Scared to talk about the money? Or do you feel awkward talking about it with a prospect? Today, I’m going to teach you some ways to help you get over that fear or awkward feeling whenever you talk about money with your prospective clients so you can earn the income that you deserve.
Here are the highlights of the episode today:
Common reasons why salespeople are scared of talking about money:
Fear of rejection
Fear that the product is more expensive than what they’re willing to pay
Feeling that you’re robbing them because you’re trying to get money from them
7 Strategies When Talking About the Money:
Be confident in what you have to offer.
The price is going to be a small investment for the value they’re going to get from your product. Believe in your product or service, otherwise, you need to look for another product or service you have confidence in.
Bring up money once you’ve established the value.
Talking about money too soon or too late can be detrimental. When you’re sitting down with a customer and they see the value, it’s much easier to talk about pricing because they have already recognized the value.
Focus on people who are your ideal prospects.
There are people who are just shopping around for the cheapest products so don’t worry about them. Focus on your ideal prospects whom you want to build a relationship with.
Mention that you’re going to talk about pricing in your next agenda (depending on the length of your sales process).
Tell them that you’re going to have to talk about budget in the next meeting so both of you know that you’re going to talk about money and that breaks the awkwardness. Putting it on the agenda also allows you to bring information that can help reinforce the value of the product or service.
Know that once the customer sees you’re a good fit to them, they will definitely figure out a way to include you into their budget.
If they truly see your value, they will surely do as much as they can to make sure that they get the product or service.
Practice through role playing where you sit down and talk about money. Ask yourself those typical questions asked by prospects about money. This makes it easier for you to deliver your message about money.
Evaluate previous clients.
Go back to your past customers and see what they’ve spent on your product or service and think about the results they got to build up your confidence level.
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It’s all about making money, or is it? Sure, sales is the cornerstone of any thriving, flourishing business but it’s not the end all and be all. There are other key elements that need to come into play. One is to understand the language of business and that is the aspect of finance. I know a lot of people who tend to shy away from this topic thinking how complicated it may seem. But it’s not, really. Once you ease your way into the world of finance then you will understand the critical part it plays in your goal of making profits.
In this episode, let’s tap into the minds of finance experts Brian Califano and the co-founders of AcceleratingCFO. They have spent the last 20 years providing finance leadership at large entertainment Fortune 500 companies until they’ve finally decided to start their own company and lend their expertise to smaller businesses to help them grow as well as understand the power of finance and how budgeting and finance can really make a difference in steering their business towards success.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Brian & Scott:
What you need to understand about the power of finance before going into a transaction with a buyer:
Start with sales. Sales is the nerve center of a company – market intelligence; connecting customers back to the business
Get sales and finance on the same page.
Keep the company’s financial performance in mind when in front of clients and prospects. Make sure you don’t over promise and under deliver.
How to understand the finance of your prospect:
Go out of your comfort zone.
Make that phone call above a C-level executive or ask him/her to bring the CEO or CFO or set up a simple introduction.
Demonstrate the ROIs through data.
CFO is the best place to prove out but you have to prove the value and how it translates to dollars from your company. Present data.
Figure out the decision maker and the language that each level has.
Go through several tiers to find out and better understand their specific challenges and pain points before even going to the CEO.
Know your internal CFO.
Know what your boundaries are in terms of the minimum level of threshold in making money.
Financial documents you need to look into about a company:
Financial information and non-financial information
10-K (annual reports) and 10-Q (quarterly reports)
What to look into specifically:
How is the company doing?
What are they talking about?
Look at their earnings call script.
Cash flow statement (particularly the change in their Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable)
Brian’s Major Takeaway:
If you need internal approvals, don’t be afraid of it and don’t duck it. Understand that the CFO you’re speaking to may be trying to protect and maintain their risk profiles. Call a presentation internally to make sure it’s about the company instead of yourself.
Scott’s Major Takeaway:
Do your research and come correct with your data. Make sure you bring the data with you and do your homework on the company and the folks that can evangelize your service or product.
How can I handle “We don’t have it in our budget?”. Many times as a seller we come across the illusive statement, “It is not in our budget”. As a seller, it’s inevitable that you will hear this statement at one point or another. When I hear this, four things come to mind:
1. You didn’t qualify properly…
It’s important that you have a sales process that enables you to weed out non-buyers and not waste time
Set the rules before you play the game with each prospect
Here are some potential questions to ask so that you don’t get the budget questions
“Typically our system runs for $4K per year. Is that in your budget for this project?”
“What is your budget for this project?”
Find out who else will be a part of the decision-making process or what other departments are being affected by the purchase. Perhaps they can have a joint budget for the project.
Many times people are afraid of losing something so they hold onto someone who shows slight interest so you go through hoping that they will see something that will peak their interest later.
2. They are lying….
Some people lie and are just trying to get rid of you. Just cut your loses and move on.
“Is it okay if I ask you a question without you getting upset with me?” “Is price really an issue or are you just not interested?”
Or, many times when people say it’s not in the budget it’s because:
“I did not explain it right and they don’t see the value”
“Really interested, but just have no money”
They are not interested and wanted to say it in a nice way……Which one is it?
3. They really don’t have a budget….
They really don’t have the money to dedicate at this time. They have other pressing projects and it’s not on the top of the list. These are the folks I would have my marketing folks do a hyper focus on with educational material. I would also keep in touch with them periodically, but not waste too much time. What information could I offer that will be of tremendous value over the next several months?
4. They really have a need and don’t have the budget.
This would require us to look at doing a partial payment at the end of the fiscal year and the remainder in the next year. They can pay part now and part later.
“How much would you be able to allocate now to start off with?”.
Maybe they don’t need all the features right now and you can add it as they go over the next several months. If you do this approach, I would put specific dates in the agreement for the next payment due date. (Story of Charlotte County School). Another option is to do a “pilot” approach. Can you offer a 3 month pilot at a reduced rate to have them sign up and try it out?
I wouldn’t offer it for free, I would have them pay something. I was taught by a friend that even if they pay $1.00, they feel a sense of commitment and you’re able to tell true motives and sincere desire. Just like the partial payment, offer specific dates for the trial period and conditions.
Value base pricing is a revolutionary idea where sellers are able to price their product or service, based on the buyers perceived value. Kirk Bowman is a very successful entrepreneur who has mastered this principle and adopted it in his organization. Over the space of two years; Kirk saw a 79% increase in revenue. This concept will aid any seller and business owners as they grow their business.
Here are some of the take aways from our discussion:
Value is subjective based on the prospects/clients and this is why it is so important to understand their individual need.
The only way to truly gage prospects/clients perceived value is to ask the appropriate questions. Here are some of Kirk’s favorites:
Why are you doing this project now as oppose to 6 months ago or 6 month from now?
What’s going to happen if you don’t do this project?
If money were not an object, what would the success of this project look like? Describe it to me?
Create a list of questions you can turn to when speaking with prospects/clients. This should not be a script, but a tool to help you know some of the key questions that should be brought up in the conversation, to better extract the true value from the prospect/client.
Kirk also emphasized the importance of building relationships with prospects/clients. This will help them to feel comfortable enough to share with you their true concerns. This is also very important as you try to help them understand the true value for themselves.
Come and listen to more great tips from Kirk. Simply click play below or check us out on iTunes or Stitcher.