Budgets Are Overrated. Here’s the First Thing You Need to Figure Out When Talking to a Prospect

By Jason Swenk on March 25, 2014

Think back to the last conversation you had with a lead.

You probably started asking them questions about their budget, who makes the decision, what is the need, and when they need it completed.

From there, you determine if this is something you would like to go after. This is flawed thinking. I have made this mistake as well.

We can all point to a deal where we won, then the budget went away. The client put the money somewhere else. I know, very frustrating.

There is a way to avoid this situation.

The client committed to a solution with everything approved and defined, then something came up that was more important.

Here is how you make sure your solution is at the top of the list. When I talk to a lead, I figure out the 3i’s: issue, impact, and importance of finding a solution. This is a little harder than traditional qualifying, but it packs a huge punch.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You need to identify the 3 I’s in order to help a client find the money. Here’s how… via @jswenk” quote=”You need to identify the 3 I’s in order to help a client find the money. Here’s how…”]

Let’s say you can design a website for $10,000. You find out that the prospect has a budget of $8,000. You wonder if you can get them to $10,000. It’s only a $2,000 difference. Or you can do it for $8,000.

On the flip side, if the prospect’s budget is $50,000, you might say, “We can do it for $10,000. Those others are ripping you off.”

Basically if the client has a smaller budget than your proposal, you’re trying to figure out what you can do within their budget, and if the client has a larger budget than your proposal, you talk them down.

Instead of the above thinking,  focus on the 3i’s – issue, impact, and importance.

What you can discover is that they have a $1,000,000 problem, not a $10,000 or $50, 000 problem. You realize they need to spend  more than $10,000 to solve that $1 million problem.

In fact, if you propose a $10,000 solution, they are not going to think you understand the issue. Because, there is no way possible you can solve their $1 million dollar issue for merely $10,000. It is almost not credible.

I approach the client saying,  “We can solve this problem for $100,000.”  The response probably being, “we don’t have that budget.”.  I simply state,”How much do you think it should to cost so solve that million dollar problem?” If they believe you can solve their problem, the door is open to suggesting “additional” work.

This is a hard for some to do because most agencies think price means the most. What means the most is your ability to solve their problems, not to meet your client’s budgets. Often times clients don’t really know exactly what they want or need.; they just want their problem solved.

You need to approach the client with a problem solving mind set and show them the size and effects of the issues they are facing. What I found is, opportunities will find the money even if it is not budgeted.

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