Ask a House Cleaner, Haggling Over Price, Savvy Cleaner

Haggling Over Price – Drive House Cleaners Crazy

Haggling over price when you do a cleaning bid or job estimate? You’re not alone. Lots of customers love bargaining and discounts. They don’t want to pay “all that money” for house cleaning or maid service.

But is that any reason to be haggling over price and negotiating the housekeepers pay?

Today on Ask a House Cleaner, The House Cleaning Guru, Angela Brown covers haggling over price and some ninja mind tricks for maids. Learn how to stuff your job bid audition with eye contact. And body language, and rules and regulations, and confidence.

Don’t wing it when the prospect says your cleaning service costs too much. Practice. And your free estimate will turn into a performance that will land you the job and let you get paid what you’re worth and stop haggling over price.

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Watch: Haggling Over Price – Drive House Cleaners Crazy

Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Haggling Over Price – Drive House Cleaners Crazy

 Today’s question comes from a house cleaner who is concerned. Every time he goes to bid a job the clients want to haggle over price. And he’s wondering if he’s charging too much for his house cleaning business.

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Answer: Haggling Over Price – Drive House Cleaners Crazy

Skipped some chores and a room on my Job EstimateThis is a great question. I have a question back to you. What is it about your presentation that’s making customers think that that is negotiable?

Because if you show up and you say “Here’s my price.” And you say it with confidence, why are they arguing about it? Why are they haggling over the price?

Are you way overpriced? Do your prices match the going rate in your market? Or are you charging more than everyone else in your area?

I don’t know the answers to these questions because I don’t know your specifics. But those are things that I would think about before you go to bid your next job. Because if this is a recurring problem, it is in your presentation. 

What Are You Doing to Send This Message? 

Haggling Over Price unsure of yourselfThere is most likely something that you are doing that says, “You can you can dicker with me on price.” You are doing something that gives them the impression that it is okay to be haggling over the price.

When in fact you can’t. So, the question is “how are you presenting yourself?”

So, when you show up at a customer’s house are you sure of yourself? If you’re not sure of yourself, your customer is not going to be sure of you either.

When you show up at a customer’s house it is game time. This is not the time to figure out your business.

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It is Show Time!

SavvyCleaner.com_Angela_Brown_Bidding_JobYou’ve rehearsed your presentation and now it’s show time. You’re an actor. You’re acting like you’re the owner of the house cleaning company. And now you’re going to present your performance.

So, before showing up at a customer’s house, do some voice exercises. Because you want to appear as if you are confident, and this comes out through the tone of your voice.

You get there and you’re not sure of yourself and say, “Hi my name is Angela and yeah I clean houses.”

You sound intimidated – they have no confidence in you. 

So how do you sound confident and not intimidated? 

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Are You in Your Uniform? 

Haggling Over Price doctor confidenceIf you’re not in your uniform go home and put one on. If I go to the doctor and he is wearing biker shorts and shirt, I might not have much confidence. 

Okay, so he doesn’t look like a doctor. We lose confidence even before he’s opened his mouth. If he opens his mouth, and he’s not sure about what he’s saying like, “Yeah, I… I’m your doctor.”

“Ugh NO!”

“I want the other guy.” The other guy’s more confident. Right?

You want somebody that says “Listen, you have a problem. I’m going to get to the bottom of it. We’re going to do whatever we can to make you feel well.”

That’s the doctor that you want. That’s the house cleaner that they want. So, go home and put your uniform on, and come back.

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How Are You Presenting Yourself? 

Haggling Over Price peeking through doorNow, when you come back, are you like standing there twiddling your thumbs? Standing on the front porch, peeking in through the little side door? If they can see you through the side door… if you can see in –  they can see you.

So you need to be standing up straight. Brace yourself on both feet and put your feet about shoulder-width apart. Roll your shoulders back and up straight. And tilt your head down so that you can make eye contact.

You want to make sure that when they open the door that they see your best you. You are the presentation.

Then when you start speaking your voice should have a commanding presence.

So, you go through all these steps to get there and this is your performance. They’re either going to buy your performance or they’re not. But I promise you this. If you have an excellent performance, you’re going to get the job. The other house cleaners who showed up who didn’t are not going to get the job. 

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Sad But True: The Presentation Starts From the Beginning

Woman makes phone call rather than textingThis whole presentation thing has nothing to do with the price that you charge. It also doesn’t have anything to do with or the job that you do when you’re cleaning houses.

Another house cleaner, housekeeper, or maid might actually be better qualified than you. But if you put on a better presentation your the one that gets the job.

So, from the moment that you answer your phone, the presentation begins. As soon as you say, “Yes, I can come over.” That’s when the sales presentation starts.

And so, you want to make sure that everything that you say on the telephone will get you over to the customer’s house. That’s the first sale. “You have to invite me over so I can bid your job estimate.”

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Be Clear and Specific From the Start

Haggling Over Price small businessSo you need to make sure this is not a time to start guessing your rules and regulations.

For example, they say, “Hey do you work on weekends?”

“I do not. Weekends are a time I spend with my family.”

End of story. It’s not up for negotiation. 

You didn’t say, “Well, you know what? I’d rather not work weekends. But there are occasions that I mean, I have to work a weekend, and…”

Don’t go through any of that. Know what your rules are right up front. And be specific.

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If a Customer Starts Haggling

Why is that? Are they comparing that to the last house cleaner that they had?

Are they comparing that to someone else that came yesterday and gave them a quote?

What are they comparing it to?

And that’s a great question to ask.

So, let’s say you’ve done all these other things above. You’re in the middle of your presentation. And for whatever reason,  the homeowner starts haggling on price, just smile.

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Smile and Ask

Smile and be confident and say “What are you comparing that price too?” 

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“Was that another company who is a franchise that has a bunch of overhead expenses that they have to meet?”

“Is that what you’re comparing it to? Are you comparing it to a mom-and-pop shop who only has one person who may or may not be able to show up?”

“Is this a person who offered daily chores versus weekly chores?”

“Is this a person who cleans by the hour and they’re going to spend all day cleaning because they clean slow?”

“What are you basing this price on?”

Because this is the truth of the matter. There isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison in this business.

No Haggling Over Price – It Ain’t No Apples to Apples

Haggling Over Price dentistI have braces on my teeth. 

When I went to my orthodontist I said: “Can you give me a price for my teeth?” So, he gives me a price. What is that price based on?

It’s not based on someone else’s teeth. Because the movement of our teeth is different.

What I’m going to need for my teeth is going to be different from someone else.

It’s the same with your house. Every house is a little bit different. 


Haggling Over Price “I Want the Same”

Woman confused at customer surveyThere was a lady who lived next door from a client of mine. And she wanted the exact same price for the lady that lived next door.

I told her, “I would love to offer you the same exact price. But you have a bigger house. You have 2200 square feet more than your neighbor.”

“I promise you, I cannot give you the same price. I promise you, I cannot do the house in the same amount of time. You have 2200 square feet more than your next-door neighbor.”

What are you comparing it to? 

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So You Are Specific, Then What?

Haggling Over Price sitting ovationSo you’re specific about how you operate, your rules, your price, and about what you can offer. Then guess what?

You’ve done your amazing presentation. And it’s like the curtain call. You come out and take your bow. People clap and they stand up and give you a standing ovation.

They either say, “Yes, you get the job,” or “that’s not for me.”

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If You Do Not Get the Job

Haggling Over Price confidenceAt least you got practice delivering your performance! It’s a numbers game. So, go to the next house, and do your next performance.

But don’t take it as a personal attack on you.

People haggling on price is a clue. That’s a clue about the type of person that you’re dealing with.

If everyone is haggling over price, it is not an issue with the customers. It’s more about you. My advice would be to go home and look at your own presentation.

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If You Are Not Sure of Your Presentation

Haggling Over Price practicing in mirrorIf you’re not sure of your presentation, write one. 

And then go practice in front of the bathroom mirror. Or practice in front of a full-length mirror so that you know what your whole body is doing.

What does your body language say about you?

Practice, and practice, and practice. Practice your figures too. So that when somebody says will how much will it cost to clean my house, the number rolls off the top of your tongue. And it rolls off with confidence and a smile.

“I can clean your house for only $435” (or whatever the price is.)

Practice being confident in saying that. This way, the person will say “Well, okay, I guess that’s a great price.”

Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. 

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

How Much Should I Charge for House Cleaning –

Negotiate Price with Residential Cleaning Customers –

10 Factors that Affect a House Cleaning Quote –

Cleaning Services Bid Estimation –


Commercial and Residential Cleaning Services: A Resource Guide To Developing And Maintaining Your Own Janitorial Or Home Cleaning Business –

Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top –

Entitled to Respect: How to Be Confident and Assertive in the Workplace –

50 Pairs Disposable Boot & Shoe Covers –

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