What Do They Mean When They Say ‘You’re Expensive’

People say it all the time, don’t they?

It’s a very common thing for a customer to say to a tradie or a builder.

A homeowner might say it to a builder.

A builder might say it to a subcontractor.

A property manager might say it to a business.

There are a few things they might mean, aren’t there?

And it’s worth considering this when you decide what your response is going to be.

They might mean:

“I have a comparable quote from someone else and you need to work on your price, or I’ll give this job, that’s definitely going ahead to them.”

That’s probably the obvious interpretation and when you interpret it like that, you have a choice, don’t you?

Either drop your price and your margins or walk away and lose the deal.

But they could also mean:

“I have no other comparable quotes. I’m just trying to get you to reduce your price.”

(They may or may not even have decided they’re going ahead with the job yet).

Maybe you should call their bluff and return to drop your price.

It’s hard to know for sure, isn’t it? 

I’ll come back to that.

There are a few other possible meanings though. They could mean:

“I didn’t really know how much to expect and you’ve come back with more than I can spend (or want to spend). I’m not sure what to do now.”


“Your price is quite a lot more than the other quote I have but I’m not sure how comparable the two are so I’m not sure what to do.”

“Yours is more but I like you better so come down some (close the gap, maybe) and I’ll give the job to you.”

Or even…

“Yours is more but I’m a lot more confident that you’ll do the job I want than I am in the other people so help me understand so I can make my decision.”

There are probably more interpretations but I think I’ve made my point.

If you respond by trying to take cost out of your quote or reducing your margins, you’re missing an opportunity. It might not be what’s needed or for you to win the job and there might be a much better response.

So what you should do is… communicate.

Sell (instead of just quoting).

Ask questions.

You should have spent some time before you served up your quote building a relationship and building trust and building an understanding of their situation.

If you only ask questions about the job and what they want, you’re not getting a true picture. 

You need to understand so you can respond appropriately. And if you understood properly in the first place, you probably would not get this comment.

So invest more in your relationship instead of jumping straight to a solution or a quote.

And if you get told you’re too expensive, start asking questions instead of looking at your price.

Or talk to me about what to do, that’s what your business coach is for.

There are four ways you can engage with me:

1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.

2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.

3. Attend my next Tradie Profit Webinar.

4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.

See you later.

Click here to book a money maker call with Jon.