To Discount or Not, is the Question?

It is Saturday and for many direct sellers today is the day for vendor events.  We use these events as a way to expand our circle of  potential customers and hostesses.  Some vendors will be successful while others will struggle?  Some will be “selling” and making deals while others will be embracing the value of their products.

Are you a direct seller who falls into the trap of discounting your products?  Do you find people are always asking you if they can buy the sale product without the qualifier (spend so much to get)?  There may be a good reason for it…

Customers have found you slash prices on a regular bases – even on current product and continually offer sale items without qualifiers.  Don’t get me wrong, I may offer some of my regular customers a special or two on occasion but NOT on a regular basis.  Why?  Because in the long run, I will not make any money.

There are many who would disagree with me BUT the truth is when you discount your products, you are hurting yourself and the industry as a whole.  Why are prices set at a certain price point?  Why are specials set up during a given period?  Because a team of experts at your company’s home office set the prices based on research, production and promotion.

I have stopped taking product to vendor events to “clear out my inventory”.  Why? Because I save those deep discounts for the people who support my business on a regular basis.  Customers buying items at a vendor event at a deep discount, will only be customers as long as you have deep discounts.  I WILL sell current products at current prices without charging for tax and shipping.

Extreme discounts are a mistake because:

  • People will expect them. Why would they pay full price if they know you’ll be running a huge sale in a day or two?
  • It devalues the product. The list price will seem too high, even though your team of experts know the true value.
  • You need to make money.

TRUST the brand. TRUST the price. TRUST yourself.

Are you thinking the only way to draw in customers and new team members is to cut your prices?  Believe me when I tell you, it may happen in the short term but will not be enough to sustain or grow your business.

Here are some things you can do to draw in customers without de-valuing your products:

★ Free or discounted shipping: This is a lower cost burden to you and is still enticing to clients. (Can you say “Amazon Prime?!?”)
Tax-free weekends (or day): Does your city or state participate in tax free weekends? Join the party and spread the love to your customers.  You can do this on a regular basis to help you draw in customers.
★ Raffle entries for a free product: This localizes the expense to one product rather than crazy discounts across all inventory.  Do a “Mystery Hostess” party and give away the hostess perks.
★ Product samples: If your company offers samples – hand them out freely with your business card.  If not, get creative about how to share the love.  I sometimes do a mini catalog with chocolates or a nail file or a Proverbs 31 bookmark with my contact information on it.
★ 10% discounts for an outside order: You and I both know outside orders are rare. Reward them with a small discount!
★ Connect personally: Offer a discount to the people in the room. This increases exclusivity without burdening you financially.                                                                      ★ Offer a discount for referrals:  When someone refers someone to me and they join my team, the person referring them gets a $25 VISA gift card.  If it is a retail order, the referring person gets a card with a small gift.

Always remember, you have value and your products have value. You want to stand out in the crowd of direct sellers….. and I don’t mean by selling your products at cheap prices.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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