Laurel sent this in as a response to Deidre’s post about the numbers guessing game, and we simply had to share.
The Money Conversation is always a dance, isn’t it?
Over many years of business, I have developed a couple of analogies that that come in handy when trying to get a budget figure out of a client or prospect.
I often get new people who call up and say things like “How much is a logo?”
That used to take me aback until one day I got fed up and said (to a car dealership owner), “Well, I don’t know – how much is a car?”
Big pause – then the caller started laughing. But he got the point, and we were able to create a range as Deidre described in the guessing game post. If the prospect had been a real estate agent, I would have asked: "How much is a house?"
When a client is really dithering and hard to pin down, I roll out the Floor/Ceiling analogy.
I say, “Okay Mr. Client, here’s the deal: you have a budget ceiling over which you can’t go, and I have a floor under which I can’t get your work done. If your ceiling is under my floor, we will need to figure out how we can tailor your project to get it between the two.”
This usually gets the conversation back on track, unless their ceiling is not realistic and they won’t budge it (which is a clear sign that they are not my client). It also helps to depersonalize/lighten the conversation.
What tips do you have for dealing with the numbers game?