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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Don’t give away the farm

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Last week I had the opportunity of visiting several dairy farms with an agricultural sales rep. The rep was a dairy farmer himself, and his knowledge was clearly evident as he met with farmers, toured their properties and evaluated the cows.

During our final sales call of the day, the rep was talking to a customer with whom he wanted to secure more business. However, instead of highlighting his knowledge to increase his value proposition, he made the fatal mistake of quickly offering his prospect significant discount.

What really stood out to me was the fact that the farmer never once questioned the price of the product. Price is a factor in every sale—I will never, ever deny that. However, it is seldom the primary reason behind a prospect’s buying decision (unless the price of your product is way out of line with industry norms).

When you offer discounts without being asked, you set up an expectation for the future and compromise your ability to sell your product at its full value. Not only does this erode your profit margins and commissions, it discounts the value, knowledge and expertise you bring to the table.

Before conceding to a discount, think about the long-term impact it will have on your business. Make your prospect work for any and all concessions. And above all, don’t give away the farm in order to gain a sale.

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The thorny issue of price

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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