3 Words you should never say at a sales meeting

client meeting

When meeting with a potential client, there are three words we should never use. When we do use these words, we might still book the client, but we can create major problems later on that we didn’t even realize would be an issue.

The three words are:

1. Discount 

This is a dangerous word. The word “discount” tends to come up when we get to the money part of the conversation. People ask for discounts for one reason, the price you are asking them to pay is more than the value that you created for them. (Click here to Tweet this out!) xtweet-graphic-1.png.pagespeed.ic.LNzi5ZIr0x Instead of doing discounts, we need to add value. Value is added by creating a more dynamic client or meeting experience, demonstrating value by selling something MORE than just images (like a great story), or by adding something (like an engagement session) instead of taking something away (reducing your price).


2. No

Unless something is asked that goes against your values, then we should never tell a client no. If a client wants a cardboard cut-out of themselves (yes we have been asked to do this!), then the answer is yes! If they want it, then we will deliver it. Now, of course we won’t do it for free and the client will have to pay for the time and resources it takes to do it, but like I (Zach) learned in my internship years back, MAKE IT HAPPEN!

When we say no to something that a client thinks is important, we can lose their faith in us. We once shot a wedding and the client asked me to take an image in some bad lighting and I said no because the light was better somewhere else. Guess what he kept talking about and remembered about me after that? That I was the photographer that said no.


3. Give

Now giving sounds like a good word, but in the wrong context, it can be a word that if you say it, you will regret it later.  There’s a difference between GIVING and GIFTING.

When we want to offer something to a client as an incentive, the last thing we want to do is “give” it to them, because when you just give things to people, they start to expect it and will more than likely tell their friends, and their friends will expect the same as well.

If instead we “gift” things to people, then we are being generous instead of offering a hand-out. Giving something away for free can quickly sound like a discount, but a gift (like a wedding gift) is something that you offered because you care. Gifts also are not expected when you tell your friends about it and therefore referrals won’t expect the same offer.


Those are the three words to avoid using! We mentioned that “Gift” is a great word to use. Gifting can be so powerful that we have a post on Thursday sharing how using this word will help you close deals when in client meetings.  Stay tuned!