Urgency – how does one achieve it in sales?

Objective Management Group (OMG) is a company who has been assessing sales people and sales management since the late 80s.

The guy who runs it, Dave Kurlan, published an article that was overviewing the data gathered by Objective Management Group (OMG) on the topic of urgency in sales.

The article as well as the data stressed on how only elite sellers are able to create urgency during their sales process.

It made me want to share how I believe you can effectively create urgency, because, as one can imagine, the majority of sales reps do not succeed in making it happen.

What difference does urgency make?

Urgency moves your prospect from “it’s good enough the way it is” to “I need what you’re offering really really bad”.

You see, urgency is making your prospect feel like if they don’t buy your product/service, something really bad is going to happen.

I’m not talking about threatening your prospect with a knife, but towards the end of the meeting, the fear of failing hard should visit their minds and become pretty intense.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t lie to your prospect, you don’t tell them things that are unreal, you just create urgency by allowing them to understand the worst-case scenarios and later on providing the solution of getting ahead of them.

Only the top sales reps create urgency

The following table contains the data that was also discussed in the previously mentioned article.

According to the data, people who manage to find good reasons to buy, are more likely to achieve the “must have” feeling.

When logically thinking, it is almost crystal clear, but how many meetings do you leave being still unsure whether the prospect really feels like they must buy your product?

Or feeling like for a fact you know that you did not achieve that feeling and you leave their decision completely in their own hands?

So how do you create urgency?

In order to be able to create any emotional connection to what you’re offering, we first must understand where our prospect is at.

  1. What is their situation?
  2. What are their current pains?
  3. Why might they need your service?

Then you go into questioning their core problem.

  1. Is there anything behind their problems/goals?
  2. Are there parts they are insecure about? Why is that?

The thing is that by this time you should clearly know whether they truly need your service or not. Will you give them tangible value?

Obviously, creating urgency in a place that has no weight for your prospect is just a huge mistake you don’t want to do.

Don’t push it this hard if you feel like you’re not able to bring the difference that will truly knock their socks off.

But don’t underestimate your impact either.

A case study of creating urgency

→ You’re meeting a prospect whose sales goals are not being met. A new significant player came into the market and it’s got worse than they thought.

→ Their last 2 quarters have been awful and now they are not clear on how to push themselves back onto the top of the market.

→ The prospect is interested in the points you make, the way you say you can help, but this one is specifically worried about your price.

→ Because their last two quarters were awful, they’re trying hard to restrict their expenses and you would cost good significant money to them, should they choose to invest in you and your solution.

→ They’ve also been trying out a new strategy that has healed their financial situation a little bit, but not enough to be truly noteworthy and effective.

The points you make that makes them feel like hiring you is urgent:

  • Your sales results dropped by 40%, how much money did you lose?
  • During the last two months it increased by 20%. If it stays that way, how much money will you still be losing every month?
  • Can the last month’s change truly tell you that you will be meeting your quota in the next 3 months?
  • So if you’re not meeting your quota, what’s going to happen then?
  • If you keep on losing all that money, what will happen to your company?
  • I know that if we start doing x,y,z, you will increase your sales significantly within the first quarter of us working together.

It is important to show your prospect that you also have a solution to the dangers that they’re in.

Read an example of creating urgency from my personal experience here: My Personal Example Of Creating Urgency.

Why do people fail at creating urgency?

One of the biggest failures in a meeting, is that the sales rep does not find the real pain of the customer. They don’t dig enough to see what is truly important to them and how does it connect with the service they’re providing.

They had 2 bad quarters, okay, what if it is going to be 3 bad quarters, you’ll have a bad year and you’ll lose your job. Shouldn’t you be doing something about it now?

Make your prospect feel really bad and really good at the same time

Unless nobody’s dying, people don’t really want to change and therefore it is difficult to create urgency.

Nobody wants to exit their comfort zone, therefore you have to make them emotional, back your thoughts up by statistics, data, real customer cases and make them feel really bad and really good at the same time because now they know they can fix it with your help.


The best way to establish urgency is:

  1. Analyze your prospect’s situation
  2. Understand what their fears and problems are
  3. Dig deep into the same fears
  4. Create an emotional attachment to the issue
  5. Make sure your prospect concentrates on the threats of not solving their problems

Then come in with your solution and make them remember that their fears won’t turn real if they go with what you’re offering.

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