Ask Customers For A Reason When They Ask For A Discount

You can't blame customers for driving a hard bargain but sometimes it's hard to say no when they ask for a discount for your goods or services. Often you don't want to refuse as it may damage an existing relationship. One way to approach this situation is to ask your customer why they want a discount in the first place.

Money jar image from Shutterstock

Over at Entrepreneur, professional public speaker Jurgen Appelo said he often gets asked to speak at events for a special price. He said the best way to respond is to ask the client whether they had a specific reason to ask for a discount.

Appelo explained why he favoured this method:

" Without my directly saying yes or no, I've thus bounced the question back to the customer(s), forcing them to consider what they're asking and to give them a chance to point out something that could be of value to me.

"… I merely ask them 'Why' because it's quite possible that they have a very good reason! It all comes down to customizing the value exchange."

It could be that the client who wants a discount could actively help you bring in new customers or can offer you other perks. By asking "Why?" you will then have more information to assess whether or not it is worth giving a discount to a particular customer.

You can read more about how Appelo deals with haggling customers over at Entrepreneur.

[Via Entrepreneur]


    Response: I am on low income
    And if I don't get a discount I go elsewhere.

    If I were a customer asking for a discount and was asked why, I would turnaround and walk out.

      If I were selling to you and you asked for a discount, I'd let you walk out.

        You are so generous. Letting people go and get a better deal somewhere else.

    In your average shop, don't bother, but in a true person to person 'value exchange' such as free lance or sole trader services, then the example is great: it can start a good conversation, for example; 'if you don't think that my service is as valuable as I think, let's discuss; maybe I can speak for a shorter period, or maybe I can also provide a book table of my publications at no extra cost to me...or maybe you can show me some networking opportunities where I might meet potential customers...lots of similar moves turn a 'no' into an opportunity.
    What really makes me cross is friends who want a discount 'because they are friends'. Heck, I'm a friend to, and if you are my friend you want my business to succeed, so you might offer to pay 'full price', or a little over price just to be nice...but no one ever thinks of a reverse discount to help a pal.

    no, you wait until the work has been finished with the agreed price and THEN ask for a discount....


    You realize this isn't about dealing with general retail discount right? This about selling personal skills such as trade or otherwise

    If they give an answer, that alone might be justification. Feedback is a powerful thing, even if that feedback is "if you dont ask, you wont get".

    I've always been a person who asks "give me one good reason why I should give you a discount/lend you money".

    We do this a lot at where I work. Ask for discounts that is and we do get asked why and the answer is easy. The more they charge us for materials the more we have to charge for our products. So the less we sell. The more the discount equals the more we sell which then equals the more we buy off them.

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