Have you ever wanted just one phrase that you could say at the right time, and it save you hundreds, or thousands of dollars?
When it comes to getting the best price from contractors, plumbers, electricians, HVAC techs, you name it, there is a simple phrase that often works like magic in reducing your costs.
These specialties are always competing for work. However, if you ask any of them they will likely tell you that they are extremely busy!
They might be. They might not.
There’s a game going on here. They need to appear very busy so their services are in demand and support the prices they will ask for. At the same time, you need to appear to be willing and able to get prices from many sources. (Don’t just make it appear that way, get multiple bids whenever it’s practical!) It’s a balance that must be struck.
The good part is that now you know the game…so play both sides since you know what the other side’s play.
How to turn the tables
- Have an idea of what the job will cost. Just a ball park idea will do.
- If you are told something that you think it high, ask why so high. There might be more to it than you know. The reason for the high price might be reasonable. Discuss alternatives. (For example, if you electrician points out that the breakers you need are especially expensive, ask if he’s got any used breakers that are still in good shape.)
- Then use the magic phrase…
Here it is… “Is that your final and best price?”
Very often the person you are talking to will squirm a bit at this point. They are having to think…
“Is my price fair?”
“Am I over pricing something here?”
“Can I save this customer some money?”
“Does the customer know something I don’t?”
While your contractor/laborer thinks about this, don’t say a word. I’ve experienced many reactions from “That’s the best I can do” to “If you give me the job, I’ll knock it down to…” Often I’ve gotten a range of options that could save me money. More often than not, it saves my money!
It works like magic if:
- They understand that they aren’t your sole source of the service they provide
- They know you are willing to wait for the best price
- They know you aren’t a push over
- They know you might be a source of future income
But, it WILL work like magic when properly applied. In my own experience, I can point to many thousands of dollars of savings using this simple question.
We like to save money by keeping prices for services reasonable, true enough. At the same time, I advocate and approach of “don’t let anyone get hurt.” If you award a job to someone and it winds up costing them more than expected, I help that person out. I don’t want someone to lose money on a job and leave with a bad taste in their mouth and never want to do work for me again. Be aware of when someone gets hurt. That said, watch out for those that claim to get hurt with each job.
Try out that phrase today. It works in many situations…not just rehab real estate, but in just about any competitive environment.