You’ve got this great client. Let’s call him Phil. You’ve been working together for years, and you think the relationship is pretty rock solid. And then one day Phil calls you out of the blue and says ‘Look, we’ve enjoyed working with you all these years, we’ve really enjoyed it, but times are tough. We’re gonna need you to give us a 20% discount going forward please.”
How do you react? Should you give him the discount to make sure you retain his business, in the hope that times will get better and you can put the price back up? Or should you say No and risk losing Phil’s business for good?
Being asked for discounts seems to be a trend that’s on the rise – and in my world, that’s symptomatic of the types of relationships we have with our clients (but more on that later). The other thing I’m also seeing is an increase in the number of times organisations themselves are putting pressure on their sales teams to bill lower, win work at [...]
by Keith Dugdale
Everyone knows that in a B2B and B2C world, competition has never been so extreme. The internet coupled with a series of downturns in economies have significantly increased the competitive landscape. In B2C, we’re seeing apps being designed to scan bar codes in-store and tell the consumer where they can get their desired products the cheapest. Every B2B client that I work with tells me about how increasingly competitive their market is, how other firms are discounting to win work, how there are new niche entrants as well as large global corporates frequently arriving on the scene, ready to steal clients away.
While all of this is undoubtedly true, in my mind much of this discussion and concern has been far too narrow. Generally, they are looking at their historical competition and in some cases these new players. But what few seem to be able to do is look over the horizon at where the future competition will come from.