price, the better you become at dealing with it. Being confident comes from practice and the more you practice the better you get.
For more information on attracting ideal customers or assistance with other business challenges, contact the PROTRADE United team on 1300 767 774.
Written by Jon Mailer
CEO of PROTRADE United
1300 767 774