Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Pricing over the phone?
Posted by Northerclean (Alex), 20 November 2003
As you may or may not be aware I’m a fairly new carpet cleaner. I’m having a lot of call from an ad I put in the local paper, however, the problem I’m finding is the caller always wants a rough price, nearly everyone who I’ve spoken too told me not to give the price over the phone – I agree with this as I need to test the carpet or upholstery for colour run, fitting and all the rest of that stuff.

Anyway, what I’m asking you guys I guess is how you get around not giving a rough price over the phone without having the customer ring someone else.  

Posted by Paul_Elliott (Paul_Elliott), 20 November 2003

When you pick up the phone to call a service company what's the first question you ask?

Your customer is making an informed decision based on your response to their question, they are not just asking for a price.

I would reply by saying..........I have three different pricing levels depending on what work you require, may I ask where you got my number? .............Do you know the dimensions of the room?............ Would you like me to visit you for a free quotation?

By asking them questions you turn the conversation back to them and off the issue of just price.


Posted by Northerclean (Alex), 20 November 2003
Cheers for the feedback Paul, what I've been saying to the customers is it's  more or less impossible for me to give a price as I don't know the material the size and the other general things, however, the still ask for a rough price even when I've offer a free quotation.

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 21 November 2003
This is a problem I always found when advertising in the paper, it always brings in  price shoppers.

I would give them a rough price and then give them a good sales pitch why you deserve the price you've quoted.

How many over carpet cleaners are advertising in the paper? how much do they charge? if you are 20% more than thier price then you need to justify the extra amount you charge. if you are double thier price don't give a price, insist of doing an in-house quote

The key to converting telephone enquiries is to keep them on the phone for as long as possible, the more time they talk to you the more chance you have of getting the business.


Ps look at the phone number, if it says its withheld then quedrouple your price, its usually another carpet cleaner checking  out how much you charge Grin
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 21 November 2003
Although I agree with the theory of gong round a seeing the customer in a rural area unless you have several enquiries in the same area, its not always cost effective.

However I convert price shoppers by talking to them.

I thought I was one of the cheap[est in my area, but it turns out I am one of the dearest. However I get the jobs by being polite asking questions , have they used a carpet cleaner before. What i propose to do etc.

Price shoppers dont like home visits.

Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 21 November 2003
It appears you're moving in the right direction Alex. When discussing pricing over the phone, you are only able to give an estimate. If you visit the site, you can give a written quotation. As mentioned by others here, ask questions. Type of pile? Type of construction and backing material? Cleaned before? Colour? Stains? Size of room? Hopefully, Sir/Madam won't be able to answer all of your questions. You've shown that you are a caring professional, so you can now come back with something like: From the information you've been able to give, I would eatimate a cost in the region of £65. I can visit your home to carry out any tests that would be required in order to clean your carpets safely and  confirm the price as a written quotation, guarenteed for 30 days.
Safe and happy cleaningSmiley

Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 21 November 2003
on 11/21/03 at 07:29:32, mike_halliday wrote:
The key to converting telephone enquiries is to keep them on the phone for as long as possible, the more time they talk to you the more chance you have of getting the business.

I agree, this sort of sales tactic is used by most companies and it works. The ones that make the most of it though are insurance companies and double glazing companies (not that I'm comparing you to them, Mike Wink). They will keep you talking to discourage you to want to go through it all again with someone else.

My suggestion would be to give a price range - if you estimate the job to be worth £65 then quote 'between £55 and £75' depending on the 'Free Survey' you offer (if indeed you would for that value)

To me, that would sound more appealing than Kens quote (sorry Ken!) but still allows you to charge a higher price if you think you need and/or want to.


Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 22 November 2003
Alex an approach you could try is give them a really low price, say £15 for thier living room. Then when you get in the house start walking around shaking your head looking worried.

then Inform the customer that they are lucky they called you because thier carpet is an Oxley cross weave which is very prone to damage ( and a lot of carpet cleaners would'nt have recconised it) so not only will you have to clean it using a special cleaning agent it will also need a special post-rinse conditioner.

Unfortunetly this process will cost a bit more Wink

so you end up leaving the house with £85 Smiley

this is really great way to screw more money out of the customer, who deserve it anyway because they should realise you can't get your carpet cleaned for £15.

Posted by MB (Mark Betts), 22 November 2003

Mike u been on the funny fags again!!

Posted by mike_halliday (mike_halliday), 22 November 2003
What you laughing at Angry

I built my bussiness up to £80K a year using this technique, and I don't pay any tax. (all you have to do is change your name every 18months).

did you get that Scochgard additive that I sent to you ? the one that you put in your detergent so you can apply it as you clean, I'm selling loads of it,

And thanks to The  Yorkshire Water Company I've got a limitless supply Grin

Posted by MB (Mark Betts), 22 November 2003

That addittive u were on about is fantastic!!!!!!

I even coats the inside of my waste tank making it easier to clean and flush out!!!!

Wicked !!!
Posted by Ken_Wainwright (Ken Wainwright), 22 November 2003
I use the Teflon brand and it's fantastic. But be careful not to get any on your hands  'cos all the extra cash you earn just slips through your fingers Wink

Safe and happy cleaningSmiley

Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 22 November 2003
I learnt that technique when I sold windows, Its a special incredient they put in the UPVC so that it does not get dirty.
Posted by Ivar_Haglund (Ivar_Haglund), 25 November 2003
snake oil salesmen

Posted by Northerclean (Alex), 25 November 2003
thanks for the advice guys, I think I'm just going to knock on doors with a gun and tell them I'm cleaning there carpet Grin

I'm converting a lot more leads now.


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