The Psychology of Working With Thrifty or Impatient Clients.

At times a client will seem to want to press you to either lower your price, or to have you do the job quicker than your schedule will allow. It may be tempting succomb to their demands, especially if your work is slow, but if you do, the job may turn into a nightmare. Unless you have some good reason, it is much better to hold to your price or to hold firm to your schedule at the risk of loosing the job. If you do hold strong, it is true that you might loose the job (and sometimes you will loose the job). But the blessing is this. If they then do leave and go someplace else they may find out that your price or your schedule is no more that other places. Then, if they do come back (and sometimes they do), they are much more reasonable about what they are willing to pay or will be more understanding about waiting for your schedule.

First, if the client is trying to rush you to give a quick price to them, don't do it. Tell them that you need a few minutes to figure out the price. Sometimes you can send them on to finish their errands and come back later. Sometimes you can get them looking through your sample books (which can get them occupied) while you are figuring out the price.

I find that whenever I give a quick price I usually forget to add some things. So I like to figure out the prices when I'm away from the clients. Sometimes, if the client is in a rush to leave, I'll get their name, address, telephone number, and email address and send the estimate or work order to them.

If the client stays while you figure the price, make sure you have included all the costs. I usually list all the items, with the associated costs, on my estimate form. My estimate form can have up to four columns, giving them options for cheapest to most complete. Some of the things are manditory, while others may be optional. If the client wants a cheaper price they can choose from the lowest cost column.

No matter how you figure the price, the important thing here is for you to have confidence that you have given a fair estimate, and that you know what it includes. Then, keep calm and either give the client options, or keep calmly repeat your price and what it includes. If they again ask for a lessor price, again calmly repeat what the price is and what it includes. As long as you keep calm and keep firm, the client has no control over you.

If the client finds out that they can't get you to change your mind, they usually leave (which will be better for you) or they often just settle down and accept what you can do or are willing to do.