Is creating urgency in sales a stumbling block for you?
If there’s one complaint I hear more than any other from sales professionals, it’s that the sales process they have takes too long.
Prospects tend to fall out of the sales process, meaning they get stalled, and then the sales professionals are kind of stuck on what to do next.
If you’re facing this situation, the problem is that you’re not building enough urgency early on in the sales process.
In today’s world, building and creating urgency in sales is kind of difficult, right?
Because prospects are faced with so much information:
- they’re trying to decipher that information,
- they’re trying to research it,
- they’re bringing in other people as part of their buying team to talk about what they think of the service, or
- what do they think of the product,
- they’re gathering feedback, and
- doing research.
All this can take time.
But you, as a sales professional, can build an urgency window of making the sale here, and the buyer may expand that further.
You can use questions and different strategies to keep it within a reasonable period of time. And if you don’t, you risk losing the sale.
How to Create Urgency with Sales Questions
Let’s talk about how you can build urgency in your sales process to try and get those buyers to commit so you can move on to the next sale.
1. Creating Urgency in Sales with a Power Question
In every sales conversation you have, there’s a power question I want you to use at the very beginning that helps build urgency.
And this is going to sound a little bit overly simple. But here’s the question I want you to ask:
You’ve had an initial conversation and learned a little bit about them and their situation. You’ve shared a little bit about maybe your product, your service, and the value that you bring.
And then you ask this, you say, ‘”May I ask you a question?” The buyer will say, “Yeah, sure, go ahead.” You say, well,
- How soon do you really need to blank? or
- How soon do you need this service to be introduced?,
- How soon do you need this product on site?
- How soon do you need to achieve the results that our service will achieve for you?
That kind of question plants just a tiny, tiny seed in your buyer’s mind as to,
- Does that mean that there’s some limitation here?
- Do they not have enough?
- Is it going to take a while to produce this thing?
- Maybe they don’t have the capacity.
When you’re creating urgency in sales it’s not about one thing. It’s about planting seeds throughout the sales process that builds urgency.
So wait to ask that question. Not at the very beginning, make sure you’ve had some initial conversations. You’re talking about your product or service. I mean, they have to have an idea of what it is you’re selling before you can ask that.
But once you get the feeling that the conversation is going pretty well and you’re getting the information you need. (You’ve not reached a quote or proposal stage; you’re not at that point yet. ) You just simply ask that question.
Now, if they say to you, “Why do you ask?” You say, “Well, there is limited capacity, and I just wanted to make sure I’m upfront with you about that, just to understand when you expect to move forward.”
But again, tiny seed, that’s the power question.
2. Build Urgency & Show Interest with Questions
Let’s get to the next step.
You have to approach every sales conversation with an inquisitive mindset that is asking questions.
Now, I realize I talk a lot about questions. There’s a reason for it.
You see, questions demonstrate interest in our prospect.
If you want to build trust, you want to build a sense of urgency. If you want to build a relationship that lasts a long time, you’ve got to show interest. You’ve got to demonstrate interest in your prospect.
Now, there are more ways to do that than just asking questions, but in our sales process and specifically in the discovery session, we’ve got to ask questions to figure out
- what the need is,
- whether can we satisfy that need, and
- how do we position the sale so it satisfies that need and adds value. (Add value to the entire relationship and the relationship that you’re building.)
Questions allow you to demonstrate interest, and they allow you to learn from your prospects as to what’s important to them.
You can use questions for demonstrating and creating urgency in sales. You just build on that earlier question and plant seeds with other questions along the way.
So let’s say for a moment that you say to your buyer,
- “Well, what would you like to achieve by purchasing our product? or
- “What are the outcomes you’re seeking?” (Whatever your normal question is. )
And they say, “We really think your products are going to come in handy, and we’ve been having quality issues over here.” And you say,
- “Okay, great. That’s interesting. I asked you earlier how soon you’d like to achieve these. On a regular basis, what do you think the volume would be?”
See, there’s a question that leads them to believe, “Oh, hold on a second. Does that mean that they can’t ship the volume I’m looking for?”
Or let’s convert that to a service.
One of the questions that you would plant and ask throughout the sales process is,
- “How soon? We’ve talked about how quickly you’d like to achieve the results. How soon would you like to get started? I’m just curious.”
Again, it plants a seed relative to, “Hold on a second. Are they not able to start next week, next month, next year?
Again, because the prospect often doesn’t tell you that.
So you can use questions and plant these seeds throughout the sales process that will just get your prospect thinking a little bit more about, “Okay, hold on a second, right? There are some constraints here I need to be aware of.”
Now, if they ask you outright, “Hey, you’ve asked me a lot of questions about when we get started and what this looks like. Are you not able to take on our business?”
I mean, that’s the worst possible question you could get. To which you respond, “Oh, no, not at all. I’m just making sure that we’re able to meet your timelines as you’ve suggested.”
Boom, there you have it, right?
So when it comes to building urgency, think about these questions, simple questions that you can ask that demonstrate to your buyer that, “Hold on a second. Maybe we’ve got to make better plans here relative to using you. ”
And they’re all about building that idea of
- limited capacity,
- limited volume, and
- limited availability.
It’s the same thing that happened during 2020 when stuff didn’t go well, why were customers coming out of the woodwork looking for products or services from your company? The reason? They believed there was limited capacity, and in some there was.
But we can still use that perception without misleading anybody, without lying, we’re simply asking questions and letting them make some determinations.
If they ask us an outright question about availability, we can say, “Absolutely, there is availability. Depending on the need, depending on the client, depending on who’s available, and depending on the product that you’re seeking, absolutely we can likely meet your needs. Just want to make sure that we can.”
So, plant seeds. Use questions to build urgency.
3. Leverage the Assumptive Close to Create Urgency
The last thing I want you to do when it comes to building urgency is to use what I call the assumptive close question.
Now, if you’ve watched my videos, what you’ve noticed is I love the assumptive close, not because it’s pushy and assertive. I mean, that’s good, but the assumptive close really allows you to test where you are in the sales process.
Because if you think you’re about to close and you use an assumptive close, and you’re not about to close, and your prospect says, hold on a second, okay, then you have a chance to back up.
Rather than rushing through a proposal, it goes nowhere. They ghost to you and you never hear from ’em again.
So that’s my goal with an assumptive close.
But there is an assumptive close question you can use that will allow you to build urgency. Okay? Here it is. And again, you’re going to have to adjust this depending on the product or service that you sell. But generally, here is the question you’ll use:
Before we go any further, Mr. or Mrs. Prospect, I just wanted to double check again on when you were seeking to have this shipped / introduced / launched / set in place, etc.
Again, whatever it is you sell, insert that word, and then you wait.
You sit and wait, and they’re going to say, “Oh, well, we were thinking about X, we were hoping about Y.”
Here’s how you respond when they answer.
“Okay, okay, I think we can do that. I’ve just got to double-check what’s in the queue right now, and we always have opportunities to move things around if it’s really important to you. So just let me check. I’ll get back to you. I think that’s definitely possible.”
See what I did there, right? I told you something that’s likely true, right? You do have to check the queue. Now, maybe the queue’s empty, but you still have to check it to know it’s empty.
But the reality is, I planted another seed in the prospect’s mind relative to, “Ooh, can we actually get this done when we want to get it done?”
Even if they say it’s a year out, we’re thinking about this next summer. “Okay, next summer is looking busy. Let me just double-check the queue. I don’t want to make any commitments that I can’t follow through with.”
So again, what I want you to notice here throughout this post is that you can use questions to build urgency in sales.
By using questions, you’re not making inappropriate statements. You’re not misleading anybody. You’re simply clarifying where your buyers are, and what their expectations are.
And then, of course, you’ll follow up with the appropriate answers.
But you’re planting seeds relative to
- whether this is going to work for them, and
- whether it’s going to meet their timeline,
which is creating urgency in sales.
© Shawn Casemore 2024. All Rights Reserved.