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Discounting in slow markets

Should you offer lower prices to stimulate business in slow times…like we’re in NOW? I’ve always been against discounting. I always recommend doing "buy three get one free" or "$100 off your second purchase" or offers like that. I don’t like offering a lower price, because that becomes the dollar figure people associate with your product. 

Should you offer lower prices to stimulate business in slow times…like we’re in NOW?

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I’ve always been against discounting. I always recommend doing “buy three get one free” or “$100 off your second purchase” or offers like that. I don’t like offering a lower price, because that becomes the dollar figure people associate with your product. 

But I’m here today to make a confession… This fall, my speaking calendar is exceptionally thin. October, which has typically been my best month, was practically empty. So here’s what I did: I emailed all of the prospects who I know meet in the fall, and who have previously indicated that they couldn’t afford me. I offered a one-time deal that amounts to about half of my normal fee. I sent the email out yesterday, and within 24 hours had four dates on hold. “On hold” doesn’t mean definite yet, but it means “highly likely.” Two of them are sure bets. The other two are very likely to come through.

Before you tell the whole world that you’re ready to lower your price, first go back to all of the prospects who have ever indicated that they were interestd, but balked at price. This reinforces the value and importance of a good database, and in having your sales and service people complete ALL fields every time they talk to a prospect or customer.

Targeted offers can be made quickly and inexpensively if you have good information. And you don’t need an IT department to do it. I’m a one man band, and have excellent records at my fingertips.

So if you’re suffering from this slow period in the economy, don’t just start whoring yourself out to the general public. Look for the people who couldn’t afford you before, and make them a deal.

By the way. The contract for my reduced fee deals demands confidentiality. I can’t have them telling other meeting planners what a deal they got. 

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About the author

Smart business owners, leaders and sales professionals know who to turn to for the information and ideas they need to grow their organizations: Larry Mersereau, CTC. Niched as a business growth revivalist, he has authored four popular books on the topic and speaks to dozens of business audiences every year

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