“Can You Take a Little Off…?” Managing The Discount Question

When is the last time you heard that? And it doesn’t matter if you are a designer or a showroom salesperson, the question gets asked more and more these days as buyers are looking to save a few dollars on everything.

How are you dealing with this question now? Or are you hoping the question will stopped being asked when the economy turns around?

Here’s the bad news – the economy is what the economy is right NOW, and waiting for it to improve is a recipe for disaster. You will miss business opportunities that may not come around again. And the good news is that you can actually take actions to Anticipate and Avoid this question, by asking questions of your own.

It’s simple – ask your buyer what the price range is that they are expecting to invest at this time. And the only answer that matters has a number in it. Now, that number can be unrealistic, in which case that’s what you talk about. If you are uncomfortable talking about the money and the possibility of them requesting a discount later on, I suggest you preface the question with a statement like this:

“I know that many people are looking for reductions and discounts, and expecting them due to the economy. So that you and I don’t have that conversation later, let’s talk right now about what you are willing to invest in this project. I value our relationship, and a conversation about discounts later on may damage what we have created together. Can we do that?”

The purpose is to AVOID discussing this when time and talent has been invested in finding the right products for them. And if later on they still ask you to take something off, you can refer to this conversation and understanding – something you cannot do if you never raised the topic to begin with.

Please muster the courage to do this and tell me how it worked for you. Remember, whatever you sweep under the rug you are destined to trip over later.


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