Nine Ways To Respond To Discount Requests

It’s bound to happen at some point: A customer asks you to lower your rates or give you a discount of some kind. As many companies tighten their budgets fearing lean times, you may begin to receive discount requests more often. Whether you choose to work with a customer’s pricing requests or you stand firm on your pricing, you should always have a few responses ready, according to Michael Pici, director of sales at HubSpot.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Pici’s powerful replies to use when you hear the words “It costs too much.”

1. “You’re asking the right person. But before we discuss discounting, let’s figure out what you’re looking for in an offering. That will allow me to give you a far more accurate estimate." It is tempting to brush off a pricing discount early in the sales conversation, but according to Pici, you should take time to acknowledge your prospect’s concerns. If you don’t address discounting up front, you will seem more focused on your own success than the prospect’s success.

2. “Good question. Do you see price being a major obstacle to this purchase?" Sometimes, prospects just want to know whether you will consider reducing your prices. If they can’t get a lower price, they will move on. Other times, they may be okay paying your rate but interested in receiving a discount if they can. By asking this question, Pici says you help determine their motivation.

3. “We can definitely have a conversation about specific numbers, but let’s make sure we’re on the same page about this solution being a good fit for your needs." Pici says that with this response, you don’t take a discount off the table, but you remind the prospect that it’s not relevant until you’re both sure it’s a good fit. If you grant their request too soon, you will seem overly eager to close, which will work against you during the actual negotiation.

4. “Why?" Buyers sometimes haggle just for the sake of it. Oftentimes, those who say they are “just wondering” will pay your full price. It’s important to understand where your prospect is coming from and customize the value exchange.

5. “I can offer you a discount if we [extend the contract, adjust the terms of payment, go with X package or tier, register Y seats]." Both parties should be prepared to compromise in a negotiation. If your customer or prospect asks for a discount, consider non-monetary requests that allow you to open the negotiating possibilities beyond price.

6. “What would be a reasonable discount?" This question allows you to discern whether your customer or prospect can afford your product, or they’re not sold on the full value. If they don’t have the budget for your solution, offer a less expensive or less comprehensive option.

7. "What would need to happen to make our offering worth the price I quoted you?" According to Pici, this question is a smart way to uncover gaps in your conversation and identify objections that may still exist. It’s a chance to add or ague value for your solution and to earn full price if you meet the prospect’s needs.

8. "Would a month-to-month plan be enough to get you to close today?" If your prospect feels uncomfortable closing on an annual contract, a month-to-month solution may be an option to close without discounting your product or service.

9. "What if we connect next quarter? Do you think you’d have more budget open up then?" If your prospect is truly enthusiastic about working with you but simply doesn’t have the budget, consider following up with them in the future. This can sometimes be the best option for both parties.

Everybody wants a deal. In a tight market, you may be tempted to give in to discount requests. The smarter move, though, is to have some responses ready when your customers ask for a deal. By doing so, you position yourself as a true value provider rather than selling yourself short.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Michael Pici is a director of sales at HubSpot. He heads a team of over 70 salespeople and managers and was responsible for growing HubSpot's sales product line from $0 to a $10 million business.

filed under July 2020
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