Salespeople, please… on no account… ask the X-rated “selling” question that is guaranteed to KILL a sale!
“What’s your budget for this?”
You might as well ask: Will you open your wallet and show me how much money you have so I can take it off you? It’s the most blatant and destructive selling question because:
- It sends people a signal that the salesperson is now manoeuvring them towards The Close. But before The Close, the salesperson wants to be sure the prospect can afford the product/service on offer, that they’re not a time waster. The salesperson thinks this is a shrewd, subtle and clever move because that’s what they’ve been trained, taught and told to do. But the manoeuvre is so obvious, so blatant and so threatening that the salesperson might as well have bells, sirens and big flashy signs saying: “Here comes the sell, give me your money!”
- People feel threatened because they recognise that the salesperson is trying to move them towards The Close.
- It seems like what the salesperson is really saying is: “If you tell me how much money you’ve got, I can clean you out of every penny”.
- People worry that… if they reveal their budget… they’ll show that they may not be able to afford it, after all. And no-one wants that!
So, why don’t we enlist the help of seasoned sales professionals at this point. Let’s ask: In your experience, how readily or reluctantly do people disclose their budget limits? How can salespeople be sure that people are being honest if they do? Aren’t people likely to lie? Won’t they EITHER exaggerate what they can afford because they don’t want to be thought as not being able to afford it OR they falsely understate what they can afford in hopes of wringing a better deal?
Asking people how much they can afford is rude, intrusive, and extremely personal. It’s not something that people talk about – especially with strangers! It ruins any rapport that’s been built up by the salesperson to that point.
*More at http://www.philipgwynne.co.uk/sales/
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