“the whooziwhatsits are misaligned”

Sent by Jonathan Stark on June 30th, 2017

After reading my squirrel guy story, reader Eric Grubaugh wrote in to share on of his own (share with permission): 


Hi Jonathan, 

Similar pricing experience I had the other day while getting quotes for adding automatic sprinklers in the back yard (already have them in front).   Me: “I’m looking to get an estimate on …” Sprinkler Guy [SG]: “How big is your yard?” Me: “About 0.2 acres” SG: “Are we doing anything crazy, like a pool or water feature?” Me: “Nope. Sprinklers in a rectangle.” SG: “We can probably do that with 3 Zones, and it’s $300 per zone.” Me: “OK” SG: “But that doesn’t account for if the widgets are not wired correctly to the fidgets, or if the whooziwhatsits are misaligned, or …”   [he continued like this for a minute or so, trying to bring up ALL THE CAVEATS]   Me: “Any way you can just come out here and look at it to reduce the uncertainty?” SG: “Of course! How’s Friday?” Me: “That’ll work”   Now I’m completely price anchored on $900. If he comes out here and finds a bunch of stuff “wrong”, and says “Well it’ll be more like $1800”, I won’t be thrilled and might not hire him, even though my budget is actually significantly higher than that.   Instead of launching in to all the potential problems, he could’ve asked some questions like:

“What are you doing to keep the back yard watered now?” “How long does that take you each week?” “What else could you be doing with that time?”   And then said “Listen, I’ll make sure you never have to think about watering your back yard again, and it’ll be $3500, guaranteed.” I might have just written him a check right there.   FWIW I never would’ve thought about this interaction this way at all if it weren’t for your content/coaching.   -EG


Thanks for sharing, Eric!

Yours, 

—J


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