Dealing with a request for a Christian discount on the price of your products or services can lead to a difficult and awkward response. By Gary Shotton #000422
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By Gary Shotton
My name is Gary Shotton and I’m here is a part of inspiring better business and we’re here to help people in their business challenges and one of the questions was asked on one of our discussions to a foreign group was, what do you do when a customer comes in in a retail store, and they present the idea that I should give them a discount, because simply because we go to church together, or because we’re Christians, and other people are offering this and now it’s become quite expected that if they buy something we shouldn’t give them a gift or a discount. And I’m telling you, that is a could lead to a dangerous situation because if you miss it somebody’s going to be offended, and I have some suggestions and of course, this is something that we face here in any country. What would we do with a discount. Well first of all, you’ll hear over and over that there’s a need for you to have good control on your finances good control on your money.
And if you’re making, let’s say, a restaurant or you’re selling some product. You need to know what your cost is of selling that product. And so if you determine that a meal that cost I’m making around figure is a $5 meal, and you determine that the cost of the ingredients is $1. Then if you were to give away a meal that you would only be giving away $1. Obviously you’re giving up that $5 if they would have would have would have purchased the meal and paid for it. So it comes into play, to know what your costs are, what does it cost for you to do to make your product or resell something you sell. Buy Wholesale and sell retail, because if you’re not careful, you’ll be giving away too much. When you give away something, then I don’t suggest that you actually just give something. I think that should be something in regard to volume. What do I mean, it’s not, it’s, it is common here in my area that if you come to the same restaurant?
They might give you a card, a card about the size of a business card and they have it prepared so that they might have 10 places that they could punch, and they have a special punch so they just can’t punch the number the holes out of it or they initial, and every time you have a meal, you have the card and they sign that meal and on after you have done their 10 times, then you would be granted a free meal. Okay, that’s pretty cool. It’s not because I’m a Christian. It’s not because I’m in ministry. It’s not because I’m the neighbor. It’s because you have some control on the volume, they haven’t gotten 10 meals that they’ve paid for regular meals, not just a drink or soda or something like that. And in a similar size you would get, they would get the 11th one free, and then they would start with another card. Okay, so there’s, how does your numbers. Would you now using those numbers I mentioned earlier, we would consider that one, or the 11th meal cost of advertising?
Now you have in your accounting, what are you spending for advertising what is the best way to spend advertising and this could well be the very best way to spend money advertising, because the word gets out. Hey, I’m going to come back, um, first of all, I’m going to come back and make sure I eat there if I’m hungry. And I like the food and its high quality and all those good things, and then they’re I’m coming back and back and back again. And you know what, when I come back a lot of times, somebody is with me, and they are also eating so now, not only advertising for me to come back but I’m a referral to other people coming and they get on board. So, this gift can be something proportional, not just because I showed up. And not every time, but because there’s the 10th time ik, you know, people tend if you give just discounts because you’re a friend or a neighbor. You really are backing yourself into what we call a corner that the first time you can’t do that or you don’t do that.
You’re, you’re well able to offend somebody or if somebody’s standing behind you in line and they hear about the discount. Then they want that discount, and is there’s a lot of uncertainty of how and when you would give a discount when you start giving discounts just because you showed up. This can be difficult, but especially if other vendors, other restaurants, other people selling the same thing are giving out their discounts and, and, but I’m not a proponent of that I think that if you have a high quality, and you’ve got good service and you’ve got all the things a person needs, then they, you’re actually explaining to people that there’s not a margin of money to give away to bigger logins and they should not they should come to you, because of the quality of quality and fair price that you’re providing for them. They’re so in the process of time. You may have this question, why don’t you give a Christian discount or why don’t you give me a preacher’s discount or why don’t you give me, even a family member discount.
My wife comes in, I’m not charging her Of course, and someone in my own family but at some point you’ve got to draw the line and say hey, this was a quality product at a fair price. I’m hearing business. I’m doing the best I can to provide you with this product and service that in that, in that parameter. And so, I want you to accept that and believe that that I’m, I’m there to help you. I have a story from many years ago, two of my friends were out in the West, in up in another state that I’m in, and one owned, what would be called the western shoe store where you would buy cowboy boots and cowboy ropes and, and this friend of mine told me the story, he was out with his friend, and they were buddies and they work together and we’re together and he came into the story my friend came into the store of the person that owned the western store, and he asked for a discount, and the owner said no. And my friend walked away a bit upset and didn’t buy, but kind of to prove the point.
My, the owner of the store at another time unrelated to business gave him a free product outside of the store. He’s saying don’t ask me for a discount in my store, but I’m still friends, I’m giving you a gift and recognize that that we’ve got to separate our friendship and our church relationship from business and the store, hope that makes sense. I believe that you can proceed ahead in your business career, first of all, when you know your numbers. And you know that you’re not giving away too much, and that you set up a system a process so it’s based on revenue, based on volume, like I say the 10th. After 10 meals you give them the 11th. Now you have a way to calculate how much you’re giving away, and consider that part of your advertising budget. Thanks for being a part of Inspiring Better Business.
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