So I walk into an Apple Store looking only to buy a laptop. R92k later, I am still here … And they strictly DONT do discounts.

Some quick entrepreneurial lessons from Apple:

1. Price is the conversation people have in the absence of value: If you’re negotiating on price, the customer doesn’t understand your value. The best way to influence this is to drive a cult-like following of your goods and services, or simply out-market your competition through PR. Paid for advertising won’t do the trick. Its about getting the market and the consumers talking about & excited about your offering.

2. Build an amazing store experience: So my wife and I recently visited the Lush store in Cape Town. I am a huge fan of Lush. I first visited their London store and have been hooked ever since. Sometimes I walk in and sit there and smell the aromas just for kicks. You walk intending to spend nothing, you walk out broke. If you’re in a retail or store environment build an amazing ambience and customers will spend the money. But you must first invest in the store experience.

We use Lush products for our office and have received all manners of compliments from clients about how “lovely” our office is smells. That adds to ambience of the trading space. I would even say, Lush is our unknown sales trick.

3. Know you’re value: So I ask for a price ( I grew in retail & wholesale trade – and happened to have trained in finance. I am serious miser). My training in business says you always ask for a discount, then fight for it, then beg, then threaten to leave … until you get it. I went through all those stages and all I got was a 2% discount in store that probably makes 50% – 80% GP. The managers says, “Sir, our policy is strictly no Discounts but because of how much you spent with us over the past year, I will give you my maximum … 2%! I felt I had won the lotto.
In truth, I was shafted. They gave me nothing and made it feel like they had changed my world.

I was so stoked to have negotiated the discount, I walked out proud and poorer.

Lesson: build an amazing store experience, invest in your staff and build the brand & the price you charge simply won’t matter.

Hope this advice helps in your entrepreneurial journey.

Vusi Thembekwayo
Dragon. Speaker. Private Equity CEO