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  #1  
Old 12-26-2017, 07:10 AM
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Default Very Pushy Negotiators

This might be more of a vent but how do you all manage the pushy negotiators? I have had a bit of interest in my services but I keep getting people that are over the top about negotiations. I am only taking a small number of children and since I am just starting out I am offering the lowest price possible while still covering overhead and paying myself. But people seem to not understand that what is written in my contact is not negotiable.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:17 AM
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Question from prospective parent you don't want to accommodate ____________________________.

"My policy/rate is _______."

"That won't work for me."

"I am not able to offer ____ at this time."

"No."
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:54 AM
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I always reply with "I understand your point of view, but this is how Ms. XXXX operates." This is why I have a 3-step process because the client, as well as myself, have time to consider all aspects of expectations from each other. I have found if someone wants your servces they will do what it takes to comply. There have been so many times, clients have said "I can't be there at that time for pickup" but then they enroll and magically they are there at the correct time for pickup. They pick up on the non-negotiable tone. I am not heartless but through 25+ years have learned to put my own family needs first, not mastered it but working hard on it and much better. Good luck to you in doing the same!
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalee View Post
I always reply with "I understand your point of view, but this is how Ms. XXXX operates." This is why I have a 3-step process because the client, as well as myself, have time to consider all aspects of expectations from each other. I have found if someone wants your servces they will do what it takes to comply. There have been so many times, clients have said "I can't be there at that time for pickup" but then they enroll and magically they are there at the correct time for pickup. They pick up on the non-negotiable tone. I am not heartless but through 25+ years have learned to put my own family needs first, not mastered it but working hard on it and much better. Good luck to you in doing the same!
Yep, I'm not budging. If it's in my contract it is NOT negotiable. Just surprised at how rude people can be. If they can't handle the word no I would hate to see what their kids are like anyways.
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annalee View Post
I always reply with "I understand your point of view, but this is how Ms. XXXX operates." This is why I have a 3-step process because the client, as well as myself, have time to consider all aspects of expectations from each other. I have found if someone wants your servces they will do what it takes to comply. There have been so many times, clients have said "I can't be there at that time for pickup" but then they enroll and magically they are there at the correct time for pickup. They pick up on the non-negotiable tone. I am not heartless but through 25+ years have learned to put my own family needs first, not mastered it but working hard on it and much better. Good luck to you in doing the same!
Couple years ago I had a mom who simply couldnít make my pickup time (supposedly) so I negotiated her pick up time. For months I found myself resentful because I was staying later than I wanted to. Then, this same mom enrollled her two kids in dance lessons and was magically able to make an early pickup to get them to dance. That was the day I insisted on going back to my previous pick up and no longer negotiated. People make things work when they WaNT to...
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:33 PM
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What sort of compromises are they seeking?

I am in the minority but being responsive and somewhat flexible while getting established has allowed my business to thrive as a newbie. In general I am not flexible on my illness policy, rates, hours or when and how payment is due but I have been flexible at times... for example

At a parent's request I offered a 4-day rate since the parent was off on one weekday each week.

When a 2-day family wanted to increase to 3-days I did not make them completely switch schedules to M/W/F (which is my set 3-day program). I allowed her dd to stay with her T/TH friends and just add on an additional day that we mutually agreed upon.

I am very accommodating of food allergies. (It's easy to be though because I serve snacks only, they bring their lunch from home.)

I have a one hour drop off window in the morning even though I would rather it be 15 minutes and be done with that said I like to be flexible and kids to arrive unhurried so they have a better start then dcm stressing out to arrive in a small window of 15 minutes.

I will add that some parents when you give a little they keep asking so instead of doing that I try to build in some flexibility to my program from the start.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:44 PM
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I think some parents read articles about day care that encourage negotiation of rates so they feel it's something they should be doing. Unless they continue to push it after being told no, I look it as being uneducated in the way day care works rather than being rude.

I've also had parents insist they can't get to my house before my regular closing time and have been really ticked off when I found out the reason I'm working late is to accommodate their jogging or grocery shopping schedule. That irks me way more than a pushy negotiator.
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2017, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poptarts22 View Post
Couple years ago I had a mom who simply couldnít make my pickup time (supposedly) so I negotiated her pick up time. For months I found myself resentful because I was staying later than I wanted to. Then, this same mom enrollled her two kids in dance lessons and was magically able to make an early pickup to get them to dance. That was the day I insisted on going back to my previous pick up and no longer negotiated. People make things work when they WaNT to...
Everyday life experiences are the best teachers....
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
What sort of compromises are they seeking?

I am in the minority but being responsive and somewhat flexible while getting established has allowed my business to thrive as a newbie. In general I am not flexible on my illness policy, rates, hours or when and how payment is due but I have been flexible at times... for example

At a parent's request I offered a 4-day rate since the parent was off on one weekday each week.

When a 2-day family wanted to increase to 3-days I did not make them completely switch schedules to M/W/F (which is my set 3-day program). I allowed her dd to stay with her T/TH friends and just add on an additional day that we mutually agreed upon.

I am very accommodating of food allergies. (It's easy to be though because I serve snacks only, they bring their lunch from home.)

I have a one hour drop off window in the morning even though I would rather it be 15 minutes and be done with that said I like to be flexible and kids to arrive unhurried so they have a better start then dcm stressing out to arrive in a small window of 15 minutes.

I will add that some parents when you give a little they keep asking so instead of doing that I try to build in some flexibility to my program from the start.
She wanted an hourly rate and to pay less on top of that. My contract says $150 a week for full time, that is $3.00 an hour. It's also a dollar less an hour than most places locally as it is.
She also did not like my policy asking for payments on Friday for the following weeks service.

I just suggest a few other day cares in town that she might be interested in. She will find those daycare charge $40 and $42 a day.

I do offer some concessions to clients. I do not charge for my sick days or vacation time and I give families 4 days a year they can take off for any reason and I won't charge them.
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2017, 03:42 PM
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Itís a big fat red flag and I donít enroll them.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerlilly View Post
This might be more of a vent but how do you all manage the pushy negotiators?
Simple.
I don't.

Ever. What I have outlined in my contract is what I need to run effectively and smoothly. I don't budge on one single item. Not one.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerlilly View Post
I am just starting out I am offering the lowest price possible while still covering overhead and paying myself.
I see that a lot of new providers try to charge a low price. I do not think it is right. Your price should shows a level of quality of your service. It shouldn't be in any connection with your time in the business.
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerlilly View Post
This might be more of a vent but how do you all manage the pushy negotiators? I have had a bit of interest in my services but I keep getting people that are over the top about negotiations. I am only taking a small number of children and since I am just starting out I am offering the lowest price possible while still covering overhead and paying myself. But people seem to not understand that what is written in my contact is not negotiable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorfulSunburst View Post
I see that a lot of new providers try to charge a low price. I do not think it is right. Your price should shows a level of quality of your service. It shouldn't be in any connection with your time in the business.
I personally have my base rates listed on my website so it reduces people contacting me who cannot afford my services. Also I am intentional with the places and settings that I market my program. In my opinion with regard to tuition "negotiators" and just in general sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Also I run the tours and I interview them.... I do not allow them to interview me - it's a power shift that you control at the outset.

ColorfulSunburst is right undercharging is not a smart move. I'm new and I charged the same as the highest provider in my town but I offered more than her and I marketed my program much differently. The cost of living is too high where I am to be competitive by offering the lowest rates so instead I aim to offer the best quality. For me being able to offer the best quality meant specializing, I was either going to do 0-2 infant only care or 2-5 in-home preschool --- both would allow me to focus on having an environment catering to that specific age.

A fellow provider two towns over takes a max of four children ages 0-2 only. She markets her program with a max of 4 children only all with their own cribs, etc. she focuses on the benefits of being small and she charges parents a premium for that. Parents visiting home day cares tend to notice less that you are licensed for 4 infants only vs licensed for 12 with some of them infants....... legally that provider can only have 4 but parents just feel that their child is in a more calm setting because less children are present. She is never in need of finding clients and does not market. She does have a good Yelp rating and infant care is in high demand.

I opted to specialize with 2-5 year olds and run an in-home preschool 8:30am - 3:00pm Monday - Friday. I offer beautiful enrichment programs including a professional music teacher, crafting with natural materials, natural toys, all organic snacks, park visits daily and a 4:1 adult to child ratio. My overhead is more expensive for my program and it shows in the quality of materials (beeswax crayons, good quality watercolor paper, etc.)

There are many ways to stand out, charging the lowest is not the only way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerlilly View Post
She wanted an hourly rate and to pay less on top of that. My contract says $150 a week for full time, that is $3.00 an hour. It's also a dollar less an hour than most places locally as it is.
She also did not like my policy asking for payments on Friday for the following weeks service.
Yes those are certainly items I would not budge on. I do not waiver on my rates and the one time I did it was because it was financially and time beneficial to me. In the case of the dcm who wanted a 4-day rate I barely reduced her monthly rate but it bumped her daily rate to almost $10 per day higher than the highest home daycare in my area and it allowed me to close early the day her son was not here because he was my latest pick up.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:08 PM
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This is somewhat random but insightful when it comes to where people show their value....

Do a quick search on Rover.com in your area check out what people are charging to board a dog overnight. In my area people are charging $50 per night mind you they are not present 24/7, they are not providing the food, they are sleep a HUGE chunk of the time the dog is being boarded. There was no way I would care for someones human baby for less than people board their dog.
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityGarden View Post
This is somewhat random but insightful when it comes to where people show their value....

Do a quick search on Rover.com in your area check out what people are charging to board a dog overnight. In my area people are charging $50 per night mind you they are not present 24/7, they are not providing the food, they are sleep a HUGE chunk of the time the dog is being boarded. There was no way I would care for someones human baby for less than people board their dog.
That's a good point.
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Old 12-27-2017, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerlilly View Post
She wanted an hourly rate and to pay less on top of that. Wow. I charge what I charge.
It's well thought out and I know what I can/can't live with. So that would be a "no" from me.


My contract says $150 a week for full time, that is $3.00 an hour. It's also a dollar less an hour than most places locally as it is.

She also did not like my policy asking for payments on Friday for the following weeks service. When does she think she should pay???? I would never agree to not having pre-payment.

I just suggest a few other day cares in town that she might be interested in. She will find those daycare charge $40 and $42 a day.

I do offer some concessions to clients. I do not charge for my sick days or vacation time and I give families 4 days a year they can take off for any reason and I won't charge them.
Bottom line on these is that you offer what you offer. I would pinch off the conversation if she didn't like what you offer. I definitely wouldn't enroll. It's inappropriate. It would be like going to Wendy's and complaining that they don't sell Whoppers. If they want a Whopper, they can go to Burger King.
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Old 12-27-2017, 05:07 PM
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I worked on my policies every day for months before opening up for business. My first dcp negotiated on a lot and ended up being a control freak after I gave in to her. My fault. That experience showed me that my policies exist because they are important to me. From here on out I will not bend on my policies again. That's not to say I am never flexible on anything. I am, just not with the terms of my contract.
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