What To Do When Clients Ask For A Discount

Let’s get one thing clear – I am a huge fan of standing your ground in sticking up for what’s important to you and your business. But I am not a fan of rigidity or self-righteous indignation when someone pushes those boundaries for you. And this comes up a lot when people ask for discounts.

What nerve! Who do they think they are asking me to discount my amazing service, fantastic product or award-winning work? Get out! Scram! No discount for you!

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The problem with responding like that is that you could actually be passing on an opportunity or project that would be fabulous, if you put some work into transforming it. The other downside is that if you respond all snarky…people will talk.

When you’re asked for a discount, here’s what you can do:

Response #1: Give them a discount.

If you’ve built some wiggle room into your pricing, it’ll be possible for you to shave off a little bit and still be well compensated for the work you’re doing. Saying “I don’t normally give discounts, but for you, I can adjust the fee to…” is a great way to show that you’re doing something special.


Response #2: Scale the price and the deliverables.

Maybe you can’t hit their budget and still deliver all the bells and whistles. But for a lower price point you can still get them a bell or two. Have a streamlined version of your package or service in your back pocket as something to offer that will hit the price sweet spot and still get them great results.

Response #3: Say no.

Yup. You can say no. Professionally and politely. No snarky attitude.  “I appreciate that your budget is constrained, however at this time I’m not able to adjust my prices.”

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My challenge to you is to create that back-pocket offer you can have ready to propose to a client when budget is a concern.

You're looking for an offer that accomplishes 3 things:

1) It makes you a profit

This isn't a freebie or a loss-leader. You're going to be earning enough from this pint sized offer to make it worth your while.

2) It gets the client results

No point in securing a client if they aren't going to actually experience what it's like to work with you. This is your opportunity to highlight the value you bring to their business or life, which sets the leads you into element #3.

3) It sets the stage for future work together

Yes, the immediate value of this client may have dropped. But don't forget about lifetime value. Bringing this client onboard at a lower price point means that their comfort level in making investments with you will increase. Make sure this pint sized offer is something that relates to the other work you do and that connection is clear.

How about an example?



Full Sized Offer:
A comprehensive social media strategy covering 3 platforms, content creation and monthly analytics reports

Pint Sized Offer:
A social media audit and recommendations document



Full Sized Offer:
Total website overhaul

Pint Sized Offer:
Home and About page overhaul



Full Sized Offer:
3-day, 2-night romantic getaway package at your boutique hotel

Pint Sized Offer:
Date Night romantic evening package



Let me know in the comments below:

How can you translate your work into a pint sized offer that will allow you to bring in new clients without discounting your rates or missing out on profits?