More than an acronym, B.A.N.T. was a sales methodology originally developed by IBM to help their team prioritize leads and opportunities for the company. There are a ton of resources available on this method, but here’s the TL;DR version.

Unless your target has BUDGET, AUTHORITY, NEED, and TIMING, you’re not going to make a sale. However, don’t despair if all of these elements aren’t present. Just because one or more of these might be missing, doesn’t mean there isn’t a future opportunity. You can quickly assess whether or not the missing element is likely to change and when. And if it turns out that your prospect just isn’t a qualified buyer, they become another part of your growing network of relationships.

  • BUDGET: Your prospect can afford your services, and they recognize the value of them. If they want to negotiate on price, is their counter offer something you can still make money on? Are you willing to compete on price, or is the value of your offer firm? Beware a race to the bottom if it’s only about budget.
  • AUTHORITY: They are in a position to make the decision to greenlight your offer. If they aren’t the decision maker, who is – and are you able to speak with them? The person you’re talking to may really want to hire your firm, but if they don’t have the authority to do so, you aren’t going to be hired.
  • NEED: This prospect has both an actual and a felt need for what you’re offering. If they can’t see a need for your service, they are not your customer. There are literal needs and felt needs. On some level those two things need to be aligned for there to be a sale. In many cases there are neither. Don’t try to sell me a landline phone, when I have a cell phone in my hand.
  • TIMING: This one is quite simple. If you sell websites and your prospect just finished redoing theirs, the timing is bad for them to buy a new one from you.

Finally, remember this little diddy: The clock is not ticking if you’re not talking.

The sales cycle, however long or short it may be, doesn’t BEGIN until you start a conversation with your prospect. You’ve heard it said many times that sales is all about relationships. So get that relationship started! If you want to be the one they think of when the timing is right, or when they have a new budget to spend, you should be communicating with them.

Prospecting and selling tends to be a tough job for most of us. There aren’t any shortcuts, but remembering a few basic principles helps keep us on track.

Looking for a new business relationship?

Contact us…right now!

Share This