Money issues first

So your prospect asks you for a proposal so she can get budget approved, what do you do?

On one hand it sounds really positive. Your prospect wants to get budget approval. On the other hand it’s going to require a lot of your time to prepare a proposal. She may not get budget approval. Maybe she’s not being totally straight with you and she just wants your proposal to beat a competitor up on price?

So what do you do?

If you say “no” to the prospect's request you risk putting her nose out of joint. You can “challenge” her, but you’re likely to sound like a pernicious pain in the rear.

Instead, I would attempt to gently change her frame of reference so that she comes to the conclusion that this course of action is not in anyone’s best interest.

The best way to do this in my experience is to tell a story.  For example:

Prospect: “I’ll need to get budget approval first. Can you send me a proposal that I can share with my manager to get this signed off?”

You: “That sounds like a good idea. [Hesitantly]…..Do you mind if share a concern though?

"A few years ago my wife and I were looking for a house. We looked at several really nice places before finally settling on one that was perfect for both of us. The asking price was high, but we felt it was worth it, so I went to my bank manager to get funding approved but unfortunately he didn’t share my enthusiasm. He wasn’t willing to give me the amount I was looking for.

"The upshot was that everyone was mad at me. The real estate agent, the vendor, my wife. They all felt that I had wasted their time. It was a big lesson for me. And they were right, I should have secured the funding before putting in all that effort.

“So, Mr. Prospect, can we do this instead……?

“If I give you a ballpark range, can you check if that kind of money, for the right solution, is going to be OK with your colleagues. If we get a red light, we don’t need to pursue this any further and nobody has wasted any time. If we get a green light, then we can roll up our sleeves and get a detailed proposal on the table.

”Does that sound fair?”

Any story where you wasted time because you didn’t deal with the money issues first will work. If you have a personal story, use that. If not, make one up……I just did! That’s because stories are not about what’s true (i.e. the facts) but about a ‘truth’. The truth here that if you don’t deal with money up front, you risk wasting time and upsetting people in the process.


Copyright 2015 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047

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About the Author

John Glennon is an authorized licensee of Sandler TrainingSM in the Interior of British Columbia.

John is an accomplished sales person and manager with over 17 years sales and sales management experience. Beginning in sales in 1990 as a sales representative, he progressed to territory manager, sales manager, division manager and national sales and marketing manager roles throughout his career.

In 1997, John became a student of the Sandler Selling System. This introduction changed his sales career and over time propelled John and his career to new heights.

Successful in accelerating growth through strategic leadership, John knows firsthand the value of a sales training approach that follows a learning philosophy of ongoing reinforcement. He is experienced in driving the behaviours, attitudes and techniques required of an effective sales team.

Sandler Training is offered on a regular basis from their Kelowna, BC training center and through innovative distance learning programs to the rest of the BC Interior.


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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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