You’ve heard the term “consultant selling”? It just means morphing yourself from being a desperate salesperson into a “concerned consultant”. So now you and your client become a team searching for a practical solution to a shared challenge.
Your mission is to discover your prospect’s “point of pain” and then give him or her cost effective options on how to “stop their hurt”. (While still making a profit for your company too!) So let’s focus on those words “cost effective”!
My guess is too often you and your prospective customer engage in a “cat and mouse” game. You are wondering how much you can gouge … uhh I meant to say “charge” while still getting the job. Your prospect meanwhile is hoping you will come in lower than they expect to pay! Even so, it never hurts to ask…
“So have you calculated a budget yet for this project?”
NOTE: It is always good to give the client an “out” when asking a potentially adversarial question. Instead of saying “That’s none of your business!” now they can easily reply, “Well, no, Steve, we don’t have a budget worked up yet. I was hoping you could help us with some pricing options.”
But surprisingly, many times your prospect will blurt out a number AND it may be much higher than what you were thinking of charging! (I hated it when the customer looked at my proposal and said, “Is that all? I thought it would be much more!” Grrrrr!)
Commercial HINT: Always start out interviewing your contact using the SFS Commercial Carpet Analysis Form. Then just casually (and slyly!) slip in the “So do you have a budget yet for this project?” question towards the end of your walk-through the job.
Restoration HINT: This “structured interview” concept works great in restoration too! For example, download this free Water Damage Customer Interview form that will impress the Insured. Even better, by filling out everything on the form you (and your employees) will discover additional water damaged areas which means you will “Make More Money”! I love it!