Sometimes we use discounts to try and win new clients – this is a terrible idea.
We allow ourselves to lower our prices by telling ourselves that we will make up for it in the future - that we will raise the prices next year and start making a profit.
Then we never do it.
The first price you give creates an expectation with the client. If you start off cheap, they are always going to expect you to be cheap, and you’ll find it much harder to raise your prices once this expectation has been created.
The Golden Rule: Never Discount
You should not give out discounts to win clients.
Maintain the integrity of your pricing structure. Be confident about the value you deliver to your clients. Do not discount.
The most successful businesses don’t give discounts. Think about it – when was the last time Apple ran a sale? When was the last time Starbucks lowered their prices? When was the last time you walked past a Ferrari garage and they were doing a special promotion?
Successful businesses do not discount because they recognise the value of their product, and the value of what they do. You should do the same.
But What Do I Do If I Really Want The Client?
If you’ve met with a prospective client, and you really want to work with them, but they can’t afford you, you should still not be giving a discount.
At least, not without getting something in return…
If the client can’t afford you, one option is to walk away. But if they seem really ideal for your business, have a great attitude and are really keen to work with you, you could instead try using behaviour rewards.
With behaviour rewards, you swap something.
If they want a lower price, and you want the client, then you can give them that lower price, but only if they give you something in return.
You reward them for exhibiting the behaviours you want and will make your life easier. For example…
You could reward your client with a discount if they agree to do something that will make your life easier.
How To Ask Them To Give You Referrals
Let’s say you’ve decided that if a prospective client gives you 3 referrals you will discount their price by 5%. Here’s how you might ask for that…
“The way that we grow our accounting firm is through word of mouth, through referrals, through recommendations. If you are willing to help us by recommending 3 clients to our firm, what it means is that we can reduce our marketing spend. When we reduce our marketing spend, we can actually pass that spare money over to you in the form of a discounted price. Are you willing to refer us 3 clients?
The client will agree to this in a heartbeat!
Even though you are getting a lower price, you have instead gained the 3 new referrals which are equally as valuable to the growth of your business.
You should never discount – instead swap something.
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Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.
Chartered Accountant, Public Speaker and Author of Amazon No.1 Best Seller, “Effective Pricing for Accountants”
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