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How To Conquer The Fear Of Asking The Dreaded Budget Question


Inquiring about budget can be one of the most difficult subjects when it comes to qualifying a prospect. Many feel that they don’t like talking about their financial situations with strangers, so why should prospects want to talk about theirs with them? While this is a valid point, I feel there are ways to ask questions in a non-intrusive way to get these prospects talking.  It’s extremely difficult to get a specific dollar amount from a prospect when it is the first conversation you are having with them, but even if you can’t get an exact dollar amount, you still have the ability to paint a clear picture surrounding the budget process at the companies you are calling into.

So how do you go about uncovering such sensitive information from your potential buyers? The most important factor is to establish trust with your prospects, and often times this can be on your very first call with them. Before even reaching the budgeting questions, you should have a very detailed conversation with them to uncover their pains and needs – and mostly importantly, the compelling event that is enticing your client to review your products/services. Establish trust by not running through a series of questions that sounds like a survey, but instead, have a business conversation. By the time you reach the budget qualification, your prospects will trust you enough to open up about the funds they have available.

After establishing trust with your prospect,  tie in budget questions that are going to get them talking and not just answer “yes” or “no.” You will find the most success by asking lead in questions like “When purchasing a technology, what is the budget process at your organization usually like?” After they answer this question, try following up with “Have you already allocated funds for this project to address your need to XYZ?” If the answer is no, a great follow up question to use is, “If you came across a solution that could address your need to XYZ, could funds be reallocated?”

As the conversation continues, and you have established more trust and rapport, then it is more appropriate to ask questions like,” Is there a price range you are trying to stay within when making your purchase?”  This question might even entice the prospect to start asking about pricing, which is when you know you have had a successful call and are going to close for the lead – and that your sales rep is going to be excited to see this qualified opportunity come across their email.

Asking prospects about budget can be quite challenging – especially when it is over the phone and might even be the first time you have ever spoken with them. By avoiding survey type questions and establishing a feeling of trust, you will be surprised at how easy it can be to get them talking. How do you train your reps to conquer the dreaded budget qualification questions?

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About the Author   |   Laney Dowling

Laney Dowling is the Director of Customer Success at AG Salesworks. Laney's responsibilities include managing daily client engagements, inside sales team oversight, reporting, training, and ongoing contact list development and refinement. To read more of Laney's articles, click here.

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