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Just Ask!

Instilling urgency in a prospective customer can make the difference between achieving a sale and losing it altogether. If your prospects cannot vividly see personal benefits from taking action, there will never be the sense of urgency needed to follow your suggestions.

Closing is the logical conclusion of a demonstration of your products and services. Make certain that you ask enough open-ended questions to know for certain that you are applying the correct solutions to the exact problems and needs you have uncovered from your questioning. Through this process, the answers to your questions should give you all the levers you need to create a sense of urgency in your prospects.

Urgency can also be created when prospects can take advantage of special pricing on packages or bundles of products for a limited period. Make certain that all special offers or time constraints are pointed out to your prospects so that they can feel the need or urgency of making a decision today. If service charges will be increased or interest rates will change soon, use this information to set the stage for a positive and timely buying decision.

You can also create urgency by asking your prospects how much it will cost them not to take action today. If a suggested product will help them make money or avoid losing money, show them exactly what it will cost them to leave this problem unsolved. Also show them the pitfalls of trying a "do it yourself approach." Often from this vantage point, prospects will be able to overcome the natural reluctance to making changes and move forward with a favorable decision.

If your prospects are still reluctant, ask them about their concerns or reasons for not moving forward on your suggestions. Often a person just needs to verbalize why he feels the way he does to see that his concerns have little or no foundation in reality. To assist your prospects, write down each concern and then weigh or compare the reason to wait or postpone a decision against the benefits of taking action now. If you have built trust with your prospects, you can act almost as an independent consultant might act to help them "weigh" what would be in their best interest. It's always best to have all the reasons for reluctance to proceed out in the open so that they can be addressed, minimized, and new positive reasons given for taking action.

VIRDEN THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. a firm specializing in sales, customer relations, and management training and development. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Deloitte & Touché, Bank One, Jefferson Pilot, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and the best selling Building & Closing the Sale, Fifty-Minute series books and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publicantions a dividion of Thompson Learning. He has also authored a client acclaimed Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching & team development, telemarketing, and personal productivity training guides. To obtain a substantial discount on two of Virden's new manuals, 101 Sales Myths and Organizing For Sales Success, check out the listings on The $elling Edge, Inc. website at:

Note: You can contact Virden at:

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