Part of quality preparation in the sales profession is having a mindset of total respect and appreciation for every dollar a company has and that you’re asking for.
This healthy and realistic thinking helps remind us to bring our A-Game to every meeting. Challenge yourself with pre-call questions that help elevate your ideas, proposal and how you’re conveying value (and appreciation for their decision).
Do Companies have One Budget or many Separate Budgets?
Early in my Sales career, I generally believed that separate budgets were in place and available. It stands to reason. When you live in your world of television or radio sales, you’re immersed in conversations about the clients’ television or radio budget. It seems “real”.
And, it’s true. After company Management teams go through their annual budgeting dance, the overall budget is confirmed and each Manager knows her department budget. And, the Marketing Director does actually have separate budget lines for Digital, Radio, Outdoor, Client Entertainment, etc.
Everything is tidy and calm at the start of the new fiscal! Then, unless it’s a banner year at both the local office and company-wide, anywhere between 30 and 150 days in, all bets are off! Things get real and quickly retreat to one P & L – on the screen of the Finance boss.
Then, investments are under the microscope and trade-offs become a fact of life. “Do we keep our Marketing Coordinator or the $50k for Advertising”? “Do we cancel the Christmas party or the new computers and equipment in the creative / production department”?
Perspective. Keep in mind the background reality of the person you’re presenting to. Your $20,000 proposal for advertising or office chairs is not just competing with competitors in advertising or office improvements!
The same is of course true in households. Do the Roofer, Mutual Funds salesman and Cruise Ship saleswomen all consider they’re in competition for the same $12,000 of the couple?!
Each and every dollar of a company is extremely precious. Keep this high in mind and don’t take any particular budget for granted. Exude true appreciation for the decision and remember everything you’re up against.
Leverage your respect for this to help elevate your proposal ideas & value and your energy, listening and patience in the sales cycle.