What Should Tradies be Competing on When Price Matching is a Big ‘NO’


You know your day is ruined when a cow boy Tradie flies away with the job you so wanted, undercutting you by a huge margin.

For a business that’s in its first couple of years, it makes sense to try to find new customers on the basis of the lowest quote in order to keep afloat. Beware! That’s not the best strategy though. You could be adding to your customer portfolio simply tire kickers and price shoppers and as you grow and your expenses grow, these price shoppers might leave you for a lower quote offered by someone else.

I’ll be brutally honest. If you fear losing a customer, you have probably already lost. It’s your business, so you should not feel afraid to walk out when the customer is not the right fit.

So when price matching is a big “No” for you, what other options do you have to compete in your local area?

Your First Price is Your Best Price

It’s easy to come under pressure when you really need a job, and the customer tells you that someone else is offering a much lower quote.

Even those that want a quality job would love to have bargain, so it’s your job to make them understand why that’s not the best thing to do.

As an experienced Tradie, who has priced for profit, understands his margins and exactly when the job is not worth doing, you know that when the same job is quoted in very different prices, something is just not right.

You are paying for insurance if something goes wrong, fully equipped vehicle, admin staff to make the job run smoothly, employee safety and so many other overheads.

So the best guess why someone charged so low is that their business is not even remotely comparable to yours.

They are either under insured or not insured at all. New into the business so definitely not as experienced as you are. Paying less to unqualified labour and hence will deliver a lousy job and cut corners. Might be running the business from the back of their car with limited resources to deliver a professional service, and in case something goes wrong, they will pack and drive away rather than pay you for the damage.

Nothing Beats Good Communication

Once you have said no to price matching and you know those are the kind of customers you would like to stay away from, the areas where you can compete suddenly start to become clearer.

Communication is the key here.

Customers want peace of mind knowing they are dealing with trusted Tradie and nothing beats good communication to develop that long-lasting trusted relationship.

Ask the right questions regarding scope, time and budget of the job. Make sure the decision maker is involved all the way. Be open and welcoming when it comes to addressing their concerns. Understand which aspect of the job is the most important to them.

Focus on Service Delivery that is Unmatched

How smoothly and effectively the job passes through the entire value chain from quote to completion is your best bet when you are trying to stand out from the crowd.

Get back to customers with a quick and transparent quote. Let them know who to expect at their door step and when and live up to it. Keep them in the loop as the job progresses updating them at every step of the way and make payment transfers easy for them.

But this could be hard if you doing everything manually, bouncing multiple emails and phone calls to and fro to get a single job done. So automate things a bit. Try using a job management and a customer experience management app to get things faster and error free while you still have time to focus on the more important stuff.

Don’t Tell Them You Are the Best, Show It to Them

Every Tradie says he/she is the best. This makes it hard for customers see your differentiation. So it’s time to handover the talking part to your customers instead.

Yes. I’m referring to testimonials here. Ratings and reviews. Past jobs completed. Let your work do the talking. Let your customer become your advocates.

But that’s just one aspect of it.

Try incorporating some differentiation in how you quote. Your quote says a lot about your business so pack it with as much information as possible. Things like about the company, warranties, new offers, memberships and trade associations are great ways of building trust right when the customer is trying to compare your quote with a cheaper one.

You can find more about quoting to convert here.

Wrapping up

When you are a smart Tradie and have quoted the job for profit, you know well that compromising on price is not an option.

But there are so many other factors like quality of service, how you communicate when quoting and then throughout the job and establishing a great deal of proof via recommendations and photos from past jobs can all give you a huge advantage over the cowboys who are only there to destroy it for everyone.

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Wardah Wadood

Wardah Wadood

Content Manager and Community Strategist at i4Tradies | Social Media Evangelist | Writer | Editor