How To Handle A Client That Wants A Bigger Discount

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Businessman with digital percent graphThere are many times when a sale can stall in its progress and there are many reasons for it occurring.

One of the most common is the issue of price, where a prospect has not yet seen the value of paying the price for your products or services.

Why does this happen?

Naturally, it’s because people associate what they have to pay with how useful the solution will be for their current situation.

For example, how much would you pay for a litre bottle of water from a shop?

Well, it depends on what shop and how needy you are for the water.

As we’ve said many times, we will pay what we feel the solution is worth to us.

We don’t buy the product; we buy what the product will do for us.

So, you may pay a certain amount for the water from a shop, but not (say) double that price because you don’t see the worth.

But how about if you were lost in the desert?

How much is that water worth to you now?

It’s the situation, rather than the product, that will dictate its worth to you.

Now, what if your prospect that you’re dealing with wants a bigger discount?

Following on from what we’ve just said, it naturally means that at the moment, they haven’t seen the value of what you have offered.

What if you’ve already offered a discount and the prospect says ‘you’ve got to increase that discount?’

This is a difficult situation for many salespeople as they may already have cut their margins right back.

So what can you do?

Firstly, ask why the discount is necessary.

This can be done politely, but assertively.

Something like ‘I’ve already reduced the price by X%, Mr Prospect; may I ask why you require more?’ should do it.

You need to ascertain why a lower price than you have offered is so important to the prospect.

Backing up a little bit in the sales process, you may want to establish what criteria the customer is going to use in order to make a decision.

What’s most important to him in making his decision?

How will she know that she has made the right decision?

By finding out the key drivers to their decision-making before discussing price, you can then present your solution in the best way for this specific prospect.

Having found out why your price needs to be dropped further, would it be possible to recalibrate the deal you are talking about?

This means reassessing what you have already agreed and determining if there can be some movement in that agreement to match the price reduction the prospect is requesting.

Maybe you could adjust payment terms?

Or possibly adjust the spec to match the lower price request?

Or delay delivery so that you can review the product setup?

The prospect has to see there is a cost to the reduction in price.

Otherwise they will see the opportunity to cut your price even further, simply to save money or make larger profits themselves, at your expense.

A prospect asking for a bigger discount than already on offer can be a warning sign to you that this particular person will always be looking for higher reductions, now and in the future.

They are the kind of prospect who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Be aware of what your margins are and stick closely to them.

In many circumstances, it would pay to walk away from a prospect who is demanding more than you are willing to give and find someone who values your product more.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 12 February, 2019

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