Last week while browsing through Twitter, I noticed a tweet that was asking others’ opinion on whether you should ask your friends for a discount on their products. Around the same time, I got an email from Sucuri, a service that I use for WordPress security, telling me that my subscription needs to be renewed soon. I took out my wallet and paid the full price to renew my subscription for another year.
Both Dre and Tony, co-founders of Sucuri, are good friends of mine. I’m pretty sure that if I sent them an email and asked for a discount, they probably would’ve renewed my subscription free of charge. So why did I pay full price? Is it because I really love the product? Because I do, and I’ve written a post on 5 reasons why I use Sucuri and you should too.
I paid the full price because Tony and Dre are my friends, and they deserve to be paid in full for their awesome product.
Growing up, I was always told if you can get something for cheaper, then get it. Sometimes all you really need to do is ask.
But that principle doesn’t really work in this case. Here’s why you should never ask your friend for a discount.
Friendship is a 2-way street
Friendship is a two-way street, and you can’t expect to just take and take without giving anything in return. Some people need to be reminded of this on a regular basis.
I try my hardest to treat others the way I would like to be treated.
For example: Yes, I know a thing or two about marketing and the web. Now I wouldn’t want you to email me and ask for free consulting on a regular basis. That’s not to say that I don’t like helping my friends, but there comes a time when that gets annoying and may impact the friendship.
Awkward and Uncomfortable
I used to feel uncomfortable when family and/or friend asked me for a discount or free help. It created a really awkward moment because if I say No, then feelings are hurt. If I say yes, then I feel like I’m not using my time efficiently to grow my business.
Some may say well if you’re a true friend, then you do whatever you can to help. If you felt uncomfortable giving a discount or free service, then you are not a good friend.
To that, I would say that friends don’t put friends in awkward/uncomfortable position.
Moral of the story is that I value my friends, and I don’t want to risk the friendship for some silly discount specially when the prices are fair. If you understand that you have to pay a third-party that rate, then why don’t you pay that rate to your friend?
I’m not saying don’t accept discounts from your friends. If they offer you the discount, then take it. If you can work out another fair arrangement, then do that. I’m all for bartering when it makes sense.
If I can work out an arrangement where I’m getting a deal, then I do that. However overtime, I have noticed that strangers give strangers friend discounts, but as you begin to build up the friendship, the discount slowly start decreasing. Mainly because you start to value the friendship more than a discount. Culture is strange isn’t it.
I want to end the article by saying that I help my friends whenever I can. If I have the time and interest, then why not. If I can give you a discount, then I offer it before you even ask.
What are your thoughts on asking friends for a discount? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Photo Credits: z6p6tist6