Customer Service Training TIps

Determining your customer’s budget – Don’t ask this

When helping customers make buying decisions, we of course need to come up with options that are going to fit their budget. The problem is we can sometimes shoot ourselves in the foot, depending on how we ask…

Q. “How much do you want to spend?”
A. Nothing. I don’t want to spend any money. I want to get this as cheap as possible.

Q. “What’s your budget?”
A. None of your business. Just tell me your prices and I’ll decide if you’re in the ballpark.

Note – customers likely won’t say these out loud. This is their inside voice.

Having delivered trusted advisor customer service and sales training programs for over 30 years, I’ve often learned as much from clients as they’ve learned from me. As a way of passing it forward, here are two alternative phrases that I’ve learned from my clients when asking about budgets. Fyi, these have been field tested with even skeptical, reluctant customers:

“What price range are you comfortable with?”
“Is there a budget I should be aware of?”

Either of these phrases is more apt to get you the numbers you’ll need without causing offence. And they avoid encouraging customers to lowball their estimate. Not bad results for adjusting a few words.



Was this helpful?   For additional information on this topic:  Influence and Persuasion Skills 

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Jeff Mowatt is a customer service speaker, customer service training professional, award-winning speaker, and best-selling author.


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