A few weeks ago I was on the phone with a prospective client. They’re a vibrant ministry doing good work but struggling with fundraising and development.
Together, we pretty quickly identified the hurtle they had to jump to grow to the next level. I made a couple of recommendations that seemed viable from what I knew about their situation, their problem and their resources.
We spent a few minutes discussing the option they thought fit them best. Then they asked, “What would something like that cost?”
I gave them a good ball-park price range. It fit what they needed and their size.
But as these things go, they answered, “We can’t afford to do that.”
I thought for a minute (maybe two), and I asked them in return, “OK, I understand, but can you afford not to?”
Now we were in a completely different conversation.
“Can you afford not to?” That reframes the decision, doesn’t it? Understand, the “can you afford not to” question isn’t a sales technique, it’s an honest question that you have to answer for yourself. It shifts the decision from primarily an expense consideration to an investment decision. There are some choices you can afford to avoid. Others you can’t. Or shouldn’t.
What about you? What do you think about the “can you afford not to” question? I’d love to know what you’re thinking.
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