7 Reasons People Ask You For A Discount (and 7 Ways to Answer Them)

Inevitably as a small business owner, you have fielded the request from a “potential” client to discount your services… and if you haven’t, then you have not been in business long enough yet!

Do you have to drop or discount your rates just to keep money coming in? If this is you, read on and I will show you why that is happening, and how to solve it!

#7 they don’t value your expertise

Just like a child does not know the value of a $1 bill vs. a $50 bill, both bills look basically the same to them, the child, (just like the customer) has to be taught the difference in value. It does not matter who you are, small business, entrepreneur or employee, you are paid according to the value that you bring to the marketplace. A person is highly unlikely to pay extra for something they don’t find valuable! (Solution) demonstrate your value and then automate that process.

(Solution) demonstrate your value and then automate that process.

#6 they cannot afford your services!

This is nothing new! Since the beginning of time, people have always wanted stuff that they could not afford, or things just on the other side of their individual budgets. It is ok for your services not to be within reach of everybody, your skill set is NOT for everyone’s use or benefit. Just as BMW and other luxury car manufacturers have introduced scaled down versions of their brands.

(Solution) consider adding tiered packages that are scaled down, that allow folks with lesser budgets an opportunity to work with you.

#5 Not your target audience!

Hopefully, when you started this business you sat down and had a strategic planning session where you identified several key factors like who is your ideal customer and where they are located. So based off my experience, if potential clients don’t value your expertise, and can’t afford your services, that means you are not in front of the right people.

(Solution) re-evaluate who you best serve and where they are located.

#4 your marketing sucks!

Let’s face it now and get it out of the way, yes! Your marketing sucks! Marketing in its most basic form is your message and the ways in which you spread that message. If you are constantly attracting those that are not your ideal clients, then you are using the wrong message. Think of it like fishing, if you and a friend are both trying to catch largemouth bass, and your friend has caught several already, and the only thing you have caught are little perch or bluegills and you both in the same water. Something is WRONG, so you stop and ask him why you are not catching bass, and he looks at your bait (message) and says you have the wrong bait for the targeted fish (ideal paying on time client).

(solution) change your message so it matches your target audience serve up bait that bass wants, like instead of perch bait, and you will be much more attractive to your preferred audience.

#3 you are poorly positioned in the marketplace

If your marketing sucks and you are constantly attracting the “wrong” clients, then you are viewed not as the expert but more of a discount provider. You don’t occupy the top of mind positioning needed to command top dollar, this is another reason that they ask for discounts. When was the last time you went to a Doctor’s office and asked them for a discount on their prices? Aye Doc, give me a discount on your services and fees… I dare say never!! That was the last time you did that!!

(Solution) Specialize in an area and grow your fame and name in that spot!

#2 Potential clients don’t trust you

If people don’t trust that you can solve their problems, they are not going to pay you the money that you are asking for! The lack of trust could stem from how you show up online, via your website, social media and thru your other marketing mediums. (Solution) put your results on display, via testimonials, solve peoples problem with your free content, these will make you attractive and trust worthy.

(Solution) put your results on display, via testimonials, solve people’s problem with your free content, these will make you attractive and trustworthy.

Drum roll …….

The #1 reason people ask you for a discount is… THEY ARE NOT IN ENOUGH PAIN!!

Pain and fear make people move, PERIOD!! Think back to a time when you had a really bad toothache. The pain was excruciating, head throbbing, and brain busting type of pain. All you wanted was the pain to go away, you would have done ANYTHING to stop that pain regardless of the cost involved.

“OK yes I want that… it cost what??? Ahh yeah yeah whatever, just stop this pain I’ll figure that part out later, just get me out of pain.”

These are the type of clients we all enjoy and desire, however, at any given point in time, these kinds of clients only represent about 20-30% of the market. What about the other 70-80%??

(Solution) create various types of content that educate people where they are in the buying cycle. Create content that positions you as the obvious choice to do business with, which builds your fame and name.

*Article courtesy of interview with A.Fitzgerald Hardnett, Small Business Visibility Expert

A.Fitzgerald Hardnett is America’s #1 Small Business Visibility Expert, he specializes in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs making less than $100k increase their visibility and make more money! He has a new book coming out called “The Visibility Playbook” that gives practical tactics to use to increase visibility. Pick up a copy => www.InvisibleExpert.com/book


David Doost is an author, speaker, contributing reporter for Huffington Post and respected business growth strategist for small to medium sized businesses covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in the Business world.