“I feel cheated”
What would you do if a client told you they felt cheated? That they felt they’d paid too much?
And you know there’s no basis for their feeling as you’d done an excellent job, which they’d acknowledged?
An interesting conundrum faced by a friend of ours.
John is a professional handyman. Got a tremendous amount of skill and experience and does excellent work.
Clients constantly rave about his work and give referrals.
But a number have said words to the effect that they felt he charged a lot and seemed to complete the work faster than they expected. Hence the feeling they’d overpaid. Essentially buyer’s remorse.
And while this is bad enough, the flow on effect is even worse. Even though the job was done well, they’re highly unlikely to give him a good rap or recommend him to their friends. So there’s a bunch of potential business that may never materialise.
I believe the issue stems from three things.
Most clients equate time for money. They don’t value John’s expertise. They can’t because John has not positioned himself as the expert or explained his process. Clients have no idea of the detailed work that went into completing the job. Perception is everything. To them he’s “only a handyman”.
John charges a fixed price for a job. The client is paying for a result, not time or effort.
Sure he adds in some fat because not all jobs run smoothly. Sometimes he wins – getting it done fast. Other times hidden issues crop up taking more of his time. Either way the client pays the same.
Clients often have no idea what’s involved so can’t judge the level of expertise required to get it done right, the first time.
In addition John (at our suggestion) now offers a one year guarantee. He now has an “excuse” to call clients up every few months, walk through the premises looking at the work and fixing anything necessary. Clients get peace of mind. And he would often pick up more work.
So how could he handle this?
I suggested a couple of ways.
In both, clients need to be educated regarding John’s level of experience and expertise. And that he’s quoting a fixed price where they know exactly what the job will cost – no more, no less.
And the best way? Pre-frame the objection.
Explain that they’re paying a fixed price. That he doesn’t charge by the hour. That they’re paying for his knowledge and experience.
“I know you’ll be very happy with the result. And the result is what you’re paying for. Not the time it takes me to complete the job.”
Use an analogy like this to illustrate the point:
“There’s a story about a plumber who was called in to fix a major water hammer problem. He went around the house tapping pipes and listening. Finally he took out his hammer and whacked a pipe in a very particular spot. Problem gone!
He gave the client a bill for $200 and 10 cents. Client said I have no issue paying, but can you tell me what the 10 cents is for? Plumber replied, ‘10 cents is for whacking the pipe. $200 is for knowing where to hit it.’ I’m like that plumber. You’re paying for my skill. Not the time it takes.”
Reinforce this by adding it to the bottom of quotes.
An alternative to a fixed price would be to give a price range.
“The job will be between $X and $Y at the top end. If I don’t find any hidden nasties, I’ll charge you less. Is that fair?”
Done gently this will go a long way to eliminating this insidious form of buyer’s remorse.
And finally, John could have us create a Referral/Credibility Package.
The package contains information that explains the Why, What, Who, How and What if.
- The why
Covers what problems you solve. What pain do you take away? What benefits do you bring to the table?
- Who you are
People want to know who they’re dealing with. Your values, expertise and experience.
- Who you work with
You may work with specific types of people, with specific circumstances, even in specific industries. Stating this makes it easier for people to identify themselves. It also makes it easier for referrers to identify potential clients.
- What you do
Nobody is a jack of all trades – even a handyman. Being explicit with the types of jobs John does makes it easy for people to select themselves in or out.
- How you do it
Your clients can’t value what you do unless you tell them what’s involved. They see the finished result. May well be delighted, but don’t understand what you did to get there. How much you had to study, practice, perfect.
Ironically, explaining your process can become a major selling differentiator. It actually becomes your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Here’s an article we wrote about this.
The package also includes:
- Testimonials from happy clients
Prospects want to know: Will your solution work? Will it work for me? Are you reliable?
- Case studies which show the before, during and after results (including pictures where appropriate)
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs).
These are both questions you keep hearing from clients as well as questions your clients should be asking – if only they knew what.
- Your guarantee & after sales service
One of the fears we face, especially when making an important or expensive buying decision, is “are we making the wrong choice”. “What happens if I make the wrong choice, or it doesn’t work”.
Explain in detail how you stand by your product or service. What you do if something goes wrong.
Most handymen give a 3 month warranty on work. By extending this to 12 months John puts himself in a class of his own. Clients get peace of mind.
Once created, you could use this package in a multitude of ways.
- Send it out to prospective clients as an initial introduction.
- Hand it out at networking events.
- If you’re a speaker, offer it to attendees.
- Give it to prospects who want a quote – so they understand the depth of what you can do for them.
- Give it to clients who can pass it on to suitable referrals.
- Give it to “connectors” – people who know lots of people in your target market and who are willing to pass it on.
And once you’ve sent it out, follow up!
If all this seems like a lot of hard work, it is. But the benefits are truly worth it. A package like this will immediately raise your credibility and position you as the go to person that will solve your prospects’ problems.
Don’t have time or the expertise to do it yourself?
Commission us to do it for you. We’ve created Referral/Credibility Packages in dozens of industries including professional services, health, manufacturing and construction.
Call us on (02) 9499-7958 for a confidential discussion as to your goals and let’s get started.
Rashid & Barbara.