Build Budget With Your Client

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Build Budget With Your Client

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One of the toughest parts of any sale is when a prospect asks, “So, what will this cost?”

Turns out, if we hear this question, we’ve been focusing more on selling than serving.

The best salespeople work with prospects from the first conversation to understand the problems their prospects face and what they’re costing. They even work to understand how their prospects allocate funds in their lives and businesses – and only then do they attempt to justify the cost of what they’re selling as a solution.

It’s a different way of seeing sales, and to understand how to build it into every one of our conversations, we sat down with Tyler Watkins, senior regional sales manager with Spirent and former intelligence officer with the US Marine Corps. He showed us how he trains his salespeople to constructively build out budgets with their prospects, increasing the chances of closing and decreasing their sales cycle!

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T-Trigger: The trigger for this system is pulled during that essential initial conversation with the prospective client. This is a preemptive strike to prevent scenarios where prospects give a Volkswagen budget while wanting a Ferrari. To prevent this, Tyler recommends outlining the questions you’ll need to answer about them, their organization, and their desired solutions so that you can work alongside them to formulate a budget for what you’re selling.

If your prospects are in a business that allocates budgets for expenditures that can’t be modified, then Tyler recommends learning when those budgets are formulated so that you can be at the planning session; the earlier, the better.

R-Repeatable: To make this system repeatable, Tyler says to ask the following questions:

Has budget been allocated for this expense already? If not, who needs to be involved to approve the additional expense?

Has this expense already been approved? If your prospect’s job is simply to choose an option, that’s great to know. If their role is to explore options, expenses, and submit recommendations, you’ll want to know that earlier rather than later.

Define, with the prospect, what info they’ll need and are gathering to make a decision. Advise them on things they may have left out of their decision-making process that position you above your competitors.

Most importantly, take the time to learn what the prospect is trying to accomplish in their role and with their organization, as it will help you frame and justify the budget for whatever you’re selling as an investment, instead of simply an expense.

I-Improvable: To improve this system, Tyler says to improve your knowledge of every account in your pipeline, specifically around each company’s budgeting and acquisition process. If you don’t already have it captured in your CRM, learning the information can be a reason to reach back out to prospects.

M-Measurable: To measure the effectiveness of a sales system that allows you to facilitate the budgeting process with your clients, Tyler says to measure the difference in initial opportunity value against the value the deal closes at. This difference will show you if you are accurately discovering challenges, learning the budgeting and acquisition process for each client, and cooperatively building out a case for the budget of what you’re selling.

Working with your prospects’ budgets instead of against them will work wonders for your pipeline!

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