I hate discounts.
Whoa, wait a moment. OK – Let me re word that. I don’t want to lie to you. I love receiving discounts. Who doesn’t?! We all love having 10% off an item or even 50% off bargains turn us on. We all love a sale and there is no hiding from the fact even the word SALE can drive us crazy and turn our healthy bank balances into crumbling numbers with overdrafts looming.
What I mean to say, is I hate GIVING discounts. That doesn’t mean I am tight, stingy and am money obsessed. However discounting an item or even a service makes me wince in pain and agony.
Discounting an item is too easy of an opening statement and simply means something in the marketing strategy has gone wrong. There are companies out there who simply rely on discount strategies (you all have seen that one shop that is always ‘closing down’!) and this is just an endless cycle of failure.
To me, discounting an item to get the sale proves the following things;
1. The seller has no confidence in the product.
2. The seller has no confidence in themselves.
3. The seller has not marketed the product well enough.
4. The seller has made a mistake.
Please do not get me wrong; there are times when a product simply needs to be discounted as it is simply dead weight in an inventory or the line needs to be gone to make way for a new wave of product. In these terms, yes ok I agree with you a discount is needed and is possibly the easiest way to turnover a product in a short amount of time.
Discounting an item straight away or even offering money off a service straight away is not a good touch. You may feel like that you are making the price look sexy, or you want to make the item seem like a bargain for a quick sale – but are you just underselling yourself?
My argument is this; if you are willing to discount something so early on, are you even confident in what it is you are selling? Better still; are you confident in your own sales skills? What I constantly coach my team and what I ask them to do is to always be strong in their approach to negotiations and to understand the importance of what it is they are selling. If a certain product can be sold at a cheaper price; why isn’t it just set at that cheaper price? A price is set for a very valid reason.
One way to better yourself when it comes to fighting off discounts is to ADD VALUE.
Adding value should be included in the initial package in my eyes. Adding little extras to the deal or even adding your expertise and your knowledge can make or break a deal at times but why again should you hold these back from your customer straight away? Once again, it is just another dishonest action to take and all cards should be placed on the table from the start in my opinion.
Adding value is nothing new however as mentioned above can make your product or service stand out from a field of haggled prices and discounted options. Adding value is your choice, and whatever you add to your deal must be relevant and of course be tempting to the buyer. Added value can even simply be a guarantee, or warranty of work, or even if you have built a solid reputation for fairness and good quality workmanship the added value could be the fact they are buying from you; a reputable sales person.
So next time a customer is asking for a discount, don’t forget to slow things down. Instead of thinking about what you can take away from the deal, think about what you can ADD to the deal – and I am confident you will see your sales go up and up.
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