Creating urgency in sales is one of the best ways to turn prospects into buyers. It’s psychology, really. And it works. If you can learn how to create urgency in sales, you win. Why? Urgency reframes your prospect’s mind and helps them to see that YOUR offer is their best solution. It’s their only solution.
Of course, we’re not talking used-car-salesman-urgency here. There’s no snake oil involved. In fact, the urgency that I’ll teach you to create today is all about empathy, respect for the buyer, and getting to the truth. It’s a truth-centric urgency.
The benefits of creating urgency are many, including:
- It boosts the perceived value in your product or service
- Builds real desire around you and your product
- Keeps your prospect from “shopping around”
- Helps your prospect gain clarity and come to a decision faster
- Deals close faster, money in the bank
Today I’m sharing my proven and repeatable system on how to create urgency in sales. So whether you’re a salesperson or a sales director, or the founder of your company — apply this system or train your sales team on this framework and you’ll be amazed at the results.
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How to Create Urgency in Sales
1. Identify Needs / Find the Hurt
First, you want to find out your prospect’s real needs. What are their challenges? Their pain points? What’s giving them heartburn at night?
I know, I know, we hear this all the time in sales. But it’s the very foundation we’re going to build from… so you have to understand your prospect’s needs.
You’ll gain this intel by listening. Ask the right questions and listen empathetically to your prospect as they share their biggest hurts and deepest desires. Don’t listen to respond. Listen to understand. Do this and you’re already lightyears beyond 99% of salespeople.
2. Find Out How Long They Have Been Suffering
Go to any doctor and complain of pain in your body, and one of the first questions they ask is “how long have you experienced this pain”? Same goes for sales. Find out how long your prospect has been dealing with their “pain.”
Because here’s the thing – many people don’t go to the doctor when they’re in pain. Just like many of your prospects don’t address their pain points, their hurt, or the thing that’s holding them back in business. They suffer in silence.
It could be months or even years that they’ve been living with lackluster sales, goals unmet, opportunities lost, revenue down. You name it. All symptoms of a bigger issue that they’ve ignored for too long.
Sure, they may be doing OK, but they aren’t THRIVING like they should be. They aren’t crushing their sales numbers and winning industry awards like they could be. Thankfully, you’ve stepped into their life with a remedy to their ailment, if you will.
Also keep in mind that true needs are non-negotiable. It’s do-or-die. They have to take care of the problem. And it’s urgent! On the other hand, if they don’t have a “need” but they have lots of “wants,” you can reframe their wants into needs if you can articulate the urgency. This takes a masterful touch, which I will teach in an upcoming post. But for now, don’t give up on prospects with “wants”. They can be your buyers, too.
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3. Hurt the Hurt / What Happens if They DON’T Address It?
That’s right, hurt the hurt. Agitate their pain points. Now, before you get up-in-arms and shout “Hold on, that’s unethical!” hear me out. If you complain of pain in your abdomen to your doctor, the first thing the doc does is press around and agitate the pain. They simply have to if they want to help you. And in the end, you’re thankful they do it!
It’s similar in sales. You have to press around the pain points, agitate it a bit, let your prospect viscerally feel the hurt one last time. Talk about the undesirable outcomes that they face if they keep on with business as usual. Ask more questions, “This issue seems to be holding you back from greatness, would you agree?” Or “From the sounds of it, you’re looking at Q4 plans derailed, KPIs not hit, money left on the table, am I right?”
When you “hurt the hurt” you paint a clear picture for your prospect about a life without the help they so desperately need. You want them to feel the pain, because you know you can help them. If anything, it would be unethical NOT to do this to help the prospect.
Don’t worry, transformation comes next. The good news is next. There is light at the end of the tunnel for your prospect. But as you’re starting to see, this is exactly how to create urgency in sales.
4. The Transformation / What Happens if They DO Address It?
Draw your prospect further into the story. Start painting a positive picture of their desirable outcome while using your product or service.
Take the conversation this direction: “Now you can see the burden this issue has caused, and knowing you’ve been a leader here for several years, you know which stones to flip to find opportunities and value. And we’ve already identified this strong need of yours. Now what does it look like once this issue is solved? What does it look like to scale from here? How does it feel to be that successful? Let’s talk about that.”
You get them to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And you usher them into the light! This journey is as old as time itself. It’s even biblical. The bad news comes first (Old Testament, sin, darkness) which paves the way for the good news (New Testament, Christ, salvation, light).
And to further create urgency, try something like: “Now, I don’t want to slow you down. We’ve identified what’s mission critical here, and you need to get this done. So I have time early this week – I can put a kickoff meeting on the calendar so we can start this sooner than later.”
You frame the conversation so they can see that nothing matters more than solving their problem. You are their trusted advisor, you are on their team, you are in it together.
This process is proven, repeatable, coachable. It just plain works.
What if They Don’t Buy? Can I Still Create Urgency?
All right, let’s say your prospect still doesn’t buy. Does urgency go out the window? How can you create urgency from here? It’s pretty easy, actually. Personalized and frequent follow ups are a great start. Send your prospect interesting and relevant articles. Send a white paper you’ve written and case studies. Get creative.
By staying top-of-mind for your prospect, you’re constantly reminding them that they have an underlying condition that needs to be addressed. When they’re finally done with the pain it’s causing, you’re the first person they call.
There are certain “Urgency Triggers,” as I like to call them, that can help you close the deal. Think of these like pins in a Masterlock. Each pin in the right place gets you one step closer to unlocking the sale.
How to Create Urgency in Sales with Triggers:
- Positioning your offer. Did you position your product or service the right way?
- Clarifying the need. Did you make their need crystal clear so that you have a common ground to build upon?
- Asking the right questions. Did you ask the right questions that bring the pain to the surface?
- Pressing the pain. Did you press or agitate their pain to remind them what business as usual feels like?
- Building a bridge. Did you build a bridge from their pain to their transformation using positive outcome-based stories?
- Ask for the sale. Did you specifically ask for the sale, or at least imply it?
Other Tips to Create Urgency in Sales
You should definitely implement the 4-step urgency strategy I outlined above. But beyond that, there are some helpful tactics that can help to inject some urgency in the sales process.
First, you should schedule follow-up meetings right away. Think hours, not days. Or days, not weeks. The sooner, the better.
Second, if you have a product or service that is limited, be sure to communicate this scarcity to your prospect, as scarcity drives people to buy.
Third, be sure to ask for your prospect’s business, or imply their agreement and hand them the contract. Just do not let ambiguity linger. If they say “No” at least you can begin overcoming objections. But if neither of you say nothing, the deal is dead in the water.
And finally, make it easy for your prospect to become your client or customer. Friction is an urgency killer. Any friction that will obstruct the sale must be done away with. So have the contract on hand, have your onboarding process dialed-in, and put in place a seamless process that transitions your prospect into your customer. Do this and everyone wins.
So there’s your masterclass on how to create urgency in sales. Just remember, as you follow the 4-step strategy here, be honest and empathetic throughout the sales process. People buy from people whom they trust. And trust is a byproduct of honesty and empathy.
At the same time, you can have that killer mentality or ultra-confidence that doesn’t take “No” for an answer. Trust and confidence go hand-in-hand. They aren’t mutually exclusive. Find the right balance of the two and you will help more people and sell more of your product or service than you ever thought possible.
So get out there and create urgency!
Until next time…