It’s a fact of life when you’re a full-time professional detailer that some clients will complain or balk at your prices. They are obviously a lot higher than a typical car wash, but that’s also because you do a lot more for the car during your detailing. Constantly hearing complaints about prices can, however, start to worry detailers to the point where they take it to heart and start cutting their rates.
This is a bad move, in my opinion, and in today’s blog, I’m going to tell you why. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for deals and cut-price offers, but before you start offering discounts for the wrong reasons, at least think about the following:
Clients Start to Wait for Discounts
The first negative effect of being too eager to offer discounts, or when you start to offer regular discounts at certain times of the month or year, for example, then your customer base will start to see the pattern and wait for the discounts. The cut-down price will become the standard they expect and they will simply wait for them to happen.
Detailing isn’t one of those services that a customer seeks every single day. A lot of people might only invest in a full detailing every 4 to 6 months. That being the case, it becomes easy for people to sit back and wait for the opportune moment to catch you at your cheapest.
Value Perception of Your Original Service Changes
Following on from the previous point, when you start to offer discounts and regular deals on your original pricing, people start to change the way they perceive your service and its value.
First of all, they will assume that your original price was not the correct one, and that it’s the discounted price that represents where the cost point should be. Next, they will start to reject the notion that car detailing is a premium service, and it costs what it costs. Instead, they’ll come to expect that your discounted rates are what they should only ever pay.
You’re Running a Premium Service Business
This brings me to the next key point, which is that you can never lose sight of the fact that as a professional detailer, you are running a premium and high-end service for your customers. You have to firmly believe this yourself, or no one else ever will.
Hasty and poorly thought-out discounts show that you don’t believe your service to be as premium as you say. If it were, why would the prices always be lower than the “original” rate? The general perception of detailers will slowly start to become that we are all just glorified car wash attendants. You know as well as I do that that would be a completely unjust perception!
The Problem Is Not the Price
Finally, before you start to offer discounts on your detailing services, just reflect on this reminder: The problem is not your prices!
What do I mean? Well, if people seem to be turning away from your service after seeing or hearing your prices, then it’s easy to understand why you’d assume the price was the problem, but did you ever consider any of these factors?
You didn’t do a great job of selling the full extent and quality of your service to the customer. You failed to get across just how specialized it is, how much skill and experience it takes, and how much time and effort you require to get the job done right. If they still put you and car washes side by side, maybe you didn’t explain to the customers well!
There were problems with your own presentation. Did you shower? Are you dressed appropriately? Do you look scruffy or unkempt? Are you giving off a bad impression with your attitude? Were you too curt or brusque with the clients? Maybe you were coming off as patronizing or condescending. You need to reflect on how you present yourself.
Finally, it’s possible the customer really just doesn’t know the detailing market. Let them go and see other providers and they’ll see similar price points, and then perhaps they’ll come back to you realizing their mistake. Have some patience, maintain a friendly demeanor, and customers will come back when they see that what you’re offering is, in reality, very competitive.