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Recently, Jayson and I were shopping for window treatments for our new home (new-builds do not provide window covers as we found out).  As a testimony for the power of Facebook, a woman who started following me personally about three years ago reached out and said, “Your windows are bare!  I can cover them for you!” To which I replied, “Sure!  Come on out!”  She brought a big book of stunning photos and samples, measured our windows, used a lot of industry terms that went right over Jayson and my heads and said she’d email a quote.  She was so nice and suggested blind with cords that our young twins could not get tangled up in.  I was eager to get the quote!

When the quote arrived, I thought there was a typo.  There were two; she broke the house into two phases to make it more “budget-friendly” but phase one cost double what we wanted to spend on the entire house!

This made me think, “well, I’m just like some of my brides now.  I had no idea how much window treatments cost, and therefore, didn’t have a budget, just like those who have no idea how much flowers cost and say they don’t have a budget!  Ha!!’

But the truth is, I did have a budget, I just wasn’t sure about it.  I had a dollar amount in mind, but really had no clue if it was too much, not enough or just enough as I had never priced blinds before.  This confirmed for me a truth I’ve known all along:  YOUR CLIENT HAS A BUDGET RATHER THEY ADMIT THEY DO OR NOT!

Here’s your sure-fire plan for getting her budget:

1.)  Ask your client for a budget–UPFRONT (in the questionnaire you have them complete prior to their first consultation is the perfect place and time).  You are doing your client a disservice if you do not work for them, and showing them what you can do in their budget is working for them.  Had the salesperson asked me for a budget upfront, I might not have had such drastic sticker shock.

2.)  Your client has a budget, even if she says she does not.  She has a number in her head that she feels is appropriate, rather it is or not, and you need to get the number from her.  If she tells you she does not have a budget, simply reply, “That’s fantastic!  How about our $20,000 package then?”  She will quickly tell you that’s too much and direct you to a more attainable number.

3.)  Be sure to explain to your client that the reason you are inquiring in to her budget is so that you can help keep her on track.  Let her know you are on her side and she will be more forthcoming.

                Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.  ~Albert Einstein 

4.)  Provide her with sample pricing she can examine prior to your consultation.  For example, when I blog about real weddings we have designed, I include details such as how many in the bridal party, how many centerpieces, if there were ceremony and/or cake flowers, and what her budget range was (NOTE:  I do not reveal what she actually spent out of courtesy.  Instead, I state her floral budget was $1500-1700 instead of an exact figure).  Recently we added a page to our wedding website that displays galleries: three for bouquets in different price ranges and three for centerpieces in different price ranges with pictures in each gallery of what that price range can obtain.

Why is this important, you ask?

For starters, you want to earn the business, right?  Start by showing her what is IN her budget and not over simply by knowing how much she is willing to spend.  Show her that you are truly here for her, with her best interests in mind (not yours), and this will not only make you look like the hero, but a trusted adviser.  Brides chat with other brides, and the word will quickly spread that you care about the bride and can stay within budget.

Do you have tips on how to get the budget from the bride?  Leave them in the comments below!  🙂