3 Reasons Why Discounting Your Services Could Be Damaging Your Reputation

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As a service-based business owner do find yourself offering your client a discount to influence them into investing in your program or package? Or do you cave in and offer a discount when your prospect asks for one?

If you have answered yes to either one of those situations you are certainly not alone. I admit that this is something that I’ve done in the past too. However over the years I’ve realized that this is not one of the best ways to make a sale, while remaining true to my personal values and business growth goals.

In this fortnight’s article I’ll be sharing 3 reasons why you shouldn’t resort to discounting your services and the 3 strategies you should implement so that clients step up gracefully and confidently when investing in your services, packages and programs.

  1. Discounting devalues your services
    Unfortunately whatever way you look at it, discounting your services does little other than to lessen the significance and worth of your program, as well as the benefits, outcomes and overall value your clients will receive through investing in you.Unlike a product-based business that can mass produce their wares and offer discounts on bulk purchases, a service-based business owner cannot and should not offer bulk purchases discounts on their time. Your time is one of your most valuable assets, so don’t devalue this priceless commodity by discounting it.Remember, your client does not pay you for the hours you spend with them, but for your knowledge and expertise, AND for the results and outcomes they will receive through working with you.
  2. Discounting can impact negatively your self-belief
    I don’t know about you – but in the past whenever I’ve reduced the prices on my services as the only way to have a client say ‘yes’ to my offer, that little voice inside my head said ‘See, the only way a client is going to invest in you is when you lower your prices,’ which is a self-belief I did NOT want to encourage.Thank goodness I know now that my clients are investing in me because of my wealth of knowledge, my expertise and the results and outcomes they’ll generate through working with me.By discounting your services as a last (or only) resort will not only continue to impact negatively on your self-belief and self-worth, but will also prevent you from building a thriving successful business.
  3. Can establish a negative precedent
    Offering discounts as a way to get clients into your programs can establish a disempowering precedent or business standard that will only serve to block you from achieving your income goals, because of the negative impact it can have on your self-worth and subsequently your income.Do you want to continue to attract clients that will only work with you if you offer them a discount? Do you want to continue having to justify your value and worth to every client who asks you to reduce your prices?Having these continued conversations because you have established this precedent will only serve to undermine you and your business’s growth.

 
Instead, here’s what you should do:

  1. Create packages
    A strong business model that will allow you to increase your income without having to increase the amount of time you spend with clients is to offer packages and programs that include other elements other than just your hourly services.Offering value-added packages that will provide solutions and support for your clients will be far more exciting and empowering for them. It also continues to add value and credibility to the work you are doing with your clients.For instance, in my Sapphires coaching program (which I’m launching next year) I will include coaching as part of the program, however this is only a small part of the package. My program will also include group mastermind coaching, weekly audio/video laser coaching strategy, online take action journal, access to webinar recordings, forums and opportunity to network with others in the group, so it will be value packed with lots of resources and goodies other than just my time.So what could you add to your packages that will create value for your clients?
  2. Add bonuses to make the offer irresistible
    Bonuses and offering that extra special ‘gift’ to your clients for investing in you can make your program or package irresistible.One of my colleagues was offering a program that was focused on time management for stressed business owners who were struggling to keep up with their hectic schedules.One of the bonuses she included was a half-hour free massage from her colleague who was a massage therapist. The massage therapist was highly skilled in what she did and was also very good at sales and marketing so each person who had the free massage felt so wonderful that they signed up for additional massage sessions. A win-win-win situation.My colleague was able to add a bonus to her package which she knew her clients would love and that fit perfectly with her topic; her clients would benefit greatly from having the massage; and the massage therapist had an opportunity to provide a hands-on experience of her service while on-selling that client into one of her massage packages.

    So, what bonuses can you add to your packages to make them irresistible to clients?

  3. Offer ‘quick decision’ offers
    I’m a firm believer in focusing on the outcome you desire and creating positive and empowering environment and mindset.So, rather than offering a discount (which lessens the value of your services) you can change the entire focus and energy by offering a ‘quick action’ saving when your client makes a quick decision and takes decisive action by booking into and paying for your program within a certain timeframe.Doing this will reward your client’s ‘positive behaviour’ in taking decisive action and investing in themselves and the outcomes they want to generate. You are rewarding this quick action – and not rewarding their ability to get you to lower your fee. See the difference?As I roll out my Sapphire and Diamond coaching programs (next year) you’ll see me offering these programs at various pricing points. The first group of people to sign up into these programs will be rewarded with ‘quick decision’ savings. This is because a business owner who has this attitude is one I know will be successful because they’re driven and ready to take action.

    So how can you integrate this strategy into your marketing and launch calendar?

Remember, if your goal is to attract high quality clients then don’t resort to offering discounts but rather offer special packages/programs offerings; make your offer irresistible through bonuses; or offer ‘quick decision’ pricing to reward them for stepping up and investing in themselves.

Me, I love them all and will continue to integrate all three when marketing my programs. Which ones will you do?

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Annemarie Cross

About Annemarie Cross

Annemarie Cross is a Career Management & Personal Branding Strategist, Speaker, Consultant, Radio Broadcaster, and Author of ’10 Key Steps to Ace that Interview!’ She is also the founder/principal of Advanced Employment Concepts – Career Management and Corporate Career Development Specialists offering powerful programs for people striving for career success and fulfillment, as well as savvy companies committed to building and retaining their most important asset – their staff. Widely considered a personal change agent and success catalyst, Annemarie has distinguished herself as being people-focused, caring, inspirational and life-changing in her approach. For more information visit: http://annemariecross.com.

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