I use the F word all the time. I am known for dropping the F word into most conversations at almost any time. Some people are shocked. Even people who use the F word themselves.
Get comfortable with the F word. Using the F word at the right time and in the right place can work wonders for your relationships with people and the success of your business.
The F word is FREE. FREE is magical. People love FREE. The other F word is FULL… as in FULL price.
Every service you offer should have two prices. FULL and FREE. Charge FULL price or give it away FREE. Never discount. Ever. Period.
Discounts are actually quite bad for business. Bad for your reputation and bad for building and enjoying long-term profitable relationships with clients.
Set a price. Post it proudly. Stand up straight, chest out, shoulders back, chin high. Be proud of your price. Stand firm in your offering and its value.
Offering a discount undermines your price integrity. That is to say, it erodes the value of your offering. A $50 haircut is a $50 haircut. A $50 haircut offered with a $15 coupon or discount is no longer a $50 haircut. It is now a $35 haircut in the eyes of the customer. You have told the client and the public the offer is valued at $35 and you will take $35 for it. A $50 haircut given away for FREE is still a $50 haircut and is still highly valued at $50.
No senior discounts – In America 85% of the money is in the possession of people over the age of 55. Stop giving them a break.
No kid discounts – It is not easier or faster to put a haircut on a hyperactive squirrel.
No 1st timer discounts – They will expect to pay less since they have paid less. This is a terrible way to start a relationship. If you sleep with them on the first date what do you think they expect on the second?
No discounts for long-timers – A client who likes and appreciates you and your service can be rewarded for ongoing loyalty in a myriad of different ways none of which require a drop in price. They are happy to pay your regular price. Allow them to happily continue to do that.
No bundled service discounts – I laugh and I cry when I hear a haircutter state that their haircut is $20 by itself but only $15 when the client gets haircolor, too. This is by far the single stupidest reason to discount I have ever really heard. I know that last sentences is a bit harsh but I just don’t really see any other way to say it with the impact it needs. STOP THIS!
No referral discounts – “Send me three friends and I will give you $5 off your next haircut” or some such is a common discount offering. It is kind of silly and actually insulting. Stop making people jump through hoops. Send me three and get $5 off is a lot of very valuable and meaningful work for comparatively nothing. How about “Send me 1 and I will cut you FREE!”. When you factor the value of a single referral client over time a FREE haircut is a great deal for both of you.
Clients will respect you, your business and your pricing when you set a price and deliver rock solid value at that price, any price, any price other than a discounted price.
Please share your tales of discounts gone wrong and the strategies you employ other than off-price deals to build and grow business.
Please use the F words when talking to me!