Urgency is a critical part of the sales equation. Without it, deals can be delayed, stalled, or even simply never happen. But that also raises a question: How can you create urgency without falling into the stereotype of the pushy, aggressive sales rep?
- Ask the right questions.
The best way to create urgency is to help your buyers identify their own need to act. That means asking questions that help them realize why they need to act – such as “Why are you looking to solve this problem now?” or “Who or what is being affected by this problem?” (The more people it affects or the more important the part of the business being affected, the greater the urgency).
- Invite your buyers to contemplate what happens if they don’t do anything about the problem.
One of the most effective ways to instill urgency is to have a conversation about what might happen if the buyer decided to stick with the status quo and do nothing. This will potentially involve a range of scenarios, rather than just a single, “This is what will happen.”
Start by asking the buyer what they think will happen if they choose to do nothing about the issue(s) you’re trying to help them with. It’s important that you frame this discussion in terms of the client engaging in self-exploration and thought, so that they can realize on their own that yes, this is urgent and needs to be addressed soon. Avoid prompting or leading them to your own conclusions – that can come off as being pressuring, as opposed to the benefits of their organically reaching the conclusions themselves.
- If there’s a promotional deadline, mention it.
If you have a special, discount, or a time-sensitive offer with additional incentive, make certain that your buyer is aware of it. Be careful not to be overly salesy or pressuring when bringing it up. Say calmly something like, “Not sure if you’re aware of it, we have an early adopter discount if you purchase by October 3rd.” Presenting it in this manner makes it purely informational.
- Consider shorter communication intervals.
As a sales professional, your company ideally has a defined sales process that includes protocols for how frequently to follow up. But there may be instances you want to narrow the timeline – perhaps the end of the fiscal year is around the corner, for example. Think carefully before adopting this course however – there’s a fine line between being proactive and being a pest. Also, when you follow up, make sure you have a legitimate purpose for doing so – such as a piece of content that will help the buyer make a decision. No just checking in or asking for an update emails here.
- Make sure you are listening for the closing signs and act accordingly.
Sometimes the reason for a stall-out isn’t due to a lack of urgency, but the sales rep missing the signals to close and asking too late (or not at all!). So it’s important to listen for and know what the buying signals are and the steps of the closing process.
If there’s no urgency, there’s usually no sale. Buyers need a reason not just to purchase, but to purchase now (or at least in the near future). The guidelines we’ve included here will help you create a sense of urgency without pressure and aid the buyer realizing for themselves the importance of moving ahead with a solution.