Discovering your prospects budget

Let’s talk about Budgets

It’s no secret that over the last couple of years costs to businesses have been increasing. Raw materials, energy prices, interest rates, cost of labour, the list seems endless. Therefore, when speaking to existing customers and prospects it’s important to establish what their budget is as this is more than likely being squeezed due to these rising costs. It’s a well-known fact that establishing the budget can be challenging, however it is a crucial part of the conversation, allowing both the prospect and seller to uncover the facts: whether to progress the sale or to disqualify.

Discovering Your Prospect’s Budget

Trying to uncover your prospect’s budget can be uncomfortable for both sides, however, it is important to discuss the investment issues early in the sales process before you put together your solution. There is no use going to extra work for someone who can’t or won’t buy your product or service. It is important not to just think of the budget in terms of money, the prospect will also have to invest time, energy and other resources into your solution. There are 3 steps you can follow to help uncover your prospect’s budget.


  • Review the information you have already uncovered about the prospect’s needs and situation
  • This allows you to make sure you have all the information you need
  • This also gives the prospect an opportunity to add anything they might have missed


  • Asking directly how much money they have could make the prospect uncomfortable and defensive
  • Instead, first, find out if money is available then you can find out how much of it the prospect is comfortable investing
  • You can use techniques such as ‘reversing’, by responding with questions rather than answers to the prospects’ questions you are more likely to uncover the truth
  • Third-party stories are another useful technique when talking about money, it removes the pressure of asking directly about their money


  • In the final step, you will determine how much money is available
  • If the prospect has money available you can now ask how much is available, however, asking for a definite number can again make your prospect feel defensive
  • Try using bracketing, ‘Could you share with me a range to get us in the ballpark’
  • These techniques can also be used if a prospect is not willing to share the amount available but start with a softening statement, ‘I wasn’t sure you would have anything nailed down yet’ and then go on to asking for a range or rough figure
  • Again, you can use third-party stories, ‘Last time we did a job this size it was around X amount, would that number be out of the budget?’

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