Have you ever bought something “on a whim” because the price was discounted for a limited time?
How about because there was a limited quantity and they were selling fast?
If so, whether you want to admit it or not, you bought because you felt the urgency to buy it while you have the chance. It could have been anything: clever discounting by the pricing team, a limited time offering, or seriously a “going out of business” sale. Regardless of the situation, someone or something created urgency for you to buy it right then.
Urgency is a powerful sales tool. It’s a difficult thing to actually master – you have to put enough pressure on the prospect to buy, but not too much pressure to scare them away. If done correctly, you have the possibility of closing more deals at a more efficient rate.
How do we create enough urgency to make the prospect buy while not scaring them away?
Here are 3 tips on creating and using urgency during your sales or marketing pitch:
Make it Scarce
One of the key components to being urgent is the understanding that this is a scarce product/service and won’t be around forever. Imagine this scenario: You are in the market for a new car and it’s the end of the year. You’re flipping through the newspaper when an advertisement falls out. When you look at it, you see that the local car dealership is selling off all of this year’s models off the lot as fast as possible to make way for the newer model. Once they are gone, they will not be selling them anymore. Being that you are in the market for a new car, you decide to check it out before they are all gone. The fact that there is a limited quality of older models caused you to seriously consider that car for a possible purchase.
Scarcity does not always mean a limited product supply either. You could also make the price scarce by setting a limit on a discounted rate. If that dealership was selling the 2017 models this weekend only at a reduced rate, they are making the discounted price scarce. After this weekend, it will be normal priced. This might cause you to shorten your decision making process and buy that car today while it’s reasonably priced.
The main idea behind making your product/service scarce is to set a limit on the product quantity, the time it’s offered, or the time it’s at a discounted price. If you can do this, the prospect will feel the need to make a decision right there, rather than “thinking about it”.
Incorporate F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out)
F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out) is a method that should be used in conjunction with the previous tip. If the prospect does not want to make a decision right now, that’s fine, but they will be missing out on something fantastic once the offer is over. If they miss out on the opportunity to purchase right now, they will have remorse later on for not taking advantage while the offer was so good.
This can be communicated by several different ways:
- Describe the popularity of the product/service
If your product/service is really popular and desirable, everyone who is purchasing is getting a valuable benefit to them. It has to be popular for a reason. If you tell your prospect that your product/service is extremely popular (and have the proof as well – don’t lie!), they will realize that if everyone else is buying it, it has to be good. People automatically look to their peers for advice and purchasing reinforcement (that’s why Yelp and TripAdvisor are so popular). This is a way you can create that peer reinforcement in a controlled setting.
- Communicating the value
Make sure the prospect knows the real benefits of your product/service. They have to understand how the product/service will benefit them individually. Once they understand, they will see the value. The knowledge that the value/benefits won’t be realized unless they buy will cause them to strongly consider a purchase.
- Reiterating the consequences
Perhaps this was a strong way to put it, but you should make sure the prospect understands the consequences for waiting to make a decision. This should not be done in a negative way (Buy this now, or else!), but rather, in a gentle way. The car advertisement might have some text at the bottom of the page that reads “Discounted car quantities are limited – come now because when they are gone, they are gone.” The consequence for waiting is that all the inexpensive cars will be gone.
Be Consistently Urgent
If you are selling the fact that your product is so popular and so scarce, your language throughout the entire sales pitch needs to be the similar. If a prospect asks you how you are doing, the response should not be “It’s been good – not that busy today!” If you are looking to build urgency for the product/service, it will be more impactful and meaningful if you are consistently urgent. If someone asks how you are doing, a great response would be “I’m fantastic – we are very busy!” If your product is flying off the shelves, you should be busy as well.
Creating urgency is an essential element of your sales pitch. For those of you who have to sell a product right now, creating urgency is how you are able to close a prospect on the spot. When the sales cycle and the decision making process are very short, creating urgency allows for you to help the prospect to reach a favorable decision faster.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service expert, trainer, author, and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife, Ashley. I enjoy reading (history, philosophy, and science are my favorite topics), writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach.