Your product is a great fit for the prospect. It’s in the right price range for their budget. And you can even get them a discount based on the size of the purchase.
But even though this should be a slam dunk, I can tell you they won’t buy unless there’s urgency.
Urgency gives people a reason to move forward. When it comes down to it, companies always have more needs than resources — so unless they must buy your solution in the short term, the deal will probably stall.
So if there’s no urgency, you should create some. Right?
Wrong. Sales strategist David Weinhaus, who works with HubSpot partner agencies, has a strong view on “creating” urgency.
Instead of manufacturing a cause to act — which isn’t helpful to your prospect and will ultimately backfire — either uncover an existing reason they’re not aware of, or back off.
With the right questions, you can get your prospect to realize they’re unhappy or dissatisfied. And if your questions don’t lead them to those conclusions, accept they’re still in education mode and let your marketing department nurture them until the time is right.
It’s also worth pointing out there are a ton of questions on this list (40, to be exact). I don’t want you to use all of them with every buyer. That would be crazy. The key is picking the most applicable, relevant ones for each prospect.
1) How big is the company today in terms of annual revenue, approximate customer number, and employee headcount?
This question helps you qualify them and start a discussion about how big they’d like to be in the future (and what’s currently standing in the way).
2) Is the business struggling, in a steady state, or in growth mode? Is [company] growing faster than the industry average?
Remind the buyer of their overarching business goals. This is a good tie-in to how your product would play into their strategy.
3) Many of the people in your role I talk to don’t know [surprising fact]. Did you?
I like the Challenger Sale method of teaching your prospect something new — not only will your credibility and authority go up, but you’ll naturally uncover urgency. The buyer will want to act on this information ASAP.
4) What is the problem you’re looking to solve?
The buyer might be focused on a different pain point than you. Use this question to figure out if they’re on the right track. Sometimes, prospects try to address the symptoms rather than the cause by mistake.
5) Is the problem clearly defined?
Learn how much time they’ve spent investigating the issue. Hint: The more clearly they’ve isolated it, the more invested they probably are in fixing it.
6) Have you had this problem before?
Figure out just how persistent your prospect’s pain point is.
7) Is the problem easy or hard to address?
Chances are, the prospect will say it’s the latter. If it was easy to solve, they would have tackled it by now.
8) How does this problem affect the revenue, profitability, culture, or product cycle of the business?
This question highlights the larger implications of what’s going wrong.
9) Does this problem affect a lot of people?
Get your prospect thinking about how widespread the effects are.
10) Are you tasked with solving this problem as part of your regular job, or is this a special assignment?
If your prospect says, “It’s part of my job,” then make sure you tie their overall performance to fixing this issue. If they say, “It’s a special assignment,” then there’s already genuine urgency: They need to identify an answer before a certain date.
11) What happens if you address the problem? What happens if you don’t?
This naturally leads the buyer to compare life with your product and life without. The second is usually much less appealing.
12) When do you need to start seeing the results of implementing the solution?
The prospect would probably love to see results right away. Their answer will help them realize why time is of the essence.
13) What is the one thing that, if we could help solve it quickly, would have the most meaningful impact on the company?
Once you’ve pinpointed a major opportunity to help, urgency will spring up naturally.
14) How would solving this problem affect you personally?
Knowing the buyer’s individual motivators can make or break the deal.
15) How does this affect your boss?
When the prospect’s boss is happy, they’re happy. Connect the dots between your solution and their supervisor.
16) What happens if you keep doing what you are doing?
It’s far easier to stick with the status quo than make a change, even if the long-term ramifications could sink the prospect’s business. With this question, you’ll get them to come to terms with the dangers of ignoring the issue.
17) How can we make you look like a star?
This question turns you into the prospect’s partner, instead of just their rep. It also helps you pinpoint how your product can help them look great at the office.
18) What do you need to do/what objectives must you reach to get a promotion?
Along similar lines as #17, this question reveals why the buyer is personally invested in finding a solution.
19) How does this problem affect you on a day-to-day basis?
Most professionals put up with annoying or deleterious pain points. As soon as you show the prospect there’s a better, easier way, they’ll be more eager to buy.
20) How does this problem affect [department]?
Get them to zoom out and visualize the impact on the wider team.
21) If you weren’t experiencing this pain anymore, which projects/priorities could you focus on?
This question makes the buyer envision a world where they have time, energy, and resources for the tasks or initiatives they’re interested in.