Get New Clients: Overcoming the "Money Excuse"

03/04/2015 08:47 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2015

When a prospective client declines to work with you because of money, the reality is that they don't view your services as an investment in themselves and their goals. They don't see how working with you will deliver added value, so they view your services as an expense they can do without.

When a client sees you as an expense, they say things like:

"I'd like to, but I'm saving up for X."
"That sounds expensive."
"I can't afford it."

Conquering the "Money Excuse"

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is they spend a lot of time explaining how they will work with their clients (the features) instead of talking about the benefits or the outcomes the client will receive that will solve their problems (what they are actually buying).

In order to overcome the money excuse and get new clients, you need to clearly define the value you'll add and the payoffs your client will receive. There's a definite art to this subtle technique, but once you master it you'll find it's easier than ever to transform a "no" into a paying client.

The Two Islands

To illustrate how this is done, I want you to imagine that there are two islands. The first is The Island of Today, where your prospect is currently. This island represents the challenges your client is facing -- being overweight, not making enough money, not having money for retirement, searching for the perfect home or putting up with clutter and what their life looks and feels like because of those challenges.

The second is The Island of Full Potential, where your client would one day like to be. This island represents everything your prospect wants to achieve, create or become. In the middle of these two islands is a vast ocean and you are the boat that can take your client from The Island of Today to The Island of Full Potential.

The most important thing to remember is that your client does not care what the boat looks like. He doesn't care whether the wood is cherry or oak, and he isn't interested in what the steering wheel looks like. But that is what we tend to do. We explain that they will receive a 90-minute consultation, a quarterly financial analysis, weekly check-ins plans or that you will meet on the phone versus in person.

Your client just wants to know what the outcomes are. He wants to know the tangible and intangible outcomes. Tangible outcomes are what they will get e.g. more sales, money for college, an organized house; Intangible outcomes are how they will feel e.g. confidence, calm, less overwhelm.

How quickly will they arrive at The Island of Full Potential? What's in store when they arrive? How will their lives, business, finances or relationships change as a result of working with you?

Yes, he also wants to "how" and you need to be able to explain how you will work together however this is a much smaller part of he sales conversation. He isn't paying for the "how" he is paying for the payoffs and when we spend too much time on the "how" our clients think they are spending money on things like time, plans or calls versus the fact they will have a brand that is easily recognizable and be able to attract their ideal clients who are happy to pay them their fees.

What to Emphasize, What to Avoid...

Here's what this technique looks like in action when it's done correctly:

"When you work with us, we'll meet quarterly to make sure you're hitting your investment goals. During this meeting we'll assess how the current strategy is working and make course adjustments to ensure you make your yearly goals without any missed opportunities."

Notice there is an emphasis on benefits. This statement clearly illustrates how each feature will add value and enhance the client's life and finances.

Next, when it's time to talk money with your prospect, avoid using words like "cost" and "price" which are trigger words for spending and buying. They are making an investment in themselves, their dreams and goals.

"For our team to come in and completely manage your investment portfolio so you can take it off your radar and live your life while knowing that your portfolio is operating at its highest potential and earning you money, it would be an investment of $$$."

By stressing the value you'll add and the ROI your client will receive, you strategically position your services as an investment, not an expense. This slight shift will inspire your prospects to see you in a whole new light and up your chances of closing the deal.

What "investment versus expense" strategies do you currently employ during talks with prospective clients?