Understanding the financial details relative to the sale is critical. The following pieces of information are an important part of the qualifying puzzle:
- The financial impact of the pain on the company and the prospect.
- What the prospect is willing to invest to eliminate the pain.
- The financial resources available (budget) to address the pain.
This area is critically important in a complex sale where you are selling expensive solutions. By doing a complete diagnosis and determining the cost of the pain, you are able to start building value for your eventual solution.
Here are a few good questions to ask:
- “Do you have a budget to take care of the problem? What would it be, approximately?”
- “What kind of resources has the company committed to fix the problem?”
- “Can you put a finger on what the problem is costing you? Is that a lot of money for your company?”
- “I suspect, based what you’ve told me and what we’ve for done for others, that you’re looking at somewhere between $_______ and $_______ to fix it. Is that kind of investment reasonable for you?”
- “If it cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $______, would you be willing to make that kind of investment?”
- “If you came to believe we could fix it and it would cost somewhere in the $ ________ range, would that kind of money be available?”
As a general rule both you and your prospect should be on the same page with respect to the problem’s approximate financial impact and how much your solution might cost before you agree to make a formal presentation. There should not be any surprises regarding what the prospect might need to invest when you present your solutions.
- Budget must be addressed after the pain is uncovered, not before, since premature budget discussions tend to cause the prospect to focus on the expenditure and not the problem itself. A premature discussion of money in a complex sale will create early price resistance.
- The prospect needs to convince you he would be willing to spend the money if he had the conviction your solution would work.
- If the prospect’s budget is inadequate or if he’s unwilling to make the necessary investment, you don’t have a very good prospect. Why go any further if you can’t be paid adequately for your solutions.
Self-Study Assignment: Make a list of the most critical things (besides the above) you need to find out from your prospects in the financial area and turn them into questions. Add whatever questions above are appropriate for qualifying for money and add them to the recording you made on the pain conversation. Then commit them to memory.