Leo's window cleaning mentor, a lovely man now sadly gone to that great window round in the sky, gave him this sage advice: "Window cleaners (and these days softwashing contractors) are the most highly paid tradespeople. You will be earning more than most of your customers, so tell yourself you are worth it, BELIEVE you are worth it, and keep your prices high".
Leo did just that during the 10 years he ran his window cleaning business and was the most expensive window cleaner in his area. He had only had one problem: too much work!
Quote a bit higher than you are actually willing to work for. Then, if your customer wants to haggle, you have leeway to come down. When customers get the price down they think they are doing well, makes them happy – and we all want happy customers, they give referrals. And if, after you have come down a bit in price, you are still earning as much or more than you need, you are happy too.
It's important when haggling to know your bottom line (the rate you will not, under ANY circumstances, go lower than) and stick to it. Let the cowboys try to undercut you - your market is not theirs.
Of course, quite often the customer does not haggle and you just got a job at a very nice price, so be sure to do an extra specially good job. This will help with referrals
An example from Leo's window cleaning days. He often had customers next door to houses that were being cleaned by other window cleaners who were changing one-third of his prices. His customers were well aware of this but chose Leo because they were willing to pay for quality.
Quality work and quality service spreads through word of mouth – and the price you can charge for referrals is generally higher than customers who come in through cold canvassing or advertising. That's because they trust the person who referred you, and therefore already trust you and your work, and so are willing to pay a bit extra. Trust, along with excellent service, is a saleable commodity in today's world.
Don't try to compete with the cowboys. Don't play the "cut price cowboy" game. Let those fools do their thing ... there is a market for poor quality just as there is for high quality.
Going in cheap is a mugs game and doing work that we don't get paid well for is always a miserable chore.
Stick to your prices, maintain a high quality of work, and reap the well-earned and well-deserved rewards.
We hope you found this information helpful and inspires you to succeed in your softwashing business.
Ben, Leo & Fiona