Think about the last time you needed plumber or a technician. Did you call up and ask, “What’s your hourly markup?”
Heck, it’s that time of year where you may be hiring a landscaper to put down several cubic yards of fresh mulch. When you called, did you ask, “What’s your markup?”
Better yet, imagine yourself finishing up a meal at that favorite local dining establishment. You just received the check and before paying the bill you ask the manager, “What’s your markup?”
It certainly seems odd to ask a plumber, a landscaper, or a restaurant manager for their markup. Yet in the staffing industry this has become an all too familiar practice. We give our markup information to clients. Even worse, we give it to prospects that have yet to commit to being a paying customer.
Hopefully we can agree that it would be strange asking markups of plumbers, landscapers, and restaurants. It should be equally as strange for customers/prospects to ask this of our staffing firms. After all, they do not know your operating costs or what you actually net from the markup. Yet, time and time again staffing firms hear customers say, “That markup seems high.” (Compared to what…Harry’s sweat shop down the street?)
The unfortunate reality is that we can only blame ourselves. You cannot blame the customers/prospects for asking when we so readily give it out. Yes, we allowed “markups” to become the center of discussion and we permitted such a request to become common protocol. So it is up to us to change the language and right this wrong. How?
Speak hourly bill rates and for goodness sake STOP selling the farm by offering your markup. It’s insanity.
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