Moving customers off discounts

0% golden

One of the most uncomfortable moments in all forms of customer engagements. There are lots of nuances in this situation based on legacy, original customers, deals cut at EOQ or EOM, etc.

Here are some suggestions to help you and your sales team and customer success team when it comes to moving folks off discounts

  1. Define your customers who need to be moved up the “rate card”
    • OC’s – Original customers from the very first moment you went live. Where are they, where do you want them to be.
    • Legacy – Long term clients but maybe not your OC’s. Write down their current $ and where you’d like to get them to.
    • FireSale – Deals made at end of month or quarter. Where are they, where do you need them to be?
    • Bad Clients – From the lists above, who is not worth the money, even if they did pay you more.
    • Other – You may have other definitions, list them here.
  2. Understand What You’re Walking Into
    • Emotional Training – Your team needs to support and training on handling “upset people”. You don’t need to hire a psychologist or anything and in most cases, you can google for ideas.
      We do recommend creating and running role-playing scenarios based on the definitions created above. Just like everything else in life, the first time you do something new it reaches a certain level. The second time is better, the third time even better.
      Why not run those first 3 as role-plays so folks can get more comfortable? It won’t solve everything but it will help for sure.Band-Aids and Bruises – Expect to spend some time with the team individually or as a team together in case folks are getting punched in the face a bit through the process.
    • Tactical Training – Understanding how to use open-ended questions and active listening will be critical to making this work. Again, lots of role-playing.How to politely say, at the right time, “I am confused when you signed the deal showed a % discount which was for new customers. As an organization, how can I go back to my boss and justify an additional discount?’

What to do early to help avoid this over time.

  1. In the original contract, specifically state that at the end of the first year discount, new rate will be ____.
  2. Offer multiple-year contracts with discounts scaling back.
    • Year 1 – 15% off
    • Year 2 – 10% off
    • Year 3 – 5% off
    • Year 4+ – Standard rates

While there is no one single solution to solving the issue. There are steps and sales training folks can do to help mitigate the issue is something one can control.

How do you move people off discounts? Contact us here.

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