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So how do successful sales professionals uncover a prospect’s budget? How do they unearth the real decision maker?


It remains critical to ask the budget question. However it’s the way in which it’s asked that makes all the difference. Jump straight in and ask “How much is in your budget?” and you are likely to get everything except the actual budget.

Best practice is to start a little wider. Ask, “So how does the budgeting process at your organisation work?”

Once your prospect is talking about their internal budgeting process it is easier use that as a springboard to ask a deeper question. It may be “So which budget would this opportunity come from?”  Keep the conversation rolling and your prospect will feel more relaxed. At this point you are ready to ask “So how much is set aside for this opportunity?”

Similarly, the question about the decision maker should not be “Do you make the decision?” Pride often results in an answer that does not share the whole story. Ask instead, “How does the decision process work internally?” Prospects are much more comfortable to describe a process rather than answer a sensitive, direct question.

As they share the process, the intelligence needed to tailor the sales approach is extracted.

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