In the movie Tin Men starring Richard Dreyfus and Danny DeVito, an aluminum siding salesman goes into a car dealership to buy a new Cadillac.
“How much is it?” he asks the car salesman about the car he wants to buy.
“How much do you want to pay?” the car salesman asks back.
Disgusted by what is an obvious sales tactic, he replies sarcastically, “A dollar…I want to pay a dollar.”
Many of us won’t ask the prospect how much he or she wants to pay because we feel that it is somehow sleazy, and that doing so will create an uncomfortable situation.
But if you indeed did know how much your buyers wanted to spend, your sales closing ratio would shoot through the roof because you’d be quoting prices you knew they could afford and were willing and prepared to spend.
How do you ascertain what the buyer wants to spend without the awkwardness of asking outright?
When it’s time to discuss price, ask the buyer, “Do you have a budget?”
Note that you are not asking “What is your budget?” You are instead asking the much less threatening question, “Do you have a budget?”
The buyer can only give one of two answers: yes or no, with about half of prospects saying yes and the other half saying no.
If the buyer says “yes”, then you ask, “Would you mind sharing with me what your budget is?”
Those prospects who tell you their budget have just given you the range under which your price quotation must fall to be accepted.
But what if the buyer says, “No, we don’t have a budget.” Then you ask, “Well, do you have a dollar figure in mind of what you would like it to cost?”
Even if they do not have a budget worked out, many people, when asked the question in this way, will come back at you with an answer something like “I was figuring to spend around $1,000 and not more than $3,000.”
In effect, they really do have a budget