Talked to my friend the other day, who runs a cleaning business.
Things are going well for him: better clients, closer to home, more fun, more money, better equipment, more free time…
And then he tells me what he does when people ask for a discount.
“Martin I never lower my price any more these days. You know what I do when people ask for a discount?
I raise the price.”
I was dumbfounded hearing that. What was he on about?
“When I quote 45 pounds and they ask if I’ll also do it for 35, I smile at them, and tell them this:
“Well actually, 45 is a special deal, because if I’d be charging for my hours it would be at least 50, and probably 60. And I may have to buy special cleaning chemicals to treat the oven in the kitchen because it’s not had any cleaning in a long time.
“So you see a discount is…”
Fantastic, truly brilliant. They grow up so fast *sniff*
Seriously though: With that he’s doing everything right:
First he smiles, because he’s not upset or offended – he just needs to explain something.
Then he first explains the value he offered: a largish job, but with a discount included in the price.
He follows by explaining what the job really entails – the features of what’s being sold.
Then he shows the benefits: By accepting this price, I’m happy to do more than what you’re paying for.
Finally, he protects his business by setting boundaries: at less than 45, I can not do this job for you.
And because he’s a truly affable guy and his smile is genuine, it works.
“Martin, they never let me finish my sentence – when I say that they laugh and say: ”Ok then Adam”.
Adam gets to pick the clients he wants to work with.
Good for him because he gets the pay he deserves, and good for the client because by giving the guy what he asks for, he’s 100% motivated to do his best work and then some. Sparkles, I tell you.
And obviously, they then become his regular client.
If you’re going to give a discount, do it for a good reason.
But if you want clients that value your work, it’s a good idea to avoid it, as a rule of thumb.
When you lower the value you’ll accept, you’ll also lower the value of what you produce. You might think not, but I believe it always works through, one way or another.
Someone who haggled you down to a discount once – well you might not be as attentive next time they contact you, for example.
That’s value lost.
Of course if Adam had been sending emails to get his clients, he’d never be asked for a discount, because people would already know the ins and outs of working with him.
In fact, it would be the emails, and liking the way he runs his business as shown in those emails, that would cause people to get in touch with him.
But like so many people, he thinks that sitting his ass down daily for half an hour is time badly spent. That he’s too busy for it.
It’s not: it’s an investment in your business, and if you do it consistently it adds up to rather a large asset in terms of content, audience, engagement, sales…
And if you can’t find 30 minutes a day to invest in promoting – really strategically and effectively – not just dicking around on Facebook – on your business? Hm.
The benefits are huge. I say you want this. And it’s only going to cost you 30 minutes a day.
But, no pressure (said Pinocchio).
If, while you’re sharpening your writing skills, you want to learn a system of building an engaged audience, that also teaches you every month how to use the psychological and common sense like the one Adam uses?
Then consider yourself courteously invited to here and
slam yes on that friendly blue button.