Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Q&A Week 19 - November 3, 2018

For the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note – my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no way reflect my company or specific clients.


Q: Many of our clients invite us to participate in their annual budgeting process which takes place throughout November. We do have a few clients that are not keen on our being involved. Is there a way to have them bring us to the table?


A: The only way to be invited to the table for budget discussions is to have a very compelling reason to be there. If you do not have a compelling reason then you don’t belong. Allow me to explain. If everything is going fine with your business relationship, in that you are continuing into the new year without pause in service or delivery, then you shouldn’t have any reason to worry. And, if nothing is changing, then don’t interfere with your client at this time. Now, if you have a compelling reason to meet, such as changes in services, introduction of new services that may have a direct impact on the client, or some other enhancement that you strongly believe the client needs to consider, then you need to share this information with them. It should be as simple as asking for a brief sales meeting to update them so they are aware ahead of time. Don’t make it about their current budget planning from the perspective that you want more money from them. Instead present your case that changes are coming in the future that may have a positive impact on them and that it may be something they’d want to consider down the road. If you can make a compelling case, you won’t need to ask for more budget, they will take it upon themselves to plan accordingly. Then, when the time is right, you can move into upsell mode and the budget will likely be in place.

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