alt text image of salespeople knocking on doors

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!”

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  • Marketing Fun With Mike

    This is a huge struggle area for many industries, including mine Anthony to be honest with you. I believe it happens when profit margins and revenues get in the way of value and ideas for improving a client’s business.
    Great post!

  • Dara Lin

    Agree. this are attitude of business who are aiming for short term success, sales was dominant on their mind. How about the future? try to balance relationship and sales and satisfy their needs by means of putting value to your products and services. Because the best and qualified sales are came from referral.

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  • Mucha Murapa

    Great post as always! I’ve also noticed some organizations do not equip themselves with some basic ‘kit’ that allows them to see not only who are existing customers but also their best customers :)