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The Sense of Urgency! Pitch

In life insurance sales, it is often important to instill a sense of urgency with a prospect. There are two reasons for this:

  1. People often delay making decisions about topics that are difficult to face, like the need to protect their families at death.
  2. The life insurance professional also has to earn a living.

The Right Way: So long as this part of a frank and honest discussion, then it’s a win-win scenario.  Since there are numerous real life instances of people who put off the decision to buy life insurance only to leave their families in financial distress, if a strong need has been identified then it’s in both parties’ interests to have a candid discussion about the choices the prospect faces:

Your challenge is to prove to the prospect that buying now is best for them and you must be able to offer support and quality reasons why. What will they miss if they wait even one more day? What are the potential opportunities if they go ahead and get started on the program now? Why is it important for them to buy now? In other words, what`s in it for them? Remember…the reason a customer buys your product or service is because of what it can do for them. Tell them.

The Wrong Way: On the other hand, the sense of urgency is often used dishonestly as a technique to rush the prospect into a buying decision regardless of whether it is to that person’s advantage.

For example, I often receive telemarketing calls from electricity suppliers. My home state has recently allowed consumers to shop around for their power suppliers. Penelec remains the electricity provider, providing the power lines and infrastructure, but the consumer may now shop among power suppliers whose rates for the electricity vary. If you choose to switch suppliers, the supplier’s name will appear on your monthly Penelec bill.

The solicitor rarely bothers to identify themselves as a representative of a particular company but attempts to pass himself off as a Penelec representative. The last call I received went like this:

Telemarketer: “Hello. You may recall having received a notice from us that you were eligible to take advantage of an offer to receive a 17% rebate check on your Penelec bill. We show that you haven’t responded to take advantage of the offer.”

Me: “Would I have to change my electric company?”

Telemarketer: “No, you wouldn’t Penelec would remain your provider.”

The telemarketer  is dancing around the fact that he is with an outside company. He is hoping to gloss over this fact until I am enticed by his offer of receiving a rebate check. Then, at the close, he will reveal that fact to me. The purpose of this approach is to gain my trust by virtue of confusing me into believing that he is calling from my current provider.

Once I’m interested and ready to buy, he’ll disclose that I’d have to commit to a long-term contract for variable monthly rates that are not guaranteed to be lower than those under my current supplier. That means that, after the initial 2-month period, the rate could actually be higher than the rate I am currently paying. But I’ll be locked into a one-year contract.

Compounding the dishonesty of that approach is the high pressure sense of urgency pitch:

We mailed you an offer, and you didn’t respond. So we are calling to let you know that this is your last chance to take advantage of our offer.

Snap! principle of  the “this is your last chance” sales pitch:

Any worthwhile offer should stand up to careful consideration and analysis. If you’re being pushed to act now or never, choose the latter.