Making notes

7 ways to stop discounting and start winning

How much is your time worth to you? When you were on wages you knew your hourly rate and you got penalty rates for working over-time and weekends. How’s that working for you now that you work for yourself? Know your worth and get real about what discounting is really costing you.

Here are my 7 top tips to get you off the ‘discounting-to-lose’ merry go round.

  1. Comparing Apples with Star Fruit. Take a look in an online directory under ‘Glass Merchants and Glazing’ and have a look at how each business advertises itself. Notice a common theme? So I ask you if every business is advertising that they are specialists in ALL things glass and there is no job too big or too small; and everyone is 24/7, then how does a customer know to choose you out of the all the other independent contractors out there? You need to give potential customers a reason to choose you, so they are no longer comparing apples with apples. Otherwise the only differentiator you are giving them is price so of course they are going to look for a discount. How are you different?
  2. STOP giving FREE quotes. There I said it! Think about it. How much are FREE quotes really costing you and why are you doing them anyway? Is it because everybody else is? Think about all that time it takes to go out onsite and write up a quote, which is then used against you. Believe it or not, most people don’t want to spend the time having multiple tradies at their house to get a price to fix a window. Their time is precious too. What they want, is to know – they can trust that they will get a good tradesman, to do a good job, at a good price, at a time that is convenient to them. So how can you address these concerns without having to go out onsite for FREE?
  3. There is no such thing as Mates Rates … It’s hard to know where to stop with the discounting when it comes to ‘love jobs’ isn’t it. Everyone wants a great deal from your mother-in-law, to your cousin, to your best mate’s girlfriend’s half brother’s nephew! So here is a rule of thumb that I like to use. It’s either full price or it’s free. There is no in between. 
  4. Avoid the ‘Dutch Auction’. There are some well oiled marketing machines that are after your advertising dollar but be selective about where you choose to advertise. I am a big critic of some ‘Pay Per Lead’ sites that offer customers ‘Get 3 FREE quotes’. This is where a customer lists the details of a job on a website and you get the opportunity to bid on the right to contact the customer and quote the job. Really? Think about it. You are paying the Marketing Machine for the right to contact their customer alongside 2 other tradesmen. So in your mind you know you need to be cheaper to ‘win’ the job. Two other tradies are doing the same thing and the customer can then just play you against each other to get the cheapest price. Ewww!
  5. Cash maybe King but you don’t have to be paid like a Joker. How often have you trotted out “I can do it cheaper for cash.” Automatically you are devaluing what you have to offer. Do you think O’Brien’s offer 10% off for cash? No. The price is the price regardless of how your customer pays.
  6. Add more value. What value can you give that doesn’t cost the earth but leaves a lasting impression? Maybe it’s an ‘Ontime Guarantee’ or ‘Lifetime Warranty’ or maybe it’s a gift – like glass cleaner or cleaning cloths. It could be as simple as a follow up call to make sure your customer is still happy with your service with some advice about when to paint over the putty.
  7. Get Certified, or even better become a Master Glazier. If price is your only differentiator then set yourself to a higher standard and automatically customers will see you as an expert. You are no longer just putting a piece of glass in a hole. You are a master of your trade and you will be able to offer a Compliance certificate with every job. Now that’s powerful!

Now’s the time to start valuing your time and charging what you are worth. Give one of the tips a go and see how it works for you. And let me know how you get on.