FSM Quick Sales Tips: Why Discounts Are a Bad Deal

Barry Thomason, FSM Senior Account Executive
Barry Thomason, FSM Senior Account Executive

“Let’s sell the value. If we do a good job of that, the price won’t be an issue.”

When it comes to a vendor asking a consulting partner for discounts for their mutual clients, the discount usually isn’t beneficial for any of the parties involved. Barry Thomason offers his observations as a sales veteran on why focusing on selling and delivering value is a better strategy for everyone.

I wanted to share a couple of thoughts on the idea of asking partners like us to discount their estimates for projects. If an AE comes to us, we do some scope work and come up with an estimate, and then for whatever reason, sometimes we get asked to lower the price. When you think about it, it’s not a good idea for anybody.

The first thing is – and this is true in your own lives as consumers of services, and it’s also true in the business world – if you’re a client of a partner, you don’t want to be their least profitable client, or worse, an unprofitable client. Ideally, you want to be in their sweet spot. You don’t have to be their biggest, because there can only be one biggest client.

But there can be many that are in the sweet spot. When you as a client are unprofitable to the partner, the work suffers. In our case, we’re not going to cut corners and do a bad job. We’re going to do everything we can to build a good solution and get ourselves out of the situation.

But the other side of that would be that if the deal is priced right and everybody’s expectations are right, then rather than the client getting a good solution, we may be able to hit a home run. So, if there’s not enough profit in the engagement, then it just changes the dynamic of it a little bit and the way it has to be looked at inside the portfolio of a partner’s overall set of work.

So just to boil it down, here are a couple of famous business quotes, if you will. One from the former CEO of Verizon. He used to say, I’d rather pay more than I wanted than less than I should, which is a really good way to look at it. So sometimes as a client, you have an idea of what you wanted to spend, and you don’t know why you thought that, but that was the number you had.

But you came to find out that, well, it was more than that, but it needed to be more than that, and everybody was better off. And then the other is the there’s the old saying of price is what you pay, value is what you get. And for us – that’s Salesforce and Fast Slow Motion together – let’s sell the value. If we do a good job of that, the price won’t be an issue. Let’s focus on the value.