Discount is a dirty word: Making more sales while protecting your margins

Discount is a dirty word: Making more sales while protecting your margins

How many times have you heard:

“We got the deal but had to give away a bit to close it”.


Actually, if it was just ‘a bit’, that’s probably okay – but when it’s more than a ‘bit’ it starts to affect the all-important business margins.

It’s amazing how often price seems to be the all-important decision-making factor in the sales process. Why is that?

Unfortunately, often it’s of our own making. We allow the account or prospect to make us talk about the sale price, and tell them ‘how much’, too soon in the sales cycle. Then they fixate on it! Put yourself on the other side, I bet you’d do the same. But, if your sales team know how to handle that inquiry early on, the sale can be a lot easier (and more profitable).

What about all the other ‘things’ – the benefits or savings the product or service offers? The delivery time frame, the stock you hold that enables your delivery, the warranty, the quality, the long-term relationship you have – and so the list goes on. Why should price be above all those other aspects?

Understandably, most sales people I meet find the ‘price’ question or objection one of the hardest. And often (usually) they don’t know how to deal with it.


There are some fundamental rules to avoiding discount sales and being able to maintain margins.

Firstly, you never give them the price until you’re ready – EVER!

Now that does pre-suppose that you’ve qualified them as someone you want to sell to!

But, assuming you have qualified them.

So, what happens when they ask “What will it cost?”

You deflect.

“I can’t tell you that until I’ve asked you some questions “... you want to understand what they think they want and what matters to them.


From there, your team can then start to build out the complete offering – with all the tangible and intangible (e.g. Your competitive advantages, references, your reputation, maybe a brand) attributes that all contribute to your value proposition AND NOT JUST THE PRICE.

If a customer doesn’t understand and value all those factors (and getting them to do that is a KEY measure of your team’s sales skills), you will be judged by price. And you will be under price and margin pressure. And you will find your margins decrease as you get into the habit of knocking a few percent off “to get the deal”.

If you find your company in this situation, contact us here at Indicator. Whether it’s sales manager mentoring, sales training programs or a ‘full on’ sales transformation, we can help.