(6 minute read)
A highly debated topic and one that I too, can easily play both sides of the card, though for all intents and purposes here – we are going to break down the value of your business around the pro’s and con’s to offering mega steals as part of participating in the Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale craze.
What Are You Selling?
You’re selling a product or service and we are going to go ahead and declare whatever the product or service is, it’s regularly priced at fair value that aligns with what you’re providing in return for your buyer’s investment in what you’re offering.
- You want to remain competitive in your industry and marketplace
- You do want to offer your loyal clients a special offer once in a while
- You want your value to remain intact
- Discounts on physical or digital products are usually still in line with making positive returns on margins even when something appears a “major sale” (albeit margins will be much lower than usual)
These are all fair points, though should you discount a service you’re literally showing-up for, this is where the waters get a little murkier. Do you see your lawyer discounting your legal bill around Black Friday or your Investment Advisor lowering their fees for a month? Right. There’s a reason you’re working with your lawyer: you need their help to get the results you need (or want). You chose your lawyer because you saw the value of the investment and there is no replacement (in your mind, if you’ve made this choice).
Repeat, consistent or loyal clients are excluded from this conversation in sale/value offer, as they’re already part of the community, and in my view, are worthy of some love. In saying what I am, I’m speaking more towards new clients on the service-side (if you are the service provider).
Rule of thumb: don’t buy something on sale that you wouldn’t pay full price for. Make sense? It’s a simple yes or no question. Think about it: why is something magically good enough to be considered an investment when it costs less than full price? It’s not. Hence, the psychology around service-based investments follows. If the investment can only be made when there is a steal of an offer, does the buyer see the value in trade-off?
Stating the obvious, we aren’t all able to drop mega bucks on products or services if they’re out of our price range, hence when a “sale” or discount appears, the attraction and opportunity to jump on it makes sense. This is a pro for the buyer, though not necessarily a pro for the seller (or service provider). That said, the seller is making an offer for a reason out of intention.
Reasons to offer sales or discounts on services:
- There are spots open for new clients on one’s roster (always a fun time of year, in all truth when fresh personalities have the opportunity to work together)
- The seller might offer a sale for an initial period and then have you roll into a full price offering that has been agreed to up front in a contract (bring you back up to speed in alignment with the value of mutual exchange)
- Opening a door to a new market or new tier of client service
- The seller/service provider might need an injection of cash
- The list can go on, though we’ll stop it here 😉
If you are the buyer, here are things to think about:
- Do you only need one (or a limited # of) sessions with this service provider?
- Is your need of short term or long term?
- Do you see the value or the service provider or are you more attracted to the price?
- What are your expectations in outcome (or the service provided). We’ve all walked down the road once or twice trying to cut a corner and save a few dollars, only to have to spend more time and money re-doing our decision, to get the same results we wanted in the first place.
- If you do need the service long term, do you want to develop a relationship with one service provider or are you someone who is more drawn to transactional relationships? (I’m a long-term relationship girl)
- If you do need the service long term, can you afford the regular/long term rate of the service? If this is a stretch, what are you willing to trade short term to make a longer term gain?
- Assess your risk, expectations and the timeline associated with them.
If you are the seller, here are things to think about:
- Are you aligning your offer with your integrity?
- In making the discounted/value-priced offering, who is it that you are specifically making the offer for (and towards)?
- What is the benefit in making this offer: increased sales, prospecting new clients, offering current clients a special deal, etc.?
- Will the outcome of the offering (if accepted) be a positive or negative long term?
- Always think about the intentions for your actions. In doing so, your alignment will automatically come into full for the positive.
Products are a bit different than services (a lot different), hence there are clearly pro’s to offering sales/discounts in this department, as all you are sacrificing is truly less margin in profit of return.
Pro’s to offering discounts on products:
- Letting new clients test out products (everyone wants to test drive before investing big bucks)
- Opening the door to a new market
- Allowing loyal clients a break/deal because they have been amazing supporters past
In my experience, when one of my fave retailers is having a sale and there IS something I’d pay full price for and is on sale, I’ll snap it up and am SUPER GRATEFUL. When test driving new products (think beauty/skincare, etc.) it’s always nice to be cut a deal once in awhile (think: Sephora VIB or when Eco Diva has their sales). I’m an eco-luxe junkie, by the way! In terms of service providers, I’ll snap up a “deal or special offer” only if the service being offered is one that’s transactional. Otherwise, no matter what, I’m hunting down who I can form a relationship with long term – and I am looking to their value.
Products are different than services, and any service-based relationship where you are in the market to see serious results, you’ll need consistent and long(er) term action if you’re in it to win it. Trust the process! Not all decisions will be a homerun (I’ve sure made some duds). I’ve also trusted when I felt uneasy, and over the long(er) term made some really great choices (in service providers) in hindsight – and again, could not be more grateful for getting over myself and taking a risk to trust, in order to get results.
Ask yourself, does your business reflect Nobu in Malibu or does it reflect a coupon-clipping buffet? Either way, make sure your business is a reflection of your integrity and long term wants (said all out of love)!
Buyers will also evaluate your discounted offers psychologically, and can end of devaluing you if you’re not careful. When deciding whether and what to offer as a Black Friday or Cyber Monday offer, be truly careful and ensure the long term structure or result leads back to the path that reflects your core business, integrity and initial intentions.
What are your thoughts? Jump over to Crazy Sexy Finance on Facebook (a private and closed group for female entrepreneurs, household CEO’s and professionals) and let’s shake this conversation down!