Ask and You May Receive: A Short Story On Price Discounting

A few years ago I bought a brand new Toyota RAV4 which came up with an optional subscription for satellite radio. I won’t say who the company was but it rhymes with “curious”.

I tend to keep the radio off in my car to think and clear my head but do like commercial free radio as well. Especially the 80’s music since that’s when I grew up.

Every September is renewal time. Like many other companies out there, if I wait long enough and ignore multiple calls and emails to renew, I know the price will come down.

The yearly subscription fee was $231.05. Would I probably renew at that price? Yes.

So the company left me message and I finally called them back. I told the customer service rep the price was too high. She immediately dropped the price to $131.05.

I hesitated and said simply, “That still sounds too high.”

She responded and said that she’d like to put me on hold and talk to a manager. I said that was fine. She got back on the phone a few minutes later and said they could do it for $104 and change. I agreed and renewed for another year.

I’m in sales and typically have some sympathy for other sales reps. Again I probably would have renewed for the full price.

People are conditioned to ask for discounts. Nothing wrong with it.

BUT, you don’t have to say yes. The prospective client may feel they have nothing to lose by asking for a discount. Or they want to make sure they’re getting your best pricing. So they ask for a discount but will invest or purchase what you have regardless.

Maybe the customer service rep should have asked me, “What did you have in mind?” and put the ball back in my court. She handled the call well by the way.

Moral of the story: Ask and you may receive. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

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