Discounting to win work is probably the second most damaging thing an Australian accountant can do in their firm.
Of course, the first is to allow “scope creep” or “write-offs” as a result of scope creep.
So this week we’ll have a quick chat about why discounting is so damaging to your firm.
Customers who ask for discounting usually have an opinion about the service you are offering. When being asked for a discount, imagine if they asked their doctor / dentist / lawyer to discount the professional service they are offering. Usually not, but for some reason Accountants are frequently asked to discount.
And many times it’s not a lack of respect for the service, but a misunderstanding of the work involved. And certainly with the advent of the internet, there are plenty of online sources for the DIY home accountant.
Discounting (at any point in time) only attracts those discount type customers. Accounting firms should be attracting customers who agree and accept the price point of your services. The problem with servicing discount customers is they usually expect a high quality fast delivery service, with expectations far beyond what other customers expect.
The customers who usually end up complaining about the service online aren’t usually the customers who understand that price point and quality offering, but usually the ones that stretched themselves to pay for the service and didn’t see the value for money. In that case, any small event is going to affect them and make them feel like they are not getting the service they want.
And as usual, being polite in how you communicate declining the discount request is critical. Have something in the back of your mind for when you are meeting with the client: “I appreciate you asking for a discount, and I would have done the same if I were in your shoes, but we don’t offer discounts on our services, and we trust you’ll appreciate the quality and price point of our service”.
And if they take up your service at your market rate, then likely you’ve identified a good client. And remember, it’s far better to allow the price sensitive customer to go down the street to your competitor and consume his time, than to discount your service.
And we should also lastly mention, Odyssey provides quality Australian compliance outsourcing services to our Australian client base, and doesn’t discount!