Learning to Unlearn: Always Offer a Discount
One of the words that I’ve been using quite often in my personal development is “unlearn.” As in what do I need to un-learn so I can move forward? Or, what do I need to unlearn so I can step more into my purpose?
In my book, Girlfriend, It’s Your Time, I talk about how the lessons that we’ve lived give us stories to share with others so that they can see their brilliance. Some of the lessons that we’ve lived need to be unlearned. These are lessons that we learned during the parts of lives where we were in survival mode. When we were trying to save ourselves and our sanity by keeping the peace, keeping secrets, and keeping abusers protected. These lessons enabled us to exist, barely exist at times, but we are alive and here today because of them. Now that we are no longer in those shadowy places, many of us still struggle: we haven’t yet recognized that what we did to survive no longer fits now that we want to thrive. If we want to break through to our most brilliant selves, we have to be willing to unlearn those lessons that no longer serve us or the work we’ve been called to do.[Tweet “Many of us still struggle: What we did to survive no longer fits now that we want to thrive. “]
In this mini-series, I am going to share three lessons that I’ve unlearned in the past year that have helped me own my brilliance and make it bankable.
Lesson to Unlearn #1: If people can’t afford it, I should always offer them a discount.
As far back as I can remember, I remember my mother being super excited about sales. From coupons to Macy’s sales days, the possibility of getting something at a discount was something to be celebrated. Now I can appreciate a good sale – especially on books, shoes, and clothes now that I have a pre-teen daughter. But, I’ve learned to celebrate the results more than a low price. I’ve learned the value of value. And I want clients that understand the value of value too.
I am not a banker, a broker, an investment counselor, or financial advisor but I used to run my business like one. I’d invite people to work with me and when they’d say that they couldn’t afford it, my “soft” heart would say, ” Well what about _______?” And the blank would always be so much lower than what I really wanted to charge. Either way the outcome was embarrassing: If they said no, I was embarrassed that they turned down the low hanging offer and if they said yes, I was embarrassed that I was working for such a low rate.
Maybe your rates are already at the bottom of the barrel, so you don’t lower the investment to work with you. Instead you create ridiculous payment plans. Why are they ridiculous? Because you deliver the services, providing undeniable value to your client and there you are trying to collect payment from them six months after the fact. They’ve gotten value from the relationship because you’ve served them, but have you gotten the value for your time, energy, and expertise that you delivered? And is that value reflected in your bank account?
Lesson Lived: A soft heart makes an unstable bank account.[Tweet “Lesson Lived: A soft heart makes an unstable bank account.”]
The discount and sale mentality will not be coming with me to 2015. Yes there will still be early-bird pricing for classes and events. And there will still be special pricing for new launches, like The Webinar Workshop I’ll be doing. But I will not be making case by case offers to people that are unwilling to make the commitment to invest in working with me. This isn’t about judging people, it’s about setting boundaries and standards – things many of us lose when we are in survival mode.
If you are a discounting diva or guilty of having way too flexible payment options, consider how it is impacting your business. Consider how it is impacting your bottom line. Consider how it is impacting your confidence. And consider how it is impacting your clients and customers.
Learning to Unlearn: How to go from bright to brilliant
- An Internal Shift: It is not up to me to determine for a prospect what they can afford to invest. The reality is, when people want results bad enough, they will find a way to get what they need.
- Raising your rates: The investment to work with you on the value you deliver.
- Stop chasing the wrong clients: Actively pursue clients who are willing and able to make the investment.
- Have faith and be patient: Trust that the clients will show up and do not relapse back into taking on the wrong clients.
How to make sure this unlearning sticks…Have an option that allows you to give back without giving it away.
Earlier this year, I instituted a Pay It Forward program. If there is someone who sincerely cannot afford to work with me, I don’t lower my pricing or offer them a ridiculous payment plan. I add them to my Pay It Forward list. For every five clients that sign on to work with me (at my full rate), I offer one hour of consulting services to the next person on my Pay It Forward list. I’ve made giving back a reward for building my business and not a factor for why my business isn’t growing.
Bottom Line: I traded my soft heart for a wise heart that welcomes abundance!
What life lessons around boundaries and standards do you need to unlearn so you can move forward? Are you a Discount Diva? Are you giving it away? I’d love to hear from you if this is a lesson you’ve unlearned or need to.
Stay tuned for the next lesson in this series: Lesson to Unlearn #2 – Because your intentions are good, so are everyone else’s.