Urgency is standard in contemporary marketing and sales. Business educators, for example, often push people to “take messy action” and commit to programs before they’re ready. Trauma-informed business strategy offers us a nuanced approach to creating urgency in sales. When you center clarity in your marketing and sales, you give people the space to make the decisions that make sense for them – while your business thrives.
Creating Urgency in Sales the Conventional Way
Conventional business educators advise creating urgency in sales. The idea is that by hyping up your product or service with a clear deadline, you’ll get people excited and sell more. Here’s how the process typically looks:
- Set a time limit for your launch. This sounds like: “For a limited only!”
- Imply urgency and scarcity in your marketing – regardless of how much actually exists.
- Play on people’s fear of missing out and their insecurities about making the right decision for their businesses. This sounds like: “DON’T miss this chance to 10x your revenue!”
Setting boundaries around time isn’t wrong. In fact, communicating a set window for a launch gives clients clarity, and it helps entrepreneurs ration their energy. The ethics get fuzzy with what usually comes next – implying scarcity even when it doesn’t exist and playing on people’s anxiety about missing out.
A Trauma-Informed Take on Urgency
When you take a trauma-informed approach to marketing and sales, urgency is an organic product of a launch. Eventually, the launch window closes, or you run out of seats/product. As Brene Brown says, “Clear is kind.” You can avoid false urgency and still be clear about your offer’s limitations.
Urgency can be the product of communicating healthy boundaries around a launch. If you only have ten spots available in your group program, tell people. They get information that helps them make their purchasing decision, and you set limitations that make your business sustainable for you.
Similarly, when urgency is organic, you’re less likely to manipulate someone by triggering their insecurities about their abilities. Sometimes photographers make snappy Reels and Pins with hooks like “5 reasons you’ll regret not doing holiday minis.” It assumes that the writer has detailed knowledge of everyone who encounters that content. Instead of telling people that they’ll regret passing up your offer, trust that they know what’s best for them when you’re creating your marketing.
Consent is another pillar of trauma-informed business strategy. Creating urgency in sales trespasses people’s consent by triggering strong negative emotional responses. We can’t always control how people will receive our content. We can make an effort not to shame them or make them anxious intentionally.
Ethically Creating Urgency in Sales and Marketing
So how do you go about ethically creating urgency in sales? I’d like to pivot the discussion by substituting “urgency” with “clarity.” When you have a limited offer, focus on clarity. Periodically remind people (without too many exclamation points) when your offer is closing. Hearing those details multiple times gives people a chance to go through their decision-making processes without feeling judged.
Clarity helps you avoid fake scarcity. Fake scarcity is lying about how much of something is available or how long it’s available for in order to rush someone into making a purchase. Tell people honestly how many spots you have available for your offer. They won’t think less of you for not selling out in the first week.
Do you want to learn more about how you can implement ethical sales strategies in your business? At Brandcendent, we offer trauma-informed business coaching through one-on-one and group programs. Check it out!