How to respond when someone asks for a discount without hurting your income.

4 replies
One of the first clients that I ever quoted for when I first started out in my business told me that my quote was too expensive and could I reduce it. Being completely green around the gills and desperate for new clients, I agreed. Well this obviously set me up in bad stead for the rest of the relationship. I was working for less than I was worth which caused resentment on my part, and my client continued the relationship believing that I didn't value my work any more than he did. He also had in the back of his mind why I'd quoted the price I did if I could do it for cheaper, and the trust was gone. In short, this relationship was toxic from the outset and it was myown fault for caving.


Since then, I made it a point to NEVER go back on a quote. I'v come across many people who have ummed and ahhh'd and said it's a bit pricey and there are a few ways that I deal with that (below) more often than not, the work gets done and everyone's happy, for those who dont agree I can guarantee that relationship would have been more trouble than its worth anyway!


Reduce their value
If anyone says that something is too expensive I'll alwaysgo back with a counter offer which has removed some value. If my quote included six pieces, Ill offer them a lower price for four pieces. If money really is an issue, theyll take the lower package. If it's not, they will either take the original package or walk away as they originally intended to do, saving you both some time and hassle along the way.


Provide a breakdown.
If someone asks you to reduce your quote, provide an explanation of why it's the cost it is, and why you can't. Provide a breakdown of your time, materials and value involved in them having everything you've asked for. Very rarely does someone ask for a service that they can't afford but if you explain to them WHY your cost is like it is, they wont be left with a bad taste that your'e just being greedy!


Offer an ongoing package rather than a one-off solution.
If your client is genuinely unable to afford you but wants to take advantage of your service, sit down with them and offer them an ongoing monthly payment package option. Perhaps instead of six pieces all at once, they can have one piece a month for the next six months. This not only gives you the right price for your service, but also offers a chance for long-term engagement.


Whats your strategy when someone asks for a discount?
#asks #discount #hurting #income #respond
  • Profile picture of the author pinkknight
    Using the word "NEVER" can be quite a costly activity, don't you think? To tell you truth, when a client asks for a discount, for me this is actually a good sign. You are already a half way your negotiations. Right? Especially, if we are talking about the high volume work. So, if you are interested in hearing me out, I would like to suggest you something. We all should ask for a win-win business scenario. Right? Well, when a client asks for a discount, then you should also ask for something in return. For example, you should ask for more job to do, so you can justify the discount. This never-ever discount thing can work for some time. Yet, my question is, how many clients you are willing to lose because of it? Of course, the basic presumption is that a discount request is a reasonable one. If someone tries to kill your price from the moment one so you are supposed to work peanuts, then there's nothing to discuss about. Then using the word never is totally justified. Otherwise, just think about it twice. Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author mattsuth
      Originally Posted by pinkknight View Post

      Using the word "NEVER" can be quite a costly activity, don't you think? To tell you truth, when a client asks for a discount, for me this is actually a good sign. You are already a half way your negotiations. Right? Especially, if we are talking about the high volume work. So, if you are interested in hearing me out, I would like to suggest you something. We all should ask for a win-win business scenario. Right? Well, when a client asks for a discount, then you should also ask for something in return. For example, you should ask for more job to do, so you can justify the discount. This never-ever discount thing can work for some time. Yet, my question is, how many clients you are willing to lose because of it? Of course, the basic presumption is that a discount request is a reasonable one. If someone tries to kill your price from the moment one so you are supposed to work peanuts, then there's nothing to discuss about. Then using the word never is totally justified. Otherwise, just think about it twice. Good luck.

      Thanks for your reply!
      I agree that using the word NEVER is a bit strong and of course everyone's on a case by case basis, however it will only be a rarity that I'd consider reducing my prices, and I can't think of a reason that I would right now. Of course, if the client is open to negotiation (which many aren't), then there are definitely ways to get more work from them and give them more value.
      BUT.
      This often isn't the case and people that are asking you for a reduced rate possibly don't understand the true value of the product that you're giving them.


      The way I ALWAYS (Can I say that ) look at it is like this - the time that I'm spending giving somebody my work for a reduced rate, is time that could be better spent looking and working for clients who are willing to pay full price. So for me, it comes down to where is my time better spent.


      Agree, or no?
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  • Profile picture of the author Wordsmith11
    If your client is asking you for a discount saying no outright can be a bit damaging for your relationship it is better to negotiate and come to a conclusion. It should be a win win situation for both of you. You can do the work better and then once the relationship has been better you can ask for an upgrade because you know the client can easily replace you but you need to make your work worthy enough so that the client becomes dependent on your work and then you can ask for whatever rate you deem fit.
    Whereas if you think that the discount is totally not justified then that's a different story altogether
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  • Profile picture of the author mattsuth
    This is a great thread and is something that I struggled with in my early days too, and I don't think we're alone.
    I think it all comes down to experience and as much as it's easy to say to someone you should never give, or not give, a reduction on your original quote, you also have to have the confidence to back up what you're saying.
    As time goes on you'll almost certainly have the experience to identify and walk away from someone who wants you to do a job that's less than you're worth, but in the beginning it's hard to know that there will ALWAYS be another option because you don't have the experience yet.
    I agree that you should never say NEVER, what about friends you can offer mates rates too, or someone who's just starting out that you feel inclined to give a hand to (like I'm sure people did to you in your early days).
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