"How Do I Create a Sense of Urgency this Time of Year? Many of my prospects are saying "call me after the holidays" What are some ways to keep the pipeline full during the holidays?"
OK well we are being asked to answer two different situations...
The later, "What are some ways to keep the pipeline full during the holidays?" depends on your average sales cycle (cradle to grave... from the time you first make contact to the time they sign the dotted line)... If you have an average sales cycle for let's say 6 months, your answer is you get your December pipeline from May/June/July in most cases for that type of situation.
The headline question of "What do you do to create a sense of urgency this time of year?" has a different answer because having a full pipeline and having prospects with a "sense of urgency" aren't always the same thing.
This time of year, it’s mostly the SALESPEOPLE who are feeling the pressure and the sense of urgency is on THEM. It's a BIG mistake to push that sense of urgency off on your prospects. When you do that, your focus is on what's best for you
, and not on what's best for your prospects.
Now with that said, if you really want to create a legitimate sense of urgency, the best way I was taught or had it described to me was to "have the prospect set their own hair on fire"... meaning, get them to see their problem and the ramifications they are or will be dealing with if that problem isn't solved and or the longer that problem goes unsolved, the worse it gets for them.
HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
You do this by knowing what questions to ask, when to ask them and how to ask them. You can tell a prospect they have a problem until you're blue in the face but it isn't until you learn to ask the right sales questions
that you'll get more of your prospects coming to their own conclusion that they have a situation and they are better off solving it now rather than later.
THIS ISN'T FOR EVERY PROSPECT
Understanding your prospects situation is vital to high commission checks and longevity in sales. The first step is to make sure you and your prospect have agreed that a problem exists and that they believe you can help them solve it. Once that is established, if they want to wait till the first of the year seek first to understand the reason for the delay before trying to overcome it.
The last thing you want to do is to offer an incentive (additional value or a reduction in price etc) and still have them not be able to take advantage of it till January... Why? Because if they truly can't do it now, you just shortchanged yourself in January for no reason.
If your prospect truly isn't in the position to give an approval now, set up your next steps call and move on to the next prospect.
For the prospects that are asking to wait till January but could move sooner, those are the ones you offer an incentive to in order to create a WIN / WIN for all parties. But it all starts with making sure you are speaking with a prospect that understands they have a problem, that you can help them solve it and they have the authority to say "yes" to your solution if they like it.
CSS: Chief Sales Scientist
SalesBuzz.com (A 2011 Sales Training Company
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