Had a new customer scheduled for Monday morning. The house is a 3,934 square foot, 5.0 bathroom, single family home. Sold in 2003 for $1,200,000 according to Zillo. The lady called me yesterday and left a message “that after thinking about it, my price was too high and way more than what they paid last time.” At first I was going to call back and see if there was a compromise price we could agree on, but stopped myself because it is a somewhat difficult residence to do. Two story, larger than standard windows, with minimum cut ups of 3 to 4 panes on some, and up to 12 and 15 panes on others. The front windows have an arbor to try and navigate, and front patio is ladder difficult. 49 windows, 7 doors with an average price of $6.00 each for outside clean only.
Just crazy. $318.00, outside only, ladder work, front half difficult to manage, house is worth 1.27 million on today’s real estate markety analysis and they are squalking about the high side of $300? I was almost moved to reduce my price but no! I’ll just look for a replacement job and feel comfortable with my pricing for the quality of work I deliver each and every time.
Good for you for sticking to your guns. The way you were building it up, I thought for sure it was going to be a $1k+ job.
This is one reason why we take deposits upon booking. Once someone has paid money for something, that purchase decision is usually “final” in their subconscious. They’re much less likely to hem and haw over it, or continue to price shop. On the other hand, if they haven’t paid a deposit, for some people that decision isn’t really finalized even once they’ve booked. They feel it’s still open till the last minute for them to change their minds.
The value of the home should not play a factor on pricing, not in any way.
As for the rest of your story, it sounds like you were selling a window wash, just like any other window wash and for that you probably are too high. Try selling your services, your commitment to quality, etc…
I think you actually under priced the job but that’s different thread !
I actually love dealing with people who ask for little discount on the price ! why ? because I like doing it myself when I’m shopping for something and always trying to see the situation from the client side! even the reach people not all of them BUT allot are happy to negotiate $20,$50 or $100 bucks down.WHY? BECAUSE THEY LIKE THAT !they like the game with numbers ( $ ) and they like playing with them! who doesn’t like to feel that he/she got a great deal even for window cleaning ?!
I totally get that point - just it does not fit when I sell a job. As I do the greeting, the walk through, and then the price with my calender in hand to schedule I talk up my services. What I do, the additional services I offer, and touch on the detail that I put into the job to see that they are pleased and happy with my work. I turn down jobs where they suggest I “just do a basic wash of the glass” for less. I won’t be happy, and consequently they won’t either. I find it hard to raise my prices much more than I have in my particular area. Competition for price may be that determining factor. I believe I price them so I land most jobs. Not all, like this one, but most. Just bugs me a tad when the customer who can actually afford it (reason I stated price of the home) tries to get me to jump at the opportunity compromise my business plan.
I do get several who pay more for less of a house than this one and say “when can you start?”
It seems like you gave a pretty good price. Magestic66 hit the nail on the head. Where’s the other guy now? I’m guessing he realized it’s too much work for the size of job and didn’t want to come back. Sometimes when I have a customer like that it makes me leery to work for them because if they’re going to complain about price then what else are they going complain about. They have me walking on egg shells all day and that’s not why I got into the business. Some people just like to complain. These are the folks I tread lightly around. Maybe she’s super nice I don’t know. I’d say be wary of this customer.
You just told me you are selling on price to land most jobs.
If you are selling the highest quality service in the area, you better be charging the most for those services. You may not close as many jobs but you will be making more money at the end of the year and working less for it. I spent years selling on price before I learned to sell my service and that is when my business took off.
If you are selling window cleaning then you are better off being lower priced because any monkey can clean a window, right???
As far as the customer being able to afford it, how do you know? I work in many million dollar neighborhoods and there are just as many “foreclosure” signs as there are in the middle and lower income areas. Your price needs to be based on YOUR expenses and needs, not what you think the customer can afford.
I try not to compromise my pricing, only time I budge is when I really want to get my foot in the door with a neighborhood or its a home I feel is in a “high exposure” area and where I want to be seen.
Last week I put out about 50/60 door hangers in a neighborhood I’ve been wanting to get into for the last year now. Well I get a call for an estimate at a home in that neighborhood the day after I put out those door hangers. Went and did the estimate, total in/out for job was just over $300, I believe $318 or so, and the woman said she would have to discuss it with her husband. She called back and asked if I could “do better on my price” (I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY THIS) but thinking quickly I said "yes I could apply a $25 gift certificate now if you let us leave one of our yard signs up for two weeks after the job and we will come back in two weeks to grab the sign. She had also said that last year she had only paid $125 for her window cleaning in/out, weird that person/company is no longer around?
Well so too long of a story short, we booked the job for next week, $100 deposit, yard sign up for 2 weeks and she is charged $275 and I get into the neighborhood I’ve wanted in for over a year now.
I charge enough for my services where I could probably have taken $50 off and still made a nice profit from the job. And did I mention it’s 1/1’s nylon screens and I can WFP the exterior? Looking forward to this job and ideally getting known in this area more.
Pro Window Cleaning
Sent from my iPhone using Window Cleaning Resource
That is one way looking of at it. I am selling on price that works for me and my area. I land most, and some I don’t. $6.00 per window on this job is fair both to the customer and to me for my labor, equipment, insurance, vehicle, quality of work. Could I do it for less? Yea, I probably could. Could the garage that repairs my van do it for less? Yea, he probably could. You are right, I am assuming that this house is NOT in foreclosure and they are not about to lose everything they own. I am assuming since they have a housekeeper (she was there when I was), lawn service (the guys were there when I was) and recently hired painters (their sign was in the yard) that they should also be able to afford my price (which is not out of range by the way).
I think some folks misunderstand with “value” and “pricing.” At some point Price gets considered. I think that it is safe to say the people on this site are not “Bucket Bob’s” offering the cheapest rates in town. We all offer value for the price. Sometimes that price may vary slightly from window to window, but the value is a constant. We set a price that we can sell, live with, and eat off of. The majority of the windows on this job would be easy to reach - the front half not so much, but I didn’t alter by much my price to value on the job. The homeowner, whom I assume can easily afford the quoted price, lives in a mansion as it were and balked at what I feel is an already bargain price, even after my informed description of what I do to bring their windows as clean as possible. After she spoke with her husband (who was not present during my presentation) she changed her mind. There has to be a starting point for price somewhere. Value should be constant.
[MENTION=2940]Garry[/MENTION] ran into the same thing this morning when I gave a new customer the price. She had called me because I had cleaned her husband’s office, was terrible dirty and water stains, so they must have liked the results. So when I told her $325 in/out, she said the previous guy did it for $220. I didn’t ask her why she didn’t just call whomever back to do them and ended up on settling for the outside only at $150. I seriously doubt she will clean the inside herself, but whatever.
These issues are always a big gripe of mine too. Drives me up the wall sometimes. As much as I hate the bargainers… I’ve realized they will always be around, so learn to work with them.
Bottom line: never sell yourself short. If it’s not worth it for you to go lower, let the next dummy deal with the hassle for less money.
Ask questions and put the pressure back on them. It’s not being pushy, it’s standing up for yourself.
Had a lady last October try talking me down from my price of $325. I ask her what she paid in the past and said “$150”. I admitted there’s no way I can go that low, there’s a lot of work DH w storms, my next question was who cleaned them? Answer was “there was 3 Mexicans that are from down in Illinois somewhere, they drove up here to do it” (I’m in WI no way this happened)
Nothing against Mexicans but theres a chance those men were not US citizens… I used that reasoning with her and cleaned her windows for my price.
This a great way to look at it but I’m sure we can agree that price is always a factor when starting out and trying to pay bills. Where I am in my business and life, is that living in the Northeast, I have a short window cleaning season to earn my year’s salary. If I drop my price and that client refers me to their neighbor, friend, or family, how would I know they also mentioned to them that they could knock me down on the price like they did? Why would I want to work for less when I only have 10 days available between now and the first week of August. We all need to figure out what works well for each of us and circumstances are always different.
Glad someone finally said this. I think most of us want to believe we have a USP, and we probably do. But we struggle with succinctly identifying or defining what it is. That, to me, is the hardest part.