Scarcity of time is a structured approach that creates a true sense of urgency around a prospect’s business objective and their timeline to accomplish it.

Kendra Lee

July 10, 2015

2 Min Read
How to Use the Power of 'Scarcity of Time' to Close a Sale

I’m a big believer in sales reps who operate with the guiding principle of doing what’s right for the customer. However, too often reps interpret this as meaning they should wait to push for a close until prospects say the “time is right” for them. The thinking is that prospects will reward reps for their patience and understanding. Unfortunately, what it leads to instead is numerous opportunities lingering in the sales funnel waiting to close.

The good news is that this quagmire can be solved by investing more effort and energy into creating what I like to call “scarcity of time”—a structured approach that creates a true sense of urgency around a prospect’s business objective and their timeline to accomplish it.

For instance, if a prospect is considering switching managed service providers because they can’t afford another downtime experience, then that opens the door for you to leverage the company’s objective (switching MSPs) and timeline (before another catastrophic event) to move the sale forward. Simply put, the goal is to help prospects see that time is the enemy in accomplishing a key business objective.

Seems simple enough, right?

It should be, but many sales reps fail to properly harness the power of scarcity of time. Instead, they wait for prospects to tell them when they’re ready to move forward. And the problem with that is that if a prospect doesn’t feel like time is running out, then they won’t feel any sense of urgency to follow through with a decision. Even the best “sale” messaging (e.g., “new pricing goes into effect on the first of next month”) won’t move a prospect forward.

Here’s how to change that:

  1. During your requirements gathering process, don’t just ask questions that reveal technical requirements. Make sure to ask questions that also uncover a prospect’s timeline for change.

  2. Take time to fully understand and appreciate why that timeline is so important to the prospect’s business, and look for the authentic critical business results that your prospect needs right now.

  3. If your prospect drags his feet on moving forward, go back to the information you collected in the first two steps and remind him why making a decision soon is critical to his business’s success.

Now, if a prospect can’t (or won’t) share the critical business objective he’s trying to accomplish and the timeline he wants to achieve them, that should send up red flags. It’s a clear indication that there’s no scarcity of time and a sure-fire sign that you’re in for a long sales cycle.

Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the award-winning books, “The Sales Magnet” and “Selling Against the Goal” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the small and midmarket business (SMB) segment.

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About the Author(s)

Kendra Lee

Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the award-winning books “The Sales Magnet” and “Selling Against the Goal,” and president of KLA Group. Specializing in the IT industry, KLA Group works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.

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