This question has to be one of the most annoying questions ever asked during a sales inquiry and gives off a very negative impression of the person asking the question. Most consumers will shut down at the uttering of this question. So, what is a salesperson to ask to find out if the consumer can afford their service or product?
What is your initial reaction?
I can tell you when I make an inquiry on a product/service and a salesperson contacts me and asks: “What’s my budget?” I have immediate feelings of distrust and usually back out of the inquiries.
My first thought is if I tell them how much I budgeted the salesperson will nearly always come up with a proposal taking it all of it..of just a tad bit more. Very seldom does a sales person every proposal a solution that goes well under the budget.
However, looking from the salesperson’s point of view, they need to know if I am going to afford their service before everyone spends a lot of time for nothing..so..they need to ask some type of qualifying question.
Sales Point of View
Naturally, making sure your a prospective client can afford the solution to their problem is part of the qualifying process. But, as with all things in sales, how the question is asked often makes the difference between winning and losing a sale.
I’ve found from the salesperson side of the conversation the best solution is for them to first fully understand what the prospect is trying to accomplish and why. Once the salesperson has all of that information, they should be able to offer a “price range” and see if that would be in the consumer’s budget.
So how can a salesperson ask a better question?
What To Say?
For the salesperson, here is an example of one way to keep from turning a prospect away.
“Mr. (fill in name), just so I understand, you’re looking for something that will do (fill in word),(fill in word) and (fill in word) in order to (solution), is that correct? (If, Yes continue, then say)
Typically our product / service runs between ($000) and ($0000). Once you learn about our (solution) and if you like what we have to offer and you decide you want to move forward with it, is that within your price range?”
So now that there is a clear understanding the salesperson is in a better position to at least offer a range that is doable for for the client.
Just remember, you should ask this question before starting your presentation so if there is a pull back you will not hear “We don’t have the budget for that”.
Consumer Point of View
Since you are also a consumer, you will at some point be asked by a salesperson the clarity question.
It is best to have a clear answer or the discussion about the Budget will keep going. Allowing the salesperson to clearly understand the problem and you are looking for is a fair way to getting to a good deal. So, be ready to answer the question.
What to Say?
You may try this.
Thanks, that does meet my business’ need but I’m not able to afford your service/product at this time.
Or, Thanks, that does sound like what I am looking for, how do we proceed.
Making a decision and moving on works for both sides of the sale. There is no need for either the salesperson to keep hammering on the sale or for the consumer to keep pushing for a better deal once the range of costs is determined to be unaffordable.
Qualifying a prospect client is important since assuming a consumer can..or cannot…afford the service/product can waste a lot of time.
So, to keep from losing a sale or getting a bad impression of a salesperson..the sales person needs to ask a better question and the consumer needs to be ready to answer better questions.
Bet thing to do is to avoid asking the ..”What;s Your budget?”..question. It shows a lack of concern on the salesperson’s part and certainly will kill a deal. So, avoid this qualifying question.
Let me know how I can help.