It is an interesting time of year for B2B salespeople because many of your current and future customers will say either…
- My budget is spent for 2021…meaning I have no money for you now.
- We do not have budgets set for 2022…meaning, I don’t know if I will have money for you in the future.
In that moment, you can do what most salespeople do and find out when they are setting budgets. You may also try to set up a next meeting to align with when they will be setting their budgets. Or you could set yourself up to win by taking the opportunity to explore idea generation without the shackles of budgets. If budgets are currently at zero for 2021 and 2022, there is no better time than now to initiate the conversation and not have to worry about money!
How can you do this and what result(s) will come of it?
First, ask questions that make the customer think in a way they have not in the past. Keith Williams, Market Manager of ESPN Madison and one of my business partners in Good Karma Brands, once taught me to ask the following question: “If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do with it and why?”
By asking this question or questions like it, you may get the following results:
- It will get your current and future partners thinking beyond the restrictions of their budget.
- It will help you understand what your customers value.
- It will allow you to ask why they value what they value and dig in until you understand.
- It will position you as a consultant and allow you the opportunity to help them think creatively.
Every scenario above gives you an opportunity to produce ideas and solutions that your customers value. When you create this opportunity to converse with your customers about solutions they value at a time when other salespeople are not, you will be in a better position to win. In addition, showing valuable ideas may lead them to “find money” left in 2021 and/or they may be able to agree to an idea for 2022 before figuring out budgets. Either way, when you take the “no budget opportunity” you will win more!