How to Make the Sale Without Discounting

BY Kathy Crosett
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It’s tempting, isn’t it? The end of the month is fast approaching. Your manager is leaning on you to close more deals. And you have the option to offer discounts to a few prospects to get them to sign with you.

Don’t go there. Of all the details you learned in your sales training, avoiding discounts is probably the most important. Tim Denning equates the practice of discounting with eroding the value of what you’re selling.

Expectation Management

Think of discounting as a gateway drug to big problems in the future. Offering a 5% discount now to bring in a huge account doesn’t seem so terrible. But what you’ve taught your new client is that you don’t have a firm price. The next time you want to sell them a new product or an upgrade, they’ll expect some kind of price concession. They won’t want to pay the first price you quote and they’ll turn negotiations into a battle that you’re not likely to win if you want to keep them as a client.

Focus on Value

When you sense a prospect is going to start focusing on price, that’s your cue to shift the conversation. Prospects must understand the value of the proposal you’ve made. Review the pain points you uncovered during your discovery process. Step by step, show them how each part of the package you’re proposing will help them solve key business problems they are having. 


Prospects will not always be operating on your timetable. Frankly, they don’t care that it’s crunch time for making quota. In fact, once they have that information, they’ll be more likely to focus on price. So, don’t share your pressures with them or start believing these people are your friends. 

Treat your prospects professionally and emphasize the value of what you’re selling. If you’ve done a good job of proposing the right solution for a client who can clearly afford it, chill out. The prospect may not make a decision in time for you to make quota this month, but a decision will come. In the future, you can resolve to try to manage your accounts more efficiently to avoid the crunch at quota time.