Caution: This is not an assault on those who use a price drop as an incentive to close. The issue is “The Big Drop.”

This practice dates back to the late '40s and early '50s when — in an effort to sell roofing, siding, and storm windows — sellers would offer a discount, maybe 10% of the quoted retail price, to get the order. Back then, the average roof sold for $350 to $500; siding for $1,200 to $2,000. Accordingly, the discounts used were believable and represented a reasonable incentive.

TODAY'S CONSUMER By today's standards, selling the $30,000 sun-room or basement, the $15,000 siding job, or the $10,000 window replacement — with multiple discounts ranging from $3,000 to $8,000 and up — starts to resemble how cars are sold: The quoted price has little or no credibility.

If you are a proponent of this selling style, you need only review the manner in which you get rescission. For most canceled sales, price is the reason. Consider the number of people you don't close because the abundant discounts don't seem credible.

REAL VALUE When the list price is validated and customers see value in the product versus just the price, the incentive offered has reliability. Often salespeople rely on “the big drop” to get the sale because value wasn't sold. If you offer a bonus or discount as an incentive in your advertising, this price reduction is dealt with soon after you quote the list price. The net sales price is then validated by the prospect. Then the “buy-tonight discount” — from 3% to 5% — makes sense.

This is a call for companies to review how they make their presentations and how they establish product value. Once “the big drop” is replaced with an initial presentation incentive, closes will increase and rescissions will diminish. —Dave Yoho is president of the oldest, largest home improvement consulting company. Go to and click on the SST — Super Sales Training — logo to learn how your company can improve effectiveness and increase earnings; or call 703.591.2490.