As a sports ticket sales rep, you’re used to hearing ridiculous and off-the-wall excuses from your customers as to why they’re not interested. One of the most airtight and hard-to-fight objections, however, is the budget issue.
This objection takes several forms. A prospect may say anything like, “It’s not in the budget,” “My budget’s been cut,” or “I just don’t have anything left in the budget”.
These are actually three VERY different objections, and need be handled differently! Let’s take each one separately and break it down:
“It’s not in the budget.”
Here are some ways we can address this on a call:
- “That’s all right. No one budgets for ideas they don’t have yet. That’s why I called today.”
- “I hear that a lot… and once my customers get around the budget issue and see what positive things come from these seats, the budget is never an issue again.”
- “Probably not. A lot of companies haven’t figured out the value of seats like these, so they don’t budget ahead for them. It’s a good thing we’re talking today!”
- “That’s OK. I’m sure you’ve had good ideas that have come up that weren’t in the budget that were able to get done somehow. Right?”
“My budget’s been cut.”
Many budget cuts have been forced upon managers from their higher-ups, and they have to deal with the problems it has created all day long. Here are some suggestions on how you can respond to a budget cut:
- “Wow… I imagine that’s caused a lot of headaches for you. What sorts of things have you had to do without?” (Find out what has changed in their work life, and then address those things that your product can help them solve positively, cheaply, and effectively.)
- “That’s tough. Was it across the board, or did some things have to go completely?” (Learn a little more about what had to go, and you’ll see where the company’s priorities lie.)
- “That’s pretty common. It sounds like more work for you! Do you ever get out yourself to see a game?” (If they’re the decision-maker, a well-placed comp game might overcome any budget issues if they enjoy themselves.)
“I just don’t have anything left in the budget.”
This means there’s money there, but it’s been apportioned to others. All we have to do is figure out whether or not the money can be RE-apportioned:
- “I understand. When does your fiscal year start?” (Find out when their 12-month calendar starts. Some companies run on a “calendar year”, Jan-Dec; others start their fiscal year at different times.)
- “So if there WERE budget left, you’d consider these seats? Do I hear you correctly?” (Get their buy-in on the “if” part!)
- “Let me ask this: is your budget actually SPENT, or is it just sectioned off until the need comes up? If something came up that was more cost-effective than what you originally budgeted, could you look at it?” (You’re suggesting that what you have is more cost-effective and potentially a better buy than what they’re currently lined up to spend their money on. Press on to see if the money’s actually gone, or just placed in different buckets waiting to be spent!)
Don’t let the budget be your arch-enemy! Stick with it, keep the conversation alive, and you’ll have a much greater chance of success.
There’s another objection we’re hearing a lot today, and it has to do with being able to justify buying our tickets after just laying off employees. I’ve got several suggestions for answering that challenge in my latest Sports Ticket Sales Newsletter; just click here to access it.
What has been your best (most successful!) response to the “budget” objection? Feel free to leave your comments below and I look forward to hearing about your success!