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How to offer discounts and avoid resentment afterwards

Tegan Mathews

Who can remember a time when they really wanted to close a sale and the “reason” given as to why your customer wasn’t going to buy right now was because they can’t afford it? So, you discounted your price and then regretted it almost immediately. Here’s how I recommend you offer discounts and avoid resentment afterwards.

If you have a business that is primarily service based (although this does apply to product businesses as well), chances are at some stage you have dropped your price to accommodate the client.

The after discount resentment

This is never a good thing to do because it devalues what you are offering, the client doesn’t value it so they aren’t as committed which means less successful results, and to top it off, you feel terrible and usually beat yourself up over it for ages after.

I can almost guarantee that very client you choose to lower your price for ends up being difficult, doesn’t do the work, drains your resources, complains or worst, bad mouths you to others which are all outcomes that basically leave you regretting your decision.

Never reduce your prices

To avoid that nasty aftertaste you will often hear me drumming it into clients to “never, ever reduce your prices”. It’s just not worth the uncomfortable conversations, and the effect it has on your overall business when you look at your bank balance at the end of the month and wonder why you don’t have enough.

The convincing game

Don’t get caught in the “convincing” game either. This is where you convince yourself that:

  • It’s a nice thing to do to be kind (not if it kills you!)
  • The client will tell her friends good things (not always)
  • She will refer me and say nice things on social media (not always either).

All of these are just your “fear of not being liked” taking over from your purpose based decision making. Instead, there are better solutions.

Offer discounts and avoid resentment

1) Add value

Rather than reduce the price, I tend to prefer to add value to a product. This is because often the “I can’t afford it” is simply a sign the customer doesn’t yet see it as valuable enough to part with their money. Let’s face it, if someone really wants something, they will always find a way to afford it.

2) Reduce value

If they genuinely can’t afford it, and if you intend to reduce the price, then reduce what they receive as well so the value is aligned with the price paid. Maybe reduce the time, or the bonuses, or the quality. Whatever you can do so that you are still providing exceptional product or service for what they are paying but it is still in alignment with your purpose and value.


Both of these solutions allow you to offer discounts and avoid resentment afterwards. Leaving you instead with an empowered solution where you are charging what you are worth, the client is getting the value they paid for, which can only be good for your customers and your business.

Tegan Mathews

Tegan has over twenty years experience in sales & marketing both nationally and internationally and the founder of several businesses, her first at the age of 14.

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