So you're all happy that a new dog walking or pet sitting client is going to use you. You've had a great consultation with them. They seem like super-nice people.
Then, they drop this on you...
"Well, John. I'd like to use you but your prices are higher than your competition. Since I'm going to be using you for dog walking 3 times per week, I think I should get some type of volume discount."
They're trying to negotiate with you. They want you to discount your rates.
So, you freeze. You have no idea what to say next. You thought they were going to be such an easy client to work with and then they throw this monkey wrench into the equation.
How do you react? What do you say next?
If you're like most people, your natural inclination is to give in, negotiate, and provide some type of discount. You want to get the business. And you want them to like you, right?
But, don't do it. I don't think you need to discount your prices.
Here's exactly what you should say instead.
If you have someone that wants a discount because they’re using you multiple times, is a repeat customer, or just wants to negotiate with you, here is what you should say:
"Jane, thank you for asking. Discounting prices is not something that we do. May I tell you why? [let them say “yes”]. Because we don’t deliver discounted results. There are already too many amateur dog walkers in our area and I know that you want only the best and most professional service possible for your pet, right? [yes] I hear you! And having the best service means that you're happy and your pet is happy, yes? [yes] Great, because that's exactly what you’re going to get with me. Do you have any other questions?"
What you’re doing is transitioning their question of price into a statement that what they want more than a discount is happiness in the form of the best possible care for their pet. When you help people make that mindset shift, the request for a discount typically goes away.
You can help them move on from their question by asking them if they have any other questions. This effectively closes the loop on their discount request and that you’re not going to give in.
The response above is going to work with the clear majority of clients. Those are the people who are not only going to use you, but they're also going to be impressed that you had such a calm and confident response in reassuring them that your prices are fair.
Don't get distracted by the fact that there's going to be that 1% of customers who will never pay your price and won't hire you because it's too expensive. Don't be afraid to let them go.
Let the people who don’t understand the value you provide go to another service.
Never reduce your fee. There will always be the person that thinks even $5 for an hour visit is too much.
Remember, you are the professional. Great clients will recognize that and respect you for holding your ground.
Have you ever discounted your rates before? Were you happy about it in the long run? Tell us in the comments below.
John loves animals and business. He put the two together and built a multi-million dollar dog walking/running and pet sitting business with hard work, systems, and great people. He now teaches everything he's learned in the Pet Business Masters! community.