I recently came across an article on Entrepreneur written by Jurgen Appelo that reminded me what to do when potential clients ask for discounts on my services. We all have been there. We really want to get a lead set up with a service, they have been sitting on the fence about it and then they ask for a discount and you know that would seal the deal for them. Should you do it? Should you offer the discount?
According to this article and my own counsel to my coaching clients, why? Is there a specific reason why that person is asking for a discount? There are definitely legitimate times when you would offer a discount which we will talk about later, but do they expect you to give them a discount just because? If so, you do not owe that to them. If someone asks for a discount with no real reason why, then they do not see your value and they do not trust that you have priced yourself for what you are really worth. Talk about trust issues!
Do you want to constantly be attracting people who don’t really value your services or products? Every time that I have given into the pressure and offered a discount, it has always come back to bite me in the butt. If you offer that discount you are admitting to that person that you charge too much and that you truly aren’t worth it. You have to possess the confidence to stick your ground and not give in, even when you want to make a sale. It’s hard but you will thank yourself in the long run.
Let me tell you a short story about something that happened to me a couple weeks ago. I recently had a new vegetarian client reach out to me and tell me that my prices were too high and that she was going to find someone else if we couldn’t somehow bring this price down. I was definitely disappointed to hear this and a little worried that she might end services unhappy.
Instead of offering a discount out of fear, I decided to simply explain why the pricing was what it was. How we had to stop the kitchen each time we made her meals and how much preparation goes into cutting up vegetables and preparing them in new and exciting ways. I was pretty sure she would send me an email replying that she would have to cancel then. However, I received a much different response. She thanked me for explaining and then she said she would like to continue services! Imagine my excitement! I stayed true to my prices because I know what I was worth, and this client realized that value because I didn’t just jump the gun and offer her a discount out of desperation.
Now, does this mean you never should give a discount or run a special promotion? Absolutely not! There are appropriate times when a discount might be merited such as if you have a customer who has referred multiple people to you and you want to express gratitude for their loyalty. I often give those clients a free meal as a thank you.
I would make a list of reasons and situations where you might offer discounts in your business. This way clients will be pleasantly surprised when you do offer a discount and it won’t undermine your worth!
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