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How to inspire your clients and customers to purchase NOW—not someday, later, or never.

sunday

You hustle to catch the 8:10 am subway train because if you don’t, you’ll be late for work.

You hustle to file your tax paperwork by April 15th, because if you don’t, there’s a penalty for that.

You hustle to buy tickets for that Beyoncé concert when she comes through your town, because you know those tix are going to sell out asap and who knows when Queen Beywill be back in your city again? Maybe not for years!

All day long, you are faced with moments of “urgency”—moments where you know that you need to act now / go now / choose now / purchase now, because if you wait too long, you won’t get the experience, reward or result that you want.

“Urgency” is a powerful motivating force.

If you run a coaching practice, or some other type of business, you might be wondering:

How can I create a sense of “urgency” so that my customers feel inspired to purchase my products and services NOW—now someday, later, or maybe never?

This is a tricky one. Obviously, you can’t just scream at people, “BUY MY STUFF RIGHT NOW OR YOUR LIFE WILL SUCK!” Obviously, that’s uncool. But is there a way to build a feeling of “urgency” without abusing or frightening your customers?

I say: YES.

It takes some finesse and artfulness, but you can learn how to do this.

Here’s the main thing to remember:

As the business owner or service provider, your job is accurately explain what you are selling, how it works, the benefits that it can provide, and then firmly—but very kindly—give your customer at least one really good reason to act now.

You don’t need to give your customer 500 really good reasons to act now. You don’t need to force-feed your customer every single excruciating detail about your offering. You don’t need to write a product description or sales page that goes on for 40 pages. All you need to lay out is… one good reason to act now.

Not too hard, right?

So when I say, “give your customer at least one really good reason to act now,” what does that mean? What are some different ways to do that?

Allow me to walk you through five different options.To create a feeling of “act now” urgency, you could…

1. Explain that you’ve got “limited availability.”

You’re running a class but you can only accept 20 people, max.

You’re selling artwork but it’s a limited edition line with 50 paintings, tops.

Obviously, if you’re using the “limited availability” strategy, this has to be genuine—not fake or forced. If you’re lying and you actually have infinite availability (you’re just trying to prod people by claiming something that’s not true) your customers will sense this andyour reputation will be tarnished.

Entrepreneur who uses this technique effectively: Alexandra Franzen. She’s a writer / editor who only works with 6 to 8 clients per year and when those spots are full, they’re really full. No joke. Over time, her business audience has learned this, which creates a feeling of genuine urgency. When Alex says, “I am accepting new clients now” people jump at the chance because they know, “This might be my only shot for a year!”

2. Shut down enrollment at a specific date and time.

Again, this has to be genuine—not fake or forced. If you say to people, “Enrollment closes at midnight tonight!” but then you repeatedly “fudge” a little and extend enrollment a bit longer, people will sense that what you say is not always the truth.

Entrepreneur who uses this technique effectively: Marie Forleo. She runs her B-School business training program once a year. Enrollment is open for a specific durationof time, and when the doors close, it’s for real. Firm. If you’re too late… it’s your loss.

3. Spell out the benefits of acting now.

Find statistics, facts, or seasonal data to indicate why your customer might be wise to act now.

If you’re a career coach, you might say, “Statistically speaking, January is the one of the BEST times to apply for a new job. Hiring managers are back from their holiday vacations, company budgets are full and fresh for the new year, and new positions get posted like wildfire. Are you ready? January is right around the corner. Let’s work together NOW to upgrade your resume, cover letter, and inteview skills so that by January 1st, you’ll be first in line to apply for your dream job.”Think it over: why is now the right time for your client to take action? Is there a rational reason to buy now / start now? Your client might not know why now is the “right time” so it’s your job to educate them.

Entrepreneur who uses this technique effectively: Mike Dolce. Mike works with some of the world’s top athletes including my girl-crush, UFC champion Ronda Rousey. While his tone can sometimes be a little “intense” for my taste, he does a really good jobat motivating people to take their health, nutrition, and physical fitness seriously… NOW.

On his podcast, Mike often says things like, “Dude, do you WANT to keep feeling tired and shitty? Or do you want to get strong and fit and wake up feeling amazing? What’s it going to be? You know that it’s going to feel SO GOOD once you’ve got your nutrition rocking, once you’re hitting the gym, so freaking start working on it NOW! This is the right time and you know it!”

You might choose to take a “gentler” tone with your clients, but you can be “gentle” and still spell out the benefits of acting now very clearly.

4. Spell out the consequences of NOT acting now.

Use very careful wording if you’re using this technique. Remember that you’re not tryingto “terrify” your customer into taking action. You’re just laying out the facts, firmly, but calmly.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Let’s say you’re a financial adviser and you want to explain the potential consequences of waiting too long to set up a plan for retirement.

You might say something like, “The longer you wait to figure out a plan for retirement, the harder it will be to hustle, catch up, and save enough for the future you want. You might find yourself at age 70, discovering that you literally can’t afford to retire—which could have been prevented if you’d just starting planning a little earlier. Let’s get you sorted out asap, even if right now you can only set aside $20 a week. It all counts and it all helps. Call me today. I’d love to get you squared away with a plan that makes sense for you.”

What’s the potential “cost” for your customer if she chooses to wait too long, or if he chooses never to act at all? Money troubles? Stress? Wasted time? Unhappiness? Missing a big opportunity? Resentment? Regret? Fewer orgasms? Think it over and, if itfeels appropriate for your product or service, spell out the unfortunate facts.

Entrepreneur who uses this technique effectively: Kim Anami. She’s a sex and intimacy expert who helps women learn how to have better orgasms. For real. I LOVE this woman because she bluntly spells out the consequences of not taking charge of your body and sex life (consequences like: feeling frumpy, feeling tired, feeling stressed,lovers who don’t understand how to please you, etc) but she does it with so much humor and silliness. She’s so entertaining! I mean, how could you NOT buy one of her programs? Check out this video to see what I mean.

5. Offer a time-sensitive “gift” or “incentive” to encourage your customer to act now.

Sign up by midnight tonight and get a free 30-minute neck massage!

Order $100 worth of products by Sunday night and get free gift wrap and free shipping!

Enroll by Thanksgiving Day and get a free gift: 10 de-stressing audio meditations—delivered instantly to your inbox—that you can listen to throughout the holiday season tostay chill and relaxed.

You get the idea. Throwing in a juicy, time-sensitive gift can provide that final nudge to shift your customerfrom “maybe” to “YES NOW PLEASE!”

The key is to make sure that the “gift” you’re offering is seriously desirable and enticing. If you’re offering, say, a “free e-book” to your customer (but it’s not actually an e-book they want because the topic isn’t relevant to them, it’s too long, it’s boring, or whatever) then that’s not going to provide the “urgency” you want. The gift has gotta be GOOD.

Entrepreneur who uses this technique effectively: Me! I’m actually using this technique to encourage peeps to buy tickets for my upcoming training event for professional coaches: CLEAR COACHES LIVE.

The event is in January 2016—which for some people feels like “a long time from now”—so I knew I needed to do something to inspire people to get a ticket now… and not wait too long and then wind up scrambling, stressed, or missing out because they can’t sort out their travel plans in time.

Here’s the strategy that I’m rolling out (a little insider peek into my biz!):

When you grab a ticket for CLEAR COACHES LIVE by November 15th, you get a sweet bonus gift: a video class on how create & sell out a retreat (I’ve led tons of sold-out workshops and retreats and I know a lot of my fellow coaches are curious about how to do this, so I know this is an enticing topic that will get people’s attention!) plus a workbook to help you figure out your business plan for 2016 and get ahead of the game for next year.

My goal is to nudge peeps to sign up for the event sooner rather than later, but without being overly pushy about it. Offering a time-sensitive gift, incentive, bonus or reward can create a feeling of “urgency” but without making people feel agitated or anxious.

To recap:

To create a feeling “urgency,” you can…

1. Explain that you’ve got “limited availability.”
2. Shut down enrollment at a specific date and time.
3. Spell out the benefits of acting now.
4. Spell out the consequences of NOT acting now.
5. Offer a time-sensitive “gift” or “incentive” to encourage your customer to act now.

So there ya go. Five different ways to create a genuine feeling of “urgency” and inspire your clients and customers to purchase NOW—not someday, later, or never.

Of course, it goes without saying, the BEST way to inspire people to purchase right nowis to create a reputation as someone who is insanely amazing, talented, professional, and totally a must-have, must-hire, must-know kind of person.

If you build a reputation as a total rockstar in your industry, eventually, people will feel a sense of “urgency” to hire you just because… you are YOU. No other “reason” required.

That’s the best kind of “urgency” of all—and in time? You’ll get there. Just keep working and be patient with the… uh, urgency. Ha. You know what I mean.

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xoxo, Susan

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