Salespeople and their companies have trained their prospects and clients to expect a discount. In fact, I am writing this on November 30th, and some of you are getting all geared up to start “closing the year strong,” and by that you mean conceding price to win deals because you don’t have enough in your pipeline to help your client make the right investment.
Selling the outcomes you provide your client would be a lot of easier if you had a lower price or even the same prices as your competitors that are nearly as good as you.
There are some tells. There are things you do and say that give away the fact that you are willing to discount. Here is how you project your willingness to discount:
“Let me see what I can do.”
You have already conceded. You have surrendered. You have told your client that your price isn’t really your price and that you have the ability to change it. Because you have made it known that you have flexibility, your prospect now expects you to do something.
“I’ll talk to my manager.”
You need to go to some higher power to get permission, but you have already made it known that this higher power will entertain a discussion about discounting your price. So many salespeople have said the same words, words that resulted in a lower price, that your prospect is all but certain you are coming back with a lower price.
“This is our standard pricing.”
What you have said is “this is not my real price.” You have made it known that this is your list price, the price you pretend you are going to charge, knowing that everyone is going to ask you for a discount and that you are going to give it to them, according to the long-established custom.
Let no part of you believe that your pricing is designed to hurt your clients. By discounting your prices, you are hurting your clients and your company. By taking money out of your client’s solution, you reduce the investment they are making in the result they need. You are reducing the amount of money your company can invest in producing those results.
The fact that so many of us have allowed our clients to underinvest and sold them the lie that they can have better, faster, and cheaper has made it more difficult than ever to produce the results we are capable of by working together. Most of us, including our clients, are too lean already.
You are not discounting your price. You’re discounting the outcomes.