I recently had an exchange with someone who commented on one of our YouTube Videos "What happened to the Audio Stores?" See it here for reference:
If you have not taken the time to look at our catalog of topics, well, there's 70 to choose from right now with so many more to come. I take the time to respond to nearly all of them. The important thing to note is how we try to take care of our customers and, in return, the respect we need to continue to look at you for far more than what's in your wallet. Without further delay, here's the exchange:
"Sounds like your sales people don’t know how to qualify prospects and turn them into paying customers. Try asking, “what is your budget for this component?”
Actually, that's one of the worst questions you can ask as a salesperson in my 50 years of sales. I don't train my people to look at the wallet but to the person. Just use the experience of looking for a car or truck. If a lot salesman came up to me and asked that question right off the top, then I know he's sizing me up for "if it's worth the effort or not."
The truth is, many people don't really know how much they need to spend to accomplish what they want for a level of quality they want and then the question becomes options to fulfill the customer's wants and wishes. That includes long term reliability, intended use by multiple parties, and the list goes on and on.
It also makes the deadly mistake of assuming the customer also knows what the quality differences are between products. That's exactly why the Chinese succeeded in selling this country a lot of very poor quality products for years because, well, they had the best price on what seemingly appeared to be the same quality of goods on the surface. You name it, food containers, car parts, and the list goes on and on. You don't sell higher quality goods by simply meeting a price point when you could show them something better and give them the choice of doing it or not.
Frankly, that's one of the reasons why the internet has succeeded so well because it presses price first. The second reason, and this was well documented by many retailers, is that people thought it was cool to take the time of the retailer to learn about the product, understand their needs, and the whole nine yards and then go out on the web and buy it. It was called "showrooming" many years ago. It's exactly why many custom installation companies don't itemize their quotes because it simply becomes a shopping list for customers who, quite frankly, are simply stealing time. I have personally had customers take hours of my time, tens of emails, and lots of calls just to do that. I have had that experience in the past and I had it happen to me several times this year.
So, no, I don't agree with asking the question "how much do you want to spend." I'll give them choices and let them decide how to best spend their money.