Would you offer a discount?
June 4, 2012 8:30am CST
We're running a couple of courses here at the farm later in the summer and I'm dealing with email enquiries at the moment. We've reached our minimum number for the first one now, but I'd welcome some more participants in order to make a little profit. So I was very excited to receive an email earlier today asking if we had space for a group of 6. We can accommodate them, and it would pretty much fill the course so I needn't worry about that one any more. But they've asked for a discount as there's six of them. We weren't offering concessionary places as standard, but I was open to barter for some of the fees. That seems rather hard for a group coming from overseas. Most people on the course, including some I know who are students or unemployed, have paid full price. So why should these people pay less? Wouldn't that be a little unfair? After all, they are proposing coming from their home country to mine which involves paying travel costs, when there are courses in their own country which they could attend. So, would you offer them a discount? Why? What sort of percentage do you think would be fair?
3 people like this
5 Jun 12
I would say give them a discount, or a freebie of some description to "sweeten the deal" My only reason for saying this, is I have taken business elsewhere when I have found I get a better deal elsewhere, and if the original people I'd booked with had offered me a discount or freebie or something, I'd have stayed with them even after finder a cheaper offer somewhere else.. you know? And I know they are sort of picking you, and NOT taking the cheaper option [ie-staying in their home town] at the minute, but what if you were to say no to the discount/freebie and they decided it wasn't worth the money/effort to travel.. that means you've lost their business altogether, nevermind the discount.. you know? Is there something else you can offer them instead of the discount?
5 Jun 12
exactly, and as for the percentage of discount.. if you have 5 full price places paid for.. maybe the 6th should be free. personally i would think i was getting a better deal if i thought i was getting one full price for free, and me and my 5 friends, divided up what we owed for the 5 places, between 6, thinking we'd got a real bargain.
5 Jun 12
hi! as a marketing strategy, i would. especially if providing them a discount would still make a profit for you anyway. in business, i try to accommodate clients as much as i can. i also try to be flexible. that is increasing future potential market. i tend to rely on repeat business. i also believe satisfied customers are the best marketers. plus 6 sure ones are better than a hundred potential customers. discount rates often vary... like how much you can afford to give without losing money. a general 5-10% can be a start as a group discount. if it would seem low or high in dollar value, then you can make necessary adjustments based on your capacity.
5 Jun 12
Part of the reason I was uncertain about offering a discount is because some of the people who have asked previously and been refused have gone ahead and booked at full price anyway. As you say though, six in the bank is worthwhile though so I'm still pondering.
• Paso Robles, California
4 Jun 12
I agree that you should be able to offer a small discount for those in the group of six quite easily if the others registered did not register as groups of six or more. But you can't depend on your guests not comparing notes when they get together. OTOH, how many of those who will not get discounts might also be repeat customers? If they don't want to return anyway, it shouldn't be a problem if they find others got lower rates -- especially group rates. Heck, look at airline ticket costs. People on the same plane trip have likely paid a variety of rates, depending on when and where they booked the flight. It's the same with motels and hotels. The more badly they need to fill the plane or hotel, the lower the rates go to those who ask. In the long run, it's best to do what will help you the most.
4 Jun 12
I think it's quite unlikely we'll see the majority of these people again, but I was thinking in terms of bad feeling. However, on reflection I don't think many people would argue that a group of six bookings at once shouldn't be able to ask for a small discount. Only a enquiry at this stage. Fingers crossed it turns into a booking.