What to do when your client claims they have no money

Today let’s look at a common pricing objection. Specifically what to do when a prospects says “I have no money.”

 I see this objection as being one of two potential problems. Either:

  1. The client is being honest, and they really doesn’t have any money or has lost their money to another project or,
  2. You are not talking to the right decision maker. Your prospect, a decision influencer doesn’t know where to find money because they are not a high enough manager in the company. The right decision maker has money, or who can create money in the budget if your solution is important enough.

 Let’s tackle them 1 at a time.

If the prospect exclaims “I have no money!” regardless of where you re in the sales cycle, stop what you are doing and ask a question. Questions are the only way to truly understand what the prospect means. Here are some examples.


Prospect: “I have no money!”

You: “Thanks for sharing that with me. When are your new budgets approved?”


Prospect: “I have no money!”

You: “I appreciate you tell me that up front. Does that mean you will not be able to go ahead with any projects this year?


Prospect: “I have no money!”

You: “That’s good to know. Does that mean you have no money this month or no money all year?”


Prospect: “My budget has been lost!”

You: “Lost?”


Prospect: “We’ve lost our meetings budget for this year!”

You: “Thanks for sharing that with me. When will you be planning for next year?”


The answers to these questions will put you back in control and help you decide where to take the conversation next.

Sadly, for most sales people, the real reason money is not available to them is because they are trying to sell to a decision influencer, not a decision maker. Remember that only senior level decision makers (normally VP level and above) can find money to purchase your solution. Middle level managers can only spend what they have been allocated. If you find that your prospect tells you they have “no money” ask yourself honestly if you are selling high enough up the decision making food chain.

 If you discover that your contact has little to no power, look for ways to call higher. You should be selling at the VP level or above always. Here are some ideas to go high after the deal has been stalled because of lack of funds:

  • Ask you prospect: “Who else is effected by the decision, and how do you suggest you get them involved?”
  •  Tell the prospect: “Its normal for a VP to be involved in the decision. In fact, that’s been the case at all my clients.” This will put the prospect at ease, and encourage them to refer you up to their boss.
  • Get your manager involved. Tell your prospect that your manager wants a meeting his manager.
  • Make sure you never go above your contacts head unannounced. You can not build a long term relationship if you “burn” your contact. Honest and genuine salespeople are bold enough to be up front about their intended actions.

 Seek the help of the buyer rather than try to circumvent him. At a minimum tell the blocker that because of your strong belief in your product and your dedication to helping others succeed, you would like to seek a meeting with a higher authority. If the buyer refuses to help you, you can tell him that you are going to call the higher up anyways. Then there are no surprises and no resentment.

 This week when you are faced with a “no budget” comment from a prospect take a moment to question the prospect and then questions yourself. 1) What does the prospect really mean “no Money” and 2) am I talking to the right decision maker.

 Dedicated to increasing your sales,



2 responses to “What to do when your client claims they have no money

  1. Tweets that mention What to do when your client claims they have no money | Sell More, Work Less and Make More Money by Colleen Francis -- Topsy.com says:

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  2. Thanks for your great suggestions to dealing with the “No Money” response. Asking additional questions is always the best way I’ve found to determine if this is a dead lead or if, as you state in the article, that I’m talking to the wrong person in the organization. I would add that I would have tried to find this out earlier in my process so that I am not making my offer to the wrong person in the first place.

    Felicia Gopaul, Publisher

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