Why Discounting is Hazardous to Your Business

At some point in time, most business owners have been asked to offer a discount. With paying customers so hard to come by, it may be more tempting than ever to give in to requests for discounts. Here’s why you should think twice before you do.

As a business owner you’ve probably been asked to give a discount. How did that make you feel? Your response to that request is critical to the sustainability of your business as well as to your confidence.

Because after all, you’re either worth the price you’re asking or you’re not. No discussion. This may sound harsh but if you don’t believe you are worth it, why do you expect your clients to believe it.

Reasons to stop discounting your pricing:

  1. It’s no fun
  2. It requires a time and energy you can use elsewhere
  3. It creates a standard for other clients
  4. You’re not getting paid what you’re worth
  5. It can lower confidence in your business

Once you’ve made the decision not discount your prices, it will be much easier for you to simply say this in a friendly and relaxed way if you’re asked. You’re mind is already made up so the answer flows naturally.

If a prospective client is not able, or willing, to pay your prices, then they probably aren’t a good fit for your business. Moving on from people who are not a match allows you to create space for clients who are willing and able to purchase from your business.

There will always be someone offering something similar to what your business offers for the absolute lowest price. I hope you don’t aim to be that business.

The key is to focus on the value your services and products deliver, not what they cost. People who truly understand the benefits they will receive when they buy from your business will accept the prices you have set because they understand the value they are going to get.

If negotiating is the norm in your business, there is still a way to be true to the value your business delivers without discounting. First, get clear about the total value of the offering. Then if you choose to, you can reduce the amount you deliver, along with the price, which means you are not discounting.

Another way to avoid discounting when negotiating is to stick to your original price and add a one-time, additional bonus for new clients.

While you’re thinking about eliminating discounting, please consider increasing your prices. Seriously, when is the last time you raised your prices? And when you did, what was the percentage of increase? If it’s been awhile since you raised your prices, it’s probably time.

It’s natural that your expertise expands and deepens over time so why shouldn’t your pricing reflect that. Whether or not you decide to increase your pricing, at least be willing to stand firm on your current pricing and don’t discount.

Think about it, you’ll save time and energy if you stick to your pricing.

And even better, you will feel confident about the value you deliver to your clients (oh yah, and be more profitable).

So make the decision today that discounting your prices is not part of your business philosophy. Focus on the value your business creates for your clients and watch your business grow.

Find more thoughts on discounting to create cash flow here.

Copyright 2010 Stephanie Ward  

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