Close the Deal Today
How to Create a Sense of Urgency in Sales without Pressure in 3 Steps
Updated: Jul 11, 2020
We have all been there: things seem to be looking great with our Clients. We managed to get our customers to trust us and the company we represent. They understand and feel your product is exactly what they need. Your offer is 100% affordable; money is not a problem. Yet, they don’t buy!
They even pour salt on the wound by saying that they love your product and you're the best salesperson they´ve ever met, but they “will come back later” or "have to think about it". Even worse: you blame the Customer for being so indecisive! You gave them all the information they needed to buy on the spot and they aren´t purchasing!
What happened? They decided not to buy today because you failed to create a sense of urgency in them. You focused on “why they should buy”, but you didn´t give them a strong enough reason to “buy today”.
Why is Creating a sense of Urgency Important for our sales process?
Urgency in sales gives your prospects a reason to move forward with your offer and overcome inaction. It creates a desire to obtain your product as soon as possible (hope of gain), as well as fear of missing out on a great opportunity (fear of loss).
By creating Urgency, we help our clients understand that every day, week, or month without our product hurts their business, their income, safety, or peace of mind. This will compel them to act as soon as possible.
What triggers Urgency in your Customers?
The two major triggers are Fear of Loss (negative motivation to buy) and Hope of Gain (positive motivation to buy). Fear of loss is usually stronger than the Hope of gain.
Fear of loss is associated with scarcity, which is what happens when a product or service is limited in availability (or perceived as being limited), becoming more attractive. The economy works the same way: if there is less supply and more demand, prices will go up.
This basically means that the more we want something and can’t get it, the more valuable it can appear. A study called THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF PERCEIVED SCARCITY ON CONSUMERS’ BUYING BEHAVIOR by Shipra Gupta states that: “by creating product uncertainty, are able to motivate behaviors such as urgency to buy. It is further suggested that urgency to buy is mediated by emotions like anticipated regret that these retailers are able to successfully generate in the mind of the consumer.”
Urgency is not to be mistaken with Pressure. High-pressure sales presentations are what have given the industry a bad reputation. Using Pressure to "bully" your clients into buying, will create a hostile sales environment. Even if the customers were to purchase, the "buyer´s remorse" will create doubts and they may regret their decision.
Being pushy will often lead to cancellations and negative reviews. Using Urgency instead of Pressure will achieve the exact opposite: not only the clients will be motivated to close the deal today, but they will be convinced that they made the right choice!
What is the difference between Urgency and Pressure?
The main difference is that Urgency comes from within. Here’s a great example: if you are going to the Movie theatre and your flick is about to begin, you´ll hurry up to buy the tickets as fast as possible.
You´re not doing it because the vendor is trying to sell them to you, but because you are about to miss the screening. The urgency in the sale was triggered by the fear of loss the buyer felt.
On the other hand, if you had no intention of going to the movies and as you walk by the vendor starts following you around pushing you to buy tickets for a movie you have no desire to watch, he´s using pressure. The “motivation” to buy is coming from an external (and many times unpleasant) element: a pushy the vendor.
As professional Salespeople, we have to ethically use urgency and not pressure in our sales process. The goal is not to manipulate or bully our clients into buying, it´s to motivate them to achieve a mutually beneficial buying decision. Both you and your client have to benefit from the agreement.
This video explains the Movie theatre example in detail:
How to create a sense of urgency without appearing aggressive or pushy?
To achieve this, we must work from the beginning of our sales presentation on three equally important areas:
I. Ask the right questions: a deep discovery to understand their fears and DBMs. II. Plant "Urgency Seeds": urgency in everything from the vocabulary to the incentives.
III. Handle the objection: respond to the objection and redirect your presentation.
STEP-I: Ask the right questions.
The first step is to do a thorough discovery of your client’s desires and fears. Ask lots of third-level questions in order to fully understand what their dominant buying motives are.
This step is crucial since these buying motives will help us plant "Urgency Seeds”. These seeds have to be subtly planted in your customer's mind throughout your presentation.
These "Urgency questions" have to be done in a way that shows that you care about what they might be going through. Showing empathy will help you get an honest answer from your clients as they will stop seeing you as a salesperson and more of an advisor.
Urgency questions allow the customers to understand by themselves that their current situation (without our product) is far from ideal. Just telling them that they need our product won´t have the same impact as if they arrive at the conclusion on their own.
Be aware that sales objections related to urgency might don’t come alone. Doing this deep discovery will uncover if there are other factors preventing the client from taking action The customer will sometimes use a lack of urgency as a “stall” to mask that the real problem is the lack of value, trust, or money.
Here are a few examples of questions that instill urgency:
1) "What is the biggest problem you’re looking to solve?"
2) "Why is now the right time to solve it?"
3) "Who in your family or what in your life is this problem affecting most?"
4) "How long have you been trying to solve this problem?"
5) "Have you had this problem before? What are you doing now to ensure it doesn’t happen again?"
6) "How does this problem affect your life, finances, plans, health, etc.?”
7) "What will happen if you address the problem? What happens if you don’t?"
8) "How would solving this problem benefit you personally?"
9) "What happens if you keep doing what you are doing?"
10) "If you weren’t experiencing this pain anymore, which projects/priorities could you focus on? What would you do with the money you saved?"
STEP-II: Plant "Urgency “Seeds”
Planting the following Urgency seeds from the beginning will be much more effective than trying to explain at the end of your presentation why they should move on with the purchase TODAY.
If you get to this point and haven’t created enough urgency, you will most likely lose the sale, and using high pressure will only create a negative buying experience and a complaint. Focus on these 7 aspects throughout your sales process:
1. They MUST want it.
Urgency won´t work unless what you are offering is something they want. Your product could be pretty much free but if there´s no craving for it, they will not buy. Urgency only works to amplify the desirability of the product; it doesn’t create it.
Use the Discovery to understand exactly how your customers feel, what they value, and what their problems are. If your product can cover these issues, they will want it!
More on the "want" and "need" objections.
2. Present a "Limited Time Offer"
If your customer believes that they can get the same deal at a later time, they will wait. This wait will give them to cool off, analyze the pros and cons, remember other priorities, etc. Chances are that they will think of more reasons not to buy, than reasons to buy!
Putting a time-limit on the offer or any additional incentives will give the customer an additional motivation to act on it. Websites do this all the time by putting countdown timers next to their products to create urgency.
3. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Like we said before: scarcity is what happens when a product or service is limited in availability (or perceived as being limited), becoming more attractive.
Highlight how scarce your product or service is, how many incentive packages are left, or how many other prospects are interested. This will nudge them into buying because they won´t want to miss out on the opportunity.
4. Use “Urgency Words”
The vocabulary you use has to be Time-related. Use these words throughout your sales presentation to increase urgency.
From now on
As our new client/member
One time only
Before it’s gone
Now or never
Don’t miss out
5. Offer killer Incentives
Although your product has to have enough value on its own, any additional incentives will be gravy for the customer. They will be extremely useful to push any customer who is on the fence of purchasing.
If these incentives double or triple the total value of the purchase (or appear to) it will become a no-brainer. These "extras" could be features the product already has included or additional benefits offered by the company.
If the offer doesn´t make sense even with all the extra incentives today, it will probably never will. This means you have to work on the “Value” and the “Want” objections.
6. Use Urgency Drivers
An urgency driver helps you communicate your value proposition in a compelling way. There are four things to consider when it comes to drivers:
· Relevance: Do your clients believe the solution you are offering solves their specific problem? Did you show them a particular example of a success story (or consequences of inaction) related to their industry?
· Clarity: Have you made it simple and clear to your prospect how your solution will help them? Did you use Language and terminology they are familiar with?
· Internal: Have you asked the right questions to discover your client´s fears and dominant buying motives? Do you understand why they are considering a solution like yours now?
· External: Have you provided external proof (testimonials, third party stories, etc.) to build value and credibility?
7. Avoid Urgency Inhibitors An urgency inhibitor is an issue that will stop you from creating urgency. It may be something that the customer internally deals with or an objection you unintentionally planted in your customer: · Anxiety: Have you established your credibility? Does this prospect or client trust you? Do they have a negative pas buying experience?
· Distraction: What other priorities are your prospect or client dealing with? Financial or otherwise. Will it distract them from making a decision about your solution?
· Vocabulary: avoid words that can impact negatively on creating urgency. For example, asking “what do you “think?”, will lead to them stalling the decision because they have to “think about it”. Use instead “how do you feel?”
STEP-III: Handle the Urgency Objection
So, we addressed the urgency throughout our presentation by asking the right questions and planting the seeds, and yet the objection “why now?” still came up. How do you actually respond to these objections in an effective way?
A full step by step process in how to handle the objections can be found here:
How to handle a Sales objection in 4 steps
The “why now?” objections could come in different forms:
"It's not a good time."
"Call me back next… (week, month, quarter, etc.)"
"Great offer, give me your business card!"
"I never make decisions on the same day"
"Let me sleep on it"
"I´ll come back next year and buy your biggest package."
"I don’t mind paying more later or missing the incentives."
"I'll get back to you at a better time."
"We'll think about it."
"I'll have to talk to… (a third party: boss, accountant, spouse, financial advisor, etc.)."
Here are a few response options for any of these objections:
1. "If money was not a problem, would you be willing to start with our product today?"
If your client answers "no" to this question, the real problem is lack of trust (in either you or your company) or lack of value. Find out why and try to go back and re-pitch. If the answer is "yes," find out your client´s real purchasing power and adapt something that is within their range that covers their needs.
2. "What's holding you back?"
Having your clients express their fears and voice their objections will not only allow you to find a way to adapt to their real possibilities but also force them to give the arguments behind their reasoning. This will give you a chance to address each specific objection instead of the broad “I’ll come back later” objection.
3. "When would be a better time to buy?"
This answer relieves the pressure of making the decision on the spot, but you´re really trying to determine if your client really has the intention to buy. Find out of the problem is coming out with the down payment, the monthly installments, or the overall purchase price.
Remind them of how much more is costing them “not to have your product”. Try to adapt to their budget to make if affordable today.
4. "What other priorities do you have right now?"
Help your client understand how the purchase will help them achieve their priorities faster, by either saving them money, time, or having the peace of mind that your product gave them one less thing to worry about.
5. "What concerns do you think your wife (boss, accountant, financial advisor, etc.) will have regarding you purchasing our product today?"
Usually the objections they come up with when you ask this question will be their own! Address them and get the deal.
6. "Is X goal no longer or less of a priority for you?"
Use the elements that you discovered through your questions in the first step to remind your clients how the product will actually improve the client’s chance of achieving their goals.
7. "What happens to your goals if you don't act now?"
Use the “hope to gain” and “fear of loss” motivator you gathered during the discovery phase to address what will happen if they don’t take action now.
8. "When are you hoping to achieve "X goals" by?"
It's important to bring up the customer´s time-frame and find how your product fits in that plan. They might be talking about a new home, putting their kids through college, etc. If their goal doesn't seem to interfere with the purchase, there might be something else stopping them. Find it.
9. "If I call you back tomorrow (next week, next month, etc.), what circumstances will have changed?"
Most likely nothing will have changed! Their problems and challenges will still be there. First, find out if your client is really interested or not. Discover if they´re struggling with the money or might be considering a different product. Maybe they feel they need more information and want to do research. There´s always not interested and don't want to tell you. Go back to the discovery phase.
10. "Heres how your ROI will look like if we start today…"
Here's that sense of urgency again: they have to take action as quickly as possible to start enjoying the benefits and recover their investment! They will break even with their purchase in “x” time, so the longer they wait, the more money they are wasting. Can they afford the wait?
11. "Which part of [product] do you think would help you the most?”
Asking this would help them focus on the problem you're helping them solve, hopefully touching the pain points again, instead of the stress of the sales presentation.
The second benefit is that maybe they bring up other positive aspects of your product that they may have not shared with you before.
12. "Is it the timing, or is something else concerning you?"
As we said before, the lack of urgency might come in hang with another objection, like trust, value, or money. The customer might disclose a second objection that they hadn´t shared before and you´ll have time to resolve it.
This follow-up answer will force your prospect to justify their arguments and will give you time to redirect your presentation. If while justifying their position you uncover another angle, adjust, address, and go for the close.
14. “I know exactly how you feel…” (Feel, Felt, Found method)
Use this method to create empathy and insert a compelling and relatable third party story about a client taking action.
Read this article to learn the "Feel, Felt, Found" method.
Work on blocking the objections before they come up.
The best time to handle an objection is before the objection even comes up! Professional salespeople will read between the lines of what their clients are saying and blow the objections out of the water. Whoever brings up the objection "owns it" and will try to defend it.
If you believe any of the following objections are coming up, voice and handle them, in order to defuse them. If they are coming up often, review your sales pitch to make sure they are addressed and closed before you get to the Close. Learn more by looking up Victor Antonio, a Sales coach with amazing Objection Blocking techniques on youtube.
Here you will find more Sales Mentors on YouTube video with amazing free content
1. "We don't have any budget left this year."
It’s just a Money objection that is using the lack of urgency to stall the decision for the following year. You have to work on rearranging their budget by showing them that purchasing will actually help them with their budget goals.
Your job as a salesperson is to help them understand that they will spend the same amount of money (or more) by waiting so they should purchase as soon as possible.
2. "We're happy the way things are."
A faulty discovery will give you this response. If you fail to uncover any issues to solve, then there´s no solution needed! Would you take medicine if there was nothing wrong with you?
Are they giving you that response because they are really “happy” or they are just resigned with their status? For some customers taking no action is better than the fear of taking the wrong action. Address that fear and work on creating trust.
3. "Call me back tomorrow (next week, next month, etc)."
This is usually a stall because they are not sold yet. They are putting off the decision because they still don’t trust you: they either don’t trust your product or solution, or they don’t trust you enough to tell you that they’re not interested. Maybe they don’t want to hurt your feelings and this is just a “polite no”.
Continue with your discovery: are they looking at other options? A simple follow up question like "What's going to change next quarter?" should give you the answer if there’s a valid reason or they are just blowing you off.
4. “I Need to Get a Few More Quotes.”
Another response that could be avoided by proper discovery. If you sense they are just shopping around, ask them how long have they been trying to fix “x” problem, or which other solutions have they considered?
Analyze if they are looking at other options for a better price or different features than what you provide. Remember: you are the expert in your field. If you earn your prospect´s trust and know enough about your competition, you will be able to provide valuable insight to help your customers make a decision. Shopping around might cost them valuable time and money and you can help them avoid it.
5.- “I never make decisions on the spot / I can't make a decision right now.”
Clients will respond this way if your presentation lacked urgency and scarcity. People have to make decisions the same day hundreds of times a day. As we said before, there might be a fear of making a mistake, and this response would give them a chance to analyze and cool off before making a decision.
But, do you think that if they had a family member who needed urgent medical attention, they would stall the decision-making process? Of course not! Now, this could be a drastic example, but how many times have you bought a product just because the offer was amazing and the item was the last one available?
Address the scarcity of your product, how many incentives packages are left, how the pricing will change, and the true cost of saying no.
As we said, Urgency in sales amplifies all the benefits of your product by adding a call to action: not only "they must have it": "they must have it NOW". Use it to give your clients the final nudge to purchase, once you´ve already established trust, value, and cost.