Business is hard, but it can be even harder when selling to your people, or those within your own culture.
In every intercultural transaction, there can be the pressure for business owners to lower their prices or offer additional services for a discount.
This often proves to be problematic for business owners, to the point that they refuse to do business with their own culture, but Roofing Insights founder Dmitry Lipinskiy assures business owners that the correct response to these challenges is simple: be yourself and be transparent.
“It’s not a comfortable topic for many people because it has a racial element and it’s controversial,”
“But as a business owner, you cannot turn down business. You have to learn how to do business with as many people as possible.”
The following are five steps you can take to improve the business interactions you have with people within your own culture.
1. Don’t get offended
When people encounter potential customers within their culture who are looking for a discount, it is easy to feel disrespected and to refuse to do business with that person, but that is not the mindset successful business owners employ.
Also, Lipinskiy insists that people trying to get a discount is not their way of exacting a personal vengeance toward your business.
Rather, bartering and negotiation is a staple of many cultures around the world.
“For many cultures, it’s okay to try to get a better deal. People in those cultures don’t wake up in the morning trying to swindle someone. They were simply born and raised to negotiate for the best deal for their family,”
Don’t turn your back toward potential customers just because they want a discount.
Read on to learn how you can deal with challenging customers!
2. Have a professional conversation about your cost
One reason people ask for discounts is because they think business owners make huge profits on every job they do, but if you were to take the time to explain that this isn’t always the case, the result could prove beneficial.
“When you have a professional conversation about cost, people will realize that business isn’t just about buying labor and materials. You also have overhead and have to be profitable in order to do business,”
While these conversations won’t guarantee that customers within your culture will want to do business with you, they will at least know that you are genuine in the way you conduct business, and that can have positive long-term effects.
3. It’s normal for people to ask for discounts
Not everyone you do business with will have disposable income, and therefore may try to save as much money as possible on certain projects.
Much like point number two, it’s incumbent upon you as a business owner to deal with them as professionally as possible.
This includes during your formal presentation or meeting.
One way to showcase your quote to customers within your culture and win more jobs is by using SumoQuote.
SumoQuote is revolutionizing the way business owners present their estimates to homeowners by optimizing their information in a sleek and concise manner.
Exhibiting this type of professionalism will go a long way with homeowners who otherwise may want to do business on a handshake-type of basis.
“A lot of times when people ask you for deals, they want a side gig quote or a verbal estimate. One of the things that can help tremendously with selling to your people or friends is having a sit down and formal presentation,”
Don’t present your quotes to homeowners via email or on a piece of paper.
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4. Learn how to explain that they’re helping you by hiring you
There will always be customers within your culture who want to get everything for as cheap as possible, but most people understand the cost of doing business and will be willing to support your company if they like the way you do business.
As Americans, people also understand how hard it is for small businesses to succeed, and since most contractors are small businesses, it never hurts to emphasize that when a customer hires you for their next roofing project, they’re also helping their local communities and keeping their money within the local economy.
Still, America is a diverse population, and not everyone will share in this sentiment.
In some cases, this can be a burden to contractors and small business owners.
“Here in the United States, people know that small business is hard. A lot of people want to support small businesses, but unfortunately, in other cultures, that’s not the case. In other cultures, if you’re a business owner, you made it and you should help other people,”
To counter customers within your culture who say these types of things, revert to the above points.
Keep reading to discover Dmitry Lipinskiy’s final tip for dealing with challenging customers in your own culture!
5. Be transparent about your profit margins
Another common misconception about business owners is that they are wealthy.
As a business owner, there are a few things you can do to deal with this line of thinking:
- Don’t be flashy with your money
- Maintain a conservative profile on social media
- Explain to customers how you determine price points
It should be noted that doing any of the aforementioned won’t automatically make customers more trusting of you or your business.
“A big problem is that after they [contractors] have done work in the past, it never goes smooth. There’s always some type of complaint, or someone didn’t get paid,”
Still, when doing business with people in your culture, it is important to keep a positive attitude and operate as if you were doing business with any other customer.
Doing so won’t altogether guarantee you will generate business, but it is a good place to start.
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