Urgency Isn’t a Tactic, It’s Natural… Here’s How to Use It

Here in Central Pennsylvania, it’s cicada season… and allergy season. I don’t normally have it too bad, but this year I’ve gone through some serious stretches of discomfort.

What do you do when you’re suffering from allergies?

You go to the pharmacy.

Natural urgency is the key to helping people understand why they need your product now.

Fun fact: I worked as a pharmacy technician in high school at a CVS. I loved that job.

At the pharmacy, you’ll find a whole aisle full of allergy medication. Some of it makes you sleepy, some keep you awake. Some of it lasts 4 hours, some lasts 24. Some are fancy brand names, some are generic.

There is absolutely no scarcity involved.

Pick from whatever you’d like.

And still… if you’re suffering from allergies, you won’t walk away from the hundreds of boxes in front of you without picking up one and putting it in your basket.



You see, there’s manufactured urgency and then there’s natural urgency.

I have a feeling that you think the only way to use urgency to sell more is to manufacture urgency–limit the number of spots in your program, add early bird discounts, utilize disappearing bonuses…

(Maybe you’re even envious of the people who run businesses in which they’re essentially selling something as essential as allergy medication.)

And sure, that can work.

But it’s also a bit over-played.

Tapping into natural urgency, though, is never over-played.

Creating urgency for your product or service isn’t about telling people there’s a limited time to buy. It’s not about how many seats are left in your workshop. It’s not about an early bird discount or an arbitrary deadline.

Urgency is about need.

If you want people to feel a sense of urgency for buying your product or service, you need to know why they need it now.

  • People don’t need things now because they’d might like to learn more about what you teach.
  • They don’t need things now because they’re pretty or you’re so excited about them.
  • They don’t need things because they’d like to speak their truth and connect with their inner spark.

Those aren’t the kind of things that would send them running to the store–so they’re not the kinds of things that get them clicking to your sales page.

People need what you’ve created now because they’re ending a 10-year relationship and want to be intentional about what they’re creating next.

They need it now because they’re sick and tired of opening their closets and not having a clue what to put on their bodies.

They need it now because they wake up every morning still feeling exhausted and they’re beyond ready to make a change.

They need it now because they’re completely over holding back their ideas in meetings and watching others take credit for their work.

Urgency is absolutely the key to selling more of what you’re putting out into the world.

But it’s not based on numbers or time. Sure, those things help people make a decision.

Ultimately, however, people buy now because they’ve reached a point of no return. They can’t help but search for a solution to their need and start using the one they find.

What’s going on in your customers’ lives that might make them need or want what you have to offer right now?

Then tell them you understand. Tell them the stories you know are playing out in their lives right now. Show them the vision you have for them and how your product will take them from the urgency their already feeling into a brand new day.

Create a sense of urgency by respecting your customers’ needs and they’ll respond by buying—now.

On Wednesday at 7pm EDT/4pm PDT, I’m hosting a special encore of my popular workshop on 3 Ways to Help People Buy More From You.

—> If you’d like more ways to tap into the reasons people naturally want to buy so you can earn more money and close more deals, click here to register.

The Big Difference Between Getting “Buy In” and Getting Them to “Buy Now”

The big difference between getting "buy in" and getting them to "buy now"

One of the chief mistakes I see vision-driven entrepreneurs (that’s you, right?) making as they try to build businesses, market their products or services, and grow a community of loyal customers is that they confuse “buy in” and “buy now.”

Knowing the difference–and when to use each–is key and your business requires both to truly thrive.

What is “buy in?”

“Buy in” is how you engage your clients around your vision and purpose. It gives them a big picture taste of the what’s-in-it-for-me and it often points to how they are connected to other customers and community members. “Buy in” excites, motivates, and catalyzes. It brings people together. It rallies a small army to work toward a single goal.

Narratives are the stories that infuse our life with meaning. The narrative of business matters greatly, not only to the business community, but to every human being alive.
— John Mackey, Conscious Capitalism

The “buy in” for your business creates meaning and ties a community together:

  • What stories give your business meaning?
  • What ideas or mission will your customers want to buy into?
  • What vision drives you as a creator and your customers as consumers?

“Buy in” gets people on board but it won’t get them to “buy now.”

What is “buy now?”

“Buy now” is a small step that brings your customers and stakeholders closer to making your vision–the “buy in”– reality. It’s a task to be completed, a milestone achieved, a question answered. It’s the job to be done and the result of its accomplishment. It’s concrete.

“Buy now” represents a marker on the journey between the present and the promised future. It delivers stick-to-your-ribs value to an acute need. It’s not “quick fix” but it’s not so big & dreamy that your customer can’t realize why she needs it now instead of later.

It’s the “buy now” that so often my clients get stuck on. In an effort to make their businesses appear as benevolent as possible, they spend all their time and energy–and their customers’ attention–on the “buy in.” That creates amazing amounts of goodwill, a chorus of well wishes, and many pats on the back but it doesn’t create much in the way of dollars and cents.

Your “buy now” must address a real & present need, desire, or question that your customers are already thinking about:

  • What are your customers googling today?
  • What do they discuss with colleagues or friends?
  • What would they like to be easier, more convenient, less expensive, or more effective… right now?

Use “buy in” when you’re gathering people to your movement or when you’re trying to get your base excited about an idea. You might do this in blog posts, videos, or emails between launches or at the beginning of a launch cycle when you’re actively trying to garner attention.

Use “buy now” when you’re writing sales copy or calls to action. Use it in content towards the end of a launch cycle to prove your product or service can deliver results. Use it as you develop new products & services.

Your business needs a healthy dose of both “buy now” and “buy in” to get the results you want: more impact and more sales. But is it getting the most bang for its buck?