Use Exploratory Process to Uncover Cost of Gaps
It seems customers are universally reluctant to reveal their budgets when purchasing products or services. Maybe they really don’t have a set budget, as they often say. Maybe they are afraid their allocated budgets are unrealistic and will make them look foolish. Maybe they are wary of spending more than necessary. Regardless of the reason, getting every customer to share his/her budget may not be possible, but it also may not be necessary for our sales success.
As sales professionals, we need to keep in mind that ultimately, customers are far more interested in ROI and bottom-line results than in the investment they will make with any single vendor. Given that fact, is their allocated budget really critical information? It’s helpful, sure, but not absolutely necessary. Far more important is a comparison between the cost of the customer’s gaps and the value of your solution. What is the customer’s ROI in buying from you?
This is where the Exploratory Process comes in to play. Effective questioning, deployed as part of a proven process, will allow us to uncover the customer’s pain points, unrealized opportunities and the costs associated with these challenges. We can use these insights to not only develop solutions that close the customer’s gaps, but quantify the potential ROI to be generated for the customer’s organization. This is a winning approach for all involved, because it addresses the key concerns of the customers, keeps their focus (and yours) on value versus price, and places you in the role of business consultant versus order-taker.
Next time you find your customer tight-lipped about project budget, start Exploring for the insights you need. Your insights and sales success will be better for it!