How to Use Scarcity to Reach More Clients and Sell More of Your Services

If you have a service-based business such as coaching or consulting, one of the keys to successfully selling more of your programs, products, and services is to help your potential clients take action, and make a decision on whether or not they want to take you up on your offer.

Once you understand that it’s part of YOUR role to set up the offer in such a way that your prospects can be decisive (i.e. ‘Yes I’m going to invest in your program’, or ‘No thanks – it’s not for me’) then selling becomes a whole lot more straight forward both for you and your prospective customers.

The worst thing you can do – for you AND for your prospective customer is to leave them floundering around in a state of indecision.

If your offer is not set up to compel action to invest or not, and indecision is allowed to get a foot wedged in the door of your client’s mind, you haven’t done your job as the salesperson properly (and be under no illusion – if you have your own business, one of your roles is that of the salesperson!)

Most people find decision making agony.  In fact they’ll do anything to avoid making the decision, because making a decision sets them up on a path of having to take action; and that’s something else that a large chunk of the population would rather not do. (We’ve all seen people around us who have a real problem or hassle in their lives, who complain about it daily, yet never make a decision or take action to solve it!)

Take down those barriers

Part of your role when you are in the business of selling your services, is to remove as many of the barriers which might stop your prospects making a decision. You need to do whatever you can, ethically of course, to make the decision making process SIMPLE, and to give them a reason to take action NOW, if your service is a good fit for their need.

One of the age-old ways of doing this is to use scarcity.

It might be :

  • The ‘one day only’ sale
  • The ‘when it’s gone it’s gone’ deal
  • The ‘first 5 applicants’ offer
  • The ‘4 pay deal lasts this week only, after that it’s only a 2 pay offer’

Generally the scarcity principle works on limiting time, or amount, or taking bonuses away, and it works a treat if done well because when we think something is going to run out we’re hard wired to want it MORE, and to take action faster to get it!

(Remember the January sales scenes of shoppers sprinting across the shop floor when the doors opened, and grabbing handfuls of items just because they were in the sale!)

As I said though – scarcity needs to be used in the right way for it to be effective.

How to Create Scarcity – Quick Tips:

  • If your product is an e-book, or a digital download, then clearly you can’t say ‘I’ve only got 20 then they’re gone’ because we all know that if it’s digital there is NO limit on numbers available.  In this instance you might be better off, adding a bonus, and saying that you are only making the bonus available to the first twenty who purchase.
  • If you have a physical product you can of course create scarcity by legitimately saying that you’ve only had 97 copies made up, or that you’re changing fulfilment house, or moving office so you want to offer your existing stocks at a reduced amount until they’re all gone, to make way for the new stocks.

When it comes to a service where your time is the main factor, then there are several ways you can create scarcity :

  • You could say that if you’re working one-to-one with VIP clients that you can only take on 8, because that’s all the time available in your schedule.
  • If you have a group program you might say that you are limiting the numbers to 14 in the group because you want to make sure that everyone gets a fair share of the ‘group’ time to have their time in the coaching spotlight individually during the group coaching calls say.

The key to using scarcity successfully when you’re selling is to NOT go down the route that so many furniture retailers seem to have done: Some seem to have a sale on for practically the whole year. All this does is reduce the impact of using scarcity and offers more legitimately, because we all know that if we miss this one, there’ll no doubt be another one in a couple of weeks. This takes away the reason to be compelled to act now!

Be honest

One final note about authenticity. If you are using scarcity – do it honestly! If you say you’re only offering a bonus to the first 47 people who buy, and then your clients find out that you weren’t being entirely truthful, and in fact all 500 registrants got it – that’s your reputation in tatters. Not a pretty sight!

Now It’s YOUR Turn!

Review your selling process and see where you can add in scarcity to help your prospects make a decision more easily on whether to invest in your services or not. Decide which type would be most appropriate depending on whether it’s a digital product, a physical product, or a service based program.

About the Author:
Tanya Smith is known as the Marketing and Mindset Mentor. She helps Service Business Professionals such as coaches, consultants, trainers and service business owners to consistently attract more ideal clients and bigger profits by using joined-up marketing strategies which work, and how to use leverage to reach more clients and make more sales without burning out. Tanya is known for simplifying the complicated, and guiding her many clients in a step-by-step approach.

You can check out her FREE resources at starting with the ‘Get More Clients Marketing Plan’ full of usable strategies and fill in the blank templates to apply in your business today.


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