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Get your customers to fight over you - here's how

Get your customers to fight over you - here's how

June 24, 2010

The best way to increase sales is to cast your net was wide as possible, right?

WRONG! (I know you got the answer correct because you read last week's e-letter!)

But that's exactly what most people think. They'll tell you that if they're able to reach more people and perhaps offer lower prices, they'll make more sales.

Don't listen to them. Because they'll be the same people who will be griping and moaning about how they're not making enough money ' can't get their marketing work ' and are constantly worrying about sales.

Instead pay attention to this mind-blowing, counter-intuitive principle: The more you limit and restrict access to what you have to sell, the greater your sales will be. In other words, the more difficult you make it to buy your product or service, and the more you limit its availability, the greater the increase in sales.

The more you can restrict access to what you have to sell the better. Why? Because you create a sense of scarcity are urgency and you can actually get customers fighting for your business!

In effect, you're getting customers to fight over you! How cool is that?!

Here's a great example. In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini talks about how his brother helped put himself through college using the principle of scarcity and urgency.

He made a business out of buying used cars from the newspaper. He would clean the car up just a bit, mark the price and then advertise it in the Sunday newspaper. Since he knew how to construct a good ad, he'd get 20 people calling. Then he did something that was different from everybody else. He scheduled all of the potential buyers to come and have a look at the car at the same time. If five people responded to the ad, they were all scheduled to come by at 2:00 in the afternoon. That changed his used car into a collectible, limited edition prize.

Generally, the first person would show up and they'd start looking at the car. And they'd do what people always do: they'd look at the blemishes; ask if the price was negotiable; then they'd get in; close the door; kick the tires, etc. Before long, another person would show up.

When prospective buyer number two would inspect the car, inadvertently sensing a moment of rivalry, the first buyer would say 'Just a minute, I was here first.' Cialdini would say to the second buyer, 'Excuse me, but this other gentleman was here before you so if I can ask you to please stand over there on the other side of the driveway for a few minutes until he's finished looking at the car. If he doesn't decide that he wants it or can't make up his mind then I'll show it to you next.'

This created a completely different environment. He now had two people competing over scarce resource. The power structure had completely shifted. This is huge!

He was able to actually see the agitation grow in the first buyer's face. In buyer number one's first assessment of the car, he took his time with the pros and cons. Now he's pushed to make a quick decision over a limited resource. Competition had been introduced. He realized that if he didn't take it at the asking price in the next few minutes he could possibly lose it for good. This fear of loss completely dominated his mind.

For the most part, the second buyer would be agitated as well. The combination of rivalry and restricted availability would get buyer number two pacing back and forth, straining to calculate what was desirable in this big, old hunk of metal.

Then a third potential buyer would show up adding more urgency and scarcity to the charged atmosphere. He created an incredible desire for this used car. The car was invariably sold in one day, all from creating a sense of scarcity and urgency.

Why does the message of scarcity and urgency work so well? Because they play on the emotional hot button, 'fear of loss.' Fear of missing out on something is actually a greater motivator than the opportunity to gain something better. You'll see when things are limited in quantity, such as baseball cards, especially minted coins, or antiques, the desire for them goes up.

Next week I'll talk about proven techniques you can use to create a sense of scarcity and urgency in your business.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,




Secret of the Watermelon

How to Turn Around Your Business