Four Ways to Create Urgency in a Buyer
How can you drive urgency with your clients to close potential opportunities? How can you uncover their individual motivations to drive momentum?
It’s the classic sales conflict. Your metrics are driving your behavior and your personal agenda is impacted by the time of the year (and maybe your manager). Do you all of a sudden change your approach to developing trust with your client (see TRUST Equation) to accelerate timing and meet your goals? Will you jeopardize your future relationship to achieve your quota? Basic seller-buyer relationships and best practices don’t change because of the calendar. While time of the year does influence buying (and selling) behavior, the ultimate goal of all sales strategies is to deliver client value. Once you demonstrate value, you can work on making your solution urgent and important.
Before we discuss urgent, let’s focus on important. Value is defined by your clients. They will act—committing time, money, and people— on those projects that they believe will generate positive results for their business. It is incumbent upon you to align your capabilities to your clients’ needs and successfully communicate value in the client’s language so they will be inclined to act. Few buying decisions are made without value alignment and a solid business case.
How to accelerate your clients’ decision-making process is another matter. The following actions may help you increase client “urgency.”
Expand value to the client. If you can enroll and impact a larger part of the client team, you are likely to have more support and fewer conflicts. You might also consider expanding the initial scope of the solution to deliver additional value. Projects that solve the most important business problems are likely to take priority.
Focus on timing. At what stage is your client in the decision-making process? What factors could push your solution ahead on your client’s list? Will your benefit stream improve performance results and make a quick impact on the bottom line? Is there a cost to not taking action? If size and complexity is an issue, is there a way to break the decision into bite-size chunks?
Look for leftover budget. The needed budget might not reside in your sponsor’s plan, but it could be available elsewhere. Measure your solution against the other spend options and convince those with financial control that your solution should move up in priority or even challenge those solutions that have already been approved for spending.
Identify personal motivations and goals. Demonstrate what else your solution might accomplish. Will it change the perception of your client in a positive way? Will the solution give your client more control? If the solution seems to lie outside your client’s personal comfort zone, yet still makes great business sense, help reduce your client’s risk level.
Let’s not forget that, above all else, you must continue to develop trust with your clients—even when your personal agenda might lead you to act before your clients appear ready. Pushing to accelerate a decision that doesn’t make sense for your client hurts your credibility, reduces your level of intimacy with them, and highlights your self-interest. Conversely, your clients will always be willing to listen to ideas that help them advance their most important and urgent initiatives.