A discount can help accelerate a slow-moving deal, create goodwill, and give you leverage for requesting concessions. But you’ll only reap these benefits by discounting strategically —

Promising your prospect a discount before the actual negotiation can have three negative consequences:

  1. The buyer subconsciously attributes less value to you and your product. After all, if its ROI is what you claim, why are you so willing to sell it for less?
  2. The focus shifts from value to price.
  3. You lose some of your bargaining power.

If you offer a discount in the beginning stages of the sales process, you’ll miss the opportunity to ask for something in return because you don’t yet know what your prospect wants. That sets a dangerous precedent of one-way concessions.

If you’re struggling to find the right words, use these replies throughout the sales conversation. And if your prospect says, “It costs too much,” I’ve got a few answers for you here.

Response 1: When you’re too early in the sales cycle

“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.”

If the price of your product or service largely depends on the individual prospect’s needs, goals, and situation, it’s too early to discuss discounts. Without knowing the final value of the deal, you can’t determine a rate that will both satisfy them and keep you in business.

Don’t brush off the prospect, instead, acknowledge them and explain why it’s mutually beneficial to table this discussion until later.

Response 2: During the Presentation or Product Demo

“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.”

At this stage of the sales conversation, a discount request usually indicates the prospect’s desire to buy. Since they agreed to a demo or presentation, they’re clearly interested in the product — now they’re thinking about the details of the purchase.

However, don’t promise them a discount just yet. Automatically granting their request will make you seem overly eager to close, which will work against you during the actual negotiation. It may also lead your prospect to wonder if they’ve misjudged your product’s value.

Use this response to delay the conversation. You’re not saying a discount is off the table — but you’re reminding the prospect it’s not relevant until you’re both certain there’s mutual fit.

Be prepared to walk away from the deal. Sometimes the buyers haggle for the sake of it.

Response 3: During Negotiation

“Why”?

I strongly recommend this simple and effective response when you’re negotiating with buyers who are haggling for the sake of it.

My problem with this attitude is that such clients assume that I am intentionally overpaid and that, with some negotiation, it should be possible to talk the fee down to the ‘proper’ price.

I often respond by saying “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].”

It’s a good idea to walk into the discussion with several non-monetary requests, which will help you open up the negotiating possibilities beyond price.

Response 4: “What would be a reasonable discount? You think $10,000 is too expensive or you don’t want to spend more than $7,500?”

This reveals whether they’re not sold on the value of your product or simply can’t afford it. If it’s the latter, offer them a reduced or less comprehensive option. This option lets you maintain your margins while maintaining value.

Response 5: “What would need to happen to make our offering worth the price I quoted you?”

By asking “What would need to happen to make our offering more valuable to you?” You can uncover gaps in the case you’ve made and identify objections that might still exist. It allows you to add or argue value for your offering.

Sometimes your solution is just not in the cards. These responses will help you discover that early in the buyer’s journey, before you’ve devoted too much time to trying to close them.

I don’t say ‘no’ to people who ask me for a discount, It’s possible that they have a very good reason! It all comes down to customising the value exchange. Compromise is essential to most negotiations. By offering a quid pro quo discount, both you and the buyer will come out ahead.

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