Someone got me started on the subject of leading, listening and closing non-competition accounts, like your run of the mill call for a residential estimate....and I just kept going through the entire process. So I thought I would share what I said on here to give a little something back to all of those people who have been a help to me over the years. Anyways, here is the quote that got me started.... Absolutely correct! You don't have to come right out and say "what do you expect to have to pay?" The key is to engage the prospect and ask some leading questions. Then shut up and listen to the prospect! I can't stress that enough. Many times if you will just be a good listener, they will tell you exactly how to sell them on your services and what to charge them for it. I have landed many accounts that way and once in a while I end up getting a few more bucks than I was really thinking of charging. By the same token I've walked away from jobs and saved myself a lot of trouble. Anyways, the key to closing these sales on the spot is this. Once they have told you what they want to pay, or they have given you a ballpark.... if they are within a range that you want.... step #1start by extending an offer that's a bit higher than where they started. Some will bite right then and some will stall and freeze up on you. Always remember, don't rush it, remain silent and allow them to speak first because you have put the ball in their court. Things may get uncomfortably silent if it drags on. But allow them time to think. Eventually they will respond with either.... *yes......(OK sign here) *I will have to think about it....(smile and insert your favorite "indecision" joke) *that's a little bit too much....(point out how you try to be flexible to meet your clients needs an ask "how much too much") Those that don't bite or give you a figure at this point either feel it's out of the range of their finances and don't want to admit it to you. Or they are the type that has their mind made up about what they are willing to pay and they should have told you. Also they may be the type that enjoy being victorious with their bargaining abilities. Now you will have to move on to step #2 Quickly decide rather you are sure about the property and their price or not. This will determine which closing you will want to use. Sure about their rate and property? If so use Closing #1 (fair trade demands) To sign the deal on the spot, basically all you do is make quick demands in exchange for meeting their rate. It will always begin like this..."I'll tell you what, I'll do it for $their rate IF you will go ahead and sign up with me while I'm here with the paperwork and (and any other demands you wish). This way both parties are happy. They feel they won the bargaining war, or they feel a sense of accomplishment because they got their way by getting the work done at their pre-determined rate. This handles the "I want to think about it" situation too because if you are sure about what you need, they either take it or leave it right now. Not sure? If so use Closing #2 (understanding each other's needs) This will always start by complementing them or their property and letting them know you would like to have their business. Highlight your flexibility and experience. Engage them as an individual. Show them your willingness to try to please them and meet their needs. You can do this simply by starting out with a complement of your choice and then saying... "I've been in this business for _____ and if there is one thing I have learned about the business end of it,... it's that there are no two pieces of property on earth (or God's green earth) created alike. What that means is you can never be 100% sure what you are in for until you've experienced it atleast once. What I will do for YOU is try to meet your needs and do it for $______ . I'll agree to come out and try it once at that rate. All I'd ask of you is to go ahead and sign up with me if I feel comfortable with the arrangements after doing it once. IF I don't, then no hard feelings....." You have just closed the sale for yourself if you want it, because by allowing you to come out they have agreed to hire you if you if you accept the rate. Whoops! did they slip too low? if so use Closing #3 (proving worth) If you need to squeeze to get what you are worth, then challenge the prospect by saying.... "At $_____ one of these high volume, low quality lawn services might be able to turn a profit IF they rushed through this job as fast as possible. But I just refuse to do business that way because I want to remain in the business for the long haul. So taking the time to do quality work is a must (Now plug a question to keep them involved and get them agreeing with you.) and time is money, right?..... You're a smart person, you know I can't just give away extra time, labor and premium services, right?....I'm glad you understand. Now I hope you don't think I'm being over confident, but I'm proud of the work I do. I don't think I have a single customer that doesn't think my services are worth every penny they pay. If you were a customer I think you would agree and to prove it to you I'm going to make you a one time offer. I'll give you a trail visit for $______ and when I'm done if you don't think I'm worth the extra, I'll give it back to you and be on my merry way. Now who else would do that, what do ya say????" If you can't sign a customer with those methods or an individual variation, you're probably better off without them. I hope everyone has enjoyed an educational read.