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You Can't Have the Story AND the Discount Have you ever argued with a client over a request for a price reduction?

April 21, 2021 5:56 AM | Dara Cormany (Administrator)

"I was doing some research, and based on what I'm seeing, I'm going to need you to reduce the price on those tumblers twenty-five cents per unit."

Have you ever argued with a client over a request for a price reduction?

Granted, most of us won't get into an actual argument with a prospect when the time for price negotiation rears its head, but we ALL have been in situations like the one presented in the sentence I heard from my new client on the other end of the line. I've sat with countless salespeople batting around ideas and counters for a request like this one, but most of the time, the salesperson caves, the price gets reduced, and the order begrudgingly gets written.

This time was different. You see, during the discovery phase of the sale, I found out that the owner of the business was a veteran who had fought for our country. I also found out that they were a military family, and their youngest son had lost his life in combat. As a father with a child in the military myself, that loss carried a lot of weight with me.

As we proceeded with the steps necessary to pick the most appropriate product for their objective, the client decided they'd like to choose a tumbler. As a PromoCares veteran, I was well aware of the Patriot line of drinkware from Hirsch Gift, and I proudly presented that product as the appropriate tumbler for the job.

At our next meeting, I explained the connection between the Patriot line and Homes for Our Troops, the non-profit benefactor of 20% of the proceeds from these particular tumblers. As this information's significance became apparent to her, my contact leaped from her chair and raced out of the room, returning excitedly with Bob (the owner) in tow.

"Tell him what you just told me!" she said.

As I recounted the connection for Bob, his face contorted with emotion. What began as grief quickly turned to surprise, and a mega-watt smile flashed across his face as he internalized what I was explaining.

"Tonia, let's be sure to explain why we chose these when we hand them out at the picnic. It's one thing to get something nice from us, but once people realize the connection, I think they'll be even more proud to show them to their friends," Bob said as he headed for the door. "Roger, you've got MY vote; just make sure you take care of Tonia."

Imagine my surprise when our subsequent discussion included the previously referenced request for a discount. This was NOT one of those times I was going to give in, but I needed to find a polite way out of the problem.

"Tonia," I said, "I understand the nature of your request, but I have to tell you that I won't be able to give you that which you're asking. I CAN sell you another tumbler at the price you're looking for, but I cannot discount the Patriot tumblers, as their price is a reflection of the contribution they're making to Homes for Our Troops."

Silence. As the old salesperson's saying goes, "The next person who speaks loses." The pause was pregnant and becoming uncomfortable.

"Fine," she said. "What am I supposed to tell Bob if we don't get those?"

By tying the product we were selling to one of their core values, I had created value. When Bob realized his staff would cherish the product more because of the story that came with the product, the decision had cemented in his head. Tonia wasn’t just buying tumblers any longer; she was creating a narrative that accompanied the product. A narrative that was worth the premium.

Your clients don’t deserve the value of the connection if they’re not willing to pay for it. Simply put, you can’t have the story AND the discount.

Roger has spent 20+ years making complex concepts more understandable for both buyers and sellers alike, and has devoted the majority of his recent career to injecting purpose via philanthropy to his sales and marketing efforts. He’s intent on making the world a better place and his nirvana exists at the intersection of Mission, Passion, Profession and Vocation. He loves the outdoors and seeks memorable experiences whenever possible. Contact Roger at roger@socialgoodpromotions.com or 810-986-5369.

Used with permission from PromoCorner


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