Budget. A necessary conversation for every new enquiry yet one that can sometimes feel difficult to have. For many, talking about money is a taboo, but that need not be the case.
Altering your perspective away from “awkward interactions” to “invaluable insights” can dramatically affect both your anxiety toward budget discussions and the outcomes of those conversations.
Your clients are willing to talk about money. You just need to prove your trustworthiness first.
Breaking Down Budget
By their inherent nature, the majority of products and services which require budget discussions carry a sizeable price tag.
A barista wouldn’t need to discuss finances with a customer buying a coffee. Purchasing a kitchen however, that’s a significant investment.
Your audience may only buy a new kitchen or bathroom two or three times in their entire life. The figures and costs that are familiar to you may well not be for them.
This presents a major opportunity for you build trust with each and every new enquiry that comes your way.
Rather than scaring away prospects with conversations of cost, orientate monetary discussions around essential requirements or unavoidable restrictions. Establish faith in yourself and your offering by respecting both your own and your customers’ time.
In the same way that you wouldn’t progress an opportunity with a client wanting something you don’t have, you shouldn’t spend time with customers who’s budget doesn’t align with yours.
“If we don’t get a rough idea of budget, we risk wasting time on a design that is out of reach for the customer.”KBB Review
To be able to provide the best service, you need to know every detail. That includes budget.
Dodging The Discussion
For some, the way to handle budget conversations is to dismiss them entirely. Avoiding the topic is not a sustainable solution.
The unwillingness to talk about money creates suspicion which carries over into other aspects of your client facing interactions. The inevitable knock on is a negative impact upon important relationships.
“Delaying this important conversation will drag out the sales process and, ultimately, increase the cost of the sale as more time is invested.”Lilly Ferrick
Therefore, it is important to talk money early and often.
Your prospect will likely have a budget in mind but may withhold the information because they fear your proposal will be designed to consume the full amount.
To avoid this sentiment, you have to build trust.
Avoiding the issue only draws more and more attention to the elephant in the room, creating a rising tension and making the inevitable discussion all the more challenging.
Approaching Budget Conversations
Understanding a client’s budget is the base upon which you build ideas that help them find success. They know your products & services carry an associated cost, having to part with their money is not a surprise to them.
Discussions on budget often feel awkward when value hasn’t been built up.
You haven’t shown your customers why a particular item costs what it does, nor have you shown them why making that investment is worthwhile.
“Budget is the most common reason stronger sales opportunities fall apart.”Hubspot
Clients appreciate honesty. A quality customer experience will put their needs first; budget is no exception to that rule.
Orientating financial discussions around their goals rather than your own financial targets helps to build trust that not only have you provided the best deal, but the best product for their needs.
Asking open questions helps you to uncover the specifics of the desired scope and allows you to build trust through consultation and consistent clarity throughout.
By exploring the opportunity with the client, in line with their specific wants and needs, rather than providing an off the shelf solution; the experience is more collaboration than sales.
It’s all about establishing a feeling that you and the customer are working together to find the right solution. Remove the buyer/seller dynamic and replace it with a more collaborative doctor/patient relationship.
You collectively achieve your mutual goal and the cost is accepted.
By making the project less about yourself, and more about the client, talking about money becomes a breeze.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
June 15th, 2021-