The sales world is filled with acronyms that people often dismiss as gobbledygook. This can be off-putting because sometimes those acronyms carry important nuggets of marketing knowledge. One such acronym is BANT – which stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timing.
BANT can be used to qualify sales leads and as guide to the stage in their purchasing journey customers have reached. Let’s have look at the individual elements of BANT and see how you can use them to your advantage.
The BUDGET is probably the most delicate issue for all potential customers as it sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. Asking for a figure seems like the easiest option but chances are you won’t get a definite answer and the customer may feel pressured and defensive.
Instead it’s better to ask how much they normally spend on the sort of product or service you are offering. You could also invite the customer to think about how much it will cost them over time if they don’t find a suitable solution. Try to find out whether price will be a deciding factor and what return on investment they are aiming for. All of these questions will communicate the level of investment the company is prepare to make and their understanding of true costs for fixing the issue at hand.
The next step is AUTHORITY. Ask the customer about the decision-making process. Find out who will be using the product/service and who has the ultimate authority to make the purchasing decision.
The NEED is focused on identifying the problem and/or the opportunity presented by the customer. Try to ascertain whether the user has already taken steps towards achieving a solution and what degree of success they have had. Try to discover more about the goals of the person you’re talking to and those of the department or company as a whole. This will allow you to emphasise how the feature and benefits of the product you’re selling will help the customer to reaching those goals.
TIMING is important for almost every client, so be sure to ask about deadlines. Work backwards from the customer’s deadlines and decide on when an order will need to be placed and the timing for implementing the solution.
BANT is here to stay. From small engineering businesses to large technology giants the technique forms the bedrock of sales and marketing techniques. For a comprehensive list of this year’s marketing trends make sure to download our Marketing trends for 2019 eBook below...