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  • Writer's pictureDavid A. Schneider

6 Ways To Create Urgency in Sales

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

In this blogpost you will learn:

If you work in sales, you might know the feeling that you still have to get some deals to close before the end of the month or quarter. If your sales cycle takes longer than just an impulse buy, then you probably have some deals still in your Sales Pipeline that might just be right to close them now.

But how do you get the customer to act? And how can you make them act right now?

You do that by creating a sense of urgency in your sales pitch.

In this article, we will show you how exactly to do that.

What is Urgency in Sales?

creating urgency in sales
When things get urgent

Urgency for us as sales professionals basically means that we get the customer to act.

When you are near the finish line of your presentation, it is time to get the prospect to act.

But to achieve this, we have to add some “spice” to the conversation.

And that spice is called creating urgency.

Consider the following:

  • How do you feel if it is the day before Christmas Eve and you still haven't bought any presents for your family?

  • How do you feel when your wedding day is tomorrow and you have not even thought about making a reservation in a restaurant?

  • What is it like to know you have an important presentation tomorrow and have not even looked at the material yet?

We have probably all been in one of these or similar situations.

The first reaction feels something like “oh shit” and the immediate next thought is: “how can I solve the problem as soon as possible?

Whatever was on your mind before, now you are probably thinking about what would be the quickest fix to each of these scenarios.

You could be rushing into the mall to buy presents immediately, make that reservation in the fancy restaurant and pray that there is a table left.

Or you could get some energy drinks and learn through the whole night for your presentation.

You will act without delay, you are put into a state of reaction and looking for a fix to your problem.

This is the state we want our buyer to be in when we create urgency.

If you can create it in the right way, it can bring your customers to act and get them to sign your order.

However, there are a few rules you must follow to use urgency as a right tool in your selling process.

When to use Urgency In Sales

At this point in the sales cycle we already could establish rapport with the prospect, discover hidden pain points during our conversation for which we provided a perfect solution.

We handled sales objections and also added credibility to our presentation.

That already was great work so far!

Before building urgency, you should make sure that you have covered these points before during your sales pitch or in the conversation with your customer!

If you only start creating urgency without having provided appropriate value at first and made sure the customer has all he or she needs you might come across as being pushy.

And nobody wants to buy from a pushy salesperson, right?

But even though the client is probably convinced at this point that you have a good product to offer, it is still possible that he has something blocking him from buying in the back of his mind.

Of course you can't open the client’s head and look inside what exactly this is to uncover it.

Although I have to admit, that would be kinda convenient.

Instead we will use urgency to trigger the buying behaviour we need for a sale and get our customer to act.

There are several ways you can create urgency in a sales situation. Some are better suited for certain environments than others, so choose wisely and trust your gut instinct on what will work best.

Here are 6 ways to create urgency in your sales conversation:

1: Create Urgency by giving a reason to act now:

create urgency
Doing things NOW makes them urgent

The problem we have in a sales situation is that in most cases the issues and pain points we discovered in our presentation might be real, but there is no need to handle them right now.

If the prospect does not feel the need to act, then he will not act.

Even though the problem our products solve might be valid to the customer and perfectly fit the situation, the business could be just running great and there is no real need for improvement.

Or the customer had a great year recently and now thinks every year will continue like that. Of course we know this won’t happen, but it is the customer who has to make the decision.

Simple procrastination is also very common among most humans, and we are probably all guilty of it.

Even if you deal with top executives in your sales situations, they are just ordinary people who have the same flaws and also postpone decisions sometimes.

They too like to wait to handle things until it really becomes necessary to handle them. Everybody has other things to do, and there is always some other shiny new stuff we could spend money on.

Try to answer this question from the viewpoint of the customer: “why listen to the salesperson and act now?”

The way to get people moving and breaking through this mental barrier is by creating the sense of urgency we talked about.

To do that you will either have to showcase a certain pain if they do not buy, or a form of pleasure if they do buy right now.

We all will act either because we expect pleasure from some activity or because that activity could lead to pain if we don’t go forward.

This is what we humans will usually go for, and what will make us move.

These 2 elements of either gaining something desirable like a better situation or outcome, or avoiding a difficult situation like trouble, expensive bills etc. are key to getting people to act.

Research has shown that people will always do more to get out of pain than they would ever do to receive pleasure, but to maximize your chances of success you should use both.

This means to get people to act, show them the pain that will occur if they do not act right now:

What if the competition becomes stronger in the market?

Did you hear about the new technology that is being developed by xyz company?

I heard your competitor is building a new production facility in town, how will that affect you in the long run?

The other way of course is to show people what kind of pleasure they can gain from buying your product right now:

If our product would increase your output by 20%, what would that mean for your bottom line?

What would it mean to you if you would reduce your production errors by half with our machine next quarter?

Could a new vehicle for your business improve the impression you make to your clients?

Showing a prospect the pleasure they can get is often powerful enough.

If this should not get them to cat, you can then try to use the pain associated with not buying your product.

Combining the pain from not buying and the pleasure from buying can create a strong feeling of urgency when you are selling to your prospect.

Try it next time your prospects hesitates to fill out the order.

2: Urgency created by discounts

create urgency sales
Valid only today!

The easiest thing to do when you see the prospect avoid making the final decision is to give the client an incentive.

One way that will always work this way by offering a certain discount on the offer which is valid until this week only.

The thing is, the discount can be valid all the time or it could be just a general way of pricing the product. But to create urgency, you mention it is available only for a limited time.

For example:

If the customer buys right now, he will receive a discount of additional 15%, but this discount only lasts until Friday (especially powerful when used on a Thursday!).

But if you use this tactic, make sure to also give a valid reason why this discount will not be available after the given time.

There might be new pricing coming from the management in a week which will then be more expensive, or there could be new laws and obligations hitting the industry within the next week which can also increase prices.

Or there might be a special sale going on in your company which ends at the end of the week, some excess inventory has to be moved until the end of this month or similar situations.

These are all common situations in most industries and will actually affect pricing strategies.

Thus they will be perceived as appropriate in the eyes of your customer since these things can happen and do happen from time to time.

Whatever it is, it has to be outside of your control and should be legitimate.

As long as we salespeople too are the “victim” of the coming price increase and there is nothing you personally can do about it, it will help you to make a client buy right now.

But beware if you threaten to increase the price yourself without any justification to the customer.

It will make you a lot less credible even if you did perfect so far and will understandably be perceived as very pushy from your side.

A great sales conversation lasting for hours can be ruined with a few wrong words within seconds.

Thus, be very careful if you have no clear, reasonable story as to where the discount comes from and why it will end this week.

If there are legitimate reasons you can think of, a temporary discount can be very effective to get customers to act.

3: Urgency by offering extra value for a limited time

create urgency in sales
Add something extra

Pricing is not the only thing you could make use of to create urgency.

You could also offer a special package with some extras if the client orders now or provide an extra form of service like installation at site.

Again there could be restrictions, time limits for the offering or similar situations to create the desired urgency and require the decision now.

The extra services or bonus you offer ideally matches the customer’s pain points and has high relevance for him or her.

Make sure that whatever you offer can be really delivered flawlessly, and that it is something that enhances the value of your product.

Depending on your industry, there are always many creative ways to offer extra value for a limited time that can help to create a sense of urgency with the prospect.

Just stay honest and offer something of real value to the person that might decline if they wait too long, and explain why.

Whatever story you want to bring up in this scenario, it has to include the element of time, and should make it obvious for the prospect to act now instead of later.

4: Create Urgency by closing the sale

In some occasions the customer is not to blame if a deal doesn't move forward.

At least not entirely.

Many salespeople are afraid of asking for the sale directly or closing the sale.

And so the precious time with the customer is wasted with small talk, or talking too much about some product data and the potential use of the product.

While a certain amount of small talk is necessary to build rapport, when you have noticed a real need or problem you can solve, it is time to present your solution.

In sales, learn to accept a “yes”.

This can also be in the form of body language or any clear signal that the customer is interested.

You want the customer to make a decision. However, he or she can only decide if you give them something to decide and demand that decision.

It sounds totally obvious but very often the customer has not realized that he is asked to make a decision - even if the salesperson did ask for the order.

Sometimes communication is not working out the way it should, and some salespeople use weak formulations when asking for the sale to mask the fact that they feel uncomfortable closing the sale.

Be aware of any question that could be answered with a “maybe”!

Really demand an answer that will allow no option for further delays and build that urgency.

Also be upfront and ask if they are missing any more information, in case that there might be something you did not realize was important to the customer.

If you are not absolutely sure that the prospect also realized not only what you are offering, but also what you are asking, then try to close the sale again.

Sometimes this step alone can be enough urgency for people to act right now - or to name their objections that are preventing them from moving forward.

5: Create Urgency by better follow up

create urgency
Call again a little sooner than usual.

The more time you allow between the appointments when you see your customer, the more time he or she will have to be distracted by something else.

And there is always something more important than a salesperson and their proposal.

Another way of building urgency in sales is to make the sales cycle a little shorter by scheduling the meetings closer together.

How close together depends on your industry and your product, but especially in complex sales cycles, there can be weeks between appointments.

Stay polite and think about a reason why it is a benefit for the customer to schedule the meetings sooner.

Sell them a benefit on why they should meet with you again as soon as possible, for example the expiring discounts we mentioned can be a valid reason to meet sooner.

6: Create Urgency by making it easy to buy

People will always take the easy way.

So if you want to sell something, make sure that it is ridiculously easy to buy from you.

Does the prospect have to fill out lots of documents?

Consider offering to handle all the paperwork for your client.

It is easy to buy from you and pay you?

Do you accept all payment options the customer uses?

Consider offering financing options too if it suits your product.

How did you mention the price?

Sure 4.000$ upfront investment sounds like a lot. But that is merely 10,95$ per day. Show the customer that the service is worth what you are asking for. Compare the benefits your product offers to the costs per week, per day, or even per hour when appropriate.

Is there any legal work or other stuff that would make things complicated?

Often you need approvals from authorities, certificates to enter a certain market or similar. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and look at what could speed things up and make them less complicated.

Look for any barriers that might make it difficult to buy or use your product.

Even if it seems just like a minor obstacle, for your customer it might be a major issue.

Altogether, these 6 ways of creating urgency will give you a major edge in your next sales conversations.

Try them out for yourself next time and see what will work best for you!

Keep Your Dream Alive!


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