Perhaps the most common objection sales professionals face is the “No Budget” one. It seems like a complete killer of opportunity because it implies that the prospect has no power to buy, regardless of their level of interest in the solution being sold.

What we know is that this objection is almost always a red herring. It is not founded on fixed concepts. That’s mostly because money is not really a fixed concept. It is an intangible until it is weighed against something.

For example, Is $1000 is a lot of money? Most people might give an instinctual quick answer of yes or no. That answer will depend on the individual’s frame of reference. For one person, $1000 might be their monthly rent payment. For another person $1000 might be what they spend on a weekday dinner out.

So let’s get more specific on the question and see what happens.

Is $1000 a lot of money for a basic wood handled hammer? Almost everyone would answer yes to that question (with the possible exception of the people who put together the federal budget).

Is $1000 a lot of money for a brand new BMW? Almost everyone would answer no.

It’s the same $1000 either way, but the perceived value of that amount changes drastically when it is linked to different elements (the hammer or the BMW). Psychologically, money has no value until it is assigned to something.

A sale needs to be assigned to the value of something, and that’s almost always going to be the value of solving some sort of pain. Human beings default to avoiding pain over seeking out some sort of gain. It’s another basic survival instinct we carry deep in our psychology.

You’ll notice that when you correctly identify a serious problem your prospect has, the budget always appears? That’s because you’ve made a correct ratio connection between the value of solving that pain and the price of your product. Everyone can find budget for something that they believe is going to save them a lot of money or make them a lot of money.

Many years ago I heard a business leader speak at an event I was attending. The story he told us illustrated this concept very well. He told us about a massive heart attack he had survived the year before.

“Three days before that heart attack, if you had tried to sell me a triple bypass surgery, my answer would have been, I don’t want it, I don’t need it, I can’t afford it. Once I had the heart attack and I needed it, I also wanted it, and I was not worried about the price”

Not every sales pitch is going to involve stakes that high, but they are all going to involve that same concept.

If your client is telling you they don’t have the budget, it means you did not find any pain to solve.