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One of the most difficult aspects of sales can be getting prospects to move forward quickly rather than push off the decision into the future. Salespeople are incentivized to make things happen quickly, but prospects have their own needs and timelines, which are much more important to them than your need to hit your sales goals.

So how can you get prospects to act with a sense of urgency?

There are a few different ways to do this, but it’s important to remember that you can’t approach the situation from a perspective of what’s best for you. Instead, you can only approach it from the perspective of how moving forward quickly will benefit your prospect.

Here are six ways to create a sense of urgency in sales:

1. Build urgency from the beginning of your sales process

The best way to set your prospect up with a sense of urgency is to convey it throughout your entire sales process rather than just springing it on them after your pitch. Be honest, transparent, and communicative about how you see the rest of the process unfolding instead of simply assuming that things will happen when they do. If you outline all of the steps you would like to take the prospect through, when it comes time to close the deal, there’s less likely to be hesitation.

2. Move follow-up dates sooner

A great way to speed up the sales process and increase urgency is to move follow-up dates to decrease the time between communications. This can be a delicate process because a prospect might suggest a follow-up in a few weeks and you will instead recommend something sooner. But if you’re polite about it and don’t come off as too aggressive, most people are willing to acquiesce.

3. Refocus on the problem they’re trying to solve

You’re offering a solution to a problem a prospect has, whether it’s a true problem or simply a need they’ve expressed. This is their motivation for potentially buying your product or service, so try to reinforce the reasons why they’re interested. If you’re solving a problem, continue to restate the problem and how great your solution will be in solving it. Instead of focusing on time or decision making, focus on the urgency of solving the problem.

4. Offer an incentive with an end date

A compelling event is always a great way to create urgency. However, an impending price increase can sometimes turn people off and make them think you’re trying to pull a fast one on them. It’s better to present your proposal as a limited incentive that has an expiration date rather than as a standard pricing that is set to expire. It might sound like a small nuance, but it makes a difference from a psychological perspective.

5. Lower the barrier to getting started

You need to make it as easy as possible for the prospect to say yes, so if there are certain hurdles or steps they need to take in order to get started, you need to help them reduce those hurdles. This can involve initial fees, extra legwork that you can do for them, or helping them get some sort of approval that’s outstanding. Put yourself in the prospects shoes and think about what you could do to make their decision easier to make. (For instance, some sales managers are hesitant to adopt a new CRM, but at Spiro we have a 100% money-back CRM adoption guarantee, which helps remove that hurdle and ease their nerves.)

6. Ask for the business

This point might strike many salespeople as painfully obvious, but in reality there are not an insignificant percentage of salespeople who will do everything else perfectly, and then not ask for the prospect’s business. Your job isn’t to merely do a sales presentation and follow-up, your job is to ask the prospect to do business with you and your company. If you skip this step, then all of the other work you’ve done is likely to be rendered completely meaningless.

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About the Author Ken Kupchik

Ken Kupchik is the creator of Sales Humor and the author of the funniest sales book ever written, The Sales Survival Handbook, which you can order on Amazon.com. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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