Should I offer a discount?
You know the moment during the call or meeting, you think to yourself, “I wonder if I should drop the price a little, it sounds a bit high.”
That’s after you’ve spent a good amount of time thinking about what the right price should be.
And there, right in the moment, you say it out loud and find you’ve offered a discount on your services without even being asked!
That’s not ideal. And it’s not going to help you.
I’ll give you some advice:
Don’t offer a discount if your client hasn’t even asked for one.
You’re welcome 🙂
You must sometimes wonder why you do it. You must want to know what allows some women consultants or coaches to stand firm in the amount that they charge, and others to discount without provocation.
Sometimes, women even work for free. (See my article “Should I ever work for free?” if you do this)
No, it’s not that you’re not weak or worthless.
(Just stop it, ok?!)
But you’re probably focusing on the features what you offer or what your reaction would be to that price instead of what happens for your potential client when their problem is solved.
When you know that the value that you provide is more than the dollar amount you are asking for, you don’t need to discount.
You’ll find that you are operating in a place of high integrity and with a great recognition.
When you notice your internal voice starting to say “who do you think you are to charge so much” or “what will they think of me”, you are starting an internal negotiation with yourself that is hard to win whilst you are trying to focus on the connection with your potential client.
You need to have this sorted before you even start your conversation.
1. Be Pragmatic
Now, I would never say never. I had a consulting client with revenue of $3Billion here in Sydney. He would always, always, ask for a discount. He would say, “But can’t you throw me a bone?” And so I would always add $5-$20k to the proposal, just so that I could take it off when he asked. I even told him that I did it. He didn’t mind, it was just his thing.
What this means for you
If you know that you’re going to be asked for a discount, you need to plan this up front, and factor it into your pricing.
If you know you want $8,000 for a particular service, and your client says that they want a discount, you can suggest a saving of $2,000 off a full price of $10,000.
You can’t offer $8,000 and then offer to take $2,000 off that to sweeten the deal.
But I would not encourage you to lower your prices on the spot without even being asked to. You need to feel comfortable with the final figure BEFORE you go into the conversation.
2. Know Your Value
And stand firm in it. The end benefit that you provide must be greater than the investment that you’re asking people to make.
And when that happens, you won’t need to ask for any discount because you (and your client) will know that you’re providing incredible value for money.
What this means for you
If your client wants to pay a little less, that’s ok, but you have to take something out of your offer. They don’t get to have the top shelf if they only want to pay for the bare bones.
For example, if you might have offered, for $40,000, to do a two-day workshop, conduct interviews with employees and clients, and then wrap it up again with another one-day workshop and a report. Your client might say, well, I only have $30k.
If you decide that you’ll offer a discount here to bring them down to $30k, you want to take out elements, not just reduce the price.
There are a couple of options to bring them from the platinum option back down to the gold or silver. You might decide to do fewer interviews with employees and get your client to do the customer validations themselves. And you might make the first workshop just one day.
Just remember, when the project is finished, your client will be focused on the outcome. Only take out what you can WITHOUT compromising the outcome. It’s OK to increase the risk around the outcome as long as you call this out, but it’s not ok to fail to deliver anything.
3. You can always say no
If you know that this is good value for money, that the outcome would be compromised by reducing the scope of the work, and there is no fat in the price to take some out, it’s ok to say no.
What this means for you
You might try, “Oh dear, there’s just no fat in this to take out. And if we reduce the scope by taking out some of the elements, I wouldn’t feel comfortable as you won’t get a great outcome.”
And that’s it. Don’t explain any further. And you don’t even have to apologise.
Go forth and discount less!
And if you’d like a complete guide for deciding your fees as a consultant or coach, click here to read a longer article “What Should I Charge As a Consultant Or Coach?“