Should you give a discount to a potential client? We don’t think so.
If you’re a real estate agent you’re probably familiar with this situation. A potential client has almost committed; then suddenly asks you for a price reduction on the previously agreed budget, under the argument the competitor next door “is cheaper”. It’s not an easy dilemma, and most of us would rather give in than losing our potential client. Nevertheless, we at HousingAgent.com have some suggestions on how to convince your (hopefully) soon-to-be client that your price is fair.
Replying to a request for a discount is not easy. On the one hand you don't want to scare a prospective client off by declining; on the other hand though, if you do give them a discount, you run the risk of the assignment not being profitable for you and you open the precedent for future potential clients.
In essence, it is not bad when customers ask for a discount. From a sales perspective, it means that the customer is sending a buying signal. But your story is not strong enough yet. Your potential client wants nothing more than to pay a fair price, so you have to show them that your work is worth that amount – but by offering them a discount, you are reinforcing the idea that your price is not fair. The easy solution would be to reduce the price just enough to meet the client's desired price, but we don’t think that’s a good idea. Offering a discount doesn't take away the idea of a fair price, but rather reinforces it. Your prospective client will think: “You see, the broker is trying to deceive me! Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to suddenly give me a discount”. As a broker, you must avoid this feeling at all times.
Emphasis on value
But what to say if your potential client asks for a discount? In any case, you should not repeat their words. If you say something like: “Oh, you’d like a discount? Do you think our services are too expensive?”, you will be confirming what your prospective client thinks. Don't shy away from the question. Apparently it is an important point for them, and you should take that seriously. It is much smarter to address the discount issue openly and honestly, so that you can reinforce the value of your service. For example, you can say: “I can imagine that the price is important to you. But are there other things besides the price that are important to you?”.
By listening to your potential client, you are gauging his needs, and then you can explain what the benefits will be for them. An interesting tactic to use is the "yes-flow". For example, you may ask: “I understand that price is important to you, but do you have the impression that you are getting value for money? And do you have the impression that our way of working has a good chance of success?”. If your prospective client responded “yes” a few times, he will realize that this is indeed a good choice. Another tactic is the “hamburger technique”: start with the benefits of your service, state the price again and then explain what you are going to do for your potential client. Client will understand.
If your prospective client continues to argue about the price, there are two things you can do. One of them is to say something like: “I have listed all the benefits, but you keep coming back to the price. If price is so important, what is the reason you haven't chosen another broker yet?”. Then let silence fall – that's essential. Apparently your prospective client knows that you are good at what you do and that the price is right. Only thing is that still needs to sink in.
The other thing you can do is to offer an extra promotion. This will cost a few euros more but will seem like it’s much better value for money. You can go with an extra promotion via Top Position Listing, Home in the picture, or a Facebook advertisement. Ask exactly how much the price difference is towards the competitor’s price. Suppose that difference is 200 euros – you can then offer this amount in promotional opportunities.
Ultimately, you can say: “If the price is the most important factor to you, I advise you to go with another real estate agent. Any broker can create great pictures and sales text. But what you’re actually buying is time. A real estate agent wants to give his client maximum attention, but that takes time and time costs money”. If your prospective client is still acting “difficult” after you say something like this, it might be time to dismiss them. Don’t see this as a negative thing – rather be glad that you have more time for nice clients who can and are willing to pay for your services.