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Objection Handling: The “No Budget” Objection

by Debbie Boucher on Thu, Jul 17, 2008

Effective objection handling is a key skill for any sales person. One of the most common objections heard on a daily basis is the dreaded "I don't have any budget". In a tight economy, this objection is being used even more frequently.

 When you hear "No Budget", it usually means 1 of 2 things:

  • either the prospect is on board but truly has no access to funds
    or
  • they don't know what you do, don't care what you do, and are trying to blow you off. Who doesn't know that if you tell a sales person you have no money they will hang up and go away!?

So how do you handle this objection?

Throughout my career, I've had the chance to work with some really great salespeople and have gathered some insight on how to handle this situation.

  1. First and foremost, determine that indeed you can solve a pain that the prospect is feeling. If you can't, then why waste their time or yours?  BTW, if the prospect is using the "no budget" objection before he knows what you do, it is a blow off!

  2. Reconfirm you are dealing with the decision maker or at least an influencer/recommender. Technical evaluators seldom have access to budget and quite often influencers/recommenders do not have knowledge of the general/slush funds that decision makers can access.

  3. Confirm that the prospect agrees to the pain you can solve and has a vision for the benefit they will receive from your solution. You establish this by asking questions:  "Bob, do you agree that we can save your department this amount of xxx compared to what they are doing now?"  If he says "no" you have a bigger problem.  If he says yes, you can move on to ask....

  4. "Since we can save you this amount, what would be the most logical next step for ensuring that you can reap these kinds of benefits?" or "I would really like to have you as a customer. I understand you have no budget. Since we both agree the value my organization can bring is significant is there any way we can overcome this obstacle?"

Brainstorm with your prospect on various ways to address the issue whether it is payment terms, a less robust version of the product, a hosted version...whatever the case may be.  It is called negotiating.  Want to learn how to negotiate?  Go buy a car...those guys will negotiate your teeth right out of your mouth.

You have to strike while the iron is hot because if you wait for that budget to become fully available there may never be a deal because of other influences such as new competitors, management changes, etc.

In summary, hearing the dreaded "No Budget" isn't the end of the world. You have to:

  • do your job around vision creation
  • make sure you are dealing with someone who has access to budget
  • ask questions that partner you with your prospect on finding alternative solutions

Would love to hear from other sales professionals on how they handle this situation so feel free to comment!

Topics: sales tips, inside sales tips

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