7 Strategies to Avoid Losing Bids Due to Sticker Shock

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You just finished walking your client through your bid. They are enthusiastic and like your pitch for the project. But now it is time to discuss the cost. They see the dollar amount, and their mouths almost drop to the floor. When they regain composure, they immediately shut the project down.

Sticker shock strikes again. Nothing kills a project faster than sticker shock.

The cost of your services is fair by market standards. However, many homeowners aren’t aware of the actual price of home improvement projects. For example, a HomeAdvisor survey found that homeowners underestimated their paint costs by 50%, their landscaping costs by 67%, and more than 40% of respondents underestimated the cost of window installations.

But we have good news. By designing your home improvement sales process with sticker shock in mind, you can avoid many common pitfalls that lead to losing out on bids due to high costs. Keep reading to learn seven strategies to weave into your sales pitch to help you avoid losing bids to sticker shock.

Ask about budget
One of the most important questions to start a bid off with is asking the client their budget. This starts the cost conversation early and allows you to save time by designing your bid to accommodate their needs or by preparing for cost objections once you present the proposal.

Approach the conversation with empathy
No matter what, every sales process should approach a customer with empathy. This is even more important if your home improvement organization is bidding on an emergency home repair, such as a leaky roof or broken HVAC unit. Approaching these conversations with empathy shows the customer that you genuinely care about their welfare, not just winning the bid.

Good, better, best
How do you sell a $200 sweater? Display it next to a $400 sweater. While simplified, this anecdote highlights the importance of choices. Many agree a $200 sweater is costly, but it seems more reasonable when positioned next to a more expensive one. The same is true for home improvement services. If you can offer good, better, best options, this puts the decision power back in the customers control, which can help offset sticker shock.

Cost vs. value
Many savvy homeowners understand that home improvements can often generate extra value in the property regarding resale. By highlighting the value, or more specifically, the project’s return on investment, you can eliminate the objection of the cost before it becomes sticker shock.

Transparent pricing
Clients often experience sticker shock, which can make them feel like they are being taken advantage of and more apprehensive about accepting your bid. By offering pricing transparency, you can educate them and ease their feelings of being “taken.”

What can be taken away?
Providing an itemized bid gives you the freedom to show each part of the project broken down by cost. If the customer feels the initial bid needs to be lowered, you can still save the bid. Simply ask them if there are any items on the project list, they think they can live without to move forward.

Offer customer financing
With home improvement project financing, you can ease the customer’s pain of sticker shock by showing the affordability of a high-ticket project over time through low monthly payments.

Partner forward with Salal Dealer Direct
From roofs, doors, and energy-efficient windows to hot tubs, decks, and solar installs, Salal Dealer Direct can offer financing with some of the most competitive rates and dealer fees in the market because we’re part of a member-owned credit union. That means our profits go back to our members—and business partners—in the form of lower rates and fewer fees.

Our Dealer Direct Financing programs feature:

  • An online loan application with fast credit decisions and a high approval rate.
  • Terms and loan amounts are available to fit various budgets and project sizes.
  • Partners pay ZERO dealer fees on our standard program.

Salal is serious about helping home improvement and solar contractors grow their businesses. With personalized support from a dedicated and experienced team of lending specialists, we take the time to get to know each partner’s business and tailor our lending programs to meet their unique needs and goals.

Click here to learn more about becoming a Salal Dealer Direct Partner.