Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate: what tactic serves you best?
Negotiation skills have become essential in the face of economic decline and rising living costs. Clients who hire house service providers are not an exception to the rule. But how do you haggle without offending or short-changing service providers? Read more!
Why Negotiate with Service Providers?
You probably have tons of bills to settle, from electricity charges to food shopping to educational fees to taxes; the list is endless. A financial limitation is a sufficient reason for negotiation — you’d do anything to ease your financial burden and spare some savings. You also don’t want to overpay for service and feel cheated. Thankfully, prices are hardly set in stone, and skilled negotiation can get you a favorable bargain. Plus, striking a good deal with home service providers sets the foundation for a long-term contract.
However, there is an art to price negotiation; if you do it wrong, you can get on the bad side of the provider or lose the contract entirely. They may even tell on you, and other service providers (within the same niche or beyond) may avoid you like the plague. But if you negotiate expertly and tactically, you will gain a happy house service provider and a seamless service. Here’s how to do this like a pro:
Do your Homework
The more you know, the less you pay! Before seeking a home service provider, do some market research. Find comparable service providers and assess prices. Once you do this, you’d know what to expect and what you shouldn’t. There’s a good chance that some providers will quote higher, slightly higher, or lower prices than you’ve determined. Use the information you’ve gathered to craft a good offer.
When conducting market research, remember that “similar” does not translate to “equivalent.” For instance, a nanny and a babysitter have similar yet distinct roles. So do not compare the prices of a house service nanny to that of a babysitter. Also, factor in values that warrant an increase or decrease in price. Are they offering something better than what you’ve researched or otherwise?
Be Kind Yet Firm
Human relationships thrive on kindness. House service providers are more easily swayed by friendly and perceptive clients than standoffish or rude ones. But while it is imperative to play nice, don’t be a pushover. Be polite yet assertive. Don’t lose track of your targeted bargain in the name of courtesy. Stick to what you want with a big smile on your face.
If the provider is proving difficult, you have every right to exit the discussion with a polite thanks. Don’t accept a bad deal because you don’t want to hurt their feelings — you’d be shooting yourself in the leg. Also, don’t take it personally if the negotiation doesn’t go as expected; call it a day and seek other alternatives!
Exercise Good Communication Skills
The fastest way to piss off a service provider is to leave their messages or calls unattended! Commit to conversations and speak in person if you can. Give prompt responses and express genuine interest. Listen to understand and not respond. You can even make small talk to get them comfortable. Choose a single point of contact as opposed to numerous sources.
Sites like the House Service App make communication easy for clients and service providers. But regardless, you have to play your part in establishing trust and brokering solutions in the interest of both parties. Learn their best communication channel, be it calls or messages, and comply accordingly. When you and the service provider have a good understanding, negotiating and reaching a favourable agreement will be easier.
Don’t be Cheap
Negotiation doesn’t mean you should be cheap! Make reasonable offers that will compel acceptance and not otherwise. If the service provider quotes a price above your budget, take it down to meet your budget precisely or compromise at a slightly higher margin. Don’t make offers that are way below the asking price for selfish interests. You can make two to three offers until the provider accepts or doesn’t.
Plus, price isn’t the only variable for negotiation. You can bargain for additional services or make compensations in kind. For example, you can offer a home service pet sitter free meals, provided they reduce their rates. Or you can contribute to delivering tools or work supplies in return for a discounted service. Play smart and frugal, but not cheap!
Try not to Be Desperate
Service providers can smell a desperate client from a mile away. In most cases, the least desperate person goes home smiling compared to the desperate one (who wants the deal more). No matter how you feel inside, express confidence and don’t appear over-interested or desperate. Have an exit plan, and other alternatives should the negotiation fail.
Contact multiple house service providers and get different quotes so you can walk away when the circumstance proves unfavourable. One more thing, don’t rush the negotiations. Give good time for careful consideration except you need the service urgently.
Study body language and attitude when making negotiations. Some service providers are open to haggling, while others may not be so willing. Know when to be friendly, kind, firm, and decisive. Read the room and act accordingly. Don’t overextend your hand, lest it scares the vendor away.
If the provider appears warm and friendly, respond in kind. If they seem hesitant and guarded, gently coax them until they come out of their shell. But if they are too stern or vehemently opposed to negotiation, kindly walk away.
Lead with Trust
House service providers appreciate clients who make full payments or deposits on time, and this builds the foundation for trust and encourages the provider to commit their best to your service. So once negotiations are concluded, make necessary payments immediately. It would be best if you also strived to make life easier and better for the provider.
Create a good and healthy working environment for them. Offer incentives and communicate promptly. Treat them as partners and embody qualities that make you pleasant to work with. Doing otherwise might mar your relationship and contract. So, err on the side of caution and be a quality client!
Hopefully, these tips will guide your future negotiations, and getting good deals will no longer be a hassle!
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