Guest blogger, Linc Miller, shares his sales expertise to help you understand and respond to requests for discounts during the sales cycle. No doubt in this economy, you've been hearing this request more often. Please feel free to share you thoughts and experiences as well.
The other day, a client of mine shared with me a situation they experienced recently, where a customer said to him, “Can you give me a discount? We need to reduce our costs.” My Client was relaying this situation to me, as he didn't quite understand how his customer could actually ask about a discount. My customers perplexity stemmed from the fact that his client uses the products, of my client, to white label products and resell those same products.
He said Linc, “How do I get around this? What do I say to someone when they ask can I get a discount?”
I'm sure as business people, we hear this comment day-in and day-out, “I need a discount. Is that your best price? You're one of three, etc.”
First off, what's the prospect trying to do?
The prospect is trying to take control by turning your product or service into a commodity. Thus, devaluing the relationship. Everything that we sell has a value to it. In fact, our time is the most valuable thing that we own. We cannot give it away for free, nor can we give away our product/service without getting something of equal or greater value in return.
Here's what to respond with from a strategic relationship position, “Mr. Customer, I appreciate your asking, and that tells me that you really value your money and our relationship. I like what you're thinking, meaning, you are wanting to further our current relationship, fair? Has something changed, to cause you to ask for a discount now? Could you share with me what has happened?”
At this point the customer will share with you what the situation is and as you talk, nurture the customer back to the original reason or reasons that caused the customer to purchase your service or products. So, by reassuring the prospect and then walking them back through the issues of why they even wanted your product or services in the first place, is one clear way of defining your product or services and the relationship is of great value. They just want to be reassured that they're making the best decision for their money. So, take the time to nurture the prospect, allow them to understand how the product or service they are using is the strategic solution to their pain and let them buy -- don't get in the way.