Discount Request? Here's How to Respond

by | 2 minute read

Giv­ing dis­counts isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly a bad thing. If done strate­gi­cal­ly, dis­counts can encour­age a sale along and actu­al­ly add val­ue for you in the long run. But many reps offer dis­counts ear­ly in the rela­tion­ship just because the prospect asks. Michael Pici, in an arti­cle for Hub­Spot, warns reps that offer­ing dis­counts too soon risks the fol­low­ing:

  • Devalu­ing your prod­uct or ser­vice
  • You imme­di­ate­ly put price in the spot­light
  • You lose bar­gain­ing pow­er

But, if the prospect men­tions dis­counts ear­ly in the sales process, what do you do? Luck­i­ly, Pici has some great advice. He admits that it can be chal­leng­ing, not­ing that “you must sat­is­fy your prospect’s expec­ta­tions with­out destroy­ing your prof­it mar­gin.” He shares dif­fer­ent replies you can give when con­front­ed dur­ing dif­fer­ent stages of the sales process, mak­ing it easy for you to sat­is­fy the prospect and main­tain your lever­age.

During the first call

If asked about dis­count­ing dur­ing this stage, Pici sug­gests redi­rect­ing the con­ver­sa­tion to what the prospect is look­ing for and needs. Ask about pain points and any spe­cif­ic chal­lenges they are hav­ing and tell them that this can help you deter­mine a more accu­rate dis­count esti­mate. “If the price of your prod­uct or ser­vice large­ly depends on the indi­vid­ual prospect’s needs, goals, and sit­u­a­tion, it’s too ear­ly to dis­cuss dis­counts,” Pici explains. “With­out know­ing the final val­ue of the deal, you can’t deter­mine a rate that will both sat­is­fy them and keep you in busi­ness.” But, most impor­tant­ly, make sure to acknowl­edge the men­tion of a dis­count in your response; you don’t want the prospect to think you are ignor­ing the request or blow­ing it off. Just explain that you’d love to talk about dis­count­ing, but need a bit more infor­ma­tion in order to prop­er­ly do so.

Anoth­er pos­si­ble response is to note the dis­count, then ask if price will be a major obsta­cle for them. “There are some objec­tions that can't be over­come,” Pici writes. “If your prospect’s request comes right after they've asked for pric­ing infor­ma­tion or your prices are avail­able online, it’s pos­si­ble they don't have the bud­get to pur­chase your prod­uct at full price.” Or, he explains, they may have the bud­get, but are just curi­ous about cost. This ques­tion will quick­ly help you deter­mine whether you should pro­ceed with the call or not.

To find out how to respond dur­ing oth­er parts of the sales process, check out Pici’s entire arti­cle, where he shares nine dif­fer­ent ways to dis­cuss dis­count­ing. He promis­es “with these respons­es up your sleeve, you won’t dread hear­ing the word ‘dis­count' from your prospects.”

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jes­si­ca is a senior research ana­lyst for Sales­Fu­el focus­ing on sell­ing to SMB deci­sion mak­ers. She also reports on sales and pre­sen­ta­tion tips for Sales­Fu­el and Media Sales Today. Jes­si­ca is a grad­u­ate of Ohio Uni­ver­si­ty.