The Discount Dilemma

By Jerry Bazata, “Money Answer Man

In the mobile DJ business we often hear experts say “Don’t discount your services.  Sell on value!”  And yet, 70% of us still discount our services anyway.

Why?  To fill open dates or close a sale.  DJs often justify discounting by thinking “I know I shouldn’t do this but once or twice won’t hurt, then I’ll get back on track.”  Once or twice turns into a habit and the next thing you know you can’t even find the track anymore.

The Norm Vs. The Exception

Discounting has become the norm rather than the exception, largely fueled by the premise that in a bad economy, one simply must discount to stay in business, or that clients simply expect discounts.

In my opinion, this premise is based on the false believe that majority of prospects are inherently “bargain shoppers” who will book the lowest priced DJ service.

The fact is that price is only one measure of a buyers concern, so don’t automatically assume that it’s the only or major point of focus for them.

Handling Price Objections

Expectations: Let’s say you quote a fee of $1,200 for a four-hour event.  To justify the value you bring for that money, you must educate a potential client as to the preparation and travel time that is also involved, as well as the roles you will play at the event, and the uniqueness you will bring to it as the talent.

Budgets: Prospects receive advice from a variety of sources as to how they should budget for their events.  Often times, DJs are way down on their lists.  Once again you must educate a potential client as to the importance of what you bring to their event versus other things.  Take the infamous veggie platter example.  Is it worth more than the entertainment, which is responsible for 80% of the party’s success?  To gain your asking fee, sometimes you need to get clients to agree to shift their budgets based on the value you bring to them.

Competitors: If you are more talented than your competitors and/or have greater offerings, you need to be to demonstrate these things through what you say, the professionalism with which you present your offerings, and the video you show that clinches the deal.

Needs/Wants/Fears: Buyers make emotional choices and then use the “facts” to justify their decisions.  As a professional DJ, for the most part you know what a potential client’s needs, wants and fears are before they are even expressed.  If you address them properly then you are more than halfway there to booking an event.

Over the years, I have been confronted in prospect meetings and phone conversations with “bargain shoppers” many times. In each case, I created a dialog of openness and transparency that addressed each of the areas described above, and…I closed each of those sales without discounting my price!

You can too!!!

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