Many of us have encountered a customer who states authoritatively that the price you have submitted is “too high.”  This can be frustrating since we have spent time walking the account, collecting data such as SF of various surfaces, fixture count, etc. and have used industry standards plus our own experience to arrive at a price based on our interpretation of the statement of work.  We immediately wonder what we missed without really getting to the crux of the matter and that is how did he/she arrive at that conclusion? 


I have learned that the best approach is to pause for a moment and ask the hard question:  “I appreciate your concerns.  Could you share with me how you arrived at that conclusion?”  The response may vary from “none of your business” to “you are higher than the other bidders” to “you are out of my budget.”  Unfortunately they will seldom admit the latter although this is usually the real issue.


If they are still talking to you after reviewing other lower proposals they may realize the other bids are unrealistic or perhaps missed something in the specifications.  If this is the case, then you need to hold your ground and determine what if their true concerns which means they want you but not at the price you submitted.  You need to review the specifications closely including wage rates, benefits and all the tasks they want performed at what you interpret as their standards.  You may suggest that in your opinion Task A (wall to wall vacuuming daily) does not need to performed at the required frequency and that you could save them money by adjusting that task without diminishing outcomes. 


Under no circumstances should you unilaterally lower the price without an accommodation from them.  We will continue this discussion in a future article.


Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or