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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

We all hate it, we contact somebody with our amazing proposition and they say to us “we have no budget”. OK, we think, let’s decline gracefully and call somebody else on the list.

I do, I’m CEO of our company, I always get cold called and always tell people I have no budget. They always decide and move on.

But I do have budget, all companies do. It’s a brush off and to be honest also a test.

If you really believe in my company, want to sell it something, you will have researched me and you will have explained to me how your proposition will fit in with my strategy. Best if you have already read up about my company and run my business (all the figures are all publicly available) through your ROI (return on investment) tool.

If you cannot be bothered to research and invest in me, why would I invest in you?

The other objection that comes hand-in-hand with budget is priority.

“This isn’t a priority for us right now”.

It might not be, lesser salespeople will walk away at this stage, and maybe that is the best policy, but have you thought about making it a priority?

In Lee Barlett’s book, number one best seller he writes how he changed people’s perceptions in accounts.

Where people had a perception that a competitive product was better, he talked to as many people as he could, as high as he could to turn round that perception. When he was told his proposition wasn’t a priority, when he researched enough that the goal was big enough he made a way of making sure it was a priority. “Pulling the rug” from under the feet of many a sales person. Or put it another way, out-selling them.

Lee explains this in his book, but I will give you a summary here.

  1. First, I’m the CEO of a company, if you call upon me with low level issues, you will end up back on the streets through the revolving door. While people talk about selling high, yes you do need to do this, you also need to sell low, to get a feel for the company. Which leads onto;
  2. Do your research. Find out what my drivers are, company strategy, are we growing, shrinking, are we in debt? How will your proposition financially transform my business? Why are your proof points?
  3. Find somebody who cares. There are many people in the company that work for the company  that turn up and go home. Who in the company will really take on and support your proposition? In my book “social selling – techniques to influence buyers and change makers” I talk about the the changemaker and why they are different from the legacy sales methodologies you might use. To sell high value deals at a high level in 2018, you need to know who your change maker is.
  4. Have a business case – All companies think their products are the best, you will have needed to invested and have a clear focused business case.
  5. Light fires, don’t literally do this, it’s a metaphor for getting people in the account to say how great this solution is. Maybe run a PoC (proof of concept).  BUT don’t run PoCs for the sake of it, this is about you getting sponsorship upwards and across the company. Sponsorship is about finding people that have influence but not authority. Why?  It is these people that I turn to (as CEO) for advice. I won’t buy anything, for example, without my co-founder, Adam and Alex my Director of Social Selling saying we need it. Why sell to me, have them sell to me for you.

I could go on but this is just a blog, if you want a long read, then I suggest you read Lee’s book.

Happy selling!

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