One of the issues that came up during the Open Coaching call last week was how to limit a seemingly endless stream of information and offers without missing out on something you really need.
You know you need to keep learning in order to refine your craft and build your business, but how do you choose? How do you make sure that your choices are wise instead of panicked responses to urgent offers?
The answer is to discern among three kinds of urgency. Because all urgency is not created equal. Let’s look at the three kinds of urgency and see what they mean for choosing the right help at the right time.
Manufactured urgency is imposed by someone else for the sole purpose of getting you to buy. When urgency is manufactured, the seller has little or no concern for your needs.
On the one hand, manufactured urgency is easy to identify because it is characterized by hype and overt manipulation. On the other hand, the people who manufacture urgency can be very skilled at convincing you that you need something and need it now.
When manufactured urgency is especially skillful, it plays on the second kind of urgency, the urgency of insufficiency.
The urgency of insufficiency
There’s nothing quite like a feeling of insufficiency to create urgency. The experience of insufficiency is uncomfortable. When you feel insufficient, you are naturally vulnerable to anything that might relieve the feeling.
Feelings of insufficiency can come from outside, as when manufactured urgency convinces you that you have a need that must be filled. Or they can come from inside, from any number of experiences or circumstances in the present or past.
The urgency of insufficiency can lead you to invest in products or services you wouldn’t consider otherwise. Or it can cause you to invest in good products or services at the wrong time.
And sometimes you really do need a product or service, which brings us to appropriate urgency.
Urgency is appropriate when it encourages you to take action in your own best interest. Ethical salespeople exert appropriate urgency at the point where you’ve already decided that an offer is a fit, but you haven’t yet decided to buy.
The purpose of appropriate urgency is to help you take action. Because even when something is the right fit, inertia can stop you in your tracks. You’ve got other things on your mind. You mean to come back later.
And people almost never come back later.
In the absence of appropriate urgency, it’s all too likely that you’ll go away without getting the help you need.
It’s not always easy to tell which kind of urgency is which
The emotional and physical experience of urgency can be the same regardless of its origin. That makes it hard to know which kind of urgency you’re experiencing, which makes it hard to make a good decision.
Here are some steps that can help.
* Breathe. You’ve heard it a million times, and it bears repeating. When you feel pressured, pause and connect with your breath. Release your belly muscles and let your awareness drop into your lower body. Put your feet flat on the ground, and feel the contact of your soles with the surface beneath them.
* As you breathe, fear tends to resolve into excitement, or peace, or a blend of both, which I call enthusiasm. When this happens, manufactured urgency naturally fades.
* If you still feel urgency and are not yet certain if it is appropriate, review your resources.
Think about the support that’s already available to you in the form of people, programs, books, etc. Is there a gap that needs to be filled? Would this product or service provide something that is truly lacking?
* Check your bandwidth. No matter how useful something is, if you can’t use it, it won’t help. If you can’t calmly and honestly commit to implementing the help you’re considering within three months, it’s probably best to wait for another time.
* At this point, any remaining urgency is probably appropriate. There’s a high likelihood that you’ll actually use and benefit from an investment.
The key is self-knowledge
The key to responding to an offer without urgency blowing your circuits is to stop and check in with yourself. The more you do, the more familiar you’ll become with your patterns and blind spots. You’ll know what you need, when you need it. Then you can invest in help for your business with confidence.