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Old 09-10-2016, 09:54 AM   #1
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Default 6 Tips for Handling Customers Who Haggle



It happens a lot. You get a call from someone who has a plumbing issue. After listening to them explain what is wrong and/or which service they need, you give them a preliminary price. They balk at the amount and immediately want to know if you’re willing to negotiate a better price. It doesn’t seem to matter that they need the service or that they called you, they want a better deal and they want to know if you’re willing to offer them one.

Whether or not you’re willing is obviously up to you. However, there are ways you can stop haggling customers in their tracks and we’ve listed some ideas for doing that below.

Break it Down

Most of the time customers don’t understand the cost of doing business or the value of the work involved. They understand tangible things such as cars cost so much because of the powerful engine, the bucket leather seats and the premium stereo. They don’t get why snaking a third story drain might be so expensive. Here is your chance to break down your expenses step by step so they know exactly what they’re paying for and why.

Refuse to Negotiate

You really are under no obligation to negotiate a price with your customers. You set the prices based on what you need to make every job worth the time, use of equipment and effort. If a customer thinks you charge too much for the services you offer, tell them they are free to work with another plumber. However, you’ll really only want to take such a firm stance if you are well established and have the clientele and enough business to walk away from the deal. In many cases, simply calling the customer’s bluff (“Well, if you aren’t willing to come down on your price, I’ll hire someone else!”) is enough to make them back down.

Offer Something to Add Value

Or you could do the exact opposite of the above tip and throw something in to sweeten the deal. Maybe you can replace the washers in their bathroom sink or descale the showerhead. Give them something small so they feel like they’re getting an additional bang for their buck and you could have a customer for life. Customers like to feel like they successfully negotiated a fair deal. Let them have that and you got what you wanted – a sweet new gig.

Don’t Overcharge

It may make sense to charge set prices for your services, but you do have to be careful not to overcharge. For instance, cleaning drains in a three-story Victorian with three bathrooms, a kitchen and a wet bar takes considerably longer to complete than a one-story house with a bath and a half; charging the same for the two tasks means you’re either overcharging owners of smaller houses or undercharging people with larger homes. Putting together a custom quote with a breakdown of pricing ensures the customer is paying a fair price and you’re getting what you’re worth.

Share Competitor’s Prices

Unless you’re charging markedly more for your services for a specific reason, providing potential customers with the rates from your competitors isn’t a bad idea. Customers can see what the going rate is for various plumbing tasks, so they may be less inclined to want to haggle with you on price. Remember, if customers feel they’re getting a good deal for the money, they’ll pay it with little argument – especially if they need the service.

Prove You’re Worth It

Provide new customers with references from old customers. Let them talk to your previous and current customers and let them determine if you’re worth your asking price. If you have a growing customer base, your current satisfied customers could be enough to win your new customer over without you having to lower your price or throw in any freebies. On that note, you’ll want to make sure that the customers you do offer as referrals didn’t receive a bonus offer or freebie. Otherwise you very well might be on the hook for that same deal again.

Haggling is a part of doing business, but you do have the right to determine how much haggling you’re willing to do. With these tips in mind, the next time a customer complains about your prices or wants to shave some savings, you’ll be better prepared to walk away with a deal you both can live with.

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Old 09-10-2016, 01:22 PM   #2
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there are customers that haggle for a better price and those that want it for free...knowing the difference will save you aggravation in the long run...
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:48 AM   #3
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There are times when I just know immediately that someone will be haggling. You just....know....

When I run into this, I just raise my initial price and let them "win" by talking me down. If I would normally charge $1500 for a water heater, I'll quote $1950. When they go into the whole song & dance about how my price is so high and they have so many great friends they can refer to me if I will lower my price, I'll excuse myself to the van to "call my supplier" to see what I can do. I'll go play a game of spades on the phone, drink something, then go back and tell them I can do it for $1600, but they have to promise never to tell anyone. Works most every time.

They feel like they have won, I get an extra hundred for playing the game with them.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hroark2112 View Post
There are times when I just know immediately that someone will be haggling. You just....know....

When I run into this, I just raise my initial price and let them "win" by talking me down. If I would normally charge $1500 for a water heater, I'll quote $1950. When they go into the whole song & dance about how my price is so high and they have so many great friends they can refer to me if I will lower my price, I'll excuse myself to the van to "call my supplier" to see what I can do. I'll go play a game of spades on the phone, drink something, then go back and tell them I can do it for $1600, but they have to promise never to tell anyone. Works most every time.

They feel like they have won, I get an extra hundred for playing the game with them.

Sound like what car salesmen do (and women). Always wondered what they do in the back room.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:41 AM   #5
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its all a game..you have to know your bottom price to be able to do a job and make money at it, and you need to know when to walk away from a job..just like buying a car...
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:35 PM   #6
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That's why before I even begin working, I tell them how much the job will cost and have them sign off on a "work authorization form. Then they can't ***** about it later on and claim its too much
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:30 PM   #7
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I just negotiate then do the job but note very specifically where the doors are, how many lock, etc. Also try to ask some questions about the customers schedule. Then at the right time, you go back and rob that son of a ***** blind! I usually come out like 3k up from all the sold off goods.
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