I’ve had quite an interesting experience recently whilst doing some work on my house. One of the things on my to-do list was to replace the front door. To me it seemed like a very simple task. I mean; how hard could it be? You take the old one out and put in the new one. So I started gathering quotes and I was just shocked by how much people would charge me for simply replacing a door. At the end of the day I picked the quote from the company that seemed more reputable.
And so they came and replaced the door. But when I say ‘replace’ it almost feels like I’m not doing them any justice because they were busy for HOURS – no slacking, no breaks. There was sawing, drilling, filing, painting… The amount of work that went into this task was absolutely crazy! A task I was certain I was being ridiculously overpriced for.
This got me thinking about how we perceive pricing. How is it that we can charge certain amounts for certain things? Well, let’s take a look at some examples:
- If I offer cleaning services I won’t be able to charge an exuberant amount of money for my services because every able-bodied person on this planet can do cleaning. You don’t need to go and study in order to become a cleaner, all of us know how to clean and had to do it sometime during our lifetime (if not at present) and if you can’t afford to pay someone else for cleaning services you will be able to simply do it yourself.
- If I break my leg today I need to go to a doctor. I can’t start phoning doctors after my accident trying to find out what my options are, asking them all to send me some quotes and then sit around comparing quotes and eventually making a decision or come to the conclusion that it doesn’t fit within my budget and opt to just fix it myself. It’s absolutely impossible; I don’t have the skill set to do that. And that is why he can charge you an arm and a leg (pun intended) for his services.
This is what we need to keep in mind in terms of pricing. And sometimes we don’t have the knowledge or insight to really know and understand how much work and skill goes into a specific task – just like in the case of me and my door replacement.
So if you are looking for a certain job to be done within or for your business and you fall of your chair when you start receiving the quotes ask yourself these questions:
- Can I do it myself? If the answer is yes, then obviously you can opt to do just that if you’re feeling a little stingy. If the answer is no you have to ask yourself:
- Do I really know and understand the amount of time, energy and skill that is needed to complete this task? If the answer is no I suggest you talk to the service/product provider directly regarding their quote in order to make an informed decision. Because often when we do this we have this clarity that hits us and the quote that we once viewed as outlandishly expensive could actually be the bargain of a lifetime. If you have certain budget constraints your quote can often be adapted to fit your pocket by excluding and prioritising certain things
We need to make that mindshift and be willing to ask if we are unsure or don’t understand because our own ignorance could be one of our biggest challenges.
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