I hated talking about budget when I got into sales. No matter what I tried it just always seemed awkward to talk about.
However, I knew that without having the budget conversation you were destined to fail.
Whenever I would have someone sit in and observe my interactions with clients, it was always the same feedback. If I didn’t close the sale I would almost always get the same feedback.
“You really didn’t get a good commitment to budget.”
I tried different ways to bring it up. I tried different places in the evaluation to talk about it. I tried everything and it just didn’t seem to work.
It was frustrating on all fronts. Until…
I uncovered a way that made getting budget a breeze.
THE APPROACH THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
I stumbled across this after reading the book by Patrick Lencioni “Getting Naked“.
It made more of an educational process for the patient yet helping them realize they needed spend money to get help.
This method went along with great with our “educator” approach to sales. Once I started using this approach after getting commitment it came natural and it flowed fantastic. My budget commitment instantly became stronger and so did my close rate.
There are many different ideas when it comes to the topic of budget. But there is very similar view on setting it up. It all comes down to what you say to transition into the conversation.
How I’ve simply approached it has been asking them what they’ve planned for.
“Have you thought or talked about a budget that would be in place to take care of this?”
Then just sit there and be quiet. Let them talk. You are not asking them to buy at this point. You are just asking them what they are committed to spend to fix the issues you’ve discussed in the “leverage” step and have proven in the “Familiar Voice Test” step.
Most people say that they haven’t come up with a budget yet. There are a few that will give you a budget. But most will not.
HOW TO MAKE BUDGET A NATURAL CONVERSATION
Here is where you’ll find out all sorts of information. Insurance will be a common topic that will come up. I will get their insurance information at that point. It does not change how I approach things though.
I will proceed to tell them that I am going to tell them something most consultants will not tell them.
I will tell them that there are really 7 major manufactures that make these hearing aids. Now there’s a debate at who those are. That’s not the point. Just tell them that they all make good products. They really make about the same thing.
I proceed to tell them that prices of hearing aids and the quality are all about the same thing. It really depends on how good the person that’s fitting them is.
Why am I telling them that?
I am making the success of the patient depending on me. Not the hearing aids.
As consultants, we know that to be true. How many times have we had someone walk in our office with our brand of hearing aids they got somewhere else. The patient is complaining that they don’t think the hearing aids are very good because they are struggling in a lot of areas with them.
You bring them back in the office and realize the hearing aids have not been adjusted properly. You simply make some corrections and they are doing much better.
It’s because it’s not the hearing aids that were the problem. It was whoever fit them or adjusted them prior to the patient coming to see you.
EXPLAIN THE 3 DIFFERENT LEVELS OF HEARING AIDS
Now I’m going to bring it back to the 3 different level of hearing aids.
I show them and explain the difference between the amplifier, the better understanding level, and decipher level hearing aids.
Now I do this without showing them price. Once I get to the decipher level I’ll show them a broad price range of my hearing aids within that budget. I’ll then say, “that’s on the low end.” On the high end, I’ll show them another broad price range of prices I know people have paid in my area.
I ask them when they do decide to do something about this would that fit into their budget to take care of this.
Then zip your mouth SHUT!
Just see what they say. Remember, the person who talks first is buying. Either you’re buying their excuse for why they don’t want to spend that much or they are “buying” by committing to a budget.
They will either agree to that as their budget or tell you no.
If they say they could do that, then find out if it’s cash or monthly payments they can do. Get the exact monthly payment and down payment if they go that direction.
If you determine it’s not in their budget then move on to the next level and go through the same process.
If executed properly, this is a very fluid and comfortable way to get budget. It’s also very successful at helping you close the sale and helping them get the help they need and deserve.