My career was that of a professional negotiator and I often ask for discounts. I come by it naturally as my mother was raised in a very poor farming family with 13 children. She is the Queen of haggling and I was raised with two things drilled into my head 1) “It never hurts to ask.” and 2) “It’s hard to save $100, but it’s easy to save $1 a hundred times.” I’m happy if I get a discount and if not, I don’t get bent out of shape.
I don’t take any request for a discount as a personal affront. For me, it’s often the way in which people ask. If someone tells me my rate is higher than my competitors, I politely tell them to book with the other home. I usually give a $5 nightly discount and people are very happy.
I had a group of 5 young women farmers who stayed with me one night during a quiet period last January. It’s the only time they could get away from the kids/farm work. They asked for a discount to fit into their tight budget and I provided it, along w/ an early check in and late check out. I’ve gotten three great referrals from those ladies - all at my full rate.
Only one time have I had someone ask for a discount that was outrageous. I referred them to the local Best Western. If I can’t discount the requested rate I offer an early check-in/late check-out. I’ve also offered an adjacent additional night at a deep discount.
In my experience this has garnered goodwill, repeat guests and referrals.
If you don’t want to offer discounts, then I would suggest developing a template email response stating that you don’t provide discounts and if they want to book at your advertised rate, then proceed. Otherwise, best of luck finding a more suitable home within your budget and enjoy your stay in My Town. No need to further engage.