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“If Benjamin Franklin had picked someone to teach the lessons in self-mastery that he used in his life, he would have picked Bob Burg.”

~ Vic Johnson, Founder AsAManThinketh.net

Make Yourself DiscountProof

July 6th, 2017 by Bob Burg

Make Yourself Discount-Proof - Bob BurgAre you often asked to discount your fee or price?

Typically, when a prospective customer or client balks at your price, it’s because they believe that the value of your offering is less than what they are being asked to pay.

But, not always. There IS another reason. It’s this…

They subscribe to the theory that one should never accept the first price; that every price is negotiable.

In other words, yes, they absolutely believe the value of your product or service exceeds the price. They want to buy. They just want to get the lowest price they can.

We believe that if the fee you charge is appropriate then there is no need to discount it. You are providing absolutely exceptional value and should be making a very healthy profit.

As the first of the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success in The Go-Giver, the Law of Value states:

Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value
than you take in payment.

But They Still Want You To Discount

This can be unnerving, right? After all, you’ve worked hard for this sale. You’ve already invested so much time, research and sweat. You don’t want to lose it. (By the way, all of this is exactly what that person is counting on you feeling.)

Good news: You can maintain your fee.

3 things must be in place:

  1. You know you are, without question, worth what you are charging.
  2. You have effectively communicated value that exceeds the price.
  3. You phrase your response respectfully, confidently, and tactfully.

One of our clients who we’ll call “Brenda” owns a private-duty nursing company. She recently received a call from someone who’d seen her advertisement. It was a woman who — along with her siblings — felt it was time their 90-year-old Mother had a professional nurse with her throughout the day.

Brenda did the discovery, quoted her fee of $30 per hour, and provided a number of references. Her fee is a bit higher than many of her competitors, which Brenda let her know.

Two days later she received a text from the prospective client saying:

“I discussed this with my brother and sister. We’d love to hire you. If you would agree to $25 we’ll go ahead and sign the contract with you right now.”

What Did Brenda Do? What Would You Do?

While $5 per hour might not sound like much, it actually has two effects:

  1. Over time it is significantly less money.
  2. More importantly, it tells you — and the marketplace — that your market value is $25 per hour, not $30.

Brenda texted back a very nice message that said:

“Good morning, Sue! Thank you and I completely understand if my fee is not in your budget. Your Mom sounds lovely and it would be my pleasure to help out if circumstances change.”

Just moments later Brenda received a return text that said:

“Please don’t walk away. We will pay $30 an hour and we’re so excited to have found you. We will make it work. Please reconsider.”

As Brenda Suspected

It simply was a matter of their instinctively trying to get a better price.

Notice what Brenda did:

  1. Knowing her value she made the decision to stand by her fee.
  2. Rather than react with disgust, disappointment, or indignation she responded with respect, confidence, and tact.
  3. She thanked the person, complimented their Mom, and shared that it would be her pleasure to work with them if circumstances change.

Again, because she had done a thorough discovery of what the family was looking for and communicated her value accordingly, plus backed it up further with a number of testimonials, she was very confident that the only reason for the price negotiation tactic being used by the children was because they felt that’s what they were supposed to do.

With that in mind Brenda’s job was to handle the objection correctly, which she did. And the family will benefit greatly, as will Brenda’s company.


We’re always delighted to know that our clients have benefitted from the principles we teach in order to have more lucrative and more enjoyable businesses. Would you like to work on your business in-depth and in person with Kathy Tagenel and me over a very special two days?

Registration is open for our final Go-Giver Sales Academy Live Workshop in 2017. It will be held in Orlando, Florida, and it is limited to just 10 people as we go deep into helping you accelerate your business. Special early registration pricing ends July 12th or until we are filled up (whichever comes first). Check out the rave review from past attendees. I hope you can join Kathy Tagenel and me, and up to nine other successful entrepreneurs and salespeople. Visit gogiversalesacademy.com

20 Responses to “Make Yourself DiscountProof”
  1. Michael LaRocca said at 8:18 am on

    I consider myself fortunate that I’ve never had to negotiate with a client by text message, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

  2. Bob Burg said at 10:07 am on

    Michael, LOL Likewise!

  3. Steve White said at 10:04 am on

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate these principles that continue to flow from a wonderful team… Kathy Tagenel & Bob Burg.

  4. Bob Burg said at 10:06 am on

    Steve, thank you so much. Very grateful for your kind words!

  5. Linda Ryan said at 11:25 am on

    So grateful to have learned this principle from you, as it has served me well through the years.

    I used to consider lowering my fee on a regular basis, which made closing the sale uncomfortable, to say the least. My posture was uncertain and I think that came across, which did NOT feel good.

    You’ve taught me how to realize the value I offer, confidently communicate that value to the prospective client and feel comfortable doing so. Thank you, Bob!

  6. Bob Burg said at 11:54 am on

    Thank you, Linda. Knowing you as I do now I think you could’ve written that article. Keep up the great work, my friend!

  7. Ibiwari said at 8:55 am on

    Awesome nuggets Bob!

  8. Bob Burg said at 9:01 am on

    Thank you, Ibiwari. Very grateful for your kind feedback.

  9. Kathleen Hanover said at 10:37 am on

    Bob, I just love how confident, kind and nurturing you are when you’re getting to know a prospective client. And your results speak for themselves. 🙂

    I dealt with a discounting situation just recently. Like Brenda, I let the prospective client know that my fee is higher that most people in my field (because I’m more experienced and get better results). That’s when I discovered that it wasn’t just a negotiation tactic–he had a fixed budget. Rather than caving on price and being annoyed with myself later, I offered to reduce the scope of work to bring the project in line with his budget. He said he would wait until he could afford my price and terms because clearly I was great at what I do, and I am worth waiting for.

    So I didn’t get the gig (yet). But the upside is that I have time open in my schedule for a client who can afford me, and I have more time for my own projects. And my self-esteem is intact!

  10. Bob Burg said at 7:38 pm on

    Thank you, Kathleen. Appreciate your kind feedback. Congrats for maintaining your fee integrity and doing so in a way that your prospective client appreciated.

  11. Bob, thanks for an excellent post. You have to have self confidence and be fully aware of your value.
    When a potential client seeks to lower your fee often times we are not able to determine if it is a negotiating tactic or a firm demand. In either case you have to be willing to walk; in a polite, professional manner of course.

  12. Bob Burg said at 2:04 pm on

    Thank you, Frederick. Well-said! And thank you for your kind feedback!

  13. Jeff Jones said at 5:11 pm on

    Hey Bob,

    Another great piece of advice!

    I know how easy it is to just get mad and tell them to fly a kite. Kudos for helping us rein in that knee jerk reaction!



  14. Bob Burg said at 9:19 am on

    Thank you for your very kind feedback, Jeff. As Zig Ziglar always taught, responding is far more productive than reacting. 🙂

  15. Joan Endicott said at 7:13 pm on

    AMEN and AMEN! As always, I LOVE your very clear and simple steps to, what I call, “owning your worth”.

    Such wise, wonderful and immediately implementable tools Bob!

    Always love learning from you – THANK YOU!
    Sending love and gratitude to you and yours,
    Joan Endicott

  16. Bob Burg said at 7:19 pm on

    Thank you so much, Joan. What a kind compliment. Very grateful for you, and very grateful that “I GET TO” be your friend {Note: Joan is the author/publisher of the I GET TO series – well-worth checking out!} http://www.joanendicott.com/shop/igettobook/ http://www.joanendicott.com/

  17. Joan Endicott said at 7:24 pm on

    You’re so AMAZING, Bob! I want to send you the updated, larger version we did a few months ago – your testimonial is the BEST ONE and predominate on the back cover now…Ken Blanchard wrote the forward. I’ll get one out to you! 🙂 (On it’s way to Amazon – YEE HAW!)

  18. Bob Burg said at 7:37 pm on

    Cool. I’d love that. I still hold up your booklet from stage as an example of booklets that can be created for great marketplace positioning! Fantastic about Dr. Blanchard writing the foreword. Congrats!

  19. Fred Schrader said at 2:19 am on

    Knowing your value is indeed a way to make yourself discount-proof. If you don’t know your worth and if you can’t explain your prices to your customers, it’s understandable that they’re still looking for negotiating a discount.

  20. Bob Burg said at 5:36 am on

    Great point, Fred. Thank you sharing your thoughts with us!

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