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

Authored by Le-roy Staines - Mar 05, 2019

How to reply to discount requests

"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 unless you can persuade us why this is good for business.

Why did they come to us anyway, even when they knew they could get a cheaper deal elsewhere? Whatever the answer is, this is where the value lies.

So, 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.

But how do you respond to such a requests, if you don't want to offer a discount?

A good 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.

Get in touch with one of our skilled team here at TimeDock to see how we can help bring efficiency, clarity and insight to your business.