Dishing out discounts shrinks your selling muscle


Grow your capacity as a salesperson, know the market, believe in your product and remember the buyer has a problem he wanted to resolve with the purchase. With this knowledge, try this…

If you acquiesce to every request for a discount, your sales muscle gradually atrophies. You never grow as a sales person; you grow as a price warrior. You score an A for giving discounts, but an F for progressive selling.  And because muscle grows with usage and wastes without it, soon you are disabled; crippled by the inability to sell; limited in your growth, likely trapped in place.

Some sellers quote price as the reason why they can’t sell. So they send out a Hail Mary: “Customers are always asking for discounts, the competition gives it, and because we don’t, we will lose sales.” Maybe that’s true, maybe, it’s not. That’s not the point here. The point is that, if the choice to give (dish out) a discount is inspired primarily by panic than reason, then you are a price warrior. Giving a discount based on reason, could be driven by a bulk purchase, rewarding loyalty, a desire to penetrate a market you know you’ll get much more compensatory business from, and so on. It is not habitual.  Enter the fear inspired seller; nay, the price warrior. At the mention of, “Your competitor is quoting 30 per cent less than you,” he panicky responds: “I will give you a 35 per cent discount.”

To make matters worse, very likely his product is superior. But blinded by fear, he is incapable of articulating his product’s value, yielding instead to the buyer’s concern, (probably, bluff), which he sees as a threat.  It is even more debilitating to the seller’s growth if it is a service whose value is largely an extension of its seller’s perceived abilities. So what to do? Grow your capacity as a salesperson, know the market, believe in your product and remember the buyer has a problem he wanted to resolve with the purchase. With this knowledge, try this. Change the package; specific components in the product, for instance, or give an entirely different one. Then explain this in conversational manner.

For instance, “To reduce the price by 30 per cent would mean that we remove the aluminium piping and use plastic instead.  The downside with this is that whereas you will still get the water flowing into your house, I cannot extend the five year warranty because you will need to change the piping every year which goes against your desire to avoid maintenance costs.  Is this something you want?” Or, “To give that discount would mean that we cannot avail our technicians to do the installation, and therefore cannot guarantee the quality of work.  And in my professional opinion, this is not something I would recommend because of the intricate wiring required and the consequences of not doing it right. Is this something you want?”

“What if I lose the sale?” There you go again letting your fear driven price warrior voice dominate your thinking. What if he agrees, is what the growing sales muscle should be asking.

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