This is a short excerpt from a business advice that I got from one of our cell group members and director of a team of real estate agents in Singapore. He has been in the trade for more than 10 plus years, and I was curious about serving friends and family members who ask for discounts or discounted services.
His advice was simple and straightforward - don't. Explain briefly and succinctly upfront that you're providing professional services, and it's a service-for-fee contract work, and discounting is not a practice that we embrace because we don't want to compromise quality service. If they insist, it may be best to send them to someone else who best fits their needs, but we don't compromise our standards and values.
Yes, many of those who wants discounts and that they "will refer others" - assuredly, birds of a feather flock together, meaning often they will also refer friends who are told or are similar to them who wants discounted services as well. This will create a downward spiral loop that will just be more messy as long as you allow it to happen.
Bottomline: say no to giving discounts, bring them out for a meal after if they want, but if they insist, refer them to someone else who wants to serve them.