Not landing jobs, losing bids because of high price

This is my first year full time. I use professionally designed thick glossy estimate sheets and I charge $5 a pane inside and out, $3.50 just outside. That roughly equates to $50-$60 per man hour. I have a couple part time employees for when I have large houses to do.

When I started out in April and May I was offering people a 15% spring cleaning discount, and I was landing 90% of my bids. Now I’m charging full price, and I do land about 50% of the bids at full price, the other half I lose because my competitors are charging anywhere from $3.75-$4.25 a pane inside and out.

I’ve thought about lowering prices to $4.25 a pane, as it’s my first year and I also want to keep my employees busy. I’m not landing enough jobs.

The problem with lowering is that I offer maintenance plans with frequency discounts
from 10% to 15%, and I would hate to discount lower prices.

What should I do?

“The problem with lowering is that I offer maintenance plans with frequency discounts from 10% to 15%, and I would hate to discount lower prices.”

  • Don’t offer a percentage discount. Try $25 off.

“I charge $5 a pane inside and out, $3.50 just outside.”
• So for a double hung window (2 panes) you get $10 in/out, and exterior only double hung (2 panes) you get $7?

Provide value for the service that you offer. Your competitors may not be offering the same service and value as you. If you are landing 90% + of your bids that is great. 50% then you will need more exposure to land more jobs.

“What should I do?”
• Offer to throw in mirrors for free; change smoke detector batteries for free (customer supplies battery); clean outdoor light fixtures.

Human nature is to love a deal, people like to feel like they’re saving money. Why not increase your window price and always run some sort of discount promo? Spring Cleaning, Summer Vacation, Back to School etc. Like Garry mentioned, a percent off deal isn’t as motivating to the human brain as $$ off so that may be something to consider. A big part of sales is working within how the human mind works.

Also, 90% of jobs landed is a bit high and maybe a sign that you could charge more. I read somewhere to shoot for 80%, higher means you could be charging more and less means you’re probably charging too much potentially. There are a lot of factors that go into landing a job of course but price plays a big role.

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50% closure is actually pretty good at full price. You’re better off building your business through referrals from existing customers. It’s not going to happen over night, but in 25 years of business I’ve closed 99% of referrals and maybe 50% of the ones who find me through other means of advertising.


Had the same problem when we first moved to KY, people didn’t know us from Adam. My wife signed us up for Angie’s List and while we had to work like slaves for a while fulfilling coupons for $89/20 windows, it got our foot in the door and slowly but surely our customer base built up.

I don’t recommend AL any more, but the guys have given solid advice. Anybody can do windows, customers remember the ‘extras’ like mirrors, ceiling fans, connecting on a personal level etc.

Once customers know they can trust you…that is a really big deal. That is when the 99% referral close rate comes in handy.

I know when I find a service business I trust, I will never use anyone else.


I gotta agree with the previous advice. Skip the percentage and go hard on the $25.
I had $25 gift cards made, it only applies if they have it and give it to me with payment.
It’s a one off and you give them the full price on the invoice so they know what it will cost next time.

May help to look at first time cleans like they’re auditions. Talk to the customer (if they’re home,) smooz em, love they’re dogs/cats, write down the pet names, “ooh and ahh” over they’re home/lawn/views, send a specific thank you card. Sometimes these people have so much coin they’re board in life, showing off their possessions is the thrill of owning their possessions. Make em feel special.

Point being, go the extra mile and there’s a better chance they pay your higher prices after your through the door the first time, because they like you.

There is this company who is offering 20 windows for $139 for a little while longer then he is putting his price back up .He is giving free screen cleaning and frame cleaning also.once his offer expires he is putting price back to $250 for 20 windows.He does not specify what windows double hung one single window etc…his ad just says 20 windows.He is taking a loss so he gain take a gain on next cleaning.You would not want to make a habit of it,but to get new customers and then put your prices up afterwords on the next cleaning it may be a way to get the price you want<just not at first.After that hit them with the price you were looking to get to begin with.Look at it as an investment.over time it will add up.I just offered a 20 window inside and out deal with screen cleaning for $199.Running that deal for 2 weeks and thats it.It is a tuff call because you said you have a couple of part time employees and you still have to pay them.It would pay off in the end though.We all need advice at one time or another including myself.Good luck!

I’ve been trying to think of a good way to put this; please bear with me:

I don’t think you are losing jobs due to price. That might be the surface explanation, but not the underlying reason.

There is a whole market of buyers who do not care if the cost of a service or commodity is 15%, 25%, or even 100% more than the other options, if they are convinced that they’re making the best choice.

Your job as a residential window cleaning business owner is to reach that market, and be effective at convincing them you are the best choice for them.

Volumes have been written on the subject of selling a premium service or product to discerning customers. If you can find a copy, “The Whale Vomit Method” by Kevin Dubrosky is a good place to start.


Look at your demographic and “presentation.” Reach out to folk who aren’t as concerned with an extra $50 and are they blown away by the presence and appearance and presentation.