Don’t let your client set the budget.

I’m a HUGE believer in the relationship being the cornerstone of good salesmanship; what separates the wheat from the chaff is what you do with that relationship to leverage sales and make your client happy with the results.Selling what your client needs.  If you really understand your client’s needs and believe in your product, you cannot let a client set a strict budget limit before the negotiation begins.   Too often in this weak economic atmosphere we sell from fear; fear that we won’t get the deal based on our client’s belt tightening.  Fear that we won’t get paid and therefore won’t be able to pay our bills. Fear that we’ll ‘lose the sale’ altogether by presenting what they need rather than what their stated budget needs.

You must find a way to erase that fear totally if you want to do your job properly. Your job, my sales friend, is to sell your client the product they really need, not the product that fits their budget.

Often, the client  doesn’t know what that is; YOU are the expert after all.  In addition, they have no idea what the ROI will be.  You need to explain all your plan and its projected ROI before you set the budget with your client.

A client just left my office having spent 3 times the budget they’d set for marketing, and I can guarantee you they are thrilled with their decision.  I listened to her when she told me her initial budget,  but I didn’t allow that to dictate our discussion over what she actually needs. Her number did not factor into what I presented to her.  If you work backwards by allowing the budget to dictate what your client purchases,  you do both you and that company a disservice.

Develop the optimum plan first, analyze what that will cost, and then present that to your client. Explain that their company’s goals come first, and you cannot do your job properly if you don’t educate them on what will work to achieve those goals.  IF they object because they sincerely can’t spend what it takes to execute your plan,  re-analyze your plan and cut the least necessary pieces.  If your plan is a solid one, and you do your job convincing your client of its value, you will do very little cutting.