The budget is an excuse. Nothing more than that.
If you’ve ever tried to sell tickets to a company, you’ve absolutely heard the phrase “We just don’t have it in the budget this year.”
Budget Is A Blow-Off
And you’ve never liked it. It’s the corporate version of “I have to talk to my husband…(and then never call you again).” It’s almost always a conversation ender. And here’s the thing…they’re probably telling the truth. So how on earth do we, ticket sales reps, combat that?
It’s actually not as hard as you think. Generally we hear this phrase at one of two times in the conversation, when they decline to take a meeting with us or when they are turning down the proposal that we make to businesses. I’m going to arm you for each of these situations…
On the Initial Phone Call
“I can absolutely appreciate that. Not to be funny, but I would be shocked if you had a Get After It Sales budget before we ever had a conversation. Seriously though, I know budgets can be exceedingly tight, especially these days. That said, I’m not aiming for your entertainment budget…or whatever budget you think tickets would come out of. I work with companies to help them solve problems using our arena. While companies don’t necessarily have large entertainment budgets, they have budget to solve problems, and that’s where I specialize. I’d love to teach you how companies similar to yours are utilizing our arena to solve problems, learn more about your company, and see if something might make sense. Worst case scenario, you have the best possible info for the right time. When can we make 15 minutes work? I know there will be value there.”
At the End of the Conversation
This won’t be a quote, it’ll be a strategy. In the meeting, make sure you understand the biggest challenges of the company you are working with. Map those back to solutions with your arena AFTER THE MEETING IN YOUR PROPOSAL. Mapping the arena solutions to their challenges reminds them why this isn’t just out of the entertainment budget. Also, make sure there are at least 2-3 solutions in the proposal. This takes the answer of ‘no’ off the table. The more you’re able to do this, the more successful your proposals will be…and the less you’ll hear ‘We just don’t have it in the budget.’
Sales is all about how we act in specific situations, and this is the most difficult one we face from a B2B perspective. Are you ready for it?