There is a difference between willingness to pay and ability to pay.

I would gladly pay $1.5M for a Ferrari F40, my dream car. I’d be happy with the valuation and the price.

However, even if someone offered me a pristine condition model right now, I wouldn’t buy it. As you might guess, I don’t have $1.5M. Even if I did, I wouldn’t spend it all on a 35-year-old car.

There is, of course, a difference between willingness to pay and ability to pay.

It’s never been more crucial for agencies to qualify new business prospects. With tighter budgets and decision-making often met with hesitance, understanding a potential client’s financial comfort level has gained importance. But a key factor when qualifying leads is also understanding if a potential client can afford our services right now.

In these tough times, it’s crucial not only to find a client but to find one who is financially ready to engage your services.

One effective way to gauge this is by asking direct questions. This straightforward approach eliminates ambiguity.

Questions like…

Does your business have the budget allocated for this project?


Does your business currently have the financial capacity to move forward, or will a decision depend on securing and signing off additional budget?

Such questions are bold, but current trading conditions don’t allow for the faint-hearted. Those most likely to take offence are probably those without the funds.

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