Last week I received a call from the Boston Ballet - part of their annual fundraising drive. I hate these calls as much as you do, but the lady who called, engaged me by asking if I was looking forward to this year's new production of The Nutcracker Ballet.
When she got to the part when she was asking for money, she screwed up (at least with me). She only asked for a $35 donation.
If she had asked for $1000 or $5000, it would have been too much for most people to part with over the phone. But $35 wasn't worth the time which I would have to spend giving her my credit card information. I said "no" to $35, but asked myself, 'To what amount would I have said "yes"?'
It turns out that a "yes" would have been a no-brainer for any request between $100 and $250 and she could have pushed me to say "yes" to any amount between $250-$500, but $35 just wasn't worth my time.
So, what is the lesson here?
It's two-fold. Everybody has a comfort zone with money - businesses, non-profits, salespeople, clients, customers, donors and prospects. The key is to be aware of it and manage it.
If you have salespeople asking for more than is comfortable for them, you need to replace your salespeople.
If you have salespeople asking for amounts that are comfortable for them, but uncomfortable for your prospects, you need to question your target audience and do a better job training your salespeople to sell value.
If the discomfort with money stretches to both salespeople and prospects, you won't be able to sell anything!
And if both sides are comfortable with the amounts being asked, money won't ever be a problem.
The money issue is a bigger problem than most people realize. Get it right and selling gets much easier! Do you need a way to figure out whether your sales force can handle the money which you need them to get? A Sales Force Evaluation will accomplish that.