Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Creating a sense of urgency

Zig Ziglar said, "Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust."

Today we're looking at the "no hurry" obstacle. You know the problem. Your prospect has an acknowledged need. You have the solution. They have the budget. But, they're just not moving forward.

In this situation, "Clients often need a little prodding to overcome their lack of urgency," says speaker and consultant Mike Schultz who advises that you:

Ask yourself, "What won't happen?" By the end of the sales process, you should have a very clear idea how your services will provide value to the prospect if he buys. Your next step is to get the client to understand the implications of not choosing to engage your services. Start by building a case (to yourself) for the negative implications if the client chooses not to solve the problem or address the issue using your services.

Ask the client, "What won't happen?" At the appropriate time in the sales process, ask the client, "To help me understand your situation so I can craft the best solution for you, can you give me a sense of what will happen if you choose not to move forward in this process and engage our services?" Like a good trial lawyer, you already know from your earlier analysis what those implications will be. However, the point is to get the client to state those implications out loud, in his own words.

Quantify the results. Just as you quantify the benefits and value of moving forward, quantify the implications for the customer of not moving forward. Make sure your case is clear before going on to the next step.

Demonstrate the results. When demonstrating your value in the presentation or proposal, also demonstrate the value of the "What won't happen?" analysis. For example, suppose you demonstrate that revenue will go up by 3% and customer retention 20% if they purchase your service. Now show them the flip side. Demonstrate that if they choose not to go forward, revenue will stagnate or drop and customer retention will drop by at least 5%.

"By employing a 'What won't happen?' analysis in your sales process, you will find a consistent increase in the sense of urgency of your clients, resulting in measurably increased closing rates," says Schultz.

Give his advice a try and let us know how this strategy works for you!

This advice was excerpted from Top Dog Sales Secrets. Mike Schultz is principal of Wellesley Hills Group.

Come back tomorrow to find out how to deal with the "no desire" obstacle.
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