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Discounts During Inside Sales Calls - How to Give Them Without Losing Dignity?

We all love discounts, don’t we? Those magic words: “SALE”, “30% OFF”, “Discounts for frequent clients only.” Wow, your imagination starts to work, right? This is how powerful discounts are, and it applies to both B2B and B2C clients. Learn how to give them with dignity and with profit.

Paulina Golab

If there’s an opportunity to pay less without sacrificing quality, almost everyone will fight for a discount or benefit. Especially while discussing it over the phone, during inside sales in B2B.

It’s harder to bargain while closing a face-to-face deal because many of us are just merely ashamed of ourselves and do not want to be perceived as “cheap” or greedy.

But the situation takes a turn when a prospect does not see a salesperson and will probably never meet them in person. It is easier for the potential client to ask for a discount or any other benefit.

Be reasonable and always ask for something in return when proposing discounts during inside sales calls.

A poorly handled discount during inside sales calls sends a negative message

If you fulfill customer’s demands while trying to close inside sales in B2B without asking for anything in return, you show them that your product or service is not worth the asking. And that is not the right message.

Probably one of the first things the client will think is: „And what if I hadn’t asked for the discount? We would hang up, and I would have paid more”.

And that’s why customers ask for a discount each and every time.

  • First, because it almost always works for them and they do not want to feel that they will pay more than they should.
  • Second, if you are a customer who buys something regularly or uses a subscription, you will eventually ask yourself: How much will I have to pay more?
  • And third, imagine that customer finds out that another who buys less volume or has a shorter subscription plan gets something cheaper with better conditions.

Believe me, customers often find out about the purchase price of their competitors.

So, don’t be willing to grant your prospects with discounts without asking for something in return.

So how to give discounts inside sales: B2B and B2C

Sometimes closing a deal when a prospect desperately fights for a discount is hard, but not impossible.

You are probably wondering what to ask for in exchange for a “favor”?

There are several things you can ask for in return: advanced payment, a valid referral, prolonged contract, increasing the volume of the order, a testimonial to be published on your website, or the creation of a success story as a promotional tool.

Or anything else that applies to your business and makes you benefit.

It gives you an extra option.

Asking for something more gives you an exit door.

That is when any of the elements that are the part of your “discount deal” is not met (for example, a client buys less volume); you can cancel the discount.

Additionally, if you do not add any condition, your prospect will expect the lower price applies from now on to all the potential purchases and transactions in the future.

You will not be able to dismantle it.

So remember, above all, do not show you are desperate to close that inside sales deal and will give the customer anything in return while selling over the phone.

Each time you make a concession in negotiation during a sales call, ask for something in return and maintain your dignity.

Why is it so important? It’s not only about protecting the profitability of your business.

Your reputation as a seller is at stake.

Learn from the resistance of your buyers

Now, let’s have a look at one simple but powerful fulfillment to that concept: deferred discounts.

If you ever had to negotiate a price increase with a customer during inside sales calls, especially during inside sales in B2B, you know what I mean.

Given the impact this has on their budget and plans, they will do everything possible to avoid it, or failing at it, they will try to minimize the adverse effects.

If the increase is inevitable, a buyer will seek to mitigate the impact to the maximum: they will propose it to be applied it in small partial amounts and mention that they do accept it only to certain products or services, or that it conditions them to purchase volumes.

They want to defer it in time.

The good news is that this applies equally to you as a seller.

The implementation of discount

Each time you have to make a concession (discount, bonus or similar), clarify it and/or add a condition to it.

For example, if after a long discussion with the buyer, you agreed to give them a 6% discount, do not apply it at once. Dilute it in a period of, let’s say, six months, applying 3% in each quarter.

Another condition you can apply is… setting targets for your customers while discounting inside sales calls.

Yeah, you read it correctly!

You can give your customer a condition. If, in a given period of time (a month, a quarter,  year – depending on your industry and the product you offer) you purchase X number of products or services, if you recommend our tool to Y of prospects or if you write Z number of positive comments, you will pay less (simply – if you reach the goal, you get the discount).

The bottom line is that you should be strategic in granting discounts.

It is a benefit for both parties

The benefit for you, the seller, is evident: during the first three months the full discount will not be applied, you will be saving 3% of the difference.

And your precious client will pay 3% less.

Everyone’s happy!

We can learn a lot from buyers and how they protect the profitability of their company.

They fight to death in case of any price increase, while sellers are quite lax in granting discounts, especially during inside sales calls in B2B.

On the other hand, remember that the buyer benefits not only by getting the discount.

They also perceive it as a win situation to present within their company – they have achieved not only one, but two gains for the business they represent.

Improve your negotiation skills

When it comes to giving discounts, do not think only as an advisor or owner of a business.

Think strategically and analyze how buyers negotiate and learn from them.

Negotiating is an art that is perfected every day, and customers know it. As Carrie Fisher said: Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.

So, negotiate and never give anything for free when closing inside sales deals in B2B or B2C, it’s not worth it.

Remember, things like that happen and, same as the client’s objections it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

You just need to bear in mind that if you make someone benefit – give them a discount, an additional product or service, bouns, extra payment terms, you name it, you must benefit too.

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