Be Prepared For The Discount Conversation

Posted: February 5, 2013 in Between A Rock And A Hardscape
Your Customers Are Looking For An Avenue To A Better Price

Your Customers Are Looking For An Avenue To A Better Price

If your business is booming and your price to your customer is a “take it or leave it” proposition, congratulations. You have reached the Mount Everest of the landscape industry.

But for those still climbing that mountain, you need a strategy for when your customers request a price break. So let me be your Sherpa and guide you with a few suggestions:

1. Offer An Earlier Installation

When you provide your customer with your project install date, never use the next available time slot on your project calendar. If you follow this rule, you can bring an earlier date to the bargaining table which can work in place of a discount.

Your customers want to be enjoying that patio, driveway or grill island as early as possible so use that as currency.

2. Offer An Upgrade Or Addition

Some of your customers are trained to ask for a better price. Why not give them a better project! Upgrade the polymeric sand to a premium product or upgrade the lighting to include the pergola. You can also add items such as plantings, a small seating wall bordering the patio, or a fire pit.

By upgrading or adding to the project, the customer gets added value and you get the project price you quoted.

3. Offer To Change The Scope Of The Project

When your customers ask for a lower price, you don’t have to slash your profit to get there. Find out how much you need to lower the project cost and offer to reduce some of the elements of the project. You may find that certain parts of the job are not as important as the final price. Your customers will be happy about how much money they are spending and you get to keep your profit margins intact!

4. Offer Alternatives

Customers may be trying to get a better price because they cannot afford the full project. Suggest they scale the project back by offering a different product that will save them money but offer a similar look. Take out some border work that will save labor dollars or offer to stagger the project over the next 12 months.

Help your customers discover ways to get their dream backyard or driveway without admitting they may be in over their heads.

5. Be Prepared To Walk Away

If nothing else works and the discount your customer is seeking is too steep, thank them for their time and pack up your design and presentation. Some contractors will actually use this as a closing tool since it forces the customer to make decision.

If they do let you walk out without a deal, don’t worry. One project is rarely worth the effort when dealing with small margins. Use your leads and referrals wisely and there will always be another project.

Customers have learned over the years that if they ask for a better price, they usually get one. Change that conversation by being prepared to talk about ways to change the project price without slashing your profit margins. You will set yourself apart from other contractors and get to the top of the mountain doing it.

Happy Hardscaping!

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