Why we don't discount just because they asked, and how to respond
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Web-based Time and attendance platform, with wall-mounted time clocks and mobile swipe card check-in

How to craft an email reply, when a customer asks "can we have a discount"

Written by Le-roy Staines, Founder of TimeDock on

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(Tip: Scroll to the bottom of this article for an example email).

Can we have a discount is a line we hear often, usually very early on in the pre-sale discussion and well before we've ascertained whether we can help the organisation asking for the discount.

A common undertone, and often direct statement, is that XYZ product is much cheaper than yours, so we could choose them instead if you won't reduce your price

Here's the kicker: We're not going to undercut our existing customers or ourselves unless you have a very good reason why we should do that, and there's probably a very good reason you've seen their low-cost product and still reached out to us.

Why won't we undercut our other customers? Because we charge what we consider to be fair value. We don't inflate the price (we have integrity), we don't charge higher than every alternative available (we're competitive) and we don't charge less than every alternative available (we're in this for the long run, as a sustainable business).

Imagine if we gave automatic discounts to every prospective customer that asks can we have a discount?, in a feeble attempt to make a sale (that's faulty selling by the way). We'd be undercutting our existing customers who have been loyal to us and who are more than happy to pay the price we're asking.

So, how do we respond when we get these requests? Generally, the format follows the following basic plot (Keep reading for a real example email further down):

  1. Build Rapport
  2. Show empathy
  3. Acknowledge the request
  4. Respond
  5. Pivot

Here's a reply email, as an example of how we respond when a customer asks for a discount.

Hi there,

[1: build rapport]
I took a look at your website, and I have to say, I like your branding! It looks like you've got a great product and you know how to convey a great image. We hold very high regard for great branding, so well done.

[2: Show empathy]
We're a small business too, so I can appreciate how important it is to keep costs low and reinvest as much as possible within your company.

[3: Acknowledge the request]
Me personally, I'd love to offer you a discount. But, even more so, I want your organisation to have full access to the tools you need to grow your business to the next level.

[4: Respond]
If I can be frank, I don't think that by undercutting our other great customers, excellent companies such as yourselves, by ten or twenty dollars per month will hit the nail on the head for you.

[5: Pivot]
Based on what I saw on your website, I was wondering if our mobile app is the best option for you? Since you have a fixed location for your business, you stand to get greater value from TimeDock by using our wall-mounted time clocks They're even simpler to use than our employee time clock mobile app, more robust as a securable purpose-built time clock device, and employees will never have the excuse that they forgot their phone today or the app "mustn't be working" when you know full well that it is.

Let's find out more about how your business is currently managing your time and attendance, and see what we can do to make your role easier.


Let us help you figure out how TimeDock could drastically enhance your organisation's time and attendance responsibility.

Send us an email to info@timedock.com or phone +64 (0) 9 444 1384 to leave a message with reception, and we'll return your call as soon a possible.

This article was written by Le-roy Staines, CEO of TimeDock - web-based time and attendance platform

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