Companion Selling Part 11: Honoring the Budget
Companion Selling ® is a sales and marketing strategy developed by Bay Audio. This column is excerpted from The Bay Audio Guide to Companion Selling.
Companion Selling works best when you respect your client. So the first time your prospective client exposes his vulnerabilities – when talking about budget – your response is critical.
After listening to your client and establishing a rough idea for the system he wants, you create a Ballpark price, and say:
“We’re looking at $100k for a system with this degree of automation, aesthetics, and performance. What is your budget?”
Asking your prospect what he has budgeted for a system exposes him to great vulnerability in your early negotiations. Should he answer too low, he’s afraid to be ridiculed. Too high, and he’s afraid you see him as an easy mark.
So the average prospect throws out a number below their spending capability, but high enough to keep you interested in pursuing the conversation.
Companion Selling requires that you learn the client’s budget as soon as possible and diffuse the anxiety.
When the Budget is Ridiculously Low
If you Ballpark $100k and the client offers a budget of $25k, you honor the budget by saying:
“That sounds great. And while can build an system for $25k, I’m afraid the systems we’ve been discussing are four times that price. Our system is fully engineered and its operation is automated and intuitive –like your iPod. However, I can refer you to a local installation company. They might be able to provide a rudimentary solution to fit your budget.”
If the prospect truly can’t afford your services he might ask for the referral or politely disengage from the conversation. This is your signal to leave. Or, you’ve gotten his attention.
Working With a Low Budget.
Your prospect might have offered a low budget out of ignorance, at which point you’ve opened the door for further discussion.