March 9, 2018
FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing
March 9, 2018
December 18, 2017
It’s quite easy to negotiate 20%, or more when offered an upgrade or renewal via email or other online method.
For example, a well-known satnav company recently sent me a reminder that my software was due for renewal. The cost was £49.50.
I wasn’t prepared to pay this amount so I ignored the upgrade offer and considered my options.
The software expired and I had no “live services” software running .. just maps and routes. It left me without info on traffic jams and that is the part I make most use of.
My option was to use my phone and the satnav app I had on it.
But the company wanted a second chance to offer me the satnav system and sent out another email.
This time they offered me approx 20% discount. Why do this? Probably because their view was that they either lost a sale or made one at a lower profit margin. And of course it was December and their year-end might be approaching.
I bought the renewal and obtained a 20% discount .. all without actually negotiating.
If you are thinking of using this tactic, beware.
Let’s imagine the profit margin for the software is 40%. By offering 20% they have halved their profit. And on occasion, I’ve seen discounts that mean the product or service is sold at a lost. Of course, that means that competitors don’t get market share .. but it does cost money.
The profit margins bite harder when the product or service entails real cost to provide. Whereas it could be argued that a software download costs (virtually) nothing to provide so margins are more flexible.
What could you negotiate online?
How would you deal with this sale if you were the retailer?
August 3, 2017
If you want to control the meeting you need to sit in the Chairs seat. you need to chair the meeting, set the agenda and control the minutes.
If you can’t chair the meeting then sit next to the Chair. This way you make make private comment to them and when you speak to the meeting you will be seen and heard as everyone is looking in your direction anyway.
If you sit opposite the chair you can easily catch their eye and that makes it easier to get called upon to speak.
If you get the chance to choose your seat remember that those that site further from the chair are more likely to be hidden by others or are just one of the crowd.
Arriving early at a meeting means you get to choose your seat and have time to speak to others before the meeting.
Of course different rules apply to online meetings!
March 4, 2017
In the last few weeks I’ve had substantial discounts on a wide range of items, including Car insurance, Home Insurance, a new PC, Lunch in a restaurant, and Dinner at a Hotel; plus my bank has given me over £250 and my building society gave me £75.
There are several reasons. In one case I asked for the discount. In all other cases the retailer has volunteered a discount or refund after I gently nudged them.
Here’s how it works …….
Most insurance companies add a substantial increase each year and say it is for inflation, high volumes of claims in your area etc. If you do nothing you pay the extra whether you’ve had a claim or not. But if you phone and say it is too high, or ask how they justify it they often cut the fee without cutting the insurance cover.
Home Insurance companies are similar to motor insurance companies, they are often different branches of the same business. My tactic when an annual update is due is to phone them and say I don’t understand why it has gone up so much when I’ve had no claims for years and the cost of living is much lower than their increase. I use words like loyalty and customer service. I rarely actually directly ask for a discount.
But the reality is they often don’t budge much. The easiest way to get a better deal is often to look for special offers on their website and start again as a first time buyer of their insurance. The cover is normally exactly the same but they offer “new” customers much better deals. The downside is you have to complete a new application form, but that takes 5-10 minutes and can save hundreds. Well worth the effort.
My last PC was bought online from a huge retailer and collected from their local branch. The first one seemed to have a faulty connection and didn’t always boot up without several attempts so I phoned for a replacement and was promised it next day. When I went to collect it it wasn’t there and they said there would be a ten day wait. I requested a loan machine to keep me going. When the replacement PC was collected (this was trip three to the retailer) it was also faulty.
At this time I started serious discussions about receiving a substantial discount and express delivery of a third new machine. To start with I was offered lots of apologies but little else, so I went public. I tweeted that I had a problem that the shop wouldn’t remedy and asked for the Manager to phone me. They phoned quite promptly and I talked about poor service, reputation risk etc and was immediately offered a 50% refund in vouchers. I said the amount suited me but it had to be cash in my account within 24 hours. They agreed.
A restaurant lunch was recently discounted when I had a quiet word with the waiter. I quietly and discreetly asked him to point out to the chef that some of my lettuce was in very bad condition .. it was visibly rotting where the lettuce had not been prepared to the normal standard.
Some people would raise their voice over this but it isn’t a good strategy. In my case I said I understood how a busy kitchen might miss this and I was sure the chef would be grateful for feedback. The chef sent back his thanks and was very generous in gifting us a substantial discount!
Banks are notoriously unreliable in my book. When mine was proved to have repeatedly misinformed me about an important feature they had no choice but to offer me compensation. The compensation was just over £250.
I needed to make an address change with my Building Society savings account. After going through a full security check with photo ids etc. they called my identity into doubt as my signature wasn’t the same as it had been 20 years before. I signed 5 times and each signature was bit different to the others .. and the clerk wasn’t happy with this. Apparently my signature should be exactly as when I took out the account 20 years ago. When I raised this with the manager he agreed it was ridiculous and his own signature had slight variations each time. He offered me £75 compensation. I didn’t ask for this.
As I said at the beginning, in most cases I don’t ask for a discount. Most businesses do however offer it when they look a bit silly asking me so sign my signature five times after my photo id was approved, or when they make a mistake of some sort.
Some people, particularly the Brits, are not comfortable complaining. I don’t think any of us should be. What would you prefer, an unhappy customer or one that pointed out problems so you could ensure they didn’t recur? In reality a complaint is a gift that enables you to perfect your offer.
So welcome genuine complaints in your business and, when necessary, give both positive and negative feedback to others.
Of course it is better when there is nothing to complain about. And you will not necessarily get a 10% discount on everything (God forbid it is necessary) but where prices on things like insurance are more about an opening bid than a genuine price there is every reason to haggle .. or at least question the price.