How to Decode What the Prospect Meant by 'No Money' The most polite way to decline a sales pitch is to blame the budget. Often, however, that is not an insurmountable barrier.

By Eddy Ricci

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When you have been around the block a few times in sales or as a business owner, you understand the mental strength necessary to cope with rejection. For young professionals getting started in their careers, this rejection can diminish confidence, especially when they don't understand why the potential customer or client is objecting.

Becoming numb to the rejection is both a blessing and a curse. How many times have you submitted a proposal, given free consults and done presentations, only for the person to end up not doing any business with you?

The first few times your company gets rejected for a gig, you take it to heart and then put some thought into why the prospect declined the opportunity to work with you. But after a while, you become a bit immune to the rejection. That's when you don't even bother going back to watch the game tape.

Related: Seven Rules for Coping with Sales Rejection

People do not buy for four reasons: no money, no urgency, no need or no trust. Let's explore, "no money.''

If it is sincere, the "no money" response is a blessing in disguise. Would you rather someone state they have no money so you can move on to the next prospect or be teased down a path of wasted time, energy and resources, only to find out much later they have no money to buy your services or product?

If you believe their response is sincere, you must make the two determinations. First, do you have time to explore this prospect further? Second, is your service or product is a necessity to this individual or more luxury item?

If business is slow and you are just going to hang out in front of your computer next week AND your service leans toward the necessity side, then you may still want to meet with this person. You could get a different answer about their budget, or at least build the relationship for the future, in way of referrals or when they have the money to act.

Consider if switching to your service or doing business with you could save the person money. If so, take them out for coffee. See if you can learn enough about their situation to find out if you can "free up" some dollars in their budet.

However, recognize that no matter what you say, they will remain stuck on notion of a new bill instead of new potential savings. So use language to the tune of "Hey, leave the check book at home for this meeting. I just want to see if I can help you free up dollars in your budget because this is more important to you or your business."

Related: How to Make the Most of a Sales Rejection

Writing a new check is what they are ultimately objecting to, right? If you can help them to save money on your service, then you can follow up with the proposal and collect the check at a later date. The key is to get in front of the person to learn more about their situation. Again, only do this if business is on the slower side. This is an uncertain investment of your time and energy.

If you are offering more luxury items and hearing the "no-money" objection from many prospective clients, it's time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy. You need to prospect in a different market and that takes time.

Many times, the "no money" line isn't sincere. Sure, the prospect may not want to spend their money on your service at this time, but they probably do have the money if they chose to do so and you are calling on them because you sense there is a potential need.

If this is the case, use language that suggests they view the cost of doing business with you as more of a reallocation of expendable funds in their existing budget. "Reallocating'' is a great connection word versus them adding a new expense line item to their budget. Also, if your product or service can "kill two birds with one stone" by satisfying more than one need (or want) in their life, they will be more apt to do business with you. View how your service or product can fulfill multiple needs with one check.

Identifying why people aren't doing business with you is important to building confidence and learning to manage relationships, crucial skills to develop when you are starting off in your career.

Related: Rebound From Rejection

Eddy Ricci, CFP ® is a founder, author, leadership consultant, talent acquisition specialist and angel investor.   He empowers entrepreneurs, executives and professional service practitioners to upgrade their businesses, careers and lifestyles through leadership consulting, firm building and talent acquisition.  He is the author of The Growth Game: a millennials guide to professional development and Miss Money Plan and the battle against emotion, a superhero-themed financial literacy book for kids.    

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Side Hustle

Anyone Can Start a Passive Income Side Hustle For Easy Money — But Only If You Know These 5 Essential Tips First.

The rise of digital automation technology has made starting a passive income side hustle easier and more accessible than ever before.

Side Hustle

He Launched His Creative Side Hustle Out of a Garage. Now It's Worth $225 Million.

Tom Humble, CXO and founder of E.C.D. Automotive Design, followed his passion for custom auto design into big business.


Don't Just Babble on LinkedIn — You Need to Carve Out Your Own Niche. Here's Why.

To ultimately unlock the full potential of your LinkedIn experience, you need to establish yourself as a thought leader in a specific niche. This is why (and how).

Business News

This Company Promised to Transform Drive-Thrus With AI — But the Secret Powering Its Tech? Humans.

Presto Automation Inc., one of several major players in AI-ordering tech, has made headlines for using off-site employees in places like the Phillippines.

Growing a Business

How an Executive Coach Can Help You Set Better Goals — And Transform Your Business

Ways to enhance your competitive advantage — and psychological wellbeing — with the assistance of a seasoned, results-focused professional.


How to Start a 'Million Dollar' Morning Routine

Restructure your morning with a few simple steps that may help to amplify your energy.