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How to Use Scarcity to Increase Value

Imagine being in a store that is giving away “free samples.”  But as you look over at the table, no one is trying them.  All the other customers just walk by and pay no attention. The person manning the station looks bored (and mildly embarrassed).

How compelled would you be to try a free sample?  Rush right over?  Nah…  You probably wouldn’t waste your time.

Now, instead, imagine being in that same store, but this time the table is hopping with action.  The number of free samples are not as available.  In fact there’s a huge crowd huddled around the table trying to get a taste.  Really imagine that for a second.

How much more interested are you now?


Here’s the deal:  The more scarce a resource is, the more valuable it becomes.


Let’s say you’re a business coach, and you’re making an offer to a client. Which offer would make you sound more interesting and attractive?

“Oh, any time works.  My schedule is wide open next week, I have tons of space available, what time works for you to have that free session?”


“Listen, I’m excited to meet with you, but I only have two available spots next week.  If either of those times don’t work, we won’t be able to meet.  I’m talking to several more people later today, but I’ll hold a spot for you now if you can tell me it works…”

Well, that’s a little better.

Offering limited availability literally MAKES PEOPLE WANT YOUR TIME.

(Note: this works on everything from “getting dates,” to “looking more important at the office.”  There are tons of applications once you really understand how this motivates, influences and persuades.)

You see, people want to “keep the option.”  Meaning, if there’s no consequence or cost, we would most likely rather not make a decision now, and keep the option to make the same decision later.

Scarcity obliterates this resistance to action.  You must make a decision, or you will miss out.  When you make yourself scarce, you are finding out in real time if they want what you have.

If you’re selling something that will benefit the consumer (you are, aren’t you?!?), then it’s your JOB to help them get over their resistance.  Learn to help them take the action that will be good for them.

So how exactly do you do it?

Well, think about it this way…  Things can be scarce in many different ways. Here are some to consider:

  • Limited by time: “After the 10th, these won’t be available anymore…”
  • Limited by amount: “We only have 3 left…”
  • Limited by cost: “This is only for people that can afford the best…”

Feel free to blend and stack them as well:

  • Limited by time and cost: “These are 25% off, but only until midnight tonight…”
  • Limited by amount, cost and time: “These last 3 are going to be sold at 10% off because tomorrow a new shipment is coming in…”

So be sure to use the “Method of Influence” called scarcity when offering your products and services.  I hope I’ve helped you think about this, and maybe find new ways to help persuade the people and clients in your life.

If you want to know more about advanced Influence and Persuasion techniques,  you should check out the free webinar over at my site: Bring a paper and pen, I share tons to tips and tricks, and I outline exactly how to get 5 new clients in the next 14 days… :)

About Rob Scott

Master coach, teacher, and lover of presence. I shift people's minds, and help them massively transform. Get in touch here.

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