Rep: "Do you have a budget for this?"
I listened to this interaction from a recorded sales call, and this was twenty minutes into the discovery. Talk about falling flat on your face.
This was from a senior sales rep so I was slightly taken aback, as it seemed like such a basic error. But it does happen.
You may assume that they would have a budget if they had agreed to a meeting in the first place, but this should never be taken for granted.
However, to give yourself the best chance use confident language & framing throughout.
Never ask a closed question when it comes to cost. It gives your buyer the power and demonstrates a lack of confidence. And what do you say in response if it's a flat no? It's awkward.
There are far better ways of asking this question. Try using a presupposition:
· "Based on issues X, Y and Z as discussed would you be more interested in package A or B?"
· "What is the maximum budget you would feel comfortable spending on this?"
· "The cost is £X - happy to move ahead?"
Using assumptive language (i.e. that of course they have a budget) demonstrates you have full confidence in your price.
If your conversation is compelling enough people can always find the money anyway.
Tweaks like this can transform a conversation.