Even when prospects know they need a product or a service, more often than not, they tend to put it off thinking of other more immediate concerns they should be dealing with. This kind of behavior can result in large problems not being dealt with simply because prospects didn’t feel the need to take action immediately. This is exactly where negative urgency can come into play.
What Is Negative Urgency?
Negative urgency is a highly studied psychological phenomenon that results in people making impulsive decisions. For the sake of this article, we will define negative urgency as a means to stimulate concern for prospects to see what would happen if a certain action is not taken now. Although it seems unethical to encourage impulsive decisions, in the case of services like financial planning, this kind of tactic can actually help clients in the long run. Instead of prospects putting off extremely important life decisions (like that of managing one’s finances and saving), advisors can help prospects realize the consequences of delaying such action.
Why Use Negative Urgency Over Other Methods
Unlike other methods of encouraging action, negative urgency has been shown to be the most effective means to inspire action. That’s because people have a tendency to react more strongly towards losing something than they do towards gaining something. This can be extremely important and relevant when it comes to closing business and getting those prospects to take action!
How to Communicate and Use Negative Urgency
Whether willingly or not, you have probably used negative urgency in the past without knowing it, or perhaps have had it used on you. Negative urgency is simply the idea of communicating what could be lost over not pursuing a particular course of action. So, for instance, if you are selling a health insurance product to a senior aged client; what would happen if this client didn’t buy health insurance today, or perhaps settled for a different lower end solution? Describe in detail the very real scenario of a client having a major health issue and the consequences of them not buying this product today. This would be an example of communicating negative urgency.
The Best Way To Use Negative Urgency To Close Business
As mentioned above, communicating the “what-if “scenarios can potentially be the perfect means to establish negative urgency with prospects and would be clients. But is there a better way to drive negative urgency? In-fact there is. Instead of trying to communicate to prospects what would happen, turn it around and ask them the question. Letting the prospects answer these negative urgency questions themselves, and outwardly, is one of the most powerful ways to drive home action.
An example of this tactic might be, instead of explaining that scenario of a major health issue arising, ask them, what would happen if they didn’t have this health insurance product and had a major health issue this year? What would you do, or be forced to do? By letting prospect answer the question instead, you can drive home the point in a much more vivid way that forces the prospect to consider this real-life scenario happening themselves.
Negative urgency is a powerful tool when used in the right context and can lead to more successful acquisitions over time. Even when the client thinks they know what’s best, sometimes it is up to you to remind them otherwise. This is really where negative urgency can shine!