It's a well-known sales technique to create urgency in order to get prospects to make a decision. For instance, a salesperson might say "Buy in the next 30 minutes, or the price will go up!"

The reason why creating urgency works so well in sales is because very often, people won't make immediate decisions. Rather, they'll say something like "Let me think about it." Even if their intentions are good, once they get back home and days pass, other concerns enter their lives, and before they know it, they've completely forgotten about your product or service. But if people have incentive to make a decision immediately, then it greatly increases the chances of sales.

The problem that I see with urgency, though, is that a lot of salespeople seem to think that the only way to create urgency is through offering discounts. To be perfectly blunt, I hate discounts for a number of reasons. First, everybody offers discounts, so claiming that you're offering a discount really does nothing to differentiate you from all the other salespeople out there. Second, by offering discounts, you cut into your profits or commissions. Finally, you begin attracting cheapskates for clients, people who will never buy from you unless you keep lopping off the price again and again.

So, how can we create urgency without offering discounts? A few ways come immediately to mind.

1. Instead of subtracting from your price, add to your product! Instead of offering 20% off the price, why not add 20% more to your product or service? You can tack on nice bonus products, or you can give special additional customer support or services. Instead of making the discount your limited-time offer, make something your prospects genuinely want the limited-time offer that drives them into giving you their sales.

2. Use fear-based tactics. Point out how much money your prospects are losing by not investing in your product or service. Each day that they fail to make this investment is a day where they are leaving money on the table. Another way to use a fear-based tactic is to casually bring up that you've talked with your prospects' competitors (and mention the competitors by name); you may mention that their competitors are about to implement your product or service in order to get a leg up on the rest of the market (just make sure to be honest; don't claim a competitor is investing in your product or service if they aren't). You can create urgency by getting your prospect to recognize that their failure to act immediately will cost them sales of their own.

3. When you're taking a product or service off the market, announce ahead of time the exact date that it will no longer be available! What's a bigger source of urgency than if the product or service your prospect is considering will soon be gone for good? Announcing that you're taking a product or service off the market will get people to act while they still can!

These are just a few ways that you can create urgency, but there are no doubt many more ways to go about doing so. Creating urgency is a timeless method that salespeople have used to make their sales soar, but remember that there are so many more ways to create urgency than through giving discounts. Be creative, and it can only help your sales.

Author's Bio: 

Matt Vassar is a sales training consultant as well as a professor at Stanford University. His Secrets to Soaring Sales system can be found at: