In some countries there is a cultural of haggling and bartering on price. In others there is a culture of tipping. In business there is a culture of negotiating. This is usually dependent on the perceived value of the goods or services that you’re purchasing.
The currency of business is money and the game is to get it from the other party. The better you are at this game then the higher the fees you can charge, and the more likely you are to not give too much away if they do ask for a discount.
For this reason it’s important that you have set fees for trainings and workshops. Your workshop fees are determined by your experience, the value that you provide, your Business Plan, your overheads and expenses and so on.
It’s also important that you never send prices by email without talking with the client first. If you’re face to face then watch the body language when you tell them your fee. If it’s over the phone then listen for any pauses or change in their language when fees are mentioned. Never agree to a negotiated price in the first instance. You will appear to be “too easy” which has the customer think that your fees were too high in the first place.
In summary I’m not saying not to give a discount, just make sure that you have a good reason for doing so. Remember that it is coming straight off your bottom line. OUCH!
Here are 5 things to consider when you’re asked for a training discount.
1. RPL. (Recognition of Prior Learning) When offering training some people have been trained in similar areas or by others and want a discount because they believe that they already know some of what is on the agenda. Be clear on what that area is, and then assess the percentage of the course that it is relevant to.
2. Hardship or Concessions. If someone is falling on hard times financially I am empathetic to their situation and will make the call dependent on the reasons behind it. It’s always good to have student and senior concession rates ready, but I never advertise them as they attract a cheaper market.
3. Loyalty. Repeat business is the cheapest to get because you have no marketing expenses involved. It’s not unreasonable to offer a frequent user client a discount, or a buy 9 and get 1 free type offer.
4. Bulk. It’s also useful to have rates for bulk purchases. For example you can send 1 person along for full fee, the 2nd for 10% less, the 3rd for 20% less etc. The idea here is to get more people along even at a cheaper price.
5. Strategic. This is when the client can add value in lieu of the fee. They may be able to offer you goods and services that they provide that you can use (bartering), be able to bring other clients along to offset their fee, or be able to provide some sort of support or assistance at the training.
If you have any further questions regarding discounting then please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org at anytime. Any recommendations for future topics are also appreciated.
Merv Neal is a Laughter Yoga Master Trainer and the CEO of Laughter Yoga Australia and New Zealand. He has successfully owned and operated his own businesses for more than 40 years. He has created a Laughter Yoga Business Training Program, as well as the Business Mentors and Coaches Program, to help others to take Laughter Yoga to commercial organizations, and/or to create a Laughter Yoga business of their own. More information can be found at http://www.laughteryogaaustralia.org or http://www.mervneal.co