Rudi Dornbusch, German economist whose final post was teaching at MIT, passed on plenty of acclaimed insight. Like this, later recounted by one of his students who became a Harvard professor;
"Unsustainable situations go on for longer than you think. And when they collapse, that happens faster and harder than you think. It’s very hard to call the timing of these things."
Taking deeper echoes of Hemingway's written dialogue quip about how bankruptcy happens;
“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
Nowadays liberally applied beyond the running out of money to any type of vanished once cherished state. Reputational, marital, moral, political, you name it.
The context here was the Chinese shift in focus away from prosperity at the expense of shoring up the continued rule of their dictator. Or as one headline writer put it; How Xi sacrificed China’s future in pursuit of total power.
One solution sell issue we share with the global oppressed, is in battling the status quo. If not specifically to overturn it, then certainly to alter it to such an extent that it irreversibly moves towards something beneficial to both more concerned and the collective good.
Yet we often encounter an equivalent to the CCP created 'unsustainable situation'. Where 'economic growth' may not quite be set to stall on such a massive scale, but thriving or even surviving will be called into doubt for our prospect in some small (or large) way.
And when it fully hits, it will strike suddenly.
The point is, can we spot where it is already taking hold gradually?
I sense the language of 'unsustainable situation' itself is a useful term.
Is there any that your prospect's been thinking of?
If so, then you are definitely half-way home.
First, accept that it may likely be able to continue for a fair while yet.
Second, identify what the eventual, albeit imminent, crash may look like.
Third, ensure your prospect realises that the worst-case scenario is the one which will occur. And even worse than considered right now.
You can get forensic on these. There's many parameters to plot;
situation, sustainability, status quo duration, collapse point, collapse speed, collapse measure.
And phasing of path from here to there.
Yet given this, the simple foundation is perhaps the key for us.
I.D. the unsustainable situation they care about, one which you can uniquely help fix, and you've a solution buyer primed and ready.