5 Reasons Why Your Prospective Clients Might Be Saying, “I Can’t Afford It.”

One of the most common objections that service-based entrepreneurs hear is the good old standby, “I can’t afford it.” Rarely is this ever true.  You see, people find money for the things that are truly important to them.  It’s the same way with time. People find time for the things that are truly important to them.

If something is truly a priority, people will find all kinds of ways to pay for what they want.  They’ll  save until they have enough cash, put it on a credit card, take out a loan, borrow it, get a second job, ask for a payment plan, have a sale, sell some of the clutter in the garage, etc.

So what does it really mean when someone says, “I can’t afford it?”

Here are 5 hidden reasons why potential clients say, “I can’t afford it.”

  1. It’s not a good fit.  Sometimes people say that they can’t afford it because what you’re offering doesn’t exactly fit their needs.  Get clear on who your ideal clients are and make sure you  take the time to accurately assess their needs before making your offer.
  2. They don’t see the value in it.  If someone says, “It’s too expensive,” this is a big clue that they don’t see the value in your offer.  Usually this is because they are out of touch with what their problem is really costing them.  Almost every problem imaginable has emotional, physical, and financial costs.  Be sure your potential client is aware of all the costs of not working with you AND what they will gain as a result of your work together. Remember to sell based on the results you’ll help them to achieve, not just the features of your offer.
  3. They don’t understand your offer.  If your offer is too vague or too complex, people will turn it down.  Make sure your potential clients know exactly what they will be getting and the benefits of receiving each component.  Present your offer in as many different ways as possible so there is no chance of confusion (ex. Tell them what they’ll get, put it in writing, show them a picture or video of it, give them something tangible, etc.)
  4. Fear and doubt are getting in the way.  Sometimes people say they can’t afford it because they are afraid to take that next leap.  Testimonials, case studies, and other social proof can alleviate this fear to some degree, but not always entirely.  Your client has to be ready for change.  If you’re sensing that your potential client is afraid, ask them about their concerns and acknowledge their feelings.
  5. You’re uncomfortable asking for the business.  Yes, your potential client can sense it if you are uneasy about making an offer.  Remember energy is contagious.  If you’re feeling a lack of confidence, fear, desperation, unworthiness, worried that they can’t afford it, etc., your potential client will pick up on it and probably say, “I can’t afford it.”  Don’t let your own discomfort around asking for money keep you from serving the people you are meant to serve.  Be confident in the value that you provide and know that you deserve to be well-compensated for it.

I’m sure all business owners have heard the words, “I can’t afford it” at some point—I’d love to hear about your experiences and how you’ll handle these situations in the future.   Feel free to leave your comments below.

If you’re hearing “I can’t afford it” more often than you would like, Click Here to apply for a Flicker to Flare Sales Assessment so we discuss how you can ignite your sales and serve more clients.


About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

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