Captain’s log, stardate 20190201
Sent by Jonathan Stark on February 2nd, 2019
Let’s say you’re on a sales call with a prospect. Everything seems to be going well... and then the prospect reveals their budget for the project is absurdly low.
Bummer! It felt like you were flying down the road together, but now the car is in a ditch. Your mental state at this point would be one of confusion.
You’re probably asking yourself:
“Why are they budgeting so little for something that seems so important?”
Good question! So good, in fact, that you should let it out of your head through your mouth. Yup, just go ahead and ask them. For example:
“I’m confused... can you help me understand why this project is such a low priority for your business?”
Hopefully, this question will lead to a productive discussion that removes your confusion, realigns your understanding, and leads to a winning proposal.
But what if before the productive discussion can ensue, they get defensive and pointedly reply with:
“Why do you ask?”
Here are some replies you could use:
All these lines all boil down to the same sentiment:
“Because I care about making the project a success.”
Making it clear to the prospect that you care about the success of the project will set you apart from the hordes of mercenaries out there who are thinking mainly about their own bank accounts. And setting yourself apart from the crowd will help you to justify premium fees.