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Wednesday
Dec072011

Psychology of Sales: Creating a Sense of Urgency

In sales, creating a sense of urgency gives the prospect a reason to buy now, instead of waiting. These simple tips can help you close more sales.

Push the “Pain” Button

The absolute best sales professionals don’t just sell, they solve problems. Which means the first step is finding out what the customer needs. While relaying this to you, you can listen for their pain button - high employee turnover, the need for speed, expensive customer returns, etc. - your job is to show them how your product or service can satisfy their need and remove their pain. That is how you nail the sale. If you’ve demonstrated how you can satisfy that need, but the customer still is reluctant to buy today (or wants to think about it, or sleep on it, or get back with you in a month or two, or whatever), then you can push their pain button. For example, consider this conversation summary:

Client has just explained: Our surveys have shown us that when the showroom gets dirty, our sales drop a bit. But the shop vacs we’ve used in the past don’t last very long, and when they break, it takes two weeks for us to get repair or replacement. I feel like I keep throwing good money after bad.

Sales Rep selling high quality shop vacs explains: We can definitely help you, because our shop vacs outperform all other shop vacs in the industry, and we offer extended maintenance plans that can provide you with a temporary replacement unit, should one of our units needs repairs. That would completely solve your current problem of a dirty showroom every time one of your existing shop vacs breaks down.

Client: OK, this sounds like a good idea. I’ll get back to you in a few weeks.

Sales Rep: Sure, that’s no problem. Now, just to be clear - all of your old shop vacs are working perfectly right now, right? I’d hate to see your showroom get dirty again and your sales drop, while you’re waiting to get back to me - especially at this time of year.

Now the client isn’t thinking about the expense of new shop vacs - instead, he’s weighing whether or not he can afford an impending drop in sales. Before he can respond, the sales rep might say: “You know, we can have this paperwork wrapped up in a matter of minutes, and I can get the new shop vacs to you within 5 days. So what do you say we preserve your sales and make sure that showroom stays spic and span?”

That is how you push the pain button to create a sense of urgency. Now let’s look at some other ways to create a sense of urgency.

Make an Offer

Depending on the nature of your sales position, your company, your product and your industry, the urgent offer may already be handled for you. For example, if your product is popular as a gift, then you may find it much easier to sell during holiday season (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc.) In some cases, the company may create the incentive (limited time offer, one-time-only offer, limited quantity available, bonuses available now, buy one get one free, free or discounted shipping today, operators are standing by, refer a friend today and get something extra, etc.)

You can create a sense of urgency by making an offer that will not last, and this can provide the incentive your prospect needs to take action today.

Take Advantage of the Season

For example, if you’re in B-to-B sales, right now (the end of the year) is the perfect time to remind people that their purchase may be tax-deductible. Businesses often justify making necessary purchases and expenditures right now because they can take the tax write-off for the current year. For a sales professional, this is an excellent way to create a sense of urgency and take advantage of what might otherwise be a slow time of year.

However, be careful to phrase your recommendation in such a way that you are not giving advice that you’re not qualified to give! Business owners and operators should always be advised to check with their accounting professionals for specifics with regards to tax laws.

Get Creative

Finally, you can always offer something “extra” to your clients if it helps you close a deal. That might include something you provide on your own expense: treating them for lunch, giving a nominal gift card, a tank of gas, etc. If you use this method, check to ensure that:

1) you are offering a mere token to “sweeten the deal”
2) you are not crossing into any moral or ethical “gray areas”
3) you are offering a gift or incentive that makes sense (preferably related to the sale itself, and a cost to you that  is minor in comparison to your commission from the sale)
4) you are not breaking any laws or codes of ethics
5) you are able to deliver what you promise (for example, don’t promise something that is out of your control, such as expedited delivery or additional features at no cost)
6) you are in compliance with your company’s policies and procedures (ask your employer if you’re not certain)

Have fun creating a sense of urgency and closing more sales.

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Reader Comments (1)

We often don't create a sense of urgency when it comes to sales. We tend to believe that once a business has kicked off, then everything on profit just flows in...This becomes a mistake. I am glad that finally, the tips on how to keep the sense of urgency in constant.

It's a great post to go through.
December 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersmile kenya

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