The Big Shift is a podcast, a community, and a movement. It is our aim to help those who want to make a difference, have success in carrying out their mission. The goal of our podcast is to inspire heart-centered entrepreneurs to create their dream business, do what they love, and make the world a better place in the process.

We will help you get there by sharing with you the best marketing, sales/enrollment and mindset practices known to humankind today… All of these practices are tested and come from the people who are the very best at utilizing and teaching them. These will be some of the most extraordinary people on this planet. Get ready for your Big Shift!

To subscribe to the podcast & leave a review, click the button below:


We will be performing a system maintenance and database upgrade on Saturday, May 28th 12 midnight to 4am PST.

What Do You Do When Someone Asks You For A Discount?

What do you do when someone asks for a discount?When was the last time you asked for a discount?

Last week I lead a 4-day Big Shift Retreat with 70 of my most amazing clients. These are the business owners who decided to step up in a big way to invest in themselves and their businesses. A few of them literally did not have the money to join my program. Yet they said ‘yes’ and did whatever it took to come up with the investment.

…not one person asked for a discount.


I want to break down why no one ever asks me for a discount and what I recommend you do when someone does.

The first thing you do happens way before a potential client asks you if you would be willing to discount your services.

It actually starts with you not asking for discounts yourself when you are paying for stuff.

I used to be a master haggler. In fact, friends would take me shopping with them because I could always get a discount. I loved the process of paying less than what people were asking for in a product or service. I was playing a zero sum game. When I got the discount, I was literally taking $ out of someone else’s pocket and putting it into mine. And I loved it.

As I became more committed to living a conscious life, it became harder and harder for me to ask for discounts. And then, one day, I consciously decided that haggling was no
longer going to be part of my life.

My new path was to only buy and hire people that I thought were a great investment at the price level they set. I am a free man and I have the power of choice. And I will decide if it’s a YES for me. I will respect the people and companies which I am investing in.

And with this new respect I found for service-providers and artisan product makers, a magical thing happened – I began to respect myself more as a service provider and the value I provide.

I began to stand in the power of my prices – knowing that I feel good about the exchange of services for money and knowing that it is simply an even exchange of energy between two consenting parties.

I began to see that the ‘discount mindset’ is one of scarcity, fear and contraction. It discounts the value you place on things.  And it discounts the talents of the people and products you are investing into.

When you believe in the value of what you are getting, it is your belief that sets in motion your access to that value.

So when someone asked me for a discount, I tell them that I believe in the service I provide. I believe in the results they will get from working with me. And I invite them to invest in themselves in a way that honors them and honors me.

One time, someone told me that another coach they spoke to offered them a discount and asked me to match it. And I said, “Whose service would you trust more – one that gives you a discount because you asked or one that knows its value and will stand firm on their prices? Who would you like to stand in your corner?”

Who do you think got that client?

So next time you want to ask for a discount – think again.

And the next time, someone asks you for a discount – stand firm and resist the urge, knowing that you are not helping anyone in discounting your value and the value of their investment.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this here.



  1. Years ago, a client told me that the therapist down the road was charging less than I was and he wondered if I’d reduce my fee. I knew him well enough to say, “Well, you get what you pay for.” (With a smile.) I didn’t see him for a few months and when he came to see me again, I said, “I figured you were seeing the therapist down the street.” He said, “No. I kept thinking about what you said and so here I am again.” 🙂

    And, there have been people who could not afford my fee. For those who really couldn’t and have a real need, I have offered a sliding or reduced fee. Not often but it was appreciated and they always tried to get new clients for me.

    Now, I have so much natural pain relief information online for free that anyone who cannot afford to see me or doesn’t want to pay me does have the options of sifting through all of my articles and to hopefully find what they need. They won’t get exactly the same value as working with me directly but they can still find helpful information.

    I really, really agree with everything that Bill said about asking for discounts. Even if I am entitled to a discount in a small business, I won’t ask for it. And, certainly never from an artist! I expect to pay for value and I expect others to pay me for the value I offer, too.

  2. and some just want a bunch of help for free…because free is their favorite price for everything

  3. Glad you liked it! Thank you.

  4. eileen says:

    PS on a positive note after my previous rant, I really liked your false future projection article it was very insightful.

  5. eileen says:

    I don’t think that swinging the pendulum as far in the opposite direction of where the problem was, is the correct place to land and to stick to. I can’t believe that nobody has questioned the totality of your opinion on this matter but just jumped all in. Does this happen a lot in this tribe? I am all for corrections and dazzling profound truths however I find so much missing from this stance such as situations of struggle that yes come from scarcity reality but those people are trapped as far as they are concerned and trying to break through which is why they are seeking and looking to people like you to assist them with that. If they could just step up and get past their level because of a decision then they could probably just step up and fix their lives without needing to find a fee for a coach or loa expert etc etc. And the fees charged can be so exclusive for those in need of the program’s the most. It’s so painful to desperately want to get to tools and info to breakout of the desperation only to have the doors to that help be shut to you. How many times too have people stepped up found the fee at great risk like spending the rent money on the “investment in their better future” rhetoric that is a new pop psychology catch cry…. Only to be scammed…. No really? Does that happen? What in the personal development law of attraction internet marketing arena? Surely not? Hmmm. How many times do you think a spent and desperate person will bounce back and step on up? But that’s okay if you think that your principles and your own success should continue to exclude then you are simply living in the same place, the exclusive and as I see it world of scarcity because you are still focussed on the measure of worth value with money, instead of not focussing on that count and fees as step up. True abundance is limitless and does not factor your pocket vs another pocket. It’s an endless supply from an infinite source that gives to you according to the value that you tell it you should be worth. What is that too far up for you to step from your position right now? I am sure it is possible that you aren’t ready and probably have more work to do…. Perhaps in allowing compassion to push you gently back into a swinging motion and get that pendulum moving again til it naturally reaches stillness in the centre.

    I would only ever ask a discount if I felt deeply that this was what I was drawn to on my journey and that I truly needed this on my journey and that if I found the courage to ask for assistance in a genuine way than surely that would speak of the worth of that person that I was reaching out to? Saying I believed that they had value for me that could change my life and that the discounted fee to me would equate to all I had to give (or probably don’t have and it’s the money for the overdue electricity bill) and be far more of a measure of the value than to others who have money for investing and it’s just another self help seminar/audio to add to the list. I also often ponder how fabulously successful and wealthy are the experts and gurus that will teach/coach/inform/bedazzle me and give me the very thing they have, yet they can’t do without the money for my overdue bill. What’s up with that? There are so many ways to deal with money fees value compassion growth offering accepting and serving and it’s not just about the left and right wing positions within an internet marketing paradigm. I suggest you keep looking. Just saying, sorry but I really felt a blow in this thread that I don’t usually feel so strongly about to seriously question the whole damn thing. I could find no middle ground… It’s like the pirate ship ride where the boat goes up one side and stops there before the fall back down… Looked up and saw that’s where y’all were hanging! Luckily the fun bit is when it stops being stuck and starts that stomach tickling thrilling feeling of free falling movement.

    Apologies for any offence taken to my views and apologies for the offence I have clearly taken to your views…. I did need to express that though and also wanted to inject just one bit of a different perspective into the homogenous fabric of this tightknit thread. It’s only one small yet strong opinion here or perhaps just some food for thought, or hopefully some good old stirring of the pot! Ok … Please be gentle with me! Iol Truly offending is not the intention in this response.

    • No offense taken. Glad you chimed in. I think it’s important to have a certain % of your work be given pro bono or in some situations, at a discount as a way to contribute to people or society at large. The problem is that lots of people in my tribe of impactpreneurs are often undercharging and underearning and the way of thinking I am suggesting can help breakthrough that. I think we can both be right….

      • Now that was interesting! I just got hit for this today. I value what I do and my experience, of the way I personally work, is after 30 years of experience with clients it takes me one hour to one and a half hours to deliver my service. Period! This morning a person contacted me and wanted my service at a reduced rate. I said no, and gave it for free. Her phone proceeded to drop the call for an hour and a half every few mins! So even though I gave the info for free it still took me an hour and a half of my time to deliver a paragraph or two of words to help her! Hahaha!!! Unbelievable. By the way, I don’t ask for a discount from anyone. If I can’t afford the service and I still want it, I wait till I can. I’m very clear about my price on my website but still am asked to change my way of serving. I don’t even like being approached like that. The last time I did this for a woman who asked me to help her, I told her I’d have to do it before I started my workday, just to try to fit her in. She told me she didn’t want to get up at 7:00am because that was bothersome to her. Wanted it for free and on her time schedule and she wasn’t working!! Hahaha!! Kind of messed it up for people who truly are in need. I’m glad I noticed this post today! Thank you

  6. I found this article very useful. Thank you. Personally I do not belive in cheap services and products and I do not like to exploit others by paying them less than they deserve.

  7. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to
    be at the web the simplest thing to be mindful of. I say to you,
    I certainly get irked while other people consider isszues that
    they plainly do not realize about. You managed tto hit the
    nail upon the top as smartly as outlined out the whole thing with no need side effect , other
    people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.

    Thank you

  8. I always want to help everyone who needs my help. I’m learning from Bill, in this and other teachings of his, that I can separate my premium offerings from the free material I offer. People can have access to lots of my teaching for free, but if they wany my premium package, then they need to commit to it as much as I am going to commit to serving them with this special offering.

  9. Thanks for your simple insight and suggestions for this challenging question!

  10. Penny Lighthall says:

    People seldom ask me for a discount, they do not hesitate however to ask me to give away my services for free. To which I reply, that giving away my services does not pay my rent or my plumber, or my lawn maintenance guy. They start to “get it after that comment”. On the rare occasion that someone does ask me for a discount, I ask them how much of a discount are they looking for and then ask them what they have in that value that they can offer me that I might like to have in exchange for the discount. Sometimes I get some pretty cool stuff that way, once I got my Christmas Turkey in exchange for the discount. Sometimes, they just hang up on me and I say, oh well.

  11. debbie ferguson says:

    I totally agree……I am a real estate agent and never put my services on sale. I do give back some of my commission to repeat clients as a thank-you, which builds my referral business. There is a small town in B.C. where in some of the stores you can choose to pay one of 3 price levels, depending on your ability. I always pay the high price because I can afford it…..I always donate when asked and I volunteer in every way I am able, whether it’s time or talent……and I don’t ask for discounts for services. If I like a service I will also refer them, to build their business…….I absolutely know that the more I put forward the less chance people will ask me to discount my services.

    Thanks for the input everyone…

  12. So true…

    When you believe in the value of what you are getting, it is your belief that sets in motion your access to that value.

    It’s funny. I told myself that i would not change my prices last week during my first enrollment consultation. Yet, that’s exactly what I did. This despite that I don’t think we were a good match. I’ll work through that before my next enrollment.
    I know this to be true — when I charge for a single session less than what I know is the fair exchange (I don’t do single sessions anymore because it’s not in my clients best interest), my clients waiver. Also, they don’t tend to come back. My favorite clients are those that come back & pay the full price.

    I’ve come along way since my paid psychic session. I charge 30$. Slowly I started to raise my prices. Each time, I came-up against fears. Fears that my clients would walk away and fears that I would be judged by my appears. I attracted both of these.

    On my very first THeta Healing class, I gave a discount. What I quickly realized is that people who didn’t have any money, but wanted to do it came up with it.One paid me months after the class was over.

    Just me reflecting.. thanks. I’m proud that I’ve come such a long way, and I need to work though a few things. But getting there.

    • Bill Baren says:

      Love your reflections!!! And I love you noticing that fears and discomfort comes up when we stand in the value of a prices AT FIRST… Amen, sister.

  13. Jordan says:

    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone could spare some insight. Discounts I understand. However, as a recent new business start up owner I am unsure how to design my rates for my services or what to charge. I have an event planning company and many people have told me 30% of the budget is what I should pocket. I have no idea….
    Aso, I have a creative, design, and marketing company. This is where I run into the most difficulty. I feel like I constantly work for free. If I am putting together a full marketing strategy for a business what should I be charging? How about if I design their business cards, tri-fold brochures, logos, posters, etc.?

    I come from a very developed experiential marketing background and am transitioning into these new roles….I would truly appreciate some expertise or opinion. Thanks!

    • Deside how much you want and need to make an hour, decide how long you’ll spend on each project, then charge that. Use value-adds like identity packages for say 700-$1000. But it depends on the quality of your work to get that rate, and the quality of your client will rise as your portfolio improves.

      Many clients have budgets. Find out their budget as subtlety as possible to help you bid a job.

      Working for free is for amateurs. A professional takes him or herself seriously and treats the client in the manner they wish to be treated.

      Free, uncompensated effort inspires illwill, stress,

      Professionalism is your ally, for earning respect from higher paying clients. Go for corporate clients if you want less money haggling.

  14. I agree with Bill about believing in the value of your product or service. There is, I feel, a way to satisfy the clients’ need for a discount without eroding the value of the core offering, and it’s not just about what to say at the “negotiating table”. Rather, it takes place ahead of time and has to do with how your offering is presented and structured.

    As a photographer in NYC, I’ve had my fair share of customers asking for discounts. Used to take it quite personally. But, over time, I’ve learned they weren’t questioning me or the product (if they did, we would not have been talking). They simply wanted to make sure the price was real and they weren’t getting a worse deal than the next guy. Bargaining is a part of many cultures, and even in business we’re taught to “never accept the first offer”, etc.

    The five specific things that have worked well for me personally, I’m sharing right now in my blog entry at http://karasevstudio.com/o2/2014/188

  15. Well, easy said. If it comes down to get the business aka money or not, I would say, I’d rather give a discount. I constantly get the ‘no budget’ line and I know it’s an excuse of at least 90% of the people. However, if you’re a small business it’s just better to get a ‘yes’ for $500 instead of a ‘no’ for $1,000.

  16. We have found the best way to stop people from asking for discounts is to stand behind our own service by offering a money back guarantee right up front. We say that we are that confident about what we offer and the results people will get that we want participants of our events/coaching/consultation, etc., to be that confident too. We tell them they have a whole year to decide whether what they’ve learnt from us has been of value. If they have not found it valuable, we invite them to contact us directly and ask for their money back. Since doing this, we no longer have any requests for discounts. And guess what, no one has asked for their money back!

  17. I hope people grasp the brilliance of your giving up haggling with sellers as the starting point to never having to give a discount to a buyer. There is no living is a world where you have one set of rules and everyone else has another. That is the recipe for frustration. Way to drink your own Koolaid!

  18. Hi Bill,
    Thanks! I liked your comments and they got me thinking. Having lived a lot in Asia I am used to haggling, though it is a game there as they start high, expecting you to.
    I am a practitioner and only have given discounts once in the blue moon to people who do a lot of work with me, but I do ask for them myself. So I will now think about that in future, and make sure I am always honoring what the other person is offering.

  19. I sent Bill’s article out to my entire client base asking their opinion. Here is one of the best answers I received although all had interesting and thoughtful views, most were similar in their experience of a more complicated, deeper issue and concern than simply “dissing the request for a discount”. I share it with her permission.

    Hello Christina,

    Re your request for feedback:

    I agree that practitioners should be set fees that they deem appropriate for the services they render and that being a dedicated health practitioner and earning a decent wage should not be mutually exclusive. This being said, a sliding scale policy, allowing lower income folks and those without extended care benefits to avail themselves of non BC Med covered health care – that they otherwise would not be able receive – also seems to me to be in keeping with the ethical economics of a successful healing career.

    If asking about sliding scale discounts is considered to be tacky “haggling”, that to me speaks volumes about the ethical / spiritual maturity of the person making such a judgment. And blithely rigid, black-and-white notions about the correlation between overall health and someone’s financial situation strike me as naively ignorant of the gamut of interactive circumstances that can affect a person’s economic status. Life presents more variety than this, and is not that standardly formulaic.

    Mr. Baren writes: “When I got the discount, I was literally taking $ out of someone else’s pocket and putting it into mine.” He then goes on to equate his no discount policy with becoming “more committed to living a conscious life.”

    Granted, the word “discount” can be seen to be loaded with negative connotations, when discounting is mentally associated with the word’s usage for not considering or valuing; and in relation to this, unexamined egos can so easily lead us to feeling under-appreciated for our worth. However, I would posit that an alternative way of looking at discounted services is to see beyond the strictly personal from one pocket to someone else’s perspective that, in effect, constitutes the other side of the “scarcity, fear and contraction” coin. From my point of view, incorporating remunerative variation is a more holistic and healing perspective – one that confidently embraces the reality of an ultimately greater transcendent abundance. And for me, such holism evoke more credence in a practitioner’s professional expertise.

    All the best,
    Bat-Ami Hensen

  20. Nuances…

    I think under the same circumstances, I would have refused to lower my prices (without this very convincing argument – “œWhose service would you trust more – one that gives you a discount because you asked or one that knows its value
    and will stand firm on their prices? Who would you like to
    stand in your corner?”). I would have probably said something like “I know what my value is”, which is not as strong as your statement, Bill.

    My business is in the Healing field and I have to say that when I offer a “package” of 3 sessions for a slightly reduced price, people tend to buy them rather than taking them individually (it’s a kind of incentive – and I react the same way with the same offer) – I don’t have the feeling I’m lowering my value in that case…

    Thanks for launching this discussion, Bill

  21. Well said Bill…I had a patient try to haggle my fees down recently and I stood firm in my stance. I’ve been in practice 17yrs and run a successful back care clinic. She was a very unhappy woman, wealthy too but did not want to pay the posted fees for treatment. She had one session with me and did not return. I did second guess myself for a moment, but felt good about my stand as I believe she may not have responded to my care as she did not value it in the first place. So thanks for writing this…Everyday we have to put the devil on our shoulder to rest as it will test you till you give in! 🙂

  22. What you share in your newsletter is right for many situations but not all. I developed Life Chi, a radically new form of feng shui and overall life improvement. I’m dedicated to distributing it to everyone who connects with it and is willing to pay an honorable amount so my web site offers discounts to those who are in an economic arena which doesn’t allow them to pay $100. They write in and I intuit what is right. It relies on intuition, but the system works. I suggest, and some, both full price and discount customers, over time send additional donations because the system helps them so much. I honor them. This is the current version of variable pricing, a 13 year process of refinement.

  23. Couldn’t agree more. The last couple of times I was asked to discount my services, which are priced fairly for the service/outcome I deliver, it was such a turn-off. In both instances, the people lived in very high end houses in country club communities. I stood firm and am glad I didn’t give in, but walked away with my head held high. I’ve learned that people who want to take advantage of others are not the type of client I want to work with. Walking away leaves room/space for better opportunities that are a win-win for all concerned. 🙂

  24. Absolutely in agreement. I stopped giving discounts for my services a long time ago. I found people respected my work less if I was willing to back down. I now ask people – would you rather get to work to start feeling better or stand here and haggle with me?


  25. Bill… you hit the mark with this one… great perspective and a great way to present ourselves to our prospective clients/customers, etc. Thanks for lending your insights and support to an issue that seems like a big one for so many of us practitioners out here…

  26. I completely agree! Thanks for putting it into words that are positive and self-valuing.

  27. I love the way you expressed your thoughts on this subject. Thank you

    I have never felt comfortable asking for a discount. In certain places (countries, or resort areas) the prices are raised because a request for a discount is expected. This always bothered me.

    I have been criticized for “not” haggling (or, as some people put it – “negotiating”) — now I am “redeemed.”

    I much prefer to buy “on sale” in stores that have the quality goods I want. I don’t expect people to discount services, anymore than I want to discount mine.

  28. Well said Bill! I totally agree.

  29. Bill, this is a wonderful article that came at a great time. After 20 years of working for myself, I am struggling with transition from one type of service to another. I shouldn’t be surprised at how hard it has been because I have not been as focused as I need to be. I also seem to have under-valued myself, which is something I never did years ago. Thank you for this email, your great work and caring attitude.

  30. Bill,

    I just love the truth in this post. I used to haggle all the time until I realized that I was really taking the means for others to provide for their household. In my business, when I get approached for a discount, I jokingly ask if they would walk into Nordstrom and ask for a discounted price. I have been standing firm on my pricing and the value I bring since I launched my business. It feels like I am in integrity and teaching others to respect the value I bring.

    Thanks for sharing this bit of wisdom.

  31. David says:

    If only the playing field was that level. I agree with Cathy…..no one pays sticker price for a car. Nor do we pay the full asking price on real estate. In some cultures, it would almost be offensive to not haggle And in some industries pricing is expected to be based on a discount structure.I respect your position but find it unrealistic.

  32. Fantastic, Bill. Best thing I’ve ever read or heard on the subject of discounting for clients. I don’t ask for discounts myself, but I do give them way too often. That ends today. Thank you.

  33. I so strongly agree with this, Bill. I make a delicious, healthful food that doesn’t exist anywhere else yet, and I sell to 24 stores. The grocery industry (and their customers) so frequently want sales discounts.

    *** But if I could afford to make it for 30% less, I would make it every day for 30% less.
    *** If I offer occasional sales to the stores, customers learn to “wait for the sale”. (I ran natural food coops for 12 years, saw this beyond a shadow of a doubt.) *** Yet, people love sales.

    Wasn’t it JCPenney that recently got rid of all sales and reduced prices across the board, and had to reinstate them because customers bought so much less without sales? People love those sale flyers.

    Happily, once people taste my food, no one haggles about the price. (for now, til there are a bunch of cheaper knock-offs…)

  34. Wonderful the way you developed your case; beginning with the actual haggling yourself…. and allowing the transition to live and grow inside you. That’s a profound truth, Bill, and a marvelous example. Thanks for the honesty…. and the share! 🙂

  35. Lynn says:

    Bill: What are your thoughts on gifting a special price to clients that are celebrating a special occasion like a birthday?

    • Bill Baren says:

      There is a difference between giving discounts and strategically choosing creating incentives based of whatever criteria you choose – including giving discounts on birthdays.

  36. Bill, Thank you for so precisely putting into words exactly what I know, but had never verbalized. I rarely get asked to discount my services, but when I do, it’s a rather awkward exchange, and I do sometimes knock a tiny bit off, just because it’s easier.

    Now I have a way to respond that respects everyone’s integrity. And this way there won’t be resentment lurking underneath, only to rise to awareness when the patient or client with the discount complains about the expense, or attempts to control the situation in an unhelpful way.

    Ironically, those who ask for the discount are the same people who unconsciously sabotage our work together in one way or another. It’s as if they are merely behaving in a way that is congruous with this unconsciously devaluing of the whole process.

    Wow, thanks Bill for such insightful and helpful words.

    Melanie Wilson, PsyD

  37. One of those “inconvenient truths” again, Bill!

    Totally agree with you and Janet’s comment, that knowing the value we provide and the results people get has to be at top of mind awareness or we start to “dance a bit” when prospects balk at our rates. Standing firm requires a lot of faith and trust that the “right” prospect will come along,

    This highlights the real issue: our own sense of faith and trust in something as abstract as “the nature of things.” One of those 70 people told me recently that my rates are ridiculously low, and I could double them. Alas, my mind was filled with a recent prospect saying she “couldn’t make the financial commitment right now” at my current rates.

    Rather than dancing and discounting, I left her with some questions for herself around investing in herself, reacting to stress with inaction, and letting herself arise when she’s ready. I stood firm, and feel far better about it, and know that when the time is right, she’ll be back.

    simple is not easy,

  38. I loved this email. Thank you Bill. You rock and I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for always sending out such great info and content. I can tell you really care about people.

    • Como ya he comentado, llego por el listado de premios 20blsgo.Será necesario tener niños cerca para entender el mundo de los video juegos ?Saludos Elisa

  39. Great insight, Bill, thanks for sharing.

    One time, I negotiated, and then didn’t land the client anyway. He was focused on what the rate/hour came out at. Now, I’m focusing on building more value into my offerings, so that the hourly rate doesn’t factor in.

  40. Hil says:

    RIGHT ON!!!!! Every point you
    made is absolutely correct
    and I am shifting as we ‘speak’!

    Thank you so very much for
    your words,


  41. Jona says:

    Wealth consciousness at its best! Thank you for this reminder Bill to raise our paradigm and live in a higher vibration. We can attract so much more than money when we choose to recognize our value as well as others! Thank you for this reminder!!!! You rock!

    • Bill Baren says:

      Love that! And yes, wealth consciousness is a choice. Let’s all make it together.

  42. I needed to hear that. thanks so much.
    Blessings, Norma

  43. Cathy says:

    Bill, Do you buy cars and houses at sticker price, too?

    • Cathy – I am a real estate broker and it continues to amuse me that so many people presume there is some “Typical Discount” off the listed price of a property for sale. Perhaps it would come as a surprise to you that, yes, sometimes people pay the “sticker price” on a home and sometimes even above it. It all depends on where the hyper local market is and if the current supply and demand for a given property makes it a more competitive situation. I believe the best way to make an offer on a home you wish to buy is to have your Realtor go through actual market data and analyze how the property you like stacks up to alternatives and recent sales. The saddest part of being in real estate is seeing prospective buyers who refuse to offer current market value and end up losing out to buyers who are willing to pay current market value.

  44. James Stevenson says:


    Please compare and contrast this with the concept of, “incentives” and how they are best applied. Also, where something such as alternate payment plans that pay the same amount that one would charge (or even more, for the additional convenience to the client and inconvenience to the provider). I believe I do see the difference in concepts, but would learn alot from your presentation on the subject.

    Thanks for sharing your Awesomeness!!

    James Stevenson

    • about marriage and the afterlife. Whether you and your spouse are together in this life and next? Or whether you’re with your real soul mate in the next life? Where does it say this?And what about people with more than one wife? And those who have never married? Or are died?cvorThanks.

  45. I’ve been teaching private dance lessons for 32 years. I decided (coming out of the feminist sliding scale mentality of the 70’s) that I would not use a sliding scale but would offer discounts if moved to do so. When one client told me he found a cheaper rate elsewhere, I told him “There are lots of people who charge less than I do. If you can’t afford me, I’d be happy to help you find a less experienced teacher who would be more affordable.” He chose to stay. But when another student who needed to learn a first dance with his fiance asked if I offered a military discount, I said yes. I didn’t support the war, but I do support the people in it, and felt right about giving him a break.

  46. Ellen says:

    Hi Bill: I am always amazed at the power of grace to give you what you need at just the right time. This am i was asked a similar question by a very large client. I spent hours searching the web on how to say gently say no. And…..delivered to my desk came your email today! Thank you!

  47. Hi Bill,

    My friend sent me this article because we were both considering reducing our prices for some clients. What you wrote is so true about the value and the mind set of scarcity and fear.

    It takes just as much work to get a full paying client and it does to get discount clients. I may feel resentful about the discount clients. That would be terrible for the service I provide.

    Another thing I have noticed is that the students I teach for free or trade do not value what I taught them. They stop practicing after a short time. It saddens me when that happens.

    Thank you for the article.

  48. Bill: The timing of this advice couldn’t have been better. I realize that I sometime value the services I pay for more than my own. I never ask for a discount but do dance a bit when someone asks me for one. I know what I have to offer is powerful and life changing – so your wisdom was much appreciated. Thanks.

  49. Bill, I really needed to hear this! Somehow, even though I have heard it before and wouldn’t offend someone by asking for a discount, valuing my product has been difficult. Why? Because I need approval. Today, reading what you said, I had an AHA moment. Some will resonate with me and it will be the person(s) I want to work with because they appreciate what I can offer. Thanks so much!

    • Bill Baren says:

      And remember, you are not your service; you are not your business. And for us to try to get validation people saying YES to our prices can only get us in trouble.

    • Now I feel stdiup. That’s cleared it up for me

  50. This piece couldn’t have come through my in-box at a better time.
    Today is a critical day for me when it comes to doing things in a new way.

    For years I have behaved like an amateur when it comes to my business. I have neglected the ‘boring stuff’ – ignoring my accounts and how it is managed. Inevitably my business has not grown much over the last couple of years, because this one important foundation was in disarray.

    I just had a friend, who is an accountant, help me out with a bit of tax advise here and there. It saved me a lot of money – or so I thought!
    Basically, it meant that neither of us treated my finances as anything more than a hobby. Time slipped away and I ended up missing tax deadlines and having to pay hefty fines.

    But it all changed today. I met ad took on a new accountant. I admit, I slightly balked at the quoted price but then I quickly got over it. It is not the cheapest, but it is not excessive. I chose him because I know he is the right man for the job. In fact I did not base my decision on price at all because there were more important considerations: I want someone who can help me successfully get the results I want in a way that works for me, so I can get on with growing the rest of the business, concentrating on the parts I do best, so that it can grow.

    And of course, I would like to attract clients who feel the same way about me. They come to me, not because I am the cheapest – because I am not, but because I am naturally the right person to help them get the results they want in a way that works for them. And they will happily pay me for it.

  51. So true about discounts Bill. Also, I once heard that to bargain is to bar gain–same energy–someone thinks they win when really, both lose.

  52. Oh, Bill, I so agree with you. Everything comes from our consciousness, emanates from our consciousness. Whether it is in asking for a discount or in discounting another person, it is all the same mindset and intention.

    As I work with couples primarily, I so often see where one partner can clearly justify his/her actions, while making the other partner wrong for the same thing. Life, love and livelihood cannot be separated into compartments. They are all of a piece.

    Thank you for sharing your learning so generously.
    I wish you well.

  53. I love what you write… and this particular one is tricky for me… As a therapist, in the countryside, hard times for some, I’ve been allowing the odd discount… However, there’s someone I’ve been seeing every week for a year and who ‘depends’ on our weekly chat … and I don’t know how to change the agreement of giving her half price…. How do we change an agreement when we are dealing with sensitive issues? or maybe I stick with it and don’t do it in future.
    Thank you.

    • Bill Baren says:

      In order to change the agreement, you actually need to re-enroll the client and it’s no guarantee that you will. I prefer to raise prices to new clients, but not raise prices for existing clients. The perception of value needs to increase in order for someone to want to pay you higher prices and that’s trickier. A increase of 5-10% is usually easy to pull off, but anything greater is more difficult.

    • In your comment you mentioned that you have fallen into a “pretend agreement” by accepted a discounted fee over time. My guess is that each repetition has weakened your willingness to address the matter. If your client asked for CASH today of 50% of you next year fee would you pay it? Assuming you have access to the “old school” physical cheque book then this could open a positive discussion for you both. A constructive and accurate way to express your current reality is to write a cheque from your own personal account of the exact amount you have discount your client so far, half your fee x 52 (discount x times the number of times you have discounted) to show your total discount given. When you have your nest session present your client with the unsigned cheque and simply ask “This is what I have given you last year in fee discounts. Do you think I should sign this cheque for you?” See what discussion results. Perhaps this will allow a new agreement to replace the “pretend agreement” or at least a reality check so you bother see things from a new viewpoint.

  54. Love it! Love it! Love it! Will share it in our newsletter of Nspiration & Nformation.
    After being in media for so many years, I too had developed the mindset of “If its not free, it’s not for me”! (same as a discounted consciousnessness) Society has enabled us with this mindset but it’s up to each of us individually to uplift our thinking beyond lack and limitation. Thank you for the great reminder!
    Stay on purpose,
    Stay empowered,
    Stay tuned to higher learning!

    Shelomith Yisrael
    Producer HLN-TV Show

  55. Vanessa Kaliski says:

    What a great stand! I’m English living in Israel, where the culture is to haggle – and I’ve struggled with it all my life. I’ve always felt uneasy about it, even though I’m told to regard it as a kind of “national sport”. But you’ve hit the nail on the head and helped me to see the wrongs of discount-demanding in sharper perspective. I’ve never been able to see the point of quoting an inflated price to take into account the discount you need to give! It so foreign to English ways! It’s time for us to ask for and pay a fair honest price for mutual respect and appreciation of value. Thanks! Vanessa

  56. Amen to that! Totally agree that if you ask for discounts or look for the cheapest option then your clients will do the same with you.

  57. Yes! That’s brilliant. I’m willing to step up to the plate and practice this.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Love & Light,
    Gianna Rosewood

    Co-Author of the book
    soon to be published

    Are You Still Kisssing Frogs?
    Leap Into Real Solutions to Attract Your Genuinely Committed Relationship.

Speak Your Mind