fbpx

Dealing With The “We Don’t Have The Money” Sales Objection

Niraj Kapur is a sales trainer with over 25 years of experience. He has trained large corporations like Barclays and Sainsbury’s and over 300 SMEs on sales strategies, techniques, and selling with integrity.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Niraj gives us multiple strategies to help deal with the “I don’t have the money” objection.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:
Win More Deals Or Your Money Back.
Selling Made Simple Academy: The proven way to improve sales results. Trusted by 2,000+ students.

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Niraj Kapur
Trusted Sales Coach and LinkedIn Trainer

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast.

 

Niraj Kapur:

But a lot of people will say, “Oh, my budget’s limited,” at the very beginning. Now, if that’s the case, it means you simply haven’t provided enough value to that person. Or you haven’t asked the right questions and really found out what their concerns are. As salespeople, by nature, we want to talk. You want to talk as soon as possible. What I see the biggest mistakes I see people make on this level of the process is they’ll talk brief, maybe ask one or two questions and then rush into their product self. It’s I’m asking questions, then I’m recapping their answers so they know I’m listening to them because salespeople are terrible listeners. They know I’m listening. I’ll recap. Then I’ll start talking about the value of I offer. That’s a process most salespeople do not understand.

 

How to Respond to the “I Have a Limited Budget” Objection · [01:34] 

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation. My name is Will Barron and I’m the host of The Salesman Podcast, the world’s most downloaded B2B sales show. On today’s episode, we have Niraj Kapur. He is a bestselling sales author and sales consultant as well. You can find out more about Niraj over at everybodyworksinsales.com. On this episode, we’re getting into what you should do, what you should say, what your process should be when a buyer turns around to you and says, “Hey, well, I’m sorry. I’ve got limited budget.” Everything that we talk about in this episode is available in the show note over at salesman.org. With that said, let’s jump right into it. Okay. In today’s episode, we’re getting into what to do when a buyer turns around and says, “Hey, sorry, Will. Sorry, Niraj. I’ve got limited budget. No budget.” What we need to… How we essentially rebuttal that and what the underlying message that’s been shared of us is. To start the conversation, is a buyer saying, “Will, Niraj, I have limited budget” an excuse? Or is this a legitimate kind of objection that can be put in our path as a B2B salesperson?

 

“A lot of people will say, “Oh my budget’s limited,” at the very beginning. If that’s the case, it means you simply haven’t provided enough value to that person or you haven’t asked the right questions and really found out what their concerns are. If they mention it after say, a 20 to 25-minute meeting, either face to face or over Zoom, and all of a sudden budget is limited, then it means there’s a chance the budget is there, but maybe there’s something else you have uncovered.” – Niraj Kapur · [01:58] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

It depends when it comes up in a conversation. When people sell to me, I’ll use to say, “No.” But a lot of people will say, “Oh my budget’s limited,” at the very beginning. If that’s the case, it means you simply haven’t provided enough value to that person or you haven’t asked the right questions and really found out what their concerns are. If they mention it after say 20 to 25-minute meeting, either face to face or over Zoom, and all of a sudden budget is limited, then it means there’s a chance the budget is there, but maybe there’s something else you have uncovered. In which case I will say, “Look, setting budget aside just for one moment, because I know budget’s really important, is there anything else I’ve missed? Or what else do you want to discuss? Or is anything else bothering you?” That’s really important because when you ask that question, quite often things come up and then I take it from there.

 

Can Budgets Be Found if Salespeople Add Enough Value to the Buyer In Larger B2B Deals? · [02:48] 

 

Will Barron:

Let me just you this, just to frame up the conversation further. In a larger B2B deal, when someone says they have limited budget, if you put the right product in front of the right person, is that still a misnomer that limited budgets exist or in a bigger maybe enterprise sale, can budgets be found? Can we solve this problem if we add enough value to the buyer?

 

“I’m a business owner. Even though I’m lucky enough to have lot of clients that repeat with me and I’m lucky enough to get LinkedIn inquiries say once or twice a month because of my content, I still have to go out there and prospect every day. I still have to go out there and fight. I still have to go out there and hustle. I think it’s very important sales trainers do that because it helps keep your skills sharp. It also means the quality of your training is better because you really understand what people will have to go through.” – Niraj Kapur · [03:30] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

Budgets can often be found in other departments. For example, when I’m trying to … Because bear in mind, I’m a business owner. Even though I’m lucky enough to have lot of clients that repeat with me and I’m lucky enough to get LinkedIn inquiries say once or twice a month because of my content, I still have to go out there and prospect every day. I still have to go out there and fight. I still have to go out there and hustle. I think it’s very important sales trainers do that because it helps keep your skills sharp. It also means the quality of your training is better because you really understand what people will have to go through. Quite often I find if somebody has no budget, I will often say, “Okay, setting aside budget, are there any concerns?” When they say, “No, we just haven’t got that budget.”

 

Niraj Kapur:

I’ll do one of two things. First of all, I’ll find out that people who are involved in the decision making process, what I call the influencers, quite often they will have a budget. If somebody can’t afford two and a half thousand pound a day for my sales training, they’ve only got say 1500 pounds, I’ll say, “Okay, from your learning department or your marketing department or your HR department, can we take some budget there? And can you buy say a hundred copies of my books instead?” That way, if you don’t pay full amount of my training, it’s okay because the budget’s coming from another department and you’re exchanging value.

 

Will Barron:

This is something that we cover in our training, right? I won’t get too far into that, but we’re talking about the same thing here with your anecdote.

 

Niraj Kapur:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

The Relationship Between Value and Price in a B2B Sales Objection Situation · [04:34] 

 

Will Barron:

That the value and price, or however we’re going to frame this up, is on a scale, right? If one goes down, that affects the equation and so we need to take some golf or add something on to balance it back up. Is this how we should be going into all sales conversations that we can add so much value and that has an associated price, and if the price isn’t right, we can take stuff off or we can add stuff to it if there’s more budget the back of the box of the buyer?

 

Niraj Kapur:

Well, what I will do is whenever I’m negotiating a deal, because bear in mind, it’s not just me running my business, but quite often I go out and calls with my clients. I’m known as a consultant. I sit there kind of almost on an educational basis to help support them. I don’t take over the deal until the very end if I have to, because they’re not going to learn that way. A lot of the time, first of all, you try and discuss price at the very end. If you discuss price at the beginning, it’s never a good thing. When you get to the very end and they can’t afford it and you’ve gone through everything you possibly can, Will, I will then say, “Okay, what can we take away here?”

 

Niraj Kapur:

Because when you start taking things away from people, people move more towards away in negativity and fear than they do towards positivity. It took me a long time to learn that because it doesn’t make sense in my brain. For me, I moved towards positives, but most people move towards the negatives. We start taking stuff away. If they’re agreeing with you, it’s okay. But if they’re going, “[inaudible [00:05:56] we got to keep this.” Then I go, “Okay. But if you can’t afford this, let’s talk about an exchange of value. An exchange of value will mean you’ll buy X number of books. I will get a recommendation on LinkedIn. I want to be introduced to three of your best customers who you think will benefit from my services.” That is an excellent exchange of value. It’s not the same as money, of course, but it’s the next best thing.

 

Will Barron:

How do you say that in a conversation? Do you very literally say, “Well, let’s look at the things that we can take off the table to get it down to your budget”? Or do you say it in a more… It seems like a dumb way to say it in a how I just described it though.

 

“Some of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make, Will, is when it comes to negotiation, all of a sudden they speak a bit faster. They fidget slightly because you can tell they’re nervous. Sometimes their voice goes up an octave or a semi-octave slightly. That’s the worst thing you can do. It’s absolutely vital when it comes to negotiation and discussing price, you maintain your calm. ” – Niraj Kapur · [06:34] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

I say it in a very conversational way. Some of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make, Will, is when it comes to negotiation, all of a sudden they speak a bit faster. They fidget slightly because you can tell they’re nervous. Sometimes their voice goes up an octave or a semi-octave slightly.

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Niraj Kapur:

That’s the worst thing you can do. It’s absolutely vital when it comes to negotiation and discussing price, you maintain your calm. That is so important because I see salespeople making that mistake all the time and then the buyer will take advantage of it. Of course they will. Why wouldn’t they? It’s very important to maintain your calm. I always say, there’s a great guy called Brian Tracy in the world of personal development. He always says, “Look, just imagine everybody has a sign around their neck saying make me feel valued and important.” I have this attitude of treatment, all my clients like they’re my friends. I don’t mean talking about football and telling silly jokes. I just mean with a great respect. If you treat them like that, it’s amazing. You treat them like a human being and not a commodity or a business person. It’s much easier to discuss these kinds of things. But if you talk about it at a very cold corporate level, it’s much harder to move that needle.

 

Why Price and Budget Issues Might Mean a Poor Qualification Process at the Top End of the Sales Process · [07:55] 

 

Will Barron:

Let’s take a few steps back here because I love this part of the conversation of the negotiations. I think you do as well. I see your face lighting up as we get into that. But how do we… Or should we… If we’re having this discussion about price and budget and things later on in the sales cycle and it’s an issue, is that indicative of the fact that we’ve not done our qualification at the top end of the sales process appropriately?

 

“As salespeople by nature, we want to talk. You want to talk as soon as possible. What I see the biggest mistakes people make on this level of the process is they’ll talk brief, maybe ask one or two questions and then rush into the product sell.” – Niraj Kapur · [08:14] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

Quite often it is. Look, as salespeople by nature, we want to talk. You want to talk to as soon as possible. What I see the biggest mistakes I see people make on this level of the process is they’ll talk brief, maybe ask one or two questions and then rush into the product cell. It’s not quite that simple. When I speak to a client, it’s like, “Where are you? Where do you want to be? How do you want to get there? What skills gaps do you have to kind of learn to get there? What can I do to help?” It’s I’m asking questions, then I’m recapping their answers so they know I’m listening to them because salespeople are terrible listeners. They know I’m listening. I’ll recap. Then I’ll start talking about the value I offer. That’s the process most salespeople do not understand because when I get hired by companies, they always say, “Look, we want to make more money. we want to close more deals.”

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

“Closing is not the problem, Will. The problem is they’re not opening deals correctly. They’re not asking the right questions. They’re not following process. They’re not understanding what the business is beforehand.” – Niraj Kapur · [09:05] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

You listen to phone calls or you go on phone calls with people or go on meetings with them. Closing’s not the problem, Will. The problem is they’re not opening deals correctly. They’re not asking the right questions. They’re not following process. They’re not understanding what the business is beforehand, I’ve actually had salespeople go into meetings with sales directors or marketing managers or commercial directors, Will. They’re asking questions like, “Tell me about your business.” I’m like, “No, don’t ask that please.” They haven’t done their research properly. You got to research somebody’s website for 10 or 15 minutes. Look at the LinkedIn profile. Look at the blog. See what they’re liking on LinkedIn. You’ve got to do your research. If you do your research properly, believe it or not, that’s about a third of the job.

 

How Salespeople Can Ask the Question, “Do You Have the Budget for This?” And Why They Should Hold Off This Question to the Very End of the Conversation · [09:43]

 

Will Barron:

Let’s paint a picture here. Sam, the salesman, is selling some kind of large deal enterprise software product. Off the top of my head, right? He’s selling this. He has done his research. He’s got the meeting, he built rapport. But he is not sure. Let’s say he’s selling to an organisation that has a headcount and a revenue. It’s a public company that fits with other customers. He assumes that they’ve got the ability to gather budget, even if it’s not in a specific account for his incredible product, right? How does he bring up this question of whether we look at BANT or all the other different qualification acronyms? How does he bring that this question of, “Dear, Mr. Buyer, do you have the money for this? Or is it going to take me five years to go back and forth, add enough value, build enough of a relationship that you can then find the money later on in the longer sales cycle?”

 

“When it comes to budget, it is very important to delay it as long as possible and try to understand as much as you possibly can about the client and their concerns, and then go through the value and features of what you offer and how you help them.” – Niraj Kapur · [10:35] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

Well, when it comes to budget, it is very important to delay it as long as possible and try to understand as much as you possibly can about the client and their concerns, and then go through the value and features of what you offer and how you help them. [crosstalk [00:10:50].

 

Will Barron:

Sorry to interrupt you.

 

Niraj Kapur:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

Why do we want to hold this off? You said that a couple times. Why do we want to hold it off to the end of the conversation?

 

“If you go into the conversation too early talking about budget, the conversation becomes about money and not value.” – Niraj Kapur · [11:02] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

Because when I see people, and I’ve made this mistake myself many years ago, if you go into the conversation too early talking about budget, the conversation becomes about money and not value. What you often find in the sales process is if you’re offering great value, people are less resistance to bring up budget as an excuse. Sometimes, they’ll still bring it up, of course. That’s human nature. Some people will just try to see what kind of discount they get. Some people are told by their bosses, “If you don’t get a 10% discount at least, we’re not buying this. I don’t care.” People have different reasons. We all know that. But if you bring up price too early, then the whole discussion becomes about price and not value. That is the pain in the neck when it comes to any business process.

 

Handling the “We Don’t Have a Budget” Objection From a Professional Procurement Team · [11:45]

 

Will Barron:

You kind of alluded to it there, Niraj. But how does this change when you’re dealing with a professional procurement team? My background medical device sales, half the customers that all have here in the NHS in the UK, they’d all have a procurement team, but maybe half the deals would be done through a finance director and key members of the surgical team and the management team over there. The other half would be done by the book, getting multiple quotes and going to tender. It depends on the deal size as well, of course. The rest of it would be done by a procurement. They would always, and I think they were incentivized as well to get a discount,. and that’s all they cared about.

 

Niraj Kapur:

Yeah.

 

Will Barron:

They didn’t really care about the product or the service as long as the surgeons had signed off on it and they had that piece of paper saying that they were happy. All they wanted was that discount. That again, I’m sure that they were financially incentivized to get the discount. We would just up the quotes, 10, 15%, and then knock it off. The line item would never even change. They knew that and we knew that. Having said that, I don’t know if that’s actually fraud now I’m talking about it live on the earth. But fine, it’s not my company, not my responsibility. With that said, how does this change when a professional buyer in the procurement team turns around and says, “We don’t have the budget.”

 

“A question I always ask very early in the sales process, which not enough salespeople ask is, “Who else do we have to influence in this process?” I see bad salespeople asking, “Are you the decision-maker?” Which you should never ask because people always say, “Yes.” – Niraj Kapur · [13:31] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

It’s much more complicated. It is because the job of financial director is to save the company money. When I work with pharmacy people who are selling to the NHS, a lot of the time will influence a person or group of people, but we can’t get hold of financial director. They’re never in the meeting. They’re not on LinkedIn. A lot of people who work in public sector, they’re just not. They have a LinkedIn profile from 10 years ago, which they rarely use. It’s much more difficult to influence them. I always like to make sure they’re either in the room or at least we can have a phone call afterwards because nobody is going to sell your product for the same passion and commitment as you. A question I always ask very early in the sales process, which not enough salespeople ask is, “Who else do we have to influence in this process?” I see bad salespeople asking, “Are you the decision maker?” Which you should never ask because people always say, “Yes.”

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

Niraj Kapur:

Just to save a face. I always ask, “Who else do we have to influence?” Because that involves the both of us getting involved, not just me, and a lot of people are going to be defensive towards their bosses and superiors. But if you put the thing in that manner, Will, “Who else do we have to influence?” They’re more likely to say, “Well, this person. That person. That person.” Sometimes of course they will say, “Well, I’ll just take care of it.” In which case I’ll say, “But I’ve done this many times with businesses like yourselves. If somebody else takes care of it, they’re going to chop their budget and go for the cheapest option and you’re going to lose out. How do we best influence this person?” Again, sometimes you’ll lose a deal. Sometimes you’ll never get in touch with the financial director. Sometimes, it is just about them saving money.

 

How to Handle Key Deal Influencers and Understand Their Goals Because Oftentimes They Will Have Different Priorities · [15:03]

 

Will Barron:

Sure. How do we ask this question right? I’m coming this off the top of my head. Probably, I feel like I’ve asked this or I’ve gathered this information, but I’m not sure how I’ve gone about it. If I’m I’m selling to a surgeon or Sam is selling to a marketing manager, if he’s selling SaaS or whatever it is, it’s one thing to ask that individual, or it’s one thing to have an assumption and then confirm it of, “What are your goals? What are you trying to do? Our product can help you.” But how could we ask that similar kind question to someone who is a financial director or sort of a procurement of, “What are your goals? What do you want to get out of this?” Because it’s the same deal, but they’re going to have obviously different priorities than the end user who’s going to be using the product.

 

“When people do proposals, enough of the time, they don’t really talk enough about ROI or what they’ll get out of it. They often talk about the investment or the cost, but they often don’t put deadlines to it. They often don’t say, “Here’s what you’re going to get back.” – Niraj Kapur · [15:48] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

That’s why it’s much more complicated. Because if you talked to financial director about their goals, their goal is very simple. When it comes dealing with you directly, it’s to save money. Of course, with the company balance sheets, I’ve had dealt with financial directors. It’s more complicated than that. But with you, it’s about saving costs. That’s why you always want to try and get them involved in the process even on a conference call and say, “Look, here is what the team want. Here is how the business will benefit using my product. Again, how your business will benefit using our product. Here’s the ROI you will see on it.” Because again, when people do proposals, enough of the time, they don’t really talk enough about ROI or what they’ll get out of it. They often talk about the investment or the cost, but they often don’t put deadlines to it. They often don’t say, “Here’s what you’re going to get back.”

 

Niraj Kapur:

Financial people, you have to use the right language. You speak to CEO, you talk about vision, you talk about market share, you talk about profit loss. You talk to financial person, you talk about, well, what they care about most of course is always budget. But you have to say, “This is how the business will benefit long term. Here’s how you will achieve your business objectives by investing in this.” You have to do it that way. I know it’s a pain in the ass way of doing it, but I haven’t worked out or seen anybody else work out a better way of doing it yet myself.

 

What to do When Everybody’s on Board yet Price is Still an Issue · [16:48] 

 

Will Barron:

Yep. That makes total sense. Right. Let’s go back to the point in the conversation where we’re kind of building up a story here, right? Sam is doing his qualification. He’s got the right people in the room. Let’s say there’s no annoying procurement nemesis of the salesperson in the conversation and is in the room or honest Zoom call, or whatever it is, with the right people and it’s delivered value. The buyers are on board. We bring up price towards the end of the conversation as being recommended. They say, “I just don’t think we can stretch to that.” What is the kind of mission critical thing to do at this exact moment in the conversation?

 

Niraj Kapur:

The first thing I do is very simple. “Apart from budget, is there anything else bothering you?” That’s really important. A question salespeople rarely ask is, “Is there anything that I’ve missed?” Because salespeople rarely want to ask that question. They rarely want to admit they may have missed something. These are very important questions to ask. It humanises you. Also it says, “Look, setting aside budget, is there anything else?” If they say, “Yes. Great,” you continue talking. If they say, “No,” it’s just too expensive. I often like to ask people, “What are your expectations?” Quite often they’ll say, “Well, I expected 30% cheaper.” I say, “Okay. Why would you say that for?” Again, it’s asking questions. A big mistake salespeople do is they do two things. They discount, which you shouldn’t do immediately. Or they say, “Well, we can do this. We can do this.” They just talk themselves out of a, out of a deal very, very quickly.

 

Competition Conversations and Dealing with Buyer Expectations · [18:12] 

 

Will Barron:

I love this question. I’m literally writing it down and drawing a big circle around it because I feel like this could be a conversation on its own. But even anecdotally or from your experience, what happens when a buyer says, “We expected it to be X, a thousand dollars pounds,” or, “We expected 20% less than this,” or, “We expected 20 more seats at this price.” You turned around and say, “Why would you expect that?” What typically happens at that point in the conversation?

 

Niraj Kapur:

Well, when I say, “Why would you expect that?” That’s because I want to know. They will often talk about how competition charges them 20% less. The competition does this. People are quite often going to bring up the competition. Quite often. The competition doesn’t exist. They’re just saying that because they want a cheaper rate. Because if you go back to the boss to say, “I got the deal, I saved this money.” You kind of look like a bit of a hero and everybody wants to look like a hero or a heroin. Of course they do. I always say, “Well, compared to what?” When I found out what the competition are offering, the competition normally offer cheaper rates or an inferior product. I always try then turn the sale around to talk about the value the company is giving. Again, I don’t talk about the cost. I talk about the value because people buy value. They buy emotion, of course, as well, but ultimately they’re more likely to buy value than cheapness or discounts.

 

Will Barron:

I love this. I had this with a conversation, literally at the beginning of the top of this week were recording, kind of midweek now. The conversation went very simply. We loved the product. It was a potential sponsor for the podcast, a long term sponsor. “We love the podcast. We love this and this, we love this and this. We love the characters of the brand. We love you. We want to work closer with you. We want your rub of your personal brand on our company.” I’m sat in there, tick, tick, tick, tick, this is going to be easy. At the end of the conversation, they turned around and said, “Well, we just don’t have the budget.” I asked a similar question, probably not as eloquently as you have put it there, Niraj, but I asked the question of, “Essentially, why are we here then?”

 

Niraj Kapur:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Will Barron:

“Are you just here to strip my ego?” I think I said something on those lines. “Why are we here if you not got the budget for this?” Long story short, they were comparing our podcast with another sales podcast. They were essentially trying to get discounts off me on the back of this other podcast. I was like, “Well, this doesn’t quite seem right.” Because they were about 50% the price of what we were, which is fine and the media kits is on the website. Anyone who wants to check it out, any listeners who wants to, I’m super open about it. We charge based on per thousand downloads, it’s an industry standard rate. None of it’s specifically complicated. I was like, “If you’re saying all this and you know that we’re twice as expensive, why are we having this conversation? It turns out the podcast that they were comparing us to have literally half the downloads that we do. We’re giving them as, again, it’s all based on a per thousand download rate.

 

Niraj Kapur:

Yeah.

 

How to Effectively Handle Objections by Tackling Buyer Assumptions Instead of Offering Discounts Immediately · [20:58]

 

Will Barron:

I don’t think that they’d quite sussed that out, whether the person selling them prior had been comparing them to us and trying to use our price to make the deal like a deal. But it was just asking those few questions and going a little bit deeper than accepting or discounting immediately. We got the deal done in the end. But it came down to numbers that were very logical and very explainable. But I hadn’t uncovered this yet. They hadn’t kind of like, I guess, dove into it a bit deeper and worked it out themselves. Asking these questions are incredibly valuable, right?

 

“Not all great salespeople should become sales directors. They’re given it as an ego boost, a lot of the time. They’re giving it because they’re worried about losing the great salesperson who’s making money for them. But I’ve seen a lot of very talented salespeople become sales directors and they were terrible.” –  Niraj Kapur · [21:39]

 

Niraj Kapur:

Oh, absolutely. Look, a lot of salespeople are put under very unfair pressure by sales managers or sales directors. Now, not all great salespeople, Will, should become sales directors. No. They’re given it as an ego boost a lot of the time. They’re giving it because they’re worried about losing the great salesperson who’s making money for them. But I’ve seen a lot of very talented salespeople become sales directors and they were terrible. Because being a manager is a skillset and coaching people, which is what every good sales director and sales manager should do, is a skillset. It took me years to learn. The problem is a lot of sales. People are under, are very intense pressure by unrealistic sales directors who say, “Do this, do that, do that. You have to hit your KPIs. I want 40 phone calls a day or 90 minutes on the phone.”

 

Niraj Kapur:

It’s such a boring industry cliche, and it doesn’t always work. You should always focus more on quality and a lot less on quantity. I mean, making phone calls is important too, of course, but make the quality. Sales directors really need to understand how to manage staff better. Sales staff need to spend more time reading sales books, listen to podcasts, and understanding technology. Sorry, understand buying behaviours better as well because a lot of people don’t understand psychology and buying behaviours.

 

How to Renegotiate a Deal with a Buyer Who Sincerely Wants to do Businesses with You But Price Becomes an Issue · [23:01] 

 

Will Barron:

Let’s say, again, continuing this, this storyline of Sam. He’s gone in, he’s asked that question, and he’s uncovered something an immovable object that there is a legitimate amount of budget and he cannot provide his service for that budget.

 

Niraj Kapur:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay.

 

Will Barron:

What is the next step from the… Bearing in mind that maybe his manager could give him a discount or… But what does he do in that meeting before he perhaps signs off and goes and looks for a solution?

 

“If they still say, “Look, we want to do business with you. We really do. Every box is ticked. We just don’t have the budget.” I would then start saying, “Okay, what can we take away from this to help match your budget?” You’ll find out how serious it is if they start going, “Yeah, take that away. Take that away. Take that away.” You know their budget is real. If they start going, “Woah, we’re going to lose that?” Then I would start saying, “Look, is there anywhere else you can get this budget from?” That’s a really important question to ask, because other departments do have budgets.” – Niraj Kapur · [23:40] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

What I would do if I was in Sam’s position is I would recap the challenges the client is having. I would remind them of the benefits they’re getting. I would ask once again, because people don’t always tell you their problems first time around. Sometimes, it’s a matter of trust. Sometimes, somebody really has to know you on a second meeting before they tell you they’re more deeper stuff. I find that a lot in business conversations. If then they still say, “Look, we want to do business with you. We really do. Every box is ticked. We just don’t have the budget.” I would then start saying, “Okay, what can we take away here from this? Okay. To help match your budget.” You’ll find out how serious it is if they start going, “Yeah, take that away. Take that away. Take that away.” You know their budget is real.

 

Niraj Kapur:

If they start going, “Woah, we’re going to lose that?” Then I would start saying, “Look, is there anywhere else you can get this budget from?” That’s a really important question to ask, because other departments do have budgets. Sometimes budget can come from an HR department. In the world of sales training, of course, I’ve got budgets from marketing. I’ve taken budgets from HR before. Sometimes, other divisions have budgets you can ask for. I would definitely ask that question. Sometimes, when you’re having a negotiation, Will, and it’s not going any further, sometimes it’s okay to say, “You know what? Would you mind if I had to think about this with one of my colleague or my boss?” And, “Let’s put a time in the diary now before we leave.” That’s absolutely vital.

 

“You’re not going to win every deal you get. Sometimes it’s okay to walk away and ask for a bit of time to think about things and process things. Again, very few salespeople do that.” – Niraj Kapur · [25:00] 

 

Niraj Kapur:

Don’t go back, speak to the boss and try to arrange a meeting. That can take weeks. Book a time in the diary now, so we have a conference call or a Zoom call, and we can talk about it in a few days, because sometimes it is good to step away and just talk to a call. You shouldn’t try to win. You’re not going to win every deal you get. Sometimes it’s okay to walk away and ask for a bit of time to think about things and process things. Again, very few salespeople do that.

 

The Real Value in a Salesperson’s Willingness to Walk Away from Deals · [25:40] 

 

Will Barron:

I think there’s value in being willing to walk away, right? It shows that you are serious, that you’re not going to be trampled on if someone is trying to negotiate hard against you, especially a procurement team. I know I’ve seen some procurement training that has told people to just hound salespeople and hound them, and if they walk away, then that’s where the price is. That’s where the deal is. They’re trained to go to that point and keep pushing you until you get there. I feel that there’s real value. Tell me if I’m right here, that being willing to walk away with another deal, with another conversation booked in the diary perhaps, but being willing to walk away and treat yourself as a business person rather than a pesky salesperson who’s trying to claw whatever they possibly can in, that has value in, especially in longer term deals as well. Right?

 

Niraj Kapur:

It does. Most people, sadly, think all salesperson or people are the same. Most people think all car salesmen are the same and most estate agents are the same. Now, I’ve trained a lot of the estate agents. I can tell you’re all very different. I love cars. I buy cars. I’ve bought cars with my father, my mother. I know there are actually some decent car salespeople out there. But in most people’s eyes, salespeople are all the same. They’re all thinking of their commission. There are, in all fairness, there are some good salespeople out there. But the bad ones who exist, they’re just badly trained. They’re not bad people. They’re just badly trained. The job of a buyer is to try and get as much from you as they can. That’s just a job of a buyer.

 

Niraj Kapur:

A lot of salespeople will cave and give in because of fear, lack of experience, or because it’s nearing the end of the month and they haven’t hit their targets. That’s a very understandable and very easy mistake to make. But if you hold your ground and you say, “Let me have a chance to think about this so I can come back to you and see if we can help you out.” I just think you get that extra bit of respect and it does help differentiate you from the other salespeople out there, Will.

 

Will Barron:

For sure, totally agree. Okay. Final thing on this, we’ll wrap up the show with this, right? I love what we’re saying. I feel like it makes logical sense. I think the audience could have… if they’ve taken any notes from this or even just mental notes, there’s a series of questions. There’s a process they can put in place. But some of these questions, especially if you’re sat in a boardroom with a bunch of seemingly important people and perhaps it is again towards the end of the month and you do need that deal to push you over some kind of commission boundary, and you’re going to make a tonne of money on the back of it, there’s going to be a lot of pressure on you, right?

 

How to Remain Confident in Your Abilities and What You’re Selling When Meeting C-Suit Executives and Primary Deal Influencers · [27:48] 

 

Will Barron:

Excuse my friends here, but some of the audience might be in shitting their pants in these kind of situations with these seemingly simple questions. What do we need to do from a mindset perspective or what do we need to do before we go into a meeting to get ourselves in the frame of mind where we can be confident and strong and ask these questions with no hesitation, no fumbling, no mumbling and not to go up a few octaves as we do it as well?

 

Niraj Kapur:

One thing I rarely see salespeople do ever before a phone call or before a meeting is prepare themselves. That really surprises me. When I’m running my business, and one thing I encourage all my salespeople to do is have a vision board, for example. On a vision board, you have images of what you want to achieve in life. It’s quite interesting with women. It’s almost something very intelligent, like family, a nice family home. With men, it’s Aston Martins and one of the Kardashians. It’s so bizarre how different they are. But always have a vision board in front of you. For me, it’s my family. It’s a charity work I do. It’s my daughter who’s in her final year in university. I have a very strong why every day I get up. Okay. That helps keep me calm. It helps keep me focused.

 

Niraj Kapur:

The second thing I do, which again, I see a lot of the top salespeople do it, but very few people do it who aren’t at the top, is I visualise. I see myself winning the deal, but I see myself enjoying it. It’s true. Even before I came on your podcast, even though I listen to your show, I told you beforehand, I listened to you speak to Victor Antonio yesterday. I’ve heard so many of your episodes. I have to be in top of my game. I’ve been up since [6:00] in the morning and it’s now half two. I’ve been up for six and a half hours working. I have to be in my A game. I went for a walk for 10 minutes. I cleared my head. I did my visualisations. I’ve sat down. I’ve given you everything I have. I still have tonnes of energy and that’s the way it should be. You should enjoy the process. That’s really important too. We hit what you do, you need to question why.

 

Why It’s Unsustainable to Have a Sales Job and not Enjoy it · [29:40] 

 

Will Barron:

Is that just because, one, we’re not going to perform well at it, and if you can align what you’re doing with something that you enjoy, you’re going to perform better at it. The second part of that is, is it just unsustainable to have a sales job and not enjoy it? Is it just a recipe for disaster?

 

Niraj Kapur:

Oh, god. Yeah. So many young people I meet getting into sales as a stock gap so they can have enough money for a nice holiday. Young people like holidays. They like festivals, getting pierced, having nice clothes. Pretty much those are the four things.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

Niraj Kapur:

I don’t want to generalise too much, but… Those are okay things to have. But when you’re young, that’s what you care about. I have a young daughter that in their 20s. I get that. But that’s sustainable for a year or two. You can maybe get away with that. But if you’re going to be in sales for five, 10, 15 years, do not go into your job every day hitting it. That’s one of the worst things you can do. Just go work elsewhere, find another vocation. The world of sales needs more people who enjoy what they do. If you come from a place that, “I’m going to help this customer as much as I possibly can I’m going to listen. I’m going to give them a much of value. I’m going to help them as much as I can. If I can’t, I’m prepared to walk away, but at least walk away sharing some valuable information with them.” That’s a very different perspective to another salesperson who is, “I must get this deal. I must hit my end of number. I must get my…” It’s a very different process.

 

Sales of the Future Will Be All About Sales Reps Being Differentiators and Adding Value as Opposed to the Numbers Game of the Past · [31:03] 

 

Will Barron:

Do you think that that is a shift that will happen culturally in sales and with sales leadership and the whole sales organisation? Especially as, look, sales and marketing kind of collide and then collapse into each other as well. Niraj, do you feel like sales will get into more of a place of, “We want our reps to go out and be the differentiators and add value,” versus I feel like what it’s been in the past with the kind of boiler rooms that sales has always been associated with, that it is just numbers over everything else?

 

Niraj Kapur:

Well, I look at all the companies I work with, the more bigger corporate companies, a lot of the sales directors are just trying to keep their jobs. Okay. To do that, they put a lot of really unfair pressure on salespeople. They adhere to tried and tested cliches like, “Hit your KPIs. You must get this number of calls a day. You must have it in equal conversations a day. You must have go see X number of clients a week.” That’s kind of very generic for a start and it’s not very original what all sales directors should be doing, every single one without exception. You mentioned that on your chat with Victor is that don’t just have a review once a quarter with your team. Every Monday morning you want to be sitting down and saying, “How are you getting on? How can I best support your sales director? What more skills do you have to learn I can help you with?”

 

“Young salespeople look up to you as a manager to advise them. If you advise them wrongly, they’re not going to do their job well. But if you advise them the correct way and you mentor and support them, so many of them will achieve just way beyond what you can imagine.” – Niraj Kapur · [33:05]

 

Niraj Kapur:

Once a week, every member of your team should be getting call coached, every single person, to improve. That’s something I did religiously since I became a manager in 2011. There were other managers in the business at Informa way more experienced than me, way more talented than me. But I was the most successful manager there for the first three years because I call coached everybody. Every Monday, team meetings, every Wednesday, call coaching. That’s why we succeeded as a team, because I invested so much in coaching. These other managers, when redundancies happened and corporate restructuring took place, they lost their jobs. Not me. They had more talent than I did, more experience, but I knew how to coach a team. I coached them the right way. You have to coach salespeople and give them the right values because young salespeople look up to you as a manager to advise them. If you advise them wrongly, they’re not going to do their job well. But if you advise them the correct way and you mentor and support them, so many of them will achieve just way beyond what you can imagine.

 

How to Ask and Convenience Your Manager on The Benefits of Training and Coaching You on Better Sales Techniques · [33:27] 

 

Will Barron:

Final question here, and this could be… I’m sure this could be a three-hour conversation in its own, right? We’ll keep it brief, right? [crosstalk [00:33:25] But say Sam, he’s done this deal, Ethan’s happy, sales managers, his director is absolutely flabbergasted. They love him. He’s the star of the sales team for the moment. How does he, assuming he’s got this good graces of the people of the organisation above him, how does he go to his sales manager or sales director or whoever it is and say, “Hey, look, I would love for you to coach me. I want to spend more time learning and developing. Maybe I want to do seven less cold calls a day and develop my skills so that the calls that I do make are far more effective”? how do you approach the person who’s above you, who set these KPIs, and get them to compromise on some coaching or training or whatever it is? How do you upsell this want to improve?

 

Niraj Kapur:

If you go to any manager or director and say, “Look, these KPIs aren’t that realistic and they need to change,” 99 times of a hundred, they never will. Because managers hate being questioned. Even when they’re wrong, they hate being questioned. What I like to do is I like to stroke their egos and say, “Look, you’re in a position above me. You’re doing something clearly really well. I’d like to learn a bit more from you.” That’s really nice from their ego point of view. You massage the ego side of things. The second thing I would do is when they coach me and work with me, I say, “Look, I’ve achieved these results for several months. Now, I believe I can do even better. For not making 40 phone calls a day, but doing 20 really quality calls a day.” Here’s the thing.

 

Niraj Kapur:

If you approach it like that and say, “Look, I believe I can achieve more success by doing more quality calls and more quality meetings and less than these numbers,” that’s a different conversation than, “Look, I think this is nonsense. We got to change how things are.” It’s how you approach the manager and it’s how you talk to them. It’s the questions you ask and try to get them to come to conclusion with you. Because if you say, “Look, we got to change this, this, this.” Managers unfortunately, don’t often listen to that. I’ve had that experience myself.

 

Parting Thoughts: Niraj’s Books and How to Contact Him · [35:35]

 

Will Barron:

I’ve had that experience myself as well back in a previous couple of companies. We will not digress into those conversations, Niraj. But with that, mate, we’ll wrap up here. Tell us about the two books and tell us where we can find out more about you as well.

 

Niraj Kapur:

Yeah, certainly. The first book is Everybody Works In Sales. There’s so many sales books out there and there’s so many brilliant sales authors. I’m like, “How do I stand out?” I did a book on storytelling about my life story, because people in sales when you’re selling, connect the stories. Everybody Works In Sales connects with people through storytelling and through vulnerability and through success and failure. The second book is The Easy Guide To Sales For Business Owners because everybody who hires me is a business owner. Even though I’m hired to train salespeople, it’s the business owners who hire me. Those books are available on Amazon. You’re welcome to connect with me at Niraj, at everybodyworksinsales.com, but the same time, every time I mention that, Will, people just connect with me automatically on LinkedIn. Every single time.

 

Will Barron:

Well, I will say this as well. We’ll wrap up the show. Niraj or sales nation, Niraj followed up with me over maybe cost of months to kind of book yourself in. You were going to get on the show anyway, I was just slow in replying. There was personal recommendations from people within my network. There was emails, there was other contact points. I’ve got to say that is the real deal. When someone follows up like that, when they’re a professional as you were and as you were kind of connecting and mixing within my audience as well, that really speaks to the fact that you’re not…

 

Will Barron:

How do I describe this politically correct as best as I can? You’re the real deal in a world of sales trainers, where there’s a lot of idiots in there as well. I appreciate that. I feel like I’ve been positively sold to, for you to get on the show. If you do that with your corporate clients as well, they’re obviously going to be killing it. With that, Niraj, I wanted to just plug you there and the hustle you put in, mate. I want to thank you again for joining us on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Niraj Kapur:

That’s very kind of you to say, Will. Thank you so, so much. I really appreciate that.

SALESMAN WEEKLY EMAIL