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Each company owner had that moment when a friend looks at you with puppy eyes and says, “So what’s the special price for your friends?” #Awkward
Handling such situations with grace and professionalism can be tricky, especially when it comes to balancing your relationships with the realities of running a business. In this article, I will provide a detailed guide on how to approach friendly questions. discount requests without jeopardizing your business or your friendships.
Send a “friends and family” announcement early
One of the best ways to avoid awkward discount requests is to set clear boundaries early on in your business. Let your friends know you should treat them like regular customers to maintain the integrity and financial stability of your business. You can approach this conversation casually, but do it firmly, so your friends know where you stand.
When launching your business, you may also consider sending an announcement to friends and family detailing your pricing structure and special promotions available. This can help pre-emptively deal with potential rebate requests by clarifying your policies upfront.
Related: How to Generate Customer Recommendations (When You’re Not Airbnb, Dropbox, or Uber)
Inject some humor
The goal is to keep the conversation light while being clear and firm about your pricing policies. Ultimately, it is essential to have a clear and coherent vision Price policy for all customers. On the contrary, your friends should help your new business grow! So make sure your friend understands that your prices are fixed and that you don’t make exceptions.
I usually start with a little humor. “Okay, I’ll give you the exclusive ‘Best Friend Discount’, which comes with a free hug and a friendly reminder that you owe me a favor.” Most of the time, they’ll just smile and let the moment pass. Another idea is to say, “Of course, I can offer you the ‘Friends and Family’ rate – the same price as everyone else, with the added benefit of knowing that you support my business!”
Related: Do not offer discounts to customers if you want to succeed
Offer alternative benefits
If you’ve tried the fun route and your friend still insists on getting a discount, consider offering alternative perks. Offer exclusive offers or promotions available only to your social circle. For example, you can offer a free consultation, free upgrades, or special packages. By doing so, you will still demonstrate your appreciation without hurting your pricing structure.
You can also create a referral program where your friends can earn rewards for refer new customers. It helps your business grow and offers your friends a chance to receive a discount, bonus or even cash as a reward for their support. Explain the program to your friends so they understand the potential benefits and feel valued.
Reciprocity can work for both
So you’ve tried humor and offered alternative perks, and your friend still insists – yes, those exist. If they are important to you and have valuable skills for your business, consider offering a barter system or a professional exchange. For example, if your friend is a graphic designer, he can create promotional material for your business in exchange for your services. This way, both parties can benefit from each other’s skills without affecting your income.
Tip: Make sure both parties agree on the value of the goods or services exchanged and consider drafting a written agreement to avoid misunderstandings.
Related: When friends and family become financial
Express gratitude while standing firm
Some friends may try to ask for a discount even after you’ve given them what seems like all the options available to your business. In these cases, the best thing to do is to show that they appreciate that they want your business while remaining firm in your decision.
Remember that your prices reflect the time, effort and expertise required to provide quality services. There’s always that person who says “Oh, that’s normal, it took you less than half an hour!” You can answer :
“Sometimes my job takes twenty minutes, but I have a lifetime of experience that has allowed me to do that.”
Thank them for considering your services and assure them that they will receive top-notch quality and care. Maintaining a positive and grateful attitude can help preserve your friendship while protecting your business interests. Remember that true friends will understand and support your decisions.
Educate your friends on the value of your work
It’s important to help your friends understand value of your services or products. Educate them about the costs associated with running your business and the time and effort you have invested in learning your skills. Be open about your passion and commitment to providing high-quality products or services, and explain how offering discounts could negatively impact your business. Friends who understand the intricacies of your work will be more likely to respect your prices and support you without asking for special treatment.
Consistency is essential when dealing with friendly discount requests. Stick to your policies and avoid giving in to pressure, even if it comes from a close friend or family member. You’ll establish a solid reputation as a fair and professional business owner by consistently applying your pricing structure and standing firm on your decision.