One of the worst things you can do as a professional is offer discounts. Discounts always devalue. Always. Either directly or indirectly.
They might land a few quick sales, but the negative effects are longer lasting. The moment you offer a discount, you have just informed your clients that discounts are possible when buying from you.
Either the people in your market will start to expect it, or you will mostly attract clients looking for discounts and deals.
They may not vocalize that they do expect it, but subconsciously they will pass on any offer in the hope of a future discount.
Which is why, after you offer a discount, sales typically flatten.
Clients will never buy from you again unless you offer another discount. Sure, they might send you referrals. But that’s even worse. Because, what do you think they will tell others? You guessed it. That you offer discounts.
Discounts will also create undue expectations.
If they pay full price in the future, they will demand more, expecting something in exchange for paying full price. Because, in their minds, you’re capable of selling for less.
So they will expect that you should offer more. They will ask for other concessions, such as extras, scope creep, pro bono work, more guarantees, etc.
They will also micronanage your work either out of resentment for having to pay full price or out of fear they’re not getting “their money’s worth.”
It’s a vicious cycle.
But here’s the #1 drawback from offering discounts. It conveys the negative meta-message that you lack confidence.
What you’re saying to your client is that you don’t believe what you’re trying to sell is worth the full price, or that you don’t stand behind it.
In turn, the client will lose confidence in you, even if only subconsciously.
If you discount, you are only discounting yourself.