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In this no-nonsense edition of Potty Talk, Richard delves into why providing pricing information over the phone can have a negative impact on your plumbing business. Tune in to gain valuable insights.


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3 Golden Nuggets

  1. It’s Not Professional 
  2. Money Becomes the Focus
  3. Difficult to Scale


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Show Notes

Should you give prices over the phone?

The short answer is no, never. 

But the long answer is this…

It’s Not Professional

The most important reason why you should never give out prices is that it’s not how professionals work. 

Simply put, you’re a hack if you give out prices over the phone! Why?

Because you haven’t diagnosed the problem yet. So how will you gauge the cost of the issue when you’re not even sure what the problem is? 

Relying on the customer’s description of the problem never works for 3 simple reasons:

  1. They might be explaining things wrong
  2. They might be underestimating the problems
  3. They might be leaving out some key information

That’s why any price estimate you give will most likely be inaccurate. Leaving you in a challenging position, having to explain why you’re charging more, making Mrs. Jones both uncomfortable and unlikely to trust you again!

And on top of that–it’s just wrong. No customer calling you cares about the price; they’re just asking because it’s a natural thing to be curious about. But the cost isn’t going to change the fact that they’ve got a problem, and they need it fixed. So really, they’re already sold–there’s no need to talk about money over the phone. Just book the call, and let them know you’ll send out a licensed plumber to have a look and diagnose the problem. 

It’s the professional way of doing things!

Money Becomes the Focus

The second reason you shouldn’t give prices over the phone is that it turns the focus onto the money.

Instead of the customer getting the whole experience, they’ll worry about the number you gave them. And that’s a problem for 2 reasons…

  1. Because they’ll always think the price is too high
  2. Because even if you give a ballpark, they’ll only hear the lowest price

And when you get there, do the job, and it’s time to give them the final price? They’ll think you’re cheating them by charging the highest price.

So instead of creating this window of confusion and discomfort, simply avoid giving a price on the phone. Instead, tell them you need to see the problem and diagnose it to provide a fair estimate. 

That way, you make them feel comfortable that you know what you’re doing, and you don’t leave any room for miscommunication or confusion.

As we said, it’s just the professional way of doing things.

Think of it this way; if you call a restaurant and ask how much a steak costs, you’ll think it’s expensive no matter what they say. But that’s because you only heard the price associated with the meal itself. But you, as a customer, forget to factor in the excellent service you might get–your plumbing customer is the same thing.

Suppose you give them the price over the phone. In that case, you’re robbing them of the chance to get the full experience that your service offers, such as your cleanliness, promptness, manners, and safety procedures–all of these things add up to the cost. The customer won’t know that because you’re just telling them over the phone that the price of a leaky faucet is X. 

It completely strips the value of your service, and money becomes the focus–which is bad for business.

Difficult to Scale

Now the third reason why you should NEVER give prices over the phone is that it makes scaling your business near impossible.

If you, as a business owner, are taking calls yourself and giving the price over the phone, then you’re overcomplicating things–which devalues your business.

Because, let’s face it, you’ll never find a CSR who can give quotes, so you’ll have to make the calls yourself. 

And this doesn’t seem right for so many reasons, and you can refer back to other Potty Talk episodes to understand this point better, but most importantly, it’s wrong because it’s not sustainable.

A good business that runs like a well-oiled machine is one where you, the CEO, get to worry about the critical aspects of your business while your CSRs book the calls and your techs go out and do that job. Easy.

Simple processes like these make a business much easier to scale, and when it’s time to sell or move on to bigger things, it raises your valuation, allowing you to make more profits.

So to avoid confusion, making your customer uncomfortable, and losing out on profits, never give prices over the phone.

Richard’s Call to Action

If you want to learn more about numbers that matter and how to best run your plumbing business, why not schedule a free 30-min strategy call with us? Let’s talk about your goals and where you want to be this time next year, and we’ll help you create a path to make that happen. Schedule your free strategy call here today!