The Australian Small Business Blog

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sales Technique- Can you give me a discount?

by Jim Prigg

How often do you get thrown this scenario?
"I’ve talked with someone who said that they will give me a discount on what you are selling. Can you do that for me?"
What do you say? How do you react?

People naturally ask for discounts. That is a part of the sales process when you put your goods, services or ideas up for sale. It is also part of some people’s nature to want to get the best price for everything all the time. Haggling is not a new phenomenon when it comes to the sales process!

Be ready for the question of discounts with a range of ways to handle the request without losing your cool or losing sight of the prospect’s need to buy.

As part of what you do it would be of great value to workshop this discount objection for your own business and your particular industry.

Consider the following:

• Is discounting prevalent all the time?
• Are there certain types of prospects who ask for a discount?
• Are there certain times of the year when discounting is more prevalent?
• Are there serial offenders in your industry?
• Have your people been trained to handle the issue of discounts?
• Are there certain lines that you cannot discount?
• Are there some parts of your service or product offer that can be discounted?
• What is the best defence for your business against discounting?

At the heart of the discount question are the three following critical points:

If you do allow discounting then it should be to gain an order or commitment to deal with you.

Discounting can be used as a trade of for other things, like shorter payment times or bulk buys

If you do discount, will the nett price of the item or service, be in profit or deficit for the discounted item?

Below are some ways to answer this objection. It is recommended that you use these as guide. Introduce your own words, terminologies and expressions specific to your industry or profession into these answers.

Which of these are you utilising?
• Which of these could you implement?
• Which of these could you improve on?

• Mr Smith, why didn’t you buy from them, right then? You probably didn’t buy because you know that you only get what you pay for. The only way anyone can discount the offer is to discount the benefits.

• If I do, will you buy from me today/now?

• What were they discounting? Was it price only, premiums, quality, benefits, features or service?

• Which benefits and advantages would you like me to take out to discount the price?

• If you give me an order for 10 can I give you a 10% discount? If you only order one I will give you the same price and service all my clients demand.

• If there were a less expensive way to produce and deliver the product/service I would gladly do it for you at a discount.

• Do top end merchandisers give a discount on their best value range?

• Would you trust a doctor, dentist or accountant who freely gave discounts whenever someone asked for them? Well we are professionals. We don’t discount on price because that compromises on the service and value our clients demand.

• Does it concern you that someone else may get a better price than you? Let me assure you; that will never happen if you require quality and gold plated service that we provide.

• We provided over (insert your relevant numbers here) clients with this product and service over the last 12 months. Not one of them received a discount. Would you like to discover why they bought?

• The bitter taste of shoddy product or bad service lives on long after the short sweetness of discounting on service and quality.

• If I can get you a discount will you buy today?

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Jim Prigg is the MD and Director of client relationships at KnowledgeMaster, a treasure trove of information for sales professionals.

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