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January 24, 2022
4 min read
Welcome back to The Weekly Pitch! Our mission is to cover news, offer insights, and profile rising stars in the sales community.
Today, we give you ten ways, plus a bonus tip, to navigate that inevitable discount request. In our Feature Story, we offer creative responses to make sure we keep the deal fair and equitable for everyone involved.
The Closer invites us to a special webinar hosted by Pavilion happening tomorrow. Don't miss it!
Let's start with our Weekly Chart.
The HBR article in last week's issue on the "Sense Making" sales approach was clickbaity enough to follow up with this chart.
In addition to helping our prospects with information overload, the making sense approach builds trust and credibility, almost 6x more than reps who freely give it without explanation.
Discounting is undeniably powerful but should be used sparingly and consistently to create urgency. The best sales teams aim for an overall rate annualized at less than 10%. And no individual deal should ever exceed a 30% discount.
Here are ten tactics to hold firm and believe in our value – as sales pros and the product or service we're selling:
1. Say no
A no works best on the first sales call and in tandem with number ten on this list. Once our prospects ask for pricing, make explicit the best and final offer. As the deal progresses, continue to say no and remind our contacts we've been clear from Day 1.
2. What happens if we can't meet your demands for a discount?
Asking this question gauges the seriousness of the request. When framing it as a "demand," the counteroffer is easier. Two popular counters are next.
3. Accept the discount in exchange for a 3-year deal
Multi-year deals are typical in today's marketplace because the buying process is costly and time-intensive for most companies. Require a 3-year contract for a lower price. It's in the best interest of the potential customer to not go through this same exercise one year from now.
4. Accept the discount for a speedy signature and agreed-upon date.
Selling in a full calendar year without handing out a single discount is next to impossible. However, most sales leaders will gladly accept a modest discount in exchange for the customer committing to a signature date. Stamp a midweek date to the authorization form or contract, and never make it the last of the month.
5. Steal a page from Chris Voss
"How am I supposed to do that?" One of the highlights from Never Split the Difference challenges negotiators to respond with this question. It forces the prospect to think again about their request and provide us with reasoning.
6. Request a customer testimonial and case study
Contingent on delivering value, ask the customer to agree to a case study. Alternatives include writing G2 reviews or mentioning us on LinkedIn.
7. Add a customer reference
When peers share their positive experiences working with a specific provider, it accelerates future deal cycles. If our prospect asks for a discount, consider accepting if they serve as a reference for other opportunities.
8. Why did the other provider come down on price?
Asking this question puts the focus on our competitor. Point out potential landmines with less service from the other provider, or perhaps they'll cut corners. Expect an agitated "I guess they want our business" response and reply, "but from my vantage point, it seems like they don't treat their customers fairly."
9. Sell less stuff
Sometimes there are legit budget constraints. Review the scope and remove items without putting the value prop in jeopardy.
10. Principled pricing reminder
It's perfectly ok to say no to a discount request. Often, sharing our belief that all customers are equal reminds prospects we created pricing based on fairness. "If we offer you this discount, we'd have to apply it to every current customer. That doesn't sound fair to me."
Bonus: Always make it one-time
Remember to offer discounts as a single occurrence. Lifetime discounts shouldn't exist. The lone exception might be a discount built into a 3-year agreement.
Register here for tomorrow's webinar to get an inside look at a new goal-setting strategy to ensure 100% of reps hit plan in 2022!
Research shows that only 50% of sales reps hit their annual quota.
The root cause?
Outdated goals-setting models that factor in rep failure before they even start.
Expect to learn:
Two standard goal-setting models in sales – and both are wrong.
A new way to set goals: Driving Metrics That Matter and the "Reverse Buffer."
Hootsuite's plan to get every rep to goal.
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