OK! Let’s Offer Discounts and Offend Our Customers

Consider these anecdotes told by a customer.

Door to Door SalespersonThe 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.

Consider this second anecdote. Last week a customer 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.

Here are some questions.

  • If you are involved in “Transactional” sales, why would you send your salespeople out into the world to sell without giving them a list of your existing clients or customers?
  • 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?
  • Why would you lead with a discount?

Here are some possible answers:

  • 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.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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