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How to Handle Price Negotiations: A Tradesman’s Guide

Rhino Trade Insurance 08 March 2023

Life is loaded with business exchanges, customer interactions and more, from high-stake contract negotiations with councils and suppliers to day-to-day price discussions with local customers. The good news today is that you can gain valuable skills in the art of negotiation, from how to better effectively communicate your product and your offering to how to price the job and not cave on a reduction. 

Rhino Trade Insurance offers beneficial insurance coverage for almost every trade and provides practical articles that help with trade business management, hints, techniques and more. 

A guide to pricing your work properly

Understanding the Market and Your Value

Tradesmen and Tradeswomen running their own business need to be effective in negotiation. A significant part of this is understanding the value you bring to clients and how your services are in high demand. Whether you are a Plumber, Electrician, Plasterer or Painter and Decorator, you hold strengths that can separate you from the average person on the street. 

Offering a price to a potential client or supplier will inevitably fail if you don't understand the market you are working in, what other professionals like you are charging and how much it takes to do the job without ripping the customer off. 

Ensuring your customer or supplier understands the benefits you bring to them is key. You can offer them qualified expertise along with repeat business and a job that is finished to a high specification. 

Learn more about how to stay competitive here

Communicating Your Price Clearly and Confidently

When quoting a job as a tradeperson, having confidence in your services and speaking with certainty will help the process. Getting any major points across simply and effectively will help your cause and help you give a fair price. 

If you don't have much confidence in your ability, be sure to practise before you start your business and interact with customers. Strike a superhero pose to feel invincible, reduce any anxiety by learning your main selling points and stick to a script, especially when you get to the moment you quote a price. Improving your confidence will help you achieve better sales and not undersell yourself on a job. 

Being Prepared to Justify Your Pricing

Fundamentally researching your industry and having the stats and facts to back you up will help justify any prices you give. Customers enjoy having a breakdown of costs, which helps the feeling of transparency and that they aren't being taken to the cleaners. 

When pricing up a job, use actual costs to that day. On top of this, only give a price range that includes a bit of leeway; customers will always expect to be on the lower end of a price range if given one. As a time-served tradesperson, your time is precious and having a price upfront is the best. It saves you from being haggled and keeps you away from awkward negotiations. 

Building Trust and Establishing a Positive Relationship

Showing genuineness and honesty is significant in all parts of business; however, it is particularly important in the trade industry. Being straightforward makes you more dependable, and if a customer sees you as reliable, they are bound to trust your process and expect the price to reflect the job you will do. On top of this, providing everything goes smoothly; you will have repeat business with a happy customer. 

It's worth remembering to stay level-headed and impartial when pricing a job. It's just business at the end of the day. If you are confident in your abilities, believe the price you are offering is competitive, and the customer doesn't choose you, don't take it to heart. The trade industry is on fire, and your skills are in high demand. Staying fair and honest will help you build trust with enough customers for your business. 

Staying Flexible and Open to Win-Win Solutions

The best scenario in any trade discussion will be both parties leaving happy with the price and delighted with the work done. If you achieve this level of satisfaction, as we mentioned above, you are guaranteeing repeat business with that customer or supplier. 

A win-win situation is a lovely place to find yourself. When a client knows what they want, and you can give it to them, you are in a brilliant position to get exactly what you want price-wise. 

Knowing When to Walk Away from a Deal

Any trade business that can say no is in a powerful position. With the explosion of work in the trades, you are free to be picky and choosy with what jobs you do. If someone is haggling over a price and unhappy with your going rate, learning to say no is more valuable to your business than doing the job underprice. 

Displaying this level of assertiveness and confidence shows clients and suppliers that you are legit, professional and mean business. At this point, you hold the cards because if a customer doesn't match your project expectations, they are no closer to getting what they want (the job done). 

Staying Up-to-date with Industry Standards 

Rounding off this guide, staying on top of the latest industry developments is imperative. Whether that's reading trade articles online, following news on regulations and legislation from the government, signing up to a recognised trade body or being a member of an association that deals with developments in your trade. 

Maintaining your knowledge of what is happening in your industry allows you to be better informed on what can and can't be done on jobs and how certain elements need to be worked on, and it gives you confidence that your work is safe and effective. Because of this, you can command the right price level and back it up with the above information and knowledge. 

You can also read why it’s important to stay on top of developments and training

Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

Having a solid set of skills when it comes to negotiation will see your business right in the long run. Ensuring you analyse every angle when quoting a job and negotiating your price will help build a successful career filled with quality projects and a healthy bank balance. 

Learning the art of negotiating is a sure way to have a successful career as a tradesperson. Hopefully, we have shared various ideas in the article and have lit the fire in your belly that was needed to price your jobs well and stick by that price. 

If you or your business needs trade insurance, look no further than Rhino Trade Insurance. We have specific insurance for almost all trades. Each policy can be designed to fit the precise needs of your business. No matter the size or scope. Give our team a ring and get an affordable instant quote.


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