It is important to be consistent with your customers and not be drawn into the battle of discounts. If your new mechanic knocks down the regular price on your first two oil changes, you will understandably expect the same treatment on your third visit. If you consistently take a little off each order, your customers will expect you to “sharpen your pencil” every time. Beware the discount dilemma: Behavior that is repeated, becomes the expected… the norm.
Offering a discount without prompting offers insight into what you are thinking:
- You think your prices are too high
- You are not confident with your current pricing
- You don’t think this customer can afford your prices
- You are afraid you won’t get the sale
Be confident in your pricing even if your competitor is running a sale. Know that your prices are fair and look at these possible alternatives to discounts.
There are a number of things you can do if you feel the need to “give something” to the customer in order to “get the sale” without challenging your prices. All of these can be done in FrameReady.
Here are a few options:
- A free v-groove in the design or French line. This will cost you labor but little or nothing for materials. Click on the underlined group Mat Design on the work order screen and in the discount field enter 1 for 100%.
- A decorative mat cut (especially if you own a CMC). Cost of time and corner count.
- Offer to deliver the piece or hang it for them. This will cost you time and gas but may give you an opportunity to see if they have other pieces which need to be framed. Also, why bring in another piece to frame if they don’t have the first one hung on the wall because there is no stud in that area, or they aren’t sure of what to put into the wall to hang it on. You are the expert; offer your expertise.
- A “First time” frame job coupon for $10 off their NEXT framed piece. Or give one of your beautiful gift cards with a dollar value on it. With the printed coupon or gift card, the customer knows that it is only for first time customers so once it is handed in, it is done and they do not expect a perpetual discount.
- Free second mat from your selection of in-stock matboards which you purchase in bulk. A minimal cost is involved but it could also train the customer to the appeal of double or triple mats in their future orders. Specify that this is a one-time only offer. Click on the underlined group Mats on the work order screen and in the discount field enter 1 for 100%.
- Free or half price fillet. Offer the materials for free but not your labor for the fillet fit. Fillets can become addictive too. Check the box for “Post Fitting charges (labor) with no discount” under Fitting.
- Free upgrade of glass (Regular to Conservation Clear, etc.)
- Keep a small selection of frames that you purchase in bulk or keep in stock as alternatives for the price conscious customer. This could be your “Value Line” or “Stock Frames”. These could also be frames which are inexpensive to purchase but have a good visual appeal. *Warning: make sure that the frames in your lower end selection are not so nice that they decrease sales of your high end lines.
- Suggest one of your package prices. Customers can see what is available for different price points. Package specials take out the “unknown factor” for new customers and create more of the “off the shelf” experience to which shoppers are accustomed.
- Offer a less expensive option from your selection of readymades you have created from leftover stock or mistakes.
- Offer a loyalty program to your customers so that, “the more you frame, the more you save”. To encourage return customers rather than pulling in new customers with one time discounts.
Reports show that most of your income is from 20% of your customers. Keep that 20% active and happy. From the Main Menu, go to the Options tab for Invoices, More Options and click on the Rewards tab to set up your loyalty program.
If you decide that you must give the customer a discount on the entire order, before you hit the button, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” “What do I hope to gain from it?” and “What is the true cost?” If the gain is worth the cost and your reason is valid, then go for it.
After all, you will feel good when you do something nice for your family.