How many times has your client absolutely needed what you have to offer, and they subverted you with the old line: “That’s great, but we don’t have budget for that.”

You are doing them and yourself a major disservice by allowing that to happen. In most peoples’ concept of a budget it is a rigid spending plan. That fails the common sense test of what a budget really is, and what it needs to do – allocate resources to achieve the organization’s most important results. Too many people and organizations get rigid with budgets, and are reluctant to adjust them, even though changes of every kind are coming at them virtually every day. Anyone who believes they can predict how to spend to achieve their most important objectives a year in advance is delusional, or has magic powers of prediction (and there are not many of them).

The conversation with a client can go like this: The client will say, “I love what you are offering us, but we don’t have the budget for it.”

What would you say to that?

Here is what I ask: “Is this one of your top three, four or five priorities in your organization?” And they will respond, “Oh yeah, it would be one of our top five priorities…. but we don’t have the budget for it.”

When I get a response like that, I ask if they would like some free and very valuable consulting? That is an easy sell, and I tell them: “You are saying that this would be one of the most important ways you could produce high-impact, high-priority, and valuable results for your company, but you don’t have the budget. Being locked into spending your budget on lower priority, lower impact projects instead of the ones that would help you achieve your most important results is… bad leadership decision-making. High quality leadership decision making means you are allocating your resources to achieve the most important results your organization is committed to.”

It is amazing how quickly decision-making can change when profound common sense is well presented – even when it comes to budget conversations.

You can be the force for greater clarity, focus and impact on what is most important.

To your success,
Steve Lishansky