There are certain things a client will say that can drive you mad.
× I’m not the decisionmaker and need to speak to other people
× I want to do business with you. Call me next week… and you never hear from them again.
× Can I have a discount?
While all three merits a discussion, let’s focus on discounting.
You do all the prep when you speak to a client. Let me rephrase that, you should do all the prep before you you speak to a client, which means looking at their LinkedIn profile and website. You ask the right questions, share the most appropriate insight and advice to help them, make a connection and you think you’re going to do business together.
That’s right. It’s not about the commission, that’s for amateurs. For the professionals, it’s helping your customer win.
If they say for a discount, there’s rules you need to understand.
Rule 1: Don’t Start Selling
This is the biggest mistake I see salespeople make. Talking more will not help you generate a sale. It will make the client run away and make you sound like an awful salesperson. Also, if you’re talking most of the time, you’re going to struggle in sales.
Rule 2: Don’t Be Defensive
If you start defending yourself, you lose the deal.
When someone asks for a discount, remind them of their challenges, ask if they understand all the benefits they’ll be getting and mention those benefits again. Now is not the time to talk about why you’re great or how many awards you’ve won.
Rule 3: Have a Conversation
When a friend has a problem, you don’t talk nonstop. You ask questions and listen. Uncover what the client hasn’t told you. Maybe you missed something.
Expensive compared to whom?
What makes you say that?
Listen – not to talk back and give an answer, but to actually listen.
Rule 4: Think Long Term
Too many people think short-term. When you discount, the client will always expect a discount and this affects your profit and reduces your chances of hitting target every year.
Rule 5: Cut Back On What You Offer
Have a list of what the clients wants. Start taking away a solution at a time. This way you’re not discounting, you’re matching their budget. Some clients will not like this and agree to their original price.
Rule 6: Exchange Value
Sometimes a client will demand a discount or insist they can’t do business. It’s their company policy to get a discount no matter what. I’ve experienced this more working with clients in China, the Middle East and North Africa. If you really want the business and it’s good for you as well as the client, offer a discount if you get an introduction to one of their clients. Recommendations are the best ways of doing business.
Rule 7: Be prepared to walk away
This is a tough one since nobody wants to lose a deal. As a business owner, I walk away from deals when clients are demanding big discounts. As a sales rep working for a company, it’s tougher to do. At the same time, what’s tough to do mustn’t be avoided.
Once you discount, you devalue your product.
The more value you add and the more prep you do, the less you have to discount.
Niraj is a trusted sales coach, LinkedIn trainer and author of the Amazon bestsellers, Everybody Works in Sales and The Easy Guide to Sales for Business Owners. You can follow his content on LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/nkapur