Leading With Discounts and Offending Your Customers

The poor salesperson that rang my doorbell had a wonderful deal for me. He said, “I have my trucks in the area over the next few days, and if you sign up for service, I can do it for half price.” I told him that I would accept his deal for half off the regular price, but then added: “By the way, I am already signed up with you. Thanks!”

Poor kid had no game, so I let him off the hook. I said, “No worries, kid. I’m busting your chops.” He was relieved and walked away as quickly as he could.

Last week I received an email from another salesperson. He promised he could save 40% over whatever I am paying for Internet bandwidth and voice over IP services. I didn’t reply, but I should have. I’m already their customer, too. I’d happily take the 40% savings his email promised.

Transactional sales organizations are funny.

Why would you send your salespeople out into the world to sell without giving them a list of your existing clients?

Why would you offer a new customer a deal that you wouldn’t offer your existing clients? Why would you treat strangers better than you treat the people who are already writing you a check? What do you want your existing customers to believe about your relationship?

And why on Earth would you lead with a discount?

The answer to these questions are many:

  • Because you don’t intend to create value.
  • Because you don’t know how to create value.
  • Because you are transactional.
  • Because you won’t train your salespeople.
  • Because you don’t care about anything but the sale.

A game salesperson from a game sales organization would have replied to my offer to take the discount like this: “I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t know you were a customer. If you signed up last year, you got a way better deal than the one I am offering your neighbors. But you really have to see this new offering we have for you! You’re going to love it! Check this out!”

Filed under: Sales 3.0, Transactional

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