How to create a sense of urgency

ONE of the questions I’m always asked is: “How can I create a greater sense of urgency in the buyer?” The questions you need to ask yourself are: • Is this person really the decision-maker? (And usually he or she isn’t.) • Do they have a sense of urgency? • Is there an objection you haven’t uncovered? • Do they really want you? I’m going to address this issue from both sides. Why they will and why they won’t decide. It’s a perspective issue, not an opposite issue. (Half full, half empty, or partly cloudy, partly sunny.) Why do people decide they will by? They believe it’s safe. The customer feels that buying presents a safer way to go than the way they have right now. They’re willing to risk. They believe risk is lower than the reward of ownership. Risk is measured by tolerance. And risk is often unspoken. No-one is going to say, “I’m afraid to buy”. Rather they’ll say, “your price is too high”. They believe it’s the best deal. They have sold themselves, or justified the emotion of the moment with the logic of afterthought. They want it. Emotion drives purchase. People will line up a day in advance, pre-order months in advance, and pay hundreds of extra dollars to get what they really want. Hard question: How can you get people to “really want” what you’re selling? The answer lies within the four secret words of selling: “perceived difference” and “perceived value”. They’re passionate for it. Sports, weekend, hobby, ball game, or eBay. Willing to pay fast and maybe pay a premium. Whatever it is, price is not the issue. They need. When hurricane Hugo hit Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1989, $200 chainsaws were selling for a grand. Don’t even ask about bottled water. The price of gas doesn’t matter when your tank is empty, neither does the price of cigarettes when you need one and you’re out. Out of stock and production has stopped? Price bows to availability. Impulse. See it. Want it. Justify it. Buy it. Greed. They believe that if they buy, that they will make a significant gain, or keep someone else from getting it. (eBay is a classic example of “gotta have it”.) Vanity. They believe that if they buy, they will look better or gain ‘one-up’ on someone. Fear. They’re afraid that if they don’t buy that they will lose. Note: Fear of loss is greater than desire to gain. There are tons of other triggers for urgency. Here’s a list – pick the ones your customers might use, or one you might relate to: deadline; lowest price; convinced by self; persuaded by others; must get this done; compromise (not what I really want – but it’s the most practical); things on sale; deals; and lowest price. Reality of urgency: It’s not just what I want, or what I need. It’s what I feel safe buying, and when is the best time to buy. It’s complex. There is no answer for “urgency.” Especially when you need the sale and the customer is hesitating for no apparent reason. It’s their motive, emotion, and logical justification balanced with their tolerance for risk, and you can even throw in outside influences. Many decisions are made based on the person making the sale. Reflection of who you are – your beliefs and principles – the salesperson’s passion and self-belief being transferred. The type of person you are determines your motives to buy. It’s the same with your customer. Personally, I don’t settle. If a store or a supplier has a “similar product” but not the brand I want, I go to another store or another vendor. Or I’ll just not make a purchase at all. Others will settle. Which are you? More important, which are the buyers you’re trying to convince? And while there is no one answer, your understanding of the situation will help you gain awareness of each specific situation. If you need more information on urgency, go to, register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word URGENT in the GitBit box. By Jeffrey Gitomer

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