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Sandler Training in Calgary | Calgary, AB

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Think back to a time in your career when you really wanted to buy a product or service for your business. Not “needed.” Wanted. Maybe you had to convince your boss to free up funds, maybe you had to borrow a bit or shift money from one budget line to another, but you. Made. The money. Work.

Now fast forward. One of your salespeople tells you “the prospect wanted to buy they just didn’t have the money.”


Money and time are analogous in sales. We make time for activities we want to do, and we have money for products or services we really want.

To support our team in having money conversations, that they and their prospects don’t want to have, practice the following behaviors with them often:

  • Have their prospect quantify out the opportunity cost for not taking action – Sandler Rule, they can’t argue with their own data. When it comes out of our prospect’s mouth the data is real, when it comes out of our salesperson’s mouth their pushy and aggressive.
  • Quantify the opportunity cost to a real number – “it’s probably costing me 30%” sounds to our salespeople like they quantified, but what does “30%” mean? The only want to establish ROI, and reduce the potential for our prospect to say, “we don’t have the money” is to get a real number on the table. Doesn’t have to be to the penny, a round number that comes out of our prospect’s mouth (e.g. “it’s at least $10,000 per month”) is enough.
  • Confirm that that real number is significant enough for the prospect to take action – “$10,000 per month, that sounds like a lot!” says our salesperson who is filtering that number through their head trash about money. “Well, we’re a Fortune 100 company, that’s a rounding error.” says back their prospect as our salesperson’s credibility crumbles. As always, if we don’t know, ask.
  • Gather all of the information about the prospect’s budget before submitting a proposal – without a full and complete understanding of the two hows, who, when, where, what and why of our prospect’s budget process our salesperson will be vulnerable to “we don’t have the money.”
  • Take money away as an objection – Sandler Rule, you can’t get mad at a prospect for doing something you didn’t tell them they couldn’t do. If money is a “reason” for deals being delayed or lost our salesperson saying something like, “let’s not make money the reason we don’t work together” or “at some point in our discovery conversations I will ask if you want my help. If you don’t that’s okay. If you do, it’s not okay to say you don’t have the money to work with me. Are you okay with that?” proactively lowers one of our prospect’s walls before it gets built. Of course, either of those would be used after we’ve built a level of rapport with our prospect.

Yes, there are legitimate reasons why a prospect might not have money now to work with us. They may be in a contract with no escape clause with our competitor, but that doesn’t mean we can’t convert them to a client now and get paid later.

We coach our clients to take money off the table with something like, “so if you weren’t in that contract who would you work with?” If their prospect says, “absolutely you,” they work out an arrangement to turn their prospect into a client, take no money for the first X months while the competitor’s agreement runs out, but get an extended agreement from their new client to balance the no money up front with additional months of service on the back end. Or, in the case where our client has to make investments in materials or other hard costs, their new client agrees to cover the hard costs for the first X months then roll into an ongoing agreement.

None of the above is perfect. Prospect’s lie to salespeople; however, by consistently practicing the steps addressed in this article with our salespeople their chances of hearing “we don’t have the money” should go down and their close rate should go up.

Until next time… go lead.

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