“Your product/service is expensive. Yesterday your competitors offered me different prices.” “Oh, you know, others have a free month of use for that kind of money.” “I am a mother of children, what do you know about budgets.” “Did I advertise you on Facebook in vain?”
We see and hear this every day. Some of our clients need a discount every day. This hot topic is eternal, so the best thing to do is to prepare for an attack and plan ahead. Well, we will now see to retire or defend positions.
We will dance from the types of clients themselves who ask for a discount. This route will provide maximum coverage and will be versatile because it will work for almost any company.
Attention: all clients are fictitious, and any coincidence with reality is accidental. While writing the article, not a single client was hurt, some received discounts 🙂
The most blessed thing that can happen to a company in terms of customer service is just such a client. They have been with you for a long time and have experienced not only your ups, but also downs. Knows the strengths and weaknesses of the product. The first is ready to forgive, the second – they praise in front of colleagues and friends. Over the years with the support, he is almost on you and it is mutual.
What to do: Don’t be scattered with such clients. Don’t refuse, citing lack of opportunity. First of all, find out why and why they suddenly asked for a discount. Once you have a motive in your hands, it becomes clear what to do. If they expand and now buy more – agree and look for options, the client will not be in debt and will bring friends. If the client themselves suddenly cut their budget – thay physically cannot stay with you without a discount, go to a meeting so as not to lose it. They just thought it was time for him to make a discount for seniority – weigh the pros and cons. Practice shows that in this case, the client still remains, so the request is more likely from the category “whim” than “hint”.
If you meet halfway and give a discount to such a client, the level of loyalty grows quickly and later you will have an invisible right to small mistakes (failures, bugs, overlays and other joys of everyday life). More precisely, there will be a limit for mistakes that he is guaranteed to forgive.
In short: study the customer’s details, motivation and payment history. Do not be afraid to lose some of the money, be afraid to lose a client.
His Tesla imposingly drives into your office. The ladies are screaming and getting ready to invest. In the morning you received his email – inside there are mountains of gold, future joint accomplishments, achievements of his company in the last 5 minutes and prospects for its irrepressible growth. Together with you, of course. Diamond smoke obscures the monitor. He is the client who is so good and potentially desirable to you that it seems that you should pay him extra for cooperation.
What to do: First, don’t be fooled. Customers tend to exaggerate their individual importance, so before making special prices and making concessions, consider how profitable the tandem will be. But don’t be zealous. Scaring off such a client with bureaucracy and stiffness is very easy, returning him after disappointment is more difficult. If you want the promised volumes or his name in the portfolio, you have to work. By the way, he will also have to prove his worth, catch him on this. Offer a discount for a reason, but on a larger scale (wholesale, long-term subscription to a product or service, etc.) so that he understands the conditions of the game and feels his value.
Be sure to emphasize the value with the presentation: when you return to it with a proposal, mention between the lines how hard you got it. You pounded the accounting doorsteps and sang serenades to your boss. All in order to knock out this discount. It will be almost impossible to refuse after such expenses on your part or call it insignificant.
In short: tie a volume discount from that customer. Give a discount like a mammoth taken from the middle of the city with your bare hands to solidify your intentions.
You owe him a discount simply because he honored your product. By the way, yesterday he stopped by to visit Joni and inquired about Sophie’s health. Sophie said hello to you! In general, yes. This is VIP. He has connections, acquaintances and self-esteem that does not allow him to go unnoticed.
What to do: Be cool and friendly. To be led by such a client means to forever drive yourself into a discount bondage – this will not end with one indulgence. Over and over again, he will demand a discount, threatening to wet your reputation or, by slamming the door, go to competitors forever. Don’t believe and don’t worry. Tell us that you understand everything and are generally on his side, but, alas, you have no financial leverage. Replace the discount with real care (moral or material): give him VIP support, come to him with team training, provide him with special delivery conditions, or send him postcards with kittens in hats once a week.
In short: nourish his sense of self-importance. Conquer him with your personal touch and ingenuity. The end result is a satisfied customer and good reviews.
Comparison with your competitors in terms of price is the favorite horse of our customers. I can’t judge them for that. Comparison is a friend of good. At the same time, such clients are reminiscent of Russian roulette: he is either really going to leave you, or he is just checking the boundaries. And then, as in life – if you are really going to do something, then you do it, and do not announce.
What to do: Resisting such an argument is quite difficult because it is supported by logic. But instead of saying, “yeah, here you go,” you can try to establish a connection. If a client comes with such a request, he is open for dialogue. Be sure to find out with whom he compares you: what your competitors have and what you don’t. It often turns out that the low prices of competitors are due to a lack of functionality or service that you have in abundance. Find out what is of the highest value for the client and work with it: the price itself, stability, assortment, quality, some specific features, and so on.
If the competitors with whom he compared you do not have enough of what you have – tell him about it, justify why yours is more expensive. If all of this is important to the client, he will not be able to leave because competitors will not cover all needs.
If it’s only about price, provide the client with alternative ways of saving: a referral program, a discount for large purchases, upcoming promotions, and so on. Do not try with all your might to keep such a client and do not rush to make a discount – there will always be someone who has a cheaper one, you will not win this race.
In short: find out who you are being compared to and tell the client why you are more valuable. If it’s only price, look for other ways to give the discount, but don’t give it directly to avoid endless dumping.
If the client has $ 100 for everything about everything, then there will be no more of them. If he chose you and wrote directly that he really likes you, but there is not enough money for you, at least appreciate this impulse. Then think about it.
What to do: such a client is loyal and patient in absentia, if the difference between the real price and the amount of money that he has does not lead you into a deep minus, go forward. The budget is one this year, and the next – another, with a high degree of probability greater than it was before. At the same time, the client is the same, invariably grateful for your flexibility, able to forgive omissions. And yes, he will definitely recommend you to his friends.
When issuing such a discount, it is very important to immediately outline the boundaries – the price is only now and at the next purchase / renewal of the subscription, and so on, it will be re-calculated. Make it clear to the client that you are cool and caring, but finance is finance and you are a company too. On the next payment, he will have enough motivation to deal with the regular prices.
In short: move over if your budget allows. Make it clear that this is not a permanent discount.
There are a number of non-profit organizations that simply do not have the money. I mean, not at all, but they need you. These can be student associations, charitable foundations, shelters, orphanages, libraries, schools, and so on. All of them are often at a loss, but they continue to do important and useful things for society. And of all those who have appeared on this list, they are most worthy of discount and special treatment.
What to do: Talk to the finance department about your policies regarding these companies in general. In my practice, for example, almost all non-profit organizations received free subscriptions / services or the highest possible discount. By the way, it is not necessary to do this for free: ask them in response to write a detailed review about you, how your product helps them and how they use it, interview them, publish a news on your blog or website about that now you are also a part of some big and good deed. Your clients will love it very much – old and new, who will come after learning that your company is not alien to everything human.
In short: help them and exchange mutual mentions on websites and social networks.
Time for frankness. This is not the nicest type of customer. They stay with you, but they constantly go and ask for a discount. Well … just like that.
What to do: remind about your promotions and the possibilities of the referral program, if any, but do not give a discount just like that – it will never end. Such clients have consumer value in the bud, their threats are almost always empty, but ambition can significantly spoil the mood of support, therefore, you need to look at their requests soberly. Like the whims of children. You understand everything and are on their side, but you cannot do anything. Just tell them that you have a big and evil financial brother in your company who forbids you to give discounts. You already begged him and beat him, but he still won’t give him. So it goes.
In short: steadfastly ignore.
Bad days happen to everyone. And it happens that things really go wrong. The client has lost his wallet and now does not know how to collect the required amount. His mother-in-law tried to take him to the country house and he had to pay off. The client’s clients suddenly delayed their payment and there is simply not enough money on the account. Mercury has been retrograde all month and no one remembers why suddenly there is no money, but there is none.
What to do: If you value your relationship and you know 100% that it really is force majeure, be guided by your moral principles. Ideally, of course, get in the position and help as much as you can. As a bonus, in such cases, you can get viral feedback on social networks about how cool you are.
In short: Help as you can.
Finally, brief thesis wishes that will help in general.
Everyone in the support department should be very clear about what to do in which case. Add it to the department’s regulations and break it down into algorithms, categories, and a sequence of actions. In short, do everything so that the support does not have a chance to make a mistake and promise the client too much (or vice versa – deprive him of the discount and ruin the company’s reputation). Promising a client a discount, and then taking it away, or taking a discount from a client who was going to make you rich is a very difficult to fix accident.
Collect information about what happens to customers next. If you met him halfway and gave him a discount – did he become more loyal or left good reviews that gave you new clients? If you took away his discount, did he leave or stay with you?
As soon as you start tracking at least some of these cases, you will learn how to manage discounts without prejudice, but with profit.
Leave a path for yourself and your clients to leave. Asking for a discount directly is almost desperate. And since you are far from always able to make indulgences, just provide your rear, which you can refer to: set up a simple and convenient referral program, hold promotions and sweepstakes, give constant discounts for large and bulk purchases, arrange the opportunity to make a discount without a discount (for example, partially open additional opportunities at the same price). Get involved and help management, sales and marketing make the product better.
May customer focus be with you.