I’m not a fan of discounting in the least, as I don’t think it gets you anywhere.
But if it is necessary to offer a discount, make sure it has a very tight expiration date. Remember, the expiration date is as much for the customer to speed up their decision as it is for you to not waffle.
Second reason to have an expiration date is it allows you to adjust the terms of the offer, including payment terms.
If somebody is going to get a discount, then they have to be putting something up on the table for you. Otherwise, all you’re doing is giving away profit.
Rule of the expiration date is not to bend. Once you establish a date, you must stick to it regardless of the customer. If you allow for an order to be processed at a lower price after the expiration date is over, you’ve now told the customer you can be walked on.
If they know they can walk on you, they will. It’s just that simple.
The way you leverage the expiration date is by making sure you have scheduled with the customer the necessary phone calls and/or meetings to make sure the order gets placed before the expiration date. I’ve watched too many salespeople fail to remain in contact with a customer and suddenly the expiration date expires and the customer didn’t even realize it.
Now what you’ve done is set up a huge problem that was totally preventable.
The answer to this situation is the same — you must not allow the customer to place an order after the expriation date and expect the lower price.
I know this sounds tough and it is, but otherwise you will wind up making a short-term decision that will haunt you in the long run.
Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.