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One of the most essential steps required to qualify or disqualify an opportunity is to figure out if a prospect is willing and able to make any investments to move forward. In order to qualify or disqualify an opportunity, we must ask the question: Is there a budget set aside and what would that budget be?

Depending on the prospect and situation, you may or may not receive an answer.

There is an essential technique called bracketing, which is a framework for finding out how much your prospect is willing to spend. This reflects the customers’ pain within the budget conversation.

Here is an example of the bracketing technique:

“Well, Joe, let me ask you this. Often, when we talk to an organization similar to yours that are struggling with Pain 1, Pain 2, or Pain 3, and they are searching for Solution X, Solution Y or Solution Z, the average price of the solutions would range from $125,000 to $175,000. Does it make sense to continue this conversation?”

The key to an effective bracketing technique is to anchor moderately high and be careful not to start off low. If you suggest a range of numbers, the prospect will naturally focus on that lower price. To avoid price cutting your budget, set your lower anchor to a realistically higher number that yields a reaction.

Do not leave the qualification process without understanding at some level what’s in the budget. After determining the budget amount, ask yourself if it is feasible to move forward.

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