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ARE BUYERS TELLING YOU THEY “DON’T HAVE THE BUDGET” TO BUY FROM YOU?

By Peter Heredia Managing Director

Peter has been involved with sales for over 2 decades, dealing with multiple industries and diverse sales team cultures. He knows how to get the best out of any sales team and has the experience and results to back it up.

SALES_TIPS

 

As salespeople we often hear – “Can you do something with the price, your offer’s not within my budget?” but how often is this the truth?

Here is a sales tip for you:

I can tell you that when Buyers attend procurement training, this is the first objection they are taught to bring up. The reason being is that it puts pressure on some of the best salespeople to drop prices without saying an outright no.

Why This is Important to Salespeople:

“Overcoming objections” is probably the most important skill that a salesperson needs. Lacking the budget for your offer is just one common objection but let’s not get stuck on it, there are many others that are used and being prepared to address the most common ones is the key to success. The sales person needs to be confident when handling these situations as often the buyer sees the value in their offer but is simply trying to get a better deal. If they already see the value then nipping the objection in the bud means that you are far less likely to have to reduce your price.

Try and imagine that you have just completed a meeting with two business owners and you have done a good job demonstrating the value of your offer. Once you leave they have a discussion something like this – “the solution that he presented was perfect for us” and the other in turn says, “I agree, we need to go ahead”.  At your follow-up meeting with them, do you think this is what they will tell you? … NO, it’s not. I’m sure they will tell you “we like your proposal but don’t have the budget for it…. can you reduce your price?”

True Story:

I’m so passionate about this that I want to give you a real example from my own experience.

A couple of years ago I got a similar response from a client via email one day telling me that my offer was not within their budget and that they only had 60% of the proposed investment in their plans. I looked at it and thought about the comment long and hard. It seemed obvious that they wanted me to come down by 20%, meeting them in the middle – a simple rate reduction. However, I was also sure they would pay the full amount as they needed what I was offering and I was convinced it was a good and fairly priced deal.

To test my theory that they were just looking for a price reduction, I wrote them a very nice email back, stating that I too wanted to work with them and that I had the following 3 options for them

  1. I can remove some of the content of the program and come in at their desired price. I did not offer to remove the cheapest or most expensive, I removed what was of most value to them.
  2. They did not state what budget for a certain period, so I offered them a month’s credit if it was related to this month’s budget.
  3. I offered to take 90% off an additional module (the smallest module I offer) if they kept the deal as it was. It was an amazing offer but there was a reason behind it.

Surprise, Surprise! They came back two days later and accepted my third offer. Now many of you may say that I’m mad giving a 90% discount, however, I achieved my goal in having them accept a price that was higher than they said they could not afford. Also, of course, the discount for the additional work was far less than the 40% reduction they had been pushing for.

After this live case study, I’m more passionate than ever that “not within my budget” is a myth 9 times out of 10.

Conclusion:

I can talk so much about negotiation and how to overcome objections. There are many hints and tips out there, however, as salespeople, the number one rule is to be confident in your offer and stand firm in negotiations. You should consider what are the most regular objections and prepare for how to overcome ALL of them. Here is the main reason why…

You sell something for $100 and you are working at a net margin of 20%, so your cost is $80. The customer wants a discount and the salesperson offers to take off 10%. Not a lot, just a small 10, so the price comes down to $90, and the cost comes down to … wait a minute, the cost stays the same. Now instead of a $20 profit, it is down to $10, a loss of 50% in profit.

And if I’m right and 90% of the time “it’s not within my budget” is just a negotiating ploy, then think how much profit you could be losing!!!!!!

Final Thought:

There is a hazy exception to this rule of not discounting in many emerging markets whereby salespeople discount for relationship purposes but have built in a buffer in the original price. This is fine, but make sure you have a target you will not go below.