Creating Urgency When Your Prospect is Overwhelmed


It seems like overwhelm is a common state these days. As a salesperson, it’s likely that some of your prospects have a lot on their desks and are having their own difficulty identifying what to do next. This may mean they shy away from making decisions. Even if interested, you get “it would be best to follow up later”. How can you create urgency to move them to action?

Just like when you are trying to sort out your own priorities, you need to first determine what is their priority. The only way to do this is to ask. Imagine the following scenario: A salesperson reaches out to a prospect who has conveyed a level of interest. The prospect then says “I’m very curious, but right now I don’t have the time or the budget to address it. Can you send me some collateral and follow up next quarter?”

Instead of simply agreeing and moving on, use the opportunity to surface their goal and begin to uncover the challenges standing in the way. The dialogue might go like this: “I can certainly understand why you would want to move this initiative to next quarter. I’d like to use our time now to know more about what you’re focused on to be better prepared when we reconnect. What are you trying to accomplish this quarter/year?”. This approach will help you surface their priority and drive the conversation in a meaningful direction.

Once you understand their priority and context, linking this to a similar client success story will establish credibility in you, your company and solution set. Then expand on the value they achieved by partnering with you. Follow the story with a question, e.g., “…would that be helpful to you?” Or “could we work with you to calculate the impact we would have here?”.

A reference story allows your prospect to see your solution related back to their priority, which catapults it to the top of the list of things competing for their focus. It may even reveal to you that you need to pivot your solution. Remember our main goal is to uncover information. That’s the best way to get a Differentiated VisionMatch.

In summary, prospects are not experts – you are.  They often have trouble making a connection. They may be overwhelmed to the point where they overlook that you are trying to help. Getting them talking about their most urgent priority, then tying that back to your solution via a value-based reference story is a great way to give them clarity and move the conversation forward.

There will be cases where it is just better to wait… Don’t be discouraged. Be disciplined and diligent in your follow up.  That always pays dividends 🙂

As a Vice President of Visualize, Gerard helps organizations improve business metrics by creating a better connection with their customer’s definition of value. He is focused on refining his client’s selling approach & their ability to differentiate – to drive increased revenues, market share and profitability.