Qualifying for Budget

Nowadays, there seems to be a raging debate about when – and even whether or not – to qualify for budget. The new thinking seems be driven by the fear that “until we give the value of what we’re offering (meaning the demo), it’s too soon to talk money. Prospects will just say they can’t afford it.”

Given this thinking, companies are stressing just setting an appointment with anyone who will listen, and then relying on the presentation being so strong that anyone with half a brain would jump all over it and buy.

Well, if you’ve ever tried setting demos and appointments that way and then calling these “prospects” back to close them, then you know how that goes….

Not properly qualifying – up front – on the six basic qualifiers (buying motive, potential objections, decision makers, timeframe/decision process, competition, and budget) means that you’re just hoping and praying when it comes to the closing presentation.

And I can tell you from personal experience, that’s an exhausting and highly ineffective way of running your sales career or company.

So here are some scripted ways you can qualify for budget up front – without the fear of having your prospect turn you down before you get to tell them how great your product or service is:

On the prospecting call:

Option One:

“_________, I’ve got you down for a brief demo of this on (confirm day and time). Now, as you can imagine, if you like this there are various ways you can engage with us – and at different price points.

So let me ask you: If, after we go through everything, you think this can seriously help you (or drive customers/revenue to your business), would you be in a position to make a monthly investment in your business of between $200 to $400 – again, if you believed it would help you?”

Option Two:

“Well _________ obviously, there are several ways for you to participate in this if you like it, so let me ask you: if, after our presentation next week, you really like what you see and think it can drive the revenue you’re looking for – would you be able to allocate $X amount towards it?”

Option Three:

“And ________ I know you haven’t seen this yet, but if after you do you think this can be a benefit for you, could you make the budget available to get involved for just $X?”

Option Four:

“________, most of our new clients who decide to put this to work for them usually start with an initial investment of between ($X and $Y). Again, if you think this solution would work for you, where would you be along those lines?”

Option Five:

“And _________, after we go through the demo on this and you decide it’s something you’d like to take advantage of, we have three packages: Our Starter Kit for $X; our Professional Package for $Y; and our Elite Deluxe Package for $Z. Where would you see yourself, again, providing you like what you see?”

As you can tell, there are various ways of qualifying for budget, but they all have one thing in common: They qualify your prospect for budget! And you should, too. Don’t fall into the trap of “spraying and praying” as one of my companies put it.

Make it a point of thoroughly qualifying your prospects and only spending time with buyers who are able – and likely – to make the decision to do business with you…