The client says they don’t have the money.


First up, please recognise. It’s never money.

I have never known the client not to have the money. Ever.

Think of it like this. Has someone asked you for something and you say ‘I don’t have the time’ the reality is you do have the time – but you are valuing something else above that ‘task’.    If what that person is asking of you is both a deep value of yours and you really want it – you would find the time.


Money, Time. Same thing. It’s the same because most reps fail there. They give up. They walk off. They say, ‘they don’t have the money’.


When I hear a client say that – my first thought is ‘ah, they don’t see the value’ and I take responsibility that I didn’t find out what they valued enough, I didn’t articulate how this solution would assist them. If I did they would be saying ‘Wow, I really really want this – it’s exactly what I’m after – let me see how I move money around to make it happen’.


Here are a few other situations to consider:


Situation One:

Your team are saying your solution needs to be cheaper. They may say the client is driving this.

Don’t believe it.

Your team are not sold on why you are selling at that price. They do not know why it’s priced as it is and what it does (i.e. the VALUE) for the client.



  1. Internal training,

What your solution does for the client. The ‘outcome’.  You need to do product training where you go through all USP, POD. Anchor them in the positives and arm them with answers for all questions. Then, compare how the competitors offer differs (or other ways of getting what you’ve got – or doing what the client is currently doing).


  1. Language – remove certain words from the office. Which word? ‘expensive’

Yes, I constantly hear Directors say ‘this one’s a bit expensive’ amongst chatting about their solutions and then an hour later they inform me ‘the team think it’s expensive’

and I’m like ‘no sh@t sherlock’!  Drop that word. It must be dropped from the top.

If you think its expensive no wonder your team do, and they are projecting that onto your potential clients.



Situation Two:

If your team are saying that the reason, they are not selling is due to the competitor selling it less for less, then I would ask this question to yourself and them.


Question: Is the competitor solution identical in every way to yours?


  • If it’s not: don’t compare, stop defending the price and immediately halt being pulled down the money vortex.

Go back to what they want and what your offer does. Keep your eye on the outcome and off the price.


  • If the competitor is selling the identical solution for less money: go to a list of what the differences is between the companies. Are you aligned better? Better ethics? Better terms? Delivery? Customer service?

I’m going to share that in this case – 99.9% of the time it’s STILL not money.

It’s because, brace yourself, the client just isn’t into you. I would like to say it’s not you, it’s them. But it’s probably you.  Take ownership.

Let’s flick it around as its easier to swallow and less of a hit on the ole ego.

Ask yourself, did the competitor go in more often then you, do a better job of looking professional? Asking more questions? Caring? Looking like the trusted advisor? Coming up with solutions? Adding value by sending into and intel that will help that client? Following up better. Did they make it easier for the potential client to buy of them?

The reality is you don’t know so you can guess – yes, they did. They went about their business in a different way. Either by timing, how they came across the competitor, how it was introduced to them (great receptionist/customer service/website/web enquiry response) and after a great start they continued to engage with that client in a meaningful way to them. They acted in a way which that client responded to.

The client in turn felt that this competitor ‘just gets us’ and so, they bought into them helping with their problem.


Know how I know this? Because when your potential customer REALLY REALLY wants YOUR solution you can tell. They answer your calls, they are quick with email responses, they say ‘come in, please help us make this work’ their body language, tone, attitude, EVERYTHING is screaming ‘I’m trying to get this across the line’.


Solution: You inherit all those positive, professional behaviours and YOU become the person they are sold on.

See blog on The client says you are too expensive

What’s next you ask?

Value (your proposition and what the client values), understanding your client, being driven to succeed.

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Author: Charmaine Keegan is the director and Head Trainer of Smarter Selling, Australia’s premier sales training company focusing on enhanced performance, behavioural change, being aware of and in charge of your mindset.  Empowering sales people so they are set up for success with advanced skills, the right attitude, accountability, confident and driven to get results.