How to stop timewasters

Isn’t annoying when you put a load of effort into visiting a customer and putting together a quote, only to find out their budget is nowhere near what you are charging.

The most annoying part is that you’ve only got yourself to blame.

There is a very simple way to avoid this happening.

When you have your initial discovery call with a customer, you use the BANT system.

BANT stands for: Budget, Authority, Need, Timing

The system has been around since at least the 1950’s and seems to fall in and out of favour with salesmen, but in my opinion, anything that lasts that long must be worth know.

So, how do you use BANT?

You use it as a framework for your initial conversation with a customer.

Essentially, you want to find out the following information as quickly as possible, so that you don’t waste each other’s time.

But don’t just rattle through the questions. Build it into a natural conversation.

Here are a few example questions you could use:

B – Budget (how much are they looking to spend)

Do you have a budget in mind for this project Mrs Jones? How much do you typically spend on decorating work?

A – Authority (Do they have the authority to make the final decision? Or is someone else involved too?)

Is there anyone else who needs to be involved when I come to quote for the work? Or is it just you?

N – Need (Does the customer actually need you? If you are not the best person for the job, let them know)

What made you decide you needed to redecorate this room? Have you spoken to any other decorators yet? What made you decide to use a professional decorator?

T – Timing (How quickly will they be making a decision about the work? Do they have a deadline for when it must be completed?)

When are you looking to have the work completed? I’m booked up for the next 3 months, so I wouldn’t be able to fit anything in before XX/XX/XXXX

As long as you cover off these 4 critical areas in your initial conversation with a customer you are guaranteed to save yourself a lot of wasted time!

So, next time you get an enquiry, remember…BANT!

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