It’s no secret that some customers are just cheap.
As a business owner, you are likely to come across customers who try to take advantage of you by asking for discounts on everything. And they’ll keep haggling with you until they get the best possible price.
It can be difficult to say no, especially if you’re just starting out and are trying to attract as many customers as possible.
But it is important to remember that you need to make a profit (and protect your brand image) in order to stay in business. Also, you shouldn’t let yourself be taken advantage of.
In this article, we will review tactics that will show you how to deal with cheap customers without losing money.
Understanding the “cheap” customer
It can be frustrating to provide a valuable service and still have some customers who try to squeeze every dime out of you. They ask for discounts, or they try to get more for their money. However, there is a reason why these people behave in this way, and it has to do with their psychology.
People who are always looking for a good deal may be doing so because, whether true or not, they feel like they can’t afford to spend money. They may have had negative experiences with making purchases in the past, or they may not have a lot of money to begin with. This means that you need to approach these customers differently than other customers.
First, you need to make sure that you are not inadvertently insulting them, being condescending, or making them feel like they are doing something wrong. It’s important to be polite and understanding, even though sometimes this is difficult.
You may also want to consider giving them a discount. Sometimes, a small discount is enough to satisfy their hunger and make them feel that they got a better deal. This will show them that you appreciate their business, and it may make them more likely to spend more money in the future.
Regardless of the psychology, these customers are right there in front of you asking for a discount and you need to do something about it.
Let’s see what’s possible.
How to Deal with Cheap Customers:
5 tactics that work!
Here are the 5 best ways you can deal with cheap customers while still protecting your bottom line:
- Offer them a discount for paying in cash
- Set a minimum purchase amount
- Focus on the value they get
- Charge more for delivery or shipping
- Refuse to work with them
Let’s go deep and understand each of these.
1. Offer them a discount for paying in cash
Remember, that cheap customers just want a discount and even a small discount can be enough.
But there are two things you want to avoid:
- First, you want to avoid giving the impression that you are giving a discount just because they asked for it. Otherwise, they will ask for discounts each time.
- And second, you want to give a discount without losing money.
Now, from an accounting point of view, it won’t matter whether you get paid in cash or with a credit card. You will still show this money as revenue. But the cheap customer may get the impression that you have agreed to the discount in exchange for something else – a cash payment. They will feel that they successfully negotiated with you. This is important for their psychology. So, ask for cash payment in return for a discount.
But how much should you discount?
Think of how much you would pay in credit card processing fees in case the customer would have paid in full with a credit card. Let’s say that the credit card processing fee would have been 3%. Well, then offer a 3% discount in exchange for payment in cash.
This will make them feel like they are getting a good deal, and it will satisfy their need for a bargain.
Of course, such an approach can only work for small sums as there is a limit to how much you can accept as cash.
When it comes to dealing with cheap customers, it’s important to remember that you can’t change who they are. However, you can take steps to ensure that they are satisfied and don’t cause problems for your business.
2. Set a minimum purchase amount
Set a minimum purchase amount to weed out cheap customers. Sometimes, you have to put your foot down and establish some ground rules in order to protect your business.
One way to do this is by setting a minimum purchase amount – anything below this threshold is not worth your time. This will help discourage bargain-hunters from wasting your time (and money) and allow you to focus on customers who are more likely to be profitable.
You could consider offering a small discount but only if the customer spends more than the set minimum purchase amount.
3. Focus on the value they get
Another way to deal with cheap customers is to provide them with a sense of what they’re getting for their money. Let them know why your time and services are valuable, and make sure they understand the consequences of not spending enough.
Show them the return on investment they will get from hiring you or buying from you. The return on investment could be in the form of cost savings or growth in revenue or the value of the problem that you are solving.
If you are providing services, one way to charge for services is to propose a pricing model based on success. Cheap customers wouldn’t mind paying you using the money they earn or save because of your advice.
4. Charge more for delivery or shipping
There will be times when you will not want to lose a cheap customer and the only way to retain them will be to given-in to their demand and give them a discount. But as we saw in Point #1, you want to give a discount without losing money.
It hurts to give discounts to cheap customers, but there are ways to offset the cost. One way is to charge more for delivery or shipping. This will help cover the additional costs associated with fulfilling the discounted order.
You’ll be surprised how many cheap customers will not even look at the shipping costs as long as they get a discount on the product.
Remember, their psychology. They are interested in squeezing you and getting a discount from you. So as long as you lower the cost of your product or service, they will buy from you. As far as they are concerned, shipping costs are paid to the Postal Service or to FedEx or some other shipping company. They are not interested in negotiating that cost.
But you can always charge a margin on top of your actual shipping costs and make up for the discount.
5. Refuse to work with them
Another way to deal with cheap customers is to simply refuse to do business with them. There is nothing wrong with refusing to work with a customer who is trying to get you to lower your rates. In fact, it’s an acceptable option.
For instance, one of the ways businesses maximize profits is by segmenting their markets based on price. You could do the same and just say No to cheap customers.
By setting your prices and sticking to them, you are telling the customer that you are worth what you’re asking for and that they need to respect that. If they can’t afford your services, then they can go elsewhere.
Remember, you are in business to make money, not to lose it by working with people who don’t appreciate your time or services. So, stand up for yourself and refuse to work with cheap customers if that’s what you want. It can be worth it in the long run.
Cheap customers are an inescapable reality of business. And as a business owner, you will always have to deal with them. And it isn’t always as easy as just saying No. Sometimes you need to find a way to work with cheap customers because it is in your long-term strategic interest in doing so.
There are time-tested, proven tactics that work in handling cheap customers. We’ve reviewed some of them in this article.
But, ultimately, it’s important to remember that you run your business and you can choose who to work with. If a customer is being difficult or unprofitable, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other people out there who will appreciate what you have to offer.
Whatever approach you take, it’s important to be clear about your policies and how they will impact the customer. This way, there won’t be any confusion or surprises down the road. And remember, it’s always better to lose a cheap customer than it is to lose a valuable one.