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How to apply sales pressure effectively.

What is the most effective way to put pressure on the buyer to take action now? - by Community Mailbox
Pressure is not a suggested term here, you must have three things:
1) conceptual agreement
2) an understanding that you value fits the wants and needs of the buyer
3) provocative and affirmative questions that provide closure. Most selling professionals simply do not ask. They fear rejection. Our survey of over 10,000 representatives illustrates fear is the largest issue of not closing business.



Good Selling.

Drew Stevens - by Drew Stevens
Many (most) would agree that, although you can make sales using pressure, you shouldn't. Using pressure is a high risk activity in that it can and often does blow up in your face and damage the salesperson-prospect relationship. I would also argue that it damages the reputation of sales professionals.

I think maybe your underlying question is "how do you create a sense of urgency in your prospects." Am I corect? - by Skip Anderson
"Pressure" will not yield success. SR's, in the B2B realm, who are on top of their patch know where the opportunities lie and have a clear understanding of the timelines in each account.

Where something changes (eg. pricing actions, improved terms, new product launches, etc.), the strong SR is able to get this information in front of their prospects without it feeling like he's being "pressured" to advance the decision. In point of fact, I've witnessed senior SR's rely on their "trusted advisor" status within their accounts to put potentially "deal-changing" information on the table ASAP.

I've also seen the newbie's "spray-&-pray" such key information out there to see what happens.

It's all a matter of perspective.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
What is the most effective way to put pressure on the buyer to take action now?
The most effective pressure that can be applied is... the pressure the customers puts on himself/ herself. It was this exact pressure (state of mind) that motivated them to seek a resolution. - by SalesCoach
The most effective pressure that can be applied is... the pressure the customers puts on himself/ herself. It was this exact pressure (state of mind) that motivated them to seek a resolution.
I agree with all the sentiments here. Apply pressure wont work. As sales coach says work instead with the pressure the buyer has put themselves under and you are more likely to get a result.

Best Wishes

Denise - by SalesManagersCoach
What a great thread! As many have said, the best pressure to apply is no pressure at all. In fact, top performers have an uncanny ability to remove pressure in order to allow the buyer to make an unabated buying decision. Here's an example that might occur midway through the sales process, after we've identified buying motives: "Mrs. Ramirez, as much as I would love to have your business, if for some reason we can't put things together for you today, it's okay - we'll still be friends." Or, if clients put up a wall of defense the first time you meet them, i.e., "We're not buying today," simply say, "Actually that's fine - now we can just be friends. My name is Jon - and you are ___?" Every one of us has closed a sale where the client says, "You know, we didn't intend to buy today," as they're signing the order. I LOVE those sales!

Of course there are many other ways to remove pressure; it's important to point out, however, that removing pressure does NOT mean failing to ask for the sale or failing to address concerns. By verbally removing perceived pressure, though, you'll enjoy better client relationships and better closing ratios. - by quadequick
Great discussion and great ideas. I have found this is the area that I need the most help with. I am good a cold calling, making the presenation, i get the buy in that what i am selling makes sense and would help the bottom line but I keep getting stalled, or push back like call me next week, etc....Please keep the advice coming... - by b2brep
B2B, it certainly sounds like you're missing something. Are you:
1. listening to the responses provided to the questions which you are asking?
2. qualifying early-on (examples):
a) is there anyone else involved in the decision?
b) if we were to uncover the perfect solution for you, do we have a basis for doing business today?
3. trying to close?

If you have qualified the individual appropriately (and early enough in the relationship), you should not be getting the stall. He's stalling for a reason and I think you know why. When the suggestion to call-back comes-up: (open your calendar on his desk), ..."as I search for a date to make the call"... (begin to search for a day to make the call) ..."exactly what will we be discussing that we haven't covered today?"

If you've done the (complete) job, you need to clarify why another meeting is required.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
If you are using "pressure" to close sales you will suffer many cancellations. You can try to "urge" someone to make a decission based on special pricing or time limitations, etc., however more often than not, "reassurance" will work the best. Appreciate that no one wants to make a bad or wrong decission and sometimes they simply need to be told that "it's the right thing to do" or "you'll thank me later", etc.

As many have stated here, it all starts in Qualifying. If you have found their needs, hot button or buying motive, determined when and how and who makes the decission and that it fits their budget, the "Close" is simply a logical conclusion to an effective Presentation.

Have a "FANTA$TIC" Future!
Stan Billue, CSP - by Stan Billue
What is the most effective way to put pressure on the buyer to take action now?
There's many approaches to this. A common one is "the pending event close". For example "if you can give me an order number before the end of the week/month, then we can give you xxxxxxx " - by TonyB
If you attempt to convince someone to do something that goes against their grain or what they are trying to achieve you are going to alienate yourself. However, if you push WITH the grain you are exerting influence… their own internal influence on themselves. - by Houston
Pressure is a poor sales tactic and urgency is an excellent sales tactic.

Including urgency during the qualification phase is critical to establishing a deadline. Presented in a diplomatic way that motivates the buyer to make a decision by an agreed time accomplishes this goal without pressure. - by GSHart
"Pressure" may take many forms and it does not have to be "diplomatic". It is more common to see sales people who are afraid to ask for an order than it is to see an intelligent and forthright approach.

Where a good relationship has been built up with a prospect, "pressure" may even take the form of asking "could you please do me a favour and help me by ...?" . I was amazed myself, when this approach closed a multi million dollar government deal. - by TonyB
Thanks "Outsource"

I reaaly like the statement, "What will we discuss on the next call that we didn't go over already." I will use that the next chance I get. - by b2brep
Great thread, awesome responses..................

Perhaps you could replace 'pressure' with 'urgency'...............

Urgency is in place once you have established rapport, found a need or want, magnified the hurt, trail closed and asked for the business.

If you miss one or a few of the steps then you will get the 'I wanna think about it' objection.

Think about it.............

If you trust someone and they have a solution to your problem that you can afford, wouldn't you do it? - by PiJiL
So here is how to put pressure for a buyer to take action now.

1. What’s the action you want? In B2B selling low level people can’t buy. They can only recommend. In B2C be careful of spouses, children and other influencers. They can cause the buyer to hesitate.
2. Fear, greed, pain, want are all drivers for people to take action. So the first step is to find out which of these is motivating the buyer and the details of that driver. If none are in play, there will be no action taken.
3. What does the buyer want to do about relieving the pain, securing the want / greed, or eliminating the fear?
a. If nothing, you’ve got to find another driver or move on. This person will not take action.
b. If s/he does want to do something, you’ve got to find out how this person wants to accomplish or get it. Buyers don’t just buy the want, they buy their path to get the want. So you’ve got to know and deliver both or you’ll meet resistance, which means delays.
4. Feed back to the buyer how you can give him or her the want / greed or eliminate the fear / pain with the least risk of failure (or best chance of success) and with less effort than any other alternative.
5. Ask how she feels about your presentation as described in #3. If good, ask for the action you want. If s/he doesn’t feel good, there will be no action taken. Feel is the operative word, not, “What do you think?”
a. If the feel is not so good, ask for an explanation of the concern or uneasy feeling and what s/he suggests you do about it. Do what s/he says - if you can - and then ask for the action again. If you can’t, this person will not take action.
6. Don’t assume you know any of the above. Without the words coming from the person’s mouth, you don’t know the drivers or their path to the drivers - no matter what anyone tells you.
- by Sam Manfer
"Pressure" may take many forms and it does not have to be "diplomatic".
Sales without diplomacy does not deserve to be called sales and gives this magnificent profession two black eyes. - by GSHart
What is the most effective way to put pressure on the buyer to take action now?
I don't think a good sales person should EVER "exert pressure" on a buyer. I believe that most of the objections in the sales process can be addressed through good questioning up front. Learn to get comfortable asking DIRECT questions to your potential client, and you'll begin working SMARTER, not HARDER. Ask your buyer something like, "when do you see yourself making a decision on this?" or, "if our product or services meet your needs, when would you like to implement this change?" Remember - both you and your client are busy - and while you have their attention during the qualifying process, make the best use of that time. - by Jeannie
"People have a general desire to appear consistent in their behaviour. People generally also value consistency in others.

Compliance professionals can exploit the desire to be consistent by having someone make an initial, often small, commitment. Requests can then be made that are in keeping with this initial commitment." -Wikipedia - by Mikey
"People have a general desire to appear consistent in their behaviour. People generally also value consistency in others.

Compliance professionals can exploit the desire to be consistent by having someone make an initial, often small, commitment. Requests can then be made that are in keeping with this initial commitment." -Wikipedia
How can a salesperson use "commitment and consistency" in practice? Can you give an example? - by Slick
What is the most effective way to put pressure on the buyer to take action now?
That would make a good first chapter for How To Sell Out Of Desperation.

Forget pressure. Forget about creating a false sense of urgency. It is not for professionals. - by Ace Coldiron
The best pressure is that used in the discipline of Aikido, in Aikido you use the weight of your opponent to bring about pressure. How can we apply that in our selling strategy - we have the prospect tell us how valuable our product or service would be for him/her, most sales people believe if you make a logical explanation the prospect will buy. People buy on emotions - what are the emotional drivers which will motivate the buyer to make a decision. So what we need to do is not to sell the prospect, we need to have him buy the vlue of our solution. - by colly
People seek to avoid pain and/or gain pleasure by resolving or reducing tension, PRESSURE, caused by a perceived discrepancy between a believed existing state (they way things are) and a believed target state (the way they should be).

Think about that and how you can apply it to your sales activities. - by Liberty
How can a salesperson use "commitment and consistency" in practice? Can you give an example?
A "Tentative Commitment" such as "If I could... would you...?" is a good example of "Commitment and Consistency" being used in sales. - by Mikey
Usually I like your posts Jeff but not this one.

As professionals we provide reasons (benefits) - we do not intend to apply pressure (though asking for an order sometimes has that affect - as we cannot control how people react).

If you were just trying to get a rise, then fine, otherwise, strike the word pressure from your sales training vocabulary forever, it is in appropriate and amateurish in my not so humble opinion.

Forget pressure. Forget about creating a false sense of urgency. It is not for professionals.
Here, here! - by Gold Calling
In the B2B sales realm, "pressure" is generally felt in the SM's office. It's pushed downward by the SM when:
1. a SR is not making the numbers; or,
2. the team is missing the mark;

It's pushed upward to the SM, when a thoroughbred is blowing away his numbers but the comp plan isn't commensurate (in the SR's mind).

This "pressure" should NEVER leave the office ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Pressure is a poor sales tactic and urgency is an excellent sales tactic.

Including urgency during the qualification phase is critical to establishing a deadline. Presented in a diplomatic way that motivates the buyer to make a decision by an agreed time accomplishes this goal without pressure.
Can you give an example? - by Slick
Can you give an example?
A "Tentative Commitment" such as "If I could... would you...?" is a good example of "Commitment and Consistency" being used in sales.
He did here thmbp2; - by PiJiL
What is the most effective way to put pressure on the buyer to take action now?
What you are probably asking is, "How do you encourage a customer to take action now?" Isn't that right?

To help prevent customers from procrastinating give them a reason to act now. I'll list a few ideas for you to consider:
  1. Establish a deadline w/ buy-in.
  2. Remind them of their awful problem.
  3. Remind/inform them of the cost (emotional, financial, oportunity, etc.) of waiting.
  4. Fan the flame of desire.
  5. Build momentum/ commitment throughout the call.
  6. Give Assurance.
  7. Get an upfront contract.
Apply as many of these as you can and you will be well on your way to an authentic sense of urgency. msnwnk; - by SalesCoach
In the B2B sales realm, "pressure" is generally felt in the SM's office. It's pushed downward by the SM when:
1. a SR is not making the numbers; or,
2. the team is missing the mark;

It's pushed upward to the SM, when a thoroughbred is blowing away his numbers but the comp plan isn't commensurate (in the SR's mind).

This "pressure" should NEVER leave the office ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat
Pat, I think it exactly the same in the B2C realm. - by Skip Anderson
If you have connected with your client and he/she trusts you, (which you should have at this point if you are asking for the sale)You should never need to apply pressure. Your client should trust you enough at that point to either tell you yes or no. As for the call backs... give your client permission to tell you yes or no that will stop you wasting your time and your clients time with all the useless phone calls. This doesn't mean he will never buy from you just not right now. - by MPrince
Your client should trust you enough at that point to either tell you yes or no.
Sometimes trust isn't the issue, procrastination is. - by Mikey
Pressure is something you put in tires. If the prospect is properly qualified: 1) They have a need you can solve. 2) They have the dollars to pay for the solution. 3) They have a sense of urgency. 4) They have the authority to make the decision. 5) They trust you or can develop trust with you. -- there is no need to put pressure on them. You can create some tension to get them to move from Pt. A to Pt. B by asking questions and reminding them of their answers. Creative tension can move people from current reality to desired result. Pressure can agitate and irritate and they can kick you out of their process literally or figuratively.;ma - by Connie Kadansky
What you are probably asking is, "How do you encourage a customer to take action now?" Isn't that right?

To help prevent customers from procrastinating give them a reason to act now. I'll list a few ideas for you to consider:
  1. Establish a deadline w/ buy-in.
  2. Remind them of their awful problem.
  3. Remind/inform them of the cost (emotional, financial, oportunity, etc.) of waiting.
  4. Fan the flame of desire.
  5. Build momentum/ commitment throughout the call.
  6. Give Assurance.
  7. Get an upfront contract.
Apply as many of these as you can and you will be well on your way to an authentic sense of urgency. msnwnk;
Nice list SalesCoach. thmbp2;

Pressure is something you put in tires. If the prospect is properly qualified: 1) They have a need you can solve. 2) They have the dollars to pay for the solution. 3) They have a sense of urgency. 4) They have the authority to make the decision. 5) They trust you or can develop trust with you. -- there is no need to put pressure on them. You can create some tension to get them to move from Pt. A to Pt. B by asking questions and reminding them of their answers. Creative tension can move people from current reality to desired result. Pressure can agitate and irritate and they can kick you out of their process literally or figuratively.;ma
Creative tension... I like the sound of that Connie. thmbp2; - by Slick
Go back to the value found in the capabilities your product or service provides an executive. If a corporate driver, initiative or an executive's operational problems are bleeding neck wounds; "sales pressure" won't be needed.

Sales pressure is the result of not selling value at every touch point in the organization. Executives know when they are being pressured and just like you - they don't like it. The antithesis of proving you have an executive's best interests at heart is pressure. If you are pressuring anyone, you are doing something wrong…

Always remember: No Pain – No Change

If it takes sales pressure to move the opportunity forward you missed uncovering enough pain during discovery. You sell a vision of a solution and they pay dearly for your products or services. Executive by executive, start again and sell the value that you and your products or services are bringing to the whole company!

When they buy that vision, be prepared to prove you can do it. No Proof = No Sale!

Sales pressure is the last resort effort of a weak value proposition (or a marginally trained sales person). Pressure only affirms and reinforces the corporate executive decision that the risk is just too great!

Too bad executives disguise this truth with "price" or “missing features” objections; thereby, perpetuating a salesperson’s jaded belief the loss was something other than being blatantly outsold… - by rolliemerrick
Again--great insight, Rollie. - by Ace Coldiron
In my experience there are several things that are often forgotten in the world of sales - especially when kicking around various theories, which several types of sales training groups delve into. They include;

(1) No matter what effort you have taken to qualify the buyer/ultimate decision maker - knowing that over qualification will loose more opportunity than it will eliminate non-buyers - there are those buyers who, even when there is a clear need, will simply not make the decision, asking for the order in these cases DOES APPLY PRESSURE – it is designed to - and is sometimes the only thing you can do.

In these cases, though not a common occurrence, as long as you are certain in your mind that there is no reason not to buy, asking for the order is as good for the prospect as for the supplier, thus this is warranted.

(2) Personality types do create issues, the INDIFFERENT buyer comes to mind straight away. He/she seems not to care, known in some sales training camps as the LOW REACTOR, this buyer is extremely hard to read. In this case the only way to have a chance for them to buy what is clearly good for them or maybe is kind of liker SHOCK TREATMENT - be assumptive, assume the order is yours and proceed as if it is, then watch all but the dead suddenly react and give you the information you need to help them decide.

The term LOW REACTOR as far as I am aware, came out of the Huthwaite camp (SPIN Selling). And this phrase that describes the attitude (or lack there of) we know as indifference ... it is easily the hardest of the emotions to deal with as it is almost as if the prospect is devoid of emotion.

(3) “The greatest pressure you will ever apply is silence!”


If I am not mistaken the quote above is J. Douglas Edwards, though he no doubt learned it himself from another insurance sales master.

When you ask for the order, shut up. SHUT UP!

Your silence will apply pressure on the prospect that is reluctant. And, again, as long as you are certain your product is right for the prospect, this is in their best interest. They need what you offer, and you need to get on to another prospect, not sit there for ever or return for an order that you could and should have now, so ask, then shut up.

I must take exception to Rollie’s post a little bit - reluctance to buy is not always the result of missing to uncover benefits, that is like saying that some people are not nervous about making decisions.

Forty-five years ago a sales trainer who would happily explain the need to find hit buttons and reveal the benefits with the prospect also claimed that there were times when you had to close. And though Huthwaite bangs the drum of this as the most important aspect in selling, those of us who are master probers and who know exactly how to uncover needs/pain, will still tell you of the LOW REACTOR and the NERVOUS BUYER ... if you call Huthwaite and speak to their top execs (as I did in 2008) they too will somewhat grudgingly discuss this fact. In other words; this is still taught today.

If perhaps the greatest sales speaker of all time taught this 45 years ago and the company that has done more on-call sales tracking than any other in history is still discussing this today, any sales pro would refute this and deny it’s existence as known sales practice at their own risk.

It is a mistake to say that benefits get orders by themselves and the close is a non event, as it is not always a non event ... even for those of us who are regularly finding 4 or even 5 major benefits or, in other words; PAIN that our product or service can make disappear.

I have three very close personal friends that are sales masters - two who are trainers also, known who were influenced by me. Huthwaite agreed when I called, and my own personal experience has proven that the sales tracking done in the 60's was correct.

Asking for the order is not the last resort of a weak value proposition, not when I am selling. And I am one of the best trained sales people that ever lived (being the youngest ever to take Xerox training at 17, that was 30 years ago).

That is the issue I have with SPIN. It is the only one but it is very real. There are in fact two personalities in the room, not one. Therefore, you better learn not only how to uncover needs that can be supported by the benefits of your product but also how to ...

CLOSE! - by Gold Calling
What is the most effective way to put pressure on the buyer to take action now?
Could we be confusing persistence with pressure?
Each piece of information given to the client forces a new decision made by the client.
If in fact you are using pressure forcing the client to make a decision you may win the one time purchase. The long run how does that help the client,help your company and help you?It must be a win win win for all.
Pressure is unprofessional. Fifty years ago that was the norm.That is my money in your pocket give it to me.No longer is this a viable effective means to an end. - by rich34232
Pitched any corpses lately?

Fifty years ago the best sales teachers were teaching the same things we are now. If you don't believe me call Tom Hopkin’s company and order "Back to the Future in Sales" that contains the original recordings of J. Douglas Edwards who was accepted as the top insurance sales trainer in the 60’s

People, lack of professionalism - not treating people with respect - and not understanding the difference between persistence and unwanted pressure, this has NEVER worked. A buyer will respect you for your effort to help him, that does not mean he won’t at times feel pressured no matter how good a communicator you are.

Buyers have been incensed for thousands of years with bad sales behavior. The notion that we, as a race, within the last 50 years have gained knowledge that was not acquired in the first several millennium of our existence is silly at best and absolutely ridiculous at worst. Try reading some of the advice in the Bible from 2,000 years ago if you think this suggestion of mine is out of line!

If there was one thing I could eliminate in sales this miss information is at the top of the list. Yes, it is absolutely true that a few sales training factions were what we might call “rough” in years past. Just as true as the silly notions in sales training of late that might be referred to as NEW AGE, that ignore the professional techniques we have known and proven for decades. GET THIS:

There is just as much bad info on sales today as there ever was, in fact, with the Internet, I think there is more bad sales advice today, especially at this forum!

To me, the sales training industry is sent backwards a thousand years or more by the notions that people were less intelligent 50 years or more ago. It is far more correct to believe that as much bad sales training exists today as did half a century past or even 1,000 years ago. And just because sales was originally passed on from master to apprentice before the industrial age does not mean that salesmanship or sales training have not existed prior. Or that there have not been masters of sales before the written word and recordings of how to communicate more effectively and therefore get the order.

“What is in it for him or her?” Do you (any reader) really think this is a new notion that has existed for only 50 years … ???

It is not COMMON SENSE that makes people successful, it is those that do what others are not willing to do - like more prospecting, so they are in more selling situations and are themselves not as pressured to meet quotas – or UNCOMMON BEHAVIOR that makes a stand out in our profession. And, if you are a knife (a sharp person) a great trainer can make you more effective. However, if you do not sit across the desk from a high number of qualified prospects (for your industry) you will never reach your potential or the top of your company in sales, no mater what school of sales training you believe in or how many training sessions you attend.

This thread is about PRESSURE and we must realize once and forever that even questions causes some buyers to FEEL it, never mind asking for the order. And, get it straight, there are times when you will NOT get the order without asking, no matter how many benefits you uncover and support that your product or service addresses (people do display INDIFFERENCE/are LOW REACTORS, there is no way to read them, thus you either leave forever or ask for the order, there is no other choice! Forget this mumbo jumbo about I would rather get the order another time … this is COMMON, not uncommon thinking).

Here is another piece of miss info in sales;

PAIN is not felt with all needs, that is why NEEDS is a more accurate expression, I wrote a paper on this 15 years ago.

There is so much lousy sales training that you have to put Wellington’s on or even wear hip waders to get to the truth. And, if you are to think to yourself that people across the desk from you don’t feel pressure, even by simply having you there or asking questions, let alone being even slightly assumptive (showing a little confidence) then you deny the very existence of what psycologists know as the human condition.

The buyer does have feelings. They include being skeptical, objecting, acceptance and indifference … guess what? That bit of sales training is 50 years old in less than a decade!

“That doesn’t work any more” is the worst quote in sales training. “That never worked” is on target if you are to know the truth, if you wish to know our profession in a way that can only be described as profound.

If you want to apply sales pressure effectively you must make sure that you have mastered the art of probing (asking questions) and done everything you could have to uncover needs that your product or service addresses before you ask for the order. But denying that asking is going to create it or having the notion that you should never ask ... well, you are clueless.

PRESSURE is a fact of life, it is part of your human existence. Get over it. Then make sure you do everything you can to lesson the impact on the prospect but still shut up once you ask any question, be that a close or just simple probing. And know, there are times when a buyer is pressured by that silence (they would have to be dead not to be!). - by Gold Calling
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