By Mary Joan Schultheisz, SOHOToday.net
Ask for a Discount
My husband and I were recently shopping for a book for him for one of his classes. An expensive book, over $80, that he had to have. On checking out he asked for a discount. And the clerk said “Why?” He answered “Why not? I shop here a lot.” My husband then asked for the owner, who knows us by sight, but he wasn’t in. So the clerk declined to give us the discount and we had to pay full price. But that is one of the few times when asking for a discount we’ve been refused. We always ask for a discount and so should you.
What are they going to say? No?
You should always ask for a discount, because what are they going to say? No? My philosophy is you never know until you ask, so why not ask. And if someone says “No” then ask for a manager or owner.
Be reasonable and respectful
When asking for a discount be reasonable. I usually have a number in mind that I want to pay. For instance when my car needed repairing the estimate came in at $500. I asked for a 10% discount, in this case $50, and the shop agreed.
Smart people bargain
Smart business people are willing to bargain and give bargains, especially to loyal customers. In the past year I have asked for and received discounts for both my business NuZoo Media, and personally. I have gotten discounts on printing and shipping costs, computers, video equipment, web hosting and car repairs. I have also given discounts to loyal customers and new customers who ask me for a discount.
Listen, and be prepared to negotiate
When a client asks me for a discount I always listen. If a client says that a new project costs too much money, then I will say, “What do you want to pay?” I listen to them, then do the math and see what is reasonable for me and will make them happy. One phrase I use is “I can’t do that, but I can do this xxx.” That leads to a little negotiation and both parties can walk away happy.
Can you come down on that price?
Don’t be afraid to say it: “Can you come down on that price?” Make that your New Year’s resolution and you will save yourself money throughout the year!
About Mary Joan Schultheisz
Mary Joan is the co-founder of the successful small business award-winning interactive media company NuZoo Media. She has experienced firsthand the frustration and elation of running a small business in a competitive industry during the boom and bust of the economy.
On SOHO Today she shares her experiences with you along with many experts in a variety of fields including search engine optimization, taxes, marketing, financing, business plans, public relations, and finding qualified employees.
Mary Joan has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Temple University, Philadelphia, and a certificate in integrated marketing from the University of Chicago.Additionally, she has studied multimedia at the University of Chicago and Loyola University, Chicago. She has worked in the news, telecommunications, financial services and health industries. Mary Joan serves on the Robert Morris College Institute of Art & Design Advisory Board, and the Illinois Institute of Art (IIA) Professional Advisory Committee. At IIA she teaches “Inside Job: An Employer’s-Eye View on Finding a Job” for graduating students.
Email Mary Joan at firstname.lastname@example.org — she wants to hear from you! How did you start your small business? What topics are you interested in? Are you an expert? Email us and maybe you’ll find yourself on the air! SOHO stands for Small Office, Home Office, and small business is the focus of this show.
On SOHO Today we provide you with tips, tools and techniques for running and growing your small business. We explore topics like technology, financing and insurance, how to get started, how to grow and how to compete against larger companies.
Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net