The Importance of Creating a Sense of Urgency on Your Customers
Creating a sense of urgency can be an effective sales tactic when it is used properly. Many potential customers have become immune to any sense or urgency simply because they see a salesperson’s urging as a sales tactic. It has been used so often across many industries as a promotional gimmick that even loyal buyers have learned to ignore a sales deadline.
Most customers have programmed themselves to wait for the next sale because they know another is just around the corner. Most decide that any company that truly wants their business will create a discount or some kind of savings enhancement just to make the sale. Creating a sense of urgency with this kind of customer almost requires an attitude reset.
Procrastination Drains the Sales Cycle
The waiting for the next sale attitude is the right of every savvy customer, but it can be counter productive for sales staff. Businesses often depend on target sales revenue levels to keep operations stable. If a company is not meeting its sales goals, it honestly cannot afford to keep discounting products and services. Creating a sense of urgency with customers keeps businesses from falling into this dead zone.
The exchange between a potential customer and a sales rep is a delicate dance. The salesperson’s job is to make sure the customer feels that a purchase will satisfy some need and stay polite while doing this. The customer’s job is to check out all of the options and find the best buy.
This sometimes means a customer will keep putting off decision-making and drag the sales dance out 30, 60 or even 90 days. He will continue to tell the salesperson to call back because he has not made up his mind about the purchase. This should translate to the salesperson as a sign that he has not been successful at creating a sense of urgency. He needs to revisit his sales funnel strategy to become more effective.
“You don’t close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.” ~ Patricia Fripp
It is tough to break the mindset that you are chasing a sale. Numbers matter and often determine overall business success. As Patricia Fripp reminds entrepreneurs, however, sales is all about relationship building. There are some psychological triggers that seem to work in building sales relationships.
One thing most human beings have in common is the desire to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The goal of any sale should be to build a relationship that is solid enough for the customer to tell the salesperson specifically about his own ideas of pleasure and pain. This will mean listening and taking flawless notes.
It is important to find out what makes a customer tick and what shuts him down. Creating a sense of urgency will involve helping your customer see how he can get to his pleasure quickly. For a customer, pleasure is based on actionable results. If you can show him how he gets to those results, you can likely ask him to pay for those results.
Finding the Members of Your “In” Club
One of the things most notable about human nature is that everyone wants to be liked and remain a vibrant member of the “in” crowd. Businesses keep this legacy alive by creating new products or consistently updating versions of the products they already sell. Anything new and improved, or rebranded, helps a salesperson who is creating a sense of urgency.
Another strategy that works is offering products for a limited time. Customers who missed the opportunity for a purchase are sometimes watching sales announcements to make sure they catch the product when it is available again. This has a dual benefit for creating a sense of urgency. It actually helps to create a solid demand for a product, and it allows the company to profile the customers who are waiting for it.
Make It Easy
The salesperson is wired to work hard for a sale. However, a customer is not wired for this kind of hard work. While you are creating a sense of urgency in your customer, it helps to make it very simple for them to make a purchase. No customer wants to work up a sweat just to get to your product. If you make it too difficult, they will walk away.
Give them enough respect to think for themselves, but make sure you have every tool and sales aide at your fingertips to guide their thoughts toward buying your product. Anticipate their questions and answer them before they even ask them. They will see you as knowledgeable, and it will become very easy to buy from you.
This means giving a customer a solution that your product provides on the front end of the conversation. Use the simplest, most straightforward language to get to the bottom line, then explain to your customer how you arrived there. Focus less on closing the sale and more on just making the right deal. Customers will respect you for cutting to the chase and they will trust you for being upfront.
“Man is free the moment he chooses to be.” ~ Unknown
Creating a sense of urgency often requires salespeople to give up old sales models that are no longer effective. Often, customers know the curves and edges of these models even better than the sales staffs that use them to try to make the perfect pitch. Both the salesperson and the customer is free from the weight of this model when each decides he can see sales as the chance to build a relationship.
Remember that relationships take quality time in order to be positive for both parties. This does not mean the length time it takes to close a sale has to stretch out forever. Choose the right words and actions to help your customer find his pleasure. He will be empowered with a new product, and you will reach more sales goals.
In what ways have you successfully created urgency in your customers? Share your stories in the comments!