I thought I’d share this with you as it’s so germane to how we talk about end users and the discount conversation. I recently received this from one of my favorite designer clients…..
I was reading a “thread” posed as a question by a manufacturer about designer commissions. It was on LinkedIn. This is what one reader had to say. It is great and full of JodySpeak. Especially the last line.
I’d like to hear how everyone handles the client’s who ask “Do you get a discount?” in anticipation of you sharing it with them.
My answer to them is “Any proceeds I receive from trade discounts are what enable me to offer superior service to my clients without increasing my hourly design fees and project management fees. The funds are also used to support the growth of my business and the development of my employees. Does this sound acceptable to you?”
And here was my response……
“Do you get a discount?” is one question. “Do you get different pricing from what I get?” is another question, and may be what they are really asking, but it’s not the question that they DID ask.
The answer to the first question is No. You don’t get a discount. You have a different pricing structure that is to the trade and not retail. The answer to the second question is… “What has you ask?”
If you struggle with challenges like this, I can help you. Call me, email me, whatever. Just don’t keep repeating what you’re doing that doesn’t work.
Now that I have your attention….there are dates that are critical to learn from designers about their end users and their projects.
- Delivery/installation dates: We need to know this ASAP as it supports the accuracy of our pipeline. We need to ask and get whatever answer the designer gives, knowing when we ask the designer, they may not have gotten that commitment yet from their end-user. NOT knowing is an opportunity for another contact with the designer to find out once they know.
- Presentation date: When is their next meeting with their client, especially if they don’t yet have a budget or installation date. “What are you and the client hoping to discover (or confirm) at this meeting?”
- Appointment date: EVERY contact with a designer begets the NEXT contact. Our role is to manage that contact process by asking questions and getting commitments for the next time you speak or see each other – and what they objective of that meeting will be. Designers can’t be responsible for calling us or for keeping the sale moving because they won’t do it. And thinking they will and leaving responsibility of the next connection in their court is a recipe for NO SALE. When you get tired of chasing designers, calling and not reaching them and leaving several messages, and hoping the quote you have in the system will actually happen….when the discomfort of those actions that produce NO result become more uncomfortable than asking for appointments, then and only then is when appointments will become second nature and part of OUR sales process…..as an ALWAYS, ALWAYS action.
When you empty your pipeline you must rebuild it. And every item you quote and put in the pipeline MUST have an expected order date for the process to shift to ‘moving forward’ actions from ‘chasing designer’ actions.
Get on the phone and call when you think you will reach them and find out what you don’t already know….and while you have them, ask if there is an order they want to place now.