I wish there were quick and easy answers on this topic. Suggestions you might find on the internet to, for example, offer a time limit on special pricing (and other similar tactics) sometimes do not motivate customers. Attempting this approach can undermine trust you have worked hard to build. The answers to how to create a sense of urgency come from understanding your customers.
Information you need
In order to start figuring out the best approach you will need to try to understand the following about your customer:
- Business trends
- Market forces (e.g. are their competitors applying pressure)
- Business and other challenges
- Short and long-term objectives
- Decision process including key players, steps in process, timeline
- Experience with current solution (what you are competing with)
What you are trying to find
You are looking for information regarding potential significant negative events and/or missed business opportunities that would occur in your customer without your solution. Some examples:
- Missing potential revenue growth
- Failure of new products/services launch
- Losing marketshare to competitors
- Executive involved in decision process misses promotion opportunity
- Reduction or elimination of performance bonus for key contacts in the decision process
Your job is to ensure this information is used to position your solution as the best way to avoid negative events (and/or take advantage of opportunities)…and that acting ASAP will provide the greatest value (versus other solutions). While this may involve some hard work it puts you on a more reliable path toward success.
Making the information work for you
The focus here is to figure out how, not if, you can make progress. While your target contact may be delaying scheduling a meeting, connect with other contacts and ask for feedback on the information you gathered. For example:
- How are X trends impacting this company’s business
- How well does the current solution (the one you are competing with) enable the company to achieve X goals?
In addition to identifying how to create urgency with your client, taking this approach will demonstrate your professionalism and separate you from competitors!