Discounts Are Bullshit

July 1, 2016

In today’s minisode, we are talking about our philosophies about discounts and sales, and how to work them into your selling strategy without undermining your regular pricing.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
"If you're always having a sale, then no one's ever going to buy anything full price."
- Emily Thompson

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:00
Hello and welcome to being boss for this minisode we are talking about philosophies on discounts, how to work discounts into your sales strategy without undermining your pricing.

Emily Thompson 0:17
Today we have a question from one of our clubhouse bosses liberty, who's the friend of mine? Hi, Liberty. Hey, bosses. I've got a question about discounts. Do you offer discounts as part of your sales strategy? To me, my common sense says it's a good idea. But I have a little voice in my head that says discounts are bullshit, it's full price, or it's free. What do y'all think? Particularly if you're a service based entrepreneur,

Kathleen Shannon 0:43
I say, I actually agree discounts are bullshit, it's full price, or it's free,

Emily Thompson 0:49
Amen I taught Kathleen that. I did. I agree, I hate discounts. Um, I actually did a blog post, once, we'll put it in the show notes about how discounts are bullshit, basically, like having a sale will or having, especially to having continual sales will really hurt your business. Like if you become a discounted brand where you know, you're always offering discounts for something or if you're always having a sale in order to drive sales, then no one's going to ever buy anything full price. And I think that putting that mindset into potential customers is completely detrimental to your business and your brand. Because then you're never going to have Are you never going to be able to really make money like you literally have to work harder to make the same amount of money if you are constantly working off of discounts and sales. And you are building a customer base who thinks that you are cheap.

Kathleen Shannon 1:45
So I have a little mindset trick for people who are kind of wishy washy about their worth. Let's say you are a service based entrepreneur, and you sell a website for $5,000. And you're like, oh, maybe I should discount it to $4,000 I really need some work right now. What I like to do is pretend as if you actually sell your website, for your website packages for $7,000 or $10,000, then your full price of $5,000 starts to feel like kind of a deal. So I think that if you can actually trick yourself into having the mindset that what you're already offering is a deal. And that in fact, you should be raising your prices, you can kind of more confidently sell yourself as if you were selling your services at a discounted rate. So I think that that's what discounts do is they give you confidence in selling something. And so really, it's just tricking yourself to have that confidence without having the discount. And I will say though, one thing that I do believe in is offering early bird rates, so giving discounts. And it's not even a discount, it's a discounted price. That's a disc I like to think of.

Emily Thompson 2:55
So what I do believe in is in nurturing your customers and your client base. And the way that you do that is one early bird. So if someone is an early adopter of something that you've created, then sure they totally deserve having a good discount for believing in you so much that they're going to be one of the first ones to buy. Or I know something that we do it in the shop biography is every December we do a customer loyalty sale on website maintenance hours where we sell our maintenance hours really cheap, so that our loyal customers get a little bit Kathleen's laughing because they are the most loyal

Kathleen Shannon 3:32
because I'm always buying those hours. And I didn't realize that it was for website maintenance. Cuz I'm always like, Hey, can we have a consulting session? Like?

Emily Thompson 3:40
Well, it's for that too. It's for whatever you need Kathleen. Okay,

Kathleen Shannon 3:43
good ever you need. Oh, my gosh, I've been taking advantage of your maintenance hours.

Emily Thompson 3:50
No, no, I do them like that for everyone. And just for ease of explaining Kathleen website guidance. But we do like a customer customer loyalty program where every year we said we offer discounted hours and they're not ours that my customers or my clients would ever expect me to give them otherwise. And if they want to wait an entire year for updates to wait for those December hours, and they

Kathleen Shannon 4:15

Emily Thompson 4:17
for you guys actually buy enough every time that you're going to use them and then the entire year and that's what I put them out there for. So I don't believe in just generic discounts and sales but I do believe in customer loyalty programs, and then nurturing the people who are totally there for you.

Kathleen Shannon 4:36
I also believe in raising your prices and leveraging the shit out of it right where you are about to raise your price. So I actually recently did this with the braid method branding ecourse it had been priced at $229 which felt like a lot of money whenever I priced it at that. And then as the year passed, I started realizing that that's actually a really good value and I should probably double the price. We're constantly raising our prices. And so I decided to do an entire campaign around, hey, I'm about to raise the price for this, if you've been wanting to buy it at the current price that it is at, you need to go ahead and do that in the next two days. And then in two days, I'm making $25,000 on the E course, or the digital product, like Yeah, not a bad idea. So we're actually about to do that with the clubhouse. So it's already the price has already been raised. But for the people who were interested in the being boss clubhouse, we went ahead and let them know, Hey, we're about to raise the price on this offering. If you went in, you better get in now. But it's really only the people who were on our newsletter in the first place that got to know that they were getting the discount, or the pricing as is before we raise the price. So any new customers, any late adopters are going to come to our website and see the higher price, like they never even knew. So I guess that's exactly what you were saying is that your loyal customers or the people who have been following you if they need a little incentive to buy a good idea is to raise your prices and let them know that your existing prices a discount.

Emily Thompson 6:07
Yeah, and otherwise, and especially if you are a chronic discounter, because I know you're out there, I see you and I don't like it. Get out of the habit of doing it and own your prices. Instead of using all of your marketing gusto to get people to buy your things cheaper. Use all your marketing gusto to get them to buy them at full price is the same amount of work and you get paid more to do it. Hey, web designer bosses, Emily here with some exciting news just for you. As you may or may not know apart from being the CO boss here at being boss. I've gained the expertise that I bring to this podcast by starting and growing my own web design business in Asia biography. I have spent the last six years launching websites for other creative entrepreneurs, building my business from scratch to the healthy and profitable web design business that it is today. And now I want to help you rock your web design business to to do this I have created some free trainings to share my web design business secrets with you. In these trainings, I'm sharing my top tips for running a badass web design business. My must haves for closing more client deals and some secret juice for managing clients and launching websites on time. It's some seriously good stuff. Join me for these free trainings at I N D I E I'll see you there. Did you like this minisode. Be sure to check us out on our website at being boss dot club. There you can find more from being boss including are full episodes minisodes and blog posts. And while you're there, be sure to sign up for our mailing list so that you can get access to behind the scenes and exclusive content from Kathleen and myself to help you be more boss in your work and life. Do the work be boss