Creating a Sense of Urgency

To succeed in sales, you must provide your prospect with a concrete reason he or she should buy your product today. If you fail to do so, your prospect will have no incentive to buy immediately and will postpone making a decision. Simply creating a need for your product is not enough, unless the prospect will suffer dire consequences by not owning your product as soon as possible. A lifeboat salesman, for example, would have had no trouble convincing the captain of the sinking Titanic to buy his wares without delay.

Create a sense of urgency

It is rarely possible, however, for a salesperson to have the good fortune to appear on the scene at the exact time of certain disaster. For this reason, products such as liability insurance, seat belts, and fire extinguishers must be sold in anticipation of a future need. A sense of urgency has to be created before the emergency, not after the fact. I believe it is possible to incite people to feel an urgent life-and-death desire to own any product. When you can inspire your prospects to feel such a need to buy your product, your closing ratio is bound to soar.

You too can create a sense of urgency when selling eyeball-to-eyeball with your prospects. It’s a matter of arousing the buyer with the concern that his or her indecision will result in a lost opportunity. For example, a retailer makes an offer that’s good for a limited period. Failure to buy within a certain time frame means that you lose the opportunity to get a good deal. Limited offers work, and this explains why the American public is constantly bombarded with such inducements.

In the automobile business, prices were constantly increasing so I frequently used this as an incentive to close sales. “Were expecting a rise in the sticker price on this model on the first of the month,” I’d say at the end of the month, “so I recommend that you take advantage of this price today”.  Of course, I’d say this to somebody only when a price increase had been announced and was certain to occur. It’s foolish for a salesperson to misrepresent anything because it will come back to haunt him. A life insurance agent can tell his prospect that the rates will go up as the prospect’s age increases. And a real estate agent can stress how much more the prospect will pay to rent rather than owning a particular property.

Every salesperson has a clock of one kind or another. It’s your job to demonstrate that there’s a race against it, and the more that clock ticks down, the more your prospect loses. The race against the clock works with selling anything from freezers to insurance. It just takes a little imagination to tailor make this close to sell your product.