During a sales call, after I ask the prospect general questions and when I move on to qualifying the prospect, how do I respond when they don't qualify.
The main qualification is if they have a budget for my services. How do I respond if they tell me they have no budget or if they say a number that's too small?
I don't want to be rude to them especially if its me that contacted them.
Refer the guy to the best other option.
This will pay later for them, for the referred party, AND for you.
As a serious business owner, you problably know of some complementary products, partners, and even competitors.
There's no shame in saying "OK, I might not be able to do that for you then, but you might be interested in XXX instead because YYY":
This customer will be satisfied and probably refer people to you, or return to you when conditions change:
Thanks for the reply Sylvain. Yeah, i get what you're saying.
Lets say during the sales call, I haven't brought up price yet, because I usually don't bring up price until much much later, but from the wording the prospect uses, I can guess that the prospect doesnt have the money to pay.
So at that point, to save each other from wasting time, do I abruptly ask "can I ask you what your budget is?"
If you fear wasting time on a budget that can't match, from the more to less abrupt:
So what can happen then?
As for myself, if that's a first-contact or so, I usually either arrange a meeting or a do "broad scan".
I live and do business in Paris, France, where most meetings will take at most 30mn to an hour of transportation, so a failed opportunity will only be half a day (phone, transportation, 1 to 3h meeting).
Wow, that was (probably too) long.
Hope it helps, see you :)
Sam DeCesare and I continue to have smart exchanges over email. He's kindly allowed me to share another set of his thoughts -
On an unrelated note, I just realized that you wrote the Defecting by Accident article. I've noticed the same behavior among technical people. It's interesting that someone will accept that to get a computer to do what you want you have to tell it things in a very specific way, but won't accept that you have to do the same thing with people. I'm sure they wish that they didn't have to tell the computer things in an obtuse language, but they don't refuse to learn how to program because of it. Computers just are that way, there's nothing to do but deal with it. People are the same; we're just wired to respond positively to sincere praise and kindness and respond poorly to insult and criticism. I suspect the problem is that we tend to blame and condemn people when they do things we don't like, and the purpose of blame is to make yourself feel better and absolve yourself of responsibility. If it's other people's fault that they don't respond to your frank style, then they need to change, not you. As it happens though, blame is completely unproductive, no one's ever gotten people to change by blaming them. So the frank and direct person never makes any progress with people.
Really, that whole excerpt is brilliant, and I'd recommend you re-read it thoroughly if you're skimming. This was the biggest insight for me -
"It's interesting that someone will accept that to get a computer to do what you want you have to tell it things in a very specific way, but won't accept that you have to do the same thing with people. I'm sure they wish that they didn't have to tell the computer things in an obtuse language, but they don't refuse to learn how to program because of it."
Sam and I previously had a little discussion on the topic of, "How much do people make their own decisions?"
Sure, you haven’t done it before have you? You’ve never set up an appointment with a colleague, client, or prospect and used the abbreviation F/U on it. Well, I guess I am the only one who will be honest here and I will tell you, I have done it more times than I care to think about. There’s a greater lesson to learn from this however.
I place a lot of value on those who do what they say they are going to do. Over the years, I have had numerous occasions where I had to meet a particular deadline and had to wait on someone else to complete their portion before I could finish mine. Most of the time, I would be promised the report or project piece would be completed at 9 am only to receive their work at 2 pm with a 3 pm deadline for me to complete my portion and get it in. Nothing spins me off into a nuclear come apart as these people do. So, as a consequence, I have become huge fans of individuals and companies who follow up when they say they are going to follow up.
Recently, my wife and I moved cities and began taste testing churches. You know the routine, you have to try to find something similar to what you were used to, but without all of the stuff you couldn’t stand about the other church. I digress. It never fails that at some point in the service, someone will stand up and ask that you complete a little card to let them know you were there and so someone can reach out to you. Here’s the kicker. You give them all of the information and then what happens? Well, let’s go over three techniques used and how they can impact your business decisions.
Quick, but general email. Ok, I get it, email is great and convenient and well, impersonal. Although it’s unobtrusive, if you are truly trying to court a prospect or continue to retain a client, there are times when you just need to pick up the phone. In my world, if an email is more than five long sentences or longer than the preview pane, I pick up the phone and call the recipient. It seems we have gotten too far away from this practice. Sure, sending an email as a follow up to readdress points made during your initial visit is always good, but be sure this is what the recipient wants. Some people like email and they’ll respond quicker that way. Some like to have an initial phone conversation. Others, they like to have a lunch or coffee, something where they can lay eyes on you. My point is this, you cannot affor to be general when you are trying to attract or retain anything. The same goes for your employees. There is a time for email follow up, but don’t abbreviate it or take the easy way out. You might just find yourself sending a subliminal message by saying …. Well, hopefully you get the point.
Want to know the other two points? Be sure to join us for the next two topics.