Event Management

10 Reasons Why Your Clients Ask For Discounts and What to Do About It

Skift Take

Why does it always seem like everyone is looking for a discount these days? Here are 10 different scenarios all eventprofs will encounter and how to handle them!

There are a variety of reasons why a client might need or desire a lower price, but finding a way to maintain your business while valuing your client relationships is important.

Sometimes you may be able to negotiate a discount and at other times you may need to stay strong, say no and walk away. The key is knowing when and how to manage your prices and maintaining your client good will.

  1. Nonprofit Organizations

When working with nonprofit organizations they may be seeking a discount due to their limited budget. This can be really tough when you need to find a way to make money, but you also want to help out a good cause.

See if there are any opportunities for you to write off your services for a tax break. You could also charge them your full fee for planning an event, but find ways to get the discounts with other vendors and suppliers so it pays for itself.

  1. Booking Less Desirable Dates and Times

When a client comes to you to book during a downtime in the schedule or on an unconventional day they may be expecting a discount. For example, if your business focuses on wedding planning a client booking on a Friday or Sunday will probably expect that their fees would be lower than a peak Saturday. Or if they book during the winter season they might expect your pricing to be discounted from the desirable summer wedding season.

These types of discounts can be a great way to fill your plate with more business during down times. As long as you feel comfortable, discounts like these can be a win-win situation for your business and the client.  

  1. Return Business

When someone returns to utilize your services after working with you before, they may ask for a discount for their customer loyalty. You may want to decide in advance how you plan to reward customers for their repeat custom.

If someone continues to be a great customer over time, you should find a way to honor them and approve of a discount from time to time, but it isn’t something that is always expected. Your prices are set at a certain level for a reason and in order to maintain your successful business you can’t always give a discount every time someone returns.

  1. Providing Referrals

Setting up a referral program can pay big dividends for your business. When a client refers someone else to your services you should find a way to reward them. This might be a discount on future services or perhaps a discount for the customer they referred. Depending on the type of services you provide, over time you will find what works best for you. Ultimately word of mouth is a very important tool in the events industry and you must find a way to appreciate people for sending business your way.

  1. Booking in Advance

When someone comes to you well in advance of their event they might ask for a discount due to their ability to plan ahead. Having business locked in months in advance gives you peace of mind and helps you to plan out your future schedule. This might be a great opportunity to offer a discount because it is definitely benefiting you as a business owner too.

  1. Customized Service

You may offer some event management packages as part of your business model, but if a client wants a customized service they may seek a discount outside of your normal offerings. This is a time that you want to proceed with caution.

If you are giving up other planning opportunities in order to customize a service for a client this is not a good time to honor a discount. However, if someone needs a minimal amount of assistance and it does disrupt your other opportunities you could perhaps create a lower priced package to meet their needs. Proceed with caution while also being attentive and respectful of their needs.

  1. Providing Promotional Opportunities

Sometimes a client may want you to plan an event at a discount if they promise to provide you with good exposure to other potential clients. In certain situations this can really pay off and be a worthwhile compromise.

For example, let’s say you’ve been asked to assist with a community event for a discount. If this event will connect you with people throughout your area who could potentially utilize your services it could be a really great marketing opportunity.

Be sure to ask a variety of questions about the type of exposure you will recieve such as how your name or company will be displayed and recognized, who will be attending the event, what is the target market for the event? This should help you to get a good feeling for if it will be worth your time to participate.

  1. Signing On for Multiple Events

If a client comes to you with multiple events that need planning they will often be looking for some sort of package deal discount. This should be strongly considered as it is leading to multiple opportunities for your company to make money. Often times if someone is hiring you for a variety of jobs, they will continue to hire you for future projects if you do a great job for them.

  1. Post Event Negotiations

Once your event is completed a client may feel that their needs weren’t fully met for some reason. If you agree that your service was lacking or you see a need to negotiate with a customer, you may want to be flexible on some of the pricing following the event.

Keep in mind that if you do a great job and fully execute the event for your client, you should do your best to stand firm in your pricing. However, if you aren’t seeing eye to eye, finding a way to reach an agreement will serve you and your business well.

If you do your best to make your customers happy and resolve any dissatisfaction, they will often return even if they have a slightly poor experience one time. They will appreciate you stepping up to the challenge, owning your error and making things right!

  1. Limited Budget

Some clients may not have the money to afford your services and thus they will push for some sort of discount or negotiation. If you really find someone you want to work with, but they can’t afford you, then you might be willing to offer a discount.

Some reasons to consider this might be if a client is having their event at an venue you really want to work in, or maybe they are helping you to expand your services by offering you the opportunity to plan a new type of event or maybe they are the hottest startup on the block. Most of the time you should shy away from a client that can’t meet your standard pricing, but on occasion there are exceptions to the rule. Go with your gut feeling here and trust your instincts.

In Conclusion

Whether a client comes to you for a new project or return business it can be a very exciting process. However, it normally comes along with its fair share of negotiations. Keep in mind that discounts can bring some really wonderful benefits for your company and your clients, but they should only be awarded when they make sense. Be confident in your pricing, while also finding ways to use your negotiation power to cultivate relationships and build your business.