“Wow, that’s too expensive!” Have you ever heard that from a prospective client after you give them a quote for a house cleaning? Giving a price quote is one of the things that creates the most stress and fear in cleaning business business owners during the sales process.

We love talking about how great our cleaning is, how much we love customers’ pets, how amazing our employees are, but when it comes to talking about money, we tend to clam up. Business owners get so nervous talking about money that they forget to ask for the sale, they chicken out and suggest that they’ll email a quote later to the prospect. That’s just too cowardly. When it comes to closing the sale, you need tools to close on the spot so you get their credit card and sign them up for their first house cleaning.

The simple secret to success

So what should you say when someone responds, “That’s expensive!” to a quote you give them? How can you respond without sounding defensive and explaining that you have to pay for insurance and be bonded and pay payroll taxes? When you do that, you’re just whining about why you’re expensive, you’re not demonstrating why your company is valued high enough to charge what you charge.

In our sales success training we teach one question that will transform your sales process. Because we all have our own biases around why people are resisting our price, we need to find out why they think we’re expensive. So the next time some says “Wow, that’s expensive,” respond with this question:

“How do you mean, exactly?”

Then just be quiet, and listen to their answer. Your question doesn’t challenge them, doesn’t sound defensive, doesn’t start you off on a laundry list of the reasons for your pricing. The most important thing you can do with an objection is to answer it with an open-ended question.

We think we know the answer, but we really don’t, not until they tell us themselves. So ask “How do you mean, exactly,” and then let them talk. They’ll start revealing things. Maybe they’ll say “Well, we’re out of town all the time, so our house doesn’t get very dirty” or “We don’t have a lot of furniture or knick knacks, don’t have a lot of clutter, don’t have pets or kids” or “We don’t use the upstairs at all.”

Ask a question, then just listen

Just listen to how they answer “How do you mean, exactly?” and the answer they give is how you respond to their objection. You can’t just assume you know how to respond to their objection. They might say “My neighbor uses a service that only charges $100” or “We only use half our house.” That’s when you say “You know what, why don’t I give you a quote for the downstairs only, and when you’re hosting company we can add in the upstairs and only charge you extra for those few occasions.” Most likely your potential customer will be thrilled to learn that you can customize your service for their needs, “Oh great! What’s a quote for just the downstairs of the house?”

You might be able to overcome their objection with the right solution by simply asking an open- ended question that isn’t threatening or challenging. They might say “We travel a lot and are hardly ever there. That’s a lot of money for a house that never gets used.” You could respond that once a month cleanings might be better than bi-weekly cleanings.

Ask the question: How do you mean, exactly?

This is just one of the things we teach in our sales success training. We want to give you the tools to overcome the few objections that potential customers can have. You’ll be closing sales left and right once you have a few answers worked out for price questions. And then you can teach these strategies to your in-house sales team and they can be as effective as you are. Actually, you can be on vacation, lying on a beach while your sales team crushes it. My own sales team closes sales every day without me. We do about 70 new cleans a month and I never do a quote. This is only possible because I’ve given them a sales structure, a framework to succeed.

Answer their objection with an open-ended question and you’ll come up with a better answer or defense to their initial hesitation around pricing. Want more help like this for your cleaning business?