No one really likes to admit lying to themselves, but this is one I see salespeople do on a regular basis.

They discount a price — and then try to justify it by saying, “Well, I will make up profit over time.”

No you won’t!

Every time you discount, you are committing to continued lost profit.  Not only have you lost profit on the current sale, you have perpetuated lost profit because the customer now thinks the discounted price is what the product or service is worth.

To compensate for this nagging reality, the salesperson sometimes then tells themselves another lie.

“I will raise the price later.  This discount is a one-time thing.”

No it’s not!

Rarely — if ever — will a salesperson have much success in raising a price after giving a “one-time” discount. The backlash from the customer is just too fierce, so most salespeople succumb to not getting the price back up to where it should have been in the first place.

THEN, as if this all isn’t tragic enough, the salesperson may begin to tell themselves yet another lie.

“I’ll just discount with this one customer.  I won’t do it with anyone else.”

Yes you will!

Once a salesperson sees how easy it is to get a sale by discounting, there is a strong tendency to want to discount again — each time saying that this time is the last time.

You know how the old saying goes.  If you tell one lie, you will likely have to tell 10 more to keep the first lie going.

From a sales perspective, the more you allow yourself to slip into a pattern of discounting, the more you will have to alter your entire selling strategy to support this approach.

All the while you will be losing profit hand over fist.

You will suffer.

Your company will suffer.

And your customer will even suffer, because they now have a skewed perspective on the value/benefit relationship.

My suggestion?

Stop lying to yourself.

Believe in your price and stick with it.  Focus on strengthening your selling skills so that you are more than capable to convey to a customer why he or she should purchase your product or service.   What you offer meets and likely exceeds a need or want they have.  It’s your privilege to uncover those true needs and wants.

Just like our parents and teachers told us — honesty is the best policy.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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