Discounts, deals, and advance access: Keys to increasing sales

Are you shooting all the different kinds of ammunition you have in your sales arsenal?

I’m going to go over what I believe are three of the most important ways to achieve a sale. For the purpose of this article, I want to focus on the initial sale, so I’m going to skip upselling and cross-selling.

As I wrote in the headline, the three topics I want to cover are:

  • Discounts,
  • Deals, and
  • Advance or exclusive access.

But, before I flesh out some details, I want to point out another important reason for using each of these strategies. If you have a system that connects customers to the offers they have accepted, you have another way to segment your list.

For example, you might find some people are extremely receptive to getting advance access to offers and products, while others never bite on these offers. That knowledge gives you the power to better target your sales and marketing communications. Now for some specifics.


Getting a product or service for less than its usual retail price is the most fundamental way to encourage a prospect into making a purchase. However, there are many ways to “package” a discount and understanding which ways work best with your customers is critical knowledge.

Do your customers respond best to a percentage discount, dollar amount reduction, coupons, Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO), or quantity discounts? Take time to uncover the answer to that question so you can determine which one or two are your biggest producers.


A BOGO discount, might be considered a deal, but let me give you the way I like to classify an offer as a “deal.” Every deal in life hinges on the word if – as in If you do this, then I’ll do that. So, sales deals can be things like:

  • If you buy this, then we’ll give you this other thing half off.
  • If you buy now, then we’ll extend our warranty one year.
  • If you upgrade, we’ll give you three extra months for free.
  • If you buy today, we’ll lock in your pricing for as long as you continue your service.

Take some time brainstorming “If” deals; you might come up with some original applications that your competitors haven’t yet considered!

Advance or exclusive access

Being able to obtain products and services before everyone else is a huge motivation to buy. In the same way, being singled out as part of an exclusive group that is being given access to a product or service will often boost sales.

You could give your “best customers” early or exclusive access to a new product or service. Or, you could share some inside information with a “small group” of your customers because you aren’t yet set up to handle the demand that would result if you let everyone in on the offer.

Combinations of these strategies

Why not shoot two barrels at one time? How about an offer like: Get 20 percent off with your preorder! In boxing, the “old one-two” can be a knockout punch; stacking up a couple of these strategies can be very powerful

Important: This article expires in 10 days!

Along with combining two of these strategies, you can add time elements to all of these to boost their power. A ticking clock is always a great way to get someone to act. For some reason, this psychology is heightened in today’s environment. We’ve even given it a special acronym: FOMO (fear of missing out).

You can make a big deal out of putting a time limit on your offer, as in TWO DAYS ONLY! Or you can downplay it a little; sometimes I think I’m going to lose my eyesight straining to read the expiration date on coupons.

I’m confident you’ll find it well worth your time to experiment so you can optimize your offerings. If you find one or two that perform even 5-10 percent better than the others, it can make a big difference in your profits over time.