Everyone wants a discount. Everyone wants a deal. They bombard you daily. Can you match this price? Can you give us this break?
You're tired of saying no. Me, too.
What if instead you started saying Yes?
Yes, I can do that. Yes, I can offer that. Yes, I can do something.
What would it take to say yes? Higher prices and margins? Support from your vendors? Lower expenses? Guts?
There are certain aspects of retail that lend themselves perfectly to saying yes. Food service is one. If you sell food, whether a sit-down restaurant in a fancy part of downtown or an ice cream stand on the boardwalk, you should set your prices high enough that you can say yes all day long to whatever gets asked.
Don't advertise that you say Yes. Just do it. Say Yes out of the generosity of your heart. You'll feel better (Yes always feels better than No). Your customers will feel better. They'll start telling everyone else about your generosity. New customers will flock to see you because of that generosity.
When you say Yes more than you say No you'll get more customers. Period.
Those of you selling non-consumable goods are tuning out. Stay with me. There is something you can do, too.
Generosity is contagious. You will be surprised what you can give when you start looking to give. Can you give free delivery? Free giftwrapping? Free extended warranty? Free balloons with your logo on it? Free assembly? Free tune-ups? Free shoe laces? Free yard stick? Free gift with purchase? Free information? Free instructions? Free tips? All of that should be built into your business from day one.
When someone asks for something, rather than tell them No, tell them what you can do. Say Yes. It feels better.
(Once again, though, don't advertise it. Just do it. Give, give, give, and let your customers advertise your generosity for you.)
PS Yeah, you might be thinking that you can't raise your prices enough to cover any generosity. I'm telling you that you can. The formula is in my first Freebie, the one that launched Phil's Forum Publishing LLC, and it is still as relevant and effective today as it was the day I wrote it. If you aren't using my Pricing for Profit tips, you're leaving money on the table and not giving yourself enough room to say Yes.
PPS Notice I did not say "match prices". You don't have to match prices to give generously. There are other valuable services you can offer. In fact, you don't have to give away anything. But if your current strategy isn't working or you are feeling beat up by the requests, this is another way to go. If you're in food service, this is one of the best ways to go.