EP185: Using Scarcity Tactics in Sales - GenX vs GenZ Psychology
Chris and Corey continue their conversation with Dr. Mindy Weinstein, as they delve deep into the psychology behind scarcity and its profound impact on consumer behavior. You'll uncover invaluable insights on how scarcity appeals to different generations, especially the younger demographic, and how you can leverage this powerful phenomenon to drive sales success. Drawing from their wealth of experience, Corey and Chris share practical strategies on positioning salespeople as indispensable resources in a scarce market, fostering authentic connections, and building trust through genuine expertise. By the end of this episode, you'll be equipped with actionable tips and powerful communication techniques to elevate your sales game and unleash your full potential. Don't miss out on this opportunity to transform your sales approach—tune in now and unlock the untapped potential of scarcity! Join us for this episode, "Using Scarcity Tactics in Sales: GenX vs. GenZ Psychology."
Chris and Cory continue their conversation with Dr. Mindy Weinstein as they delve deep into the psychology behind scarcity and its profound impact on consumer behavior. You'll uncover invaluable insights on how scarcity appeals to different generations, especially the younger demographic, and how you can leverage this powerful phenomenon to drive sales success. Drawing from their wealth of experience. Chris and Cory share practical strategies on positioning salespeople as indispensable resources in a scarce market, fostering authentic connections and building trust through genuine expertise. By the end of this episode, you'll be equipped with actionable tips and powerful communication techniques to elevate your sales game. Don't miss out on this opportunity to transform your sales approach. Join us for this episode using scarcity tactics and sales, Gen X versus Gen Z psychology.
Corey Frank (01:20):
Yeah, I think when we were meeting last week, I think one of the examples you gave, or maybe this is in your book, is you're not going to find Christian Dior clothes, purses and et cetera at the corner Safeway or the grocery store. There has to be an element of scarcity and exclusivity to get these items. Chanel doesn't mass produce these items, and it's interesting. I wonder if Chris, if we've ever done any discussions or if, or the good doctor can comment on selling or buying from a younger generation.
We have a lot of folks in the 25, 30 or even younger or so that are in the marketplace that we sell our goods and wear's to, Chris certainly, and that are consumers. I'm curious if there's any studies on that approach, doctor, or experience that you've had maybe, Chris, where younger folks, they're used to these drops that happen from Supreme or my 10-year-old lets me know when Lego's about to do a drop two weeks in advance, and does that affect the buying behavior or the selling response for old salts like me and Chris here later on when we're selling them into the marketplace?
Dr. Mindy Weinstein (02:36):
Well, I can tell you, I mean there is a difference based on age with all of this. So I will tell you the older generations, so more, I think we're retirement years, they're not going to be drawn to something that shows this is in high demand or the most popular because most likely they're going to be like, I'm good with the product I'm using or the company that I've already been hiring, why would I switch? That's not an incentive." And actually it could even backfire. "Well, then that's going to be really crowded. I don't want to go there," if it's an event or something like that. Now with the younger generation, so when I say younger generation, I'm actually talking about Gen Z and millennials, so Gen X is kind of just in the middle. It just depends on a lot of other factors with them.
But for Gen Z and millennials, very much anything that is a supply related scarcity draws, or a limited edition, which is part of supply, draws them in a lot because they're in a generation where very big on social media, very big on showing the latest thing that they have. They're self-expression based on what you wear, what you drink, where you go, the experiences. And so they're very susceptible to that and interested in that. They want to be unique, they want to feel like they are special and that they can show showcase something. And so going with the drops, that's why Nike's brilliant when it comes to that or Supreme, they have done such a phenomenal job because not only do they do drops, but if you've ever been to one of their stores, the first time I ever went was in San Francisco and I just thought they didn't have a lot of merchandise available, like, "Oh, they must be running out of stock."
And so I was there with my oldest son, so I asked one of the salespeople there, I said, "Oh, are these the only sizes you have?" And they said, "Oh no, we have a lot more in the back." So they don't even put everything out. They purposely make it look sparse. And then so you kind of get that feeling of like, "Okay, I need to get this now." And they have all this stuff in the back. So very interesting, but very much that younger generation, they like supply related scarcity and limited edition.
Corey Frank (04:37):
Chris, what do you see from being CEO of a company over these last 15 plus years and certainly being in academics as well? Do you teach your sales teams to sell different folks differently generationally?
Chris Beall (04:53):
Nope. We're not that sophisticated. We're not. It's kind of funny, it's something we should think about more, but your Branch49 folks, how do we sell them on old calling something that people in their early twenties aren't drawn to naturally? And it's by offering them something extremely scarce and therefore valuable. We call it finishing school for future CEOs. And so is what's that? Oh, I get to learn something other people don't learn that might advantage me because I want to have a good career and I don't know what's coming. That's a very simple example, but it's a powerful one, and it's the one that we actually conceptually kind of built the attraction of Branch49 around is, hey, you're going to learn something that is very rare and is very valuable. You're going to learn to hold conversations with strangers. The one thing every CEO has in common, they can speak comfortably and with value to strangers, you're going to come learn it, which is very different from we're going to pay you more than a burger flipper to talk to people who are going to yell at you and say no.
So same product, but packaged in a way that indicates that there's a supply issue, you're not going to learn this anywhere else, and there's value built in because well, who doesn't want to get closer to being a CEO? By the way, for those of you who thinking of being CEOs, the only reason we have the title is that the word janitor has a lot of letters in it and people just can't remember all the letters. They can't spell it, so they shortened it to CEO. You can figure out how that worked.
So it is primal in a lot of ways that, and certainly Mindy, I think you're saying that as well, is that a lot of these response stimuli are predictable. We have to be careful, like any weapon. One of the expressions that Chris has used, maybe this is the title of our next book here, is that with ConnectAndSell, it's a weapon that amplifies the volume of conversations that a sales rep can have. But if that sales rep is not armed with the right things to say and the right tonality, then the expression that Chris uses is then what you're doing as a sales leader is you are amplifying their suck. And I can see if I use scarcity poorly, I can amplify the suck as well. So this is a how-to manual, but it also could be a cautionary tale if used in the wrong hands with the wrong intent, correct?
Correct. Absolutely. Well, and hopefully this goes without saying, but I'm still going to say it is that you have to be providing something great. You're going to do all the scarcity, but if your product is subpar and you're like, "I'm just going to use all this psychology that I'm learning and just to get my sales," well, that's not going to work out for you long term either. So we have to think about that. But I even just love the conversation that you were just having, talking about younger people and working at Branch49 and all of that, is that the way that you're wording it is setting them up that they are going to be special, they're going to be an exclusive group of individuals that are going to be very much sought after and desired because they have a skill that not everyone has.
And I think that's a huge thing, and it's just like you just said, it's the wording and you're doing that. So we just need to think about a lot of times in our sales approaches, what type of wording are we using? Because it doesn't have to be manipulative, it's just really what is someone trying to get? So with what you said, yeah, it's primal. And I didn't even bring up FOMO. That's a huge thing about scarcity is we don't want to miss out.
And so that's again how our brains are wired. Now in psychology, it's not referred to as FOMO. There is loss aversion and then there's like another way to explain it. But really what happens is we don't want to miss out on something. And that's again, how we're wired because that's primal to us, so we don't want to miss out. And so that goes to why we value things that are harder to get, or while we'll focus on it or make that quick decision, because we don't want to be told no, and we also don't want to feel like we missed that opportunity. And so that's just another thing to keep in mind, but use it the right way. So don't be cheesy about it with FOMO, but it does work.
Selling a big idea to a skeptical customer, investor or partner is one of the hardest jobs in business. So when it's time to really go big, you need to use an uncommon methodology to gain attention, frame your thoughts, an employee successful sequencing that is fresh enough to convince others that your ideas will truly change their world. From crafting just the right cold call screenplays to curating and mapping the ideal call list for your entire TAM, Branch49s modern and innovative sales toolbox offers a guiding hand to ambitious organizations in their quest to reach market dominance. Learn more at branchfortynine.com.
Well, it's funny, Chris, when the good doctor and I had met, one of the interchanges we had through email was we're talking about pitch anything. And our good friend, our good mutual friend, Oren Klaff and Oren has his three legs of the bar stool. People want what they can't have, people chase what moves away from them, and people only place value on that, which is difficult to obtain. And Mindy shared that she was on a podcast recently, a marketing podcast, and the host said, "Oh, Oren Klaff, yeah, he's my favorite. I love his book." And we decided to keep it as just a secret because we don't want Oren to be any, company more insufferable than he already is by knowing that.
So certainly Oren, if you're one of the nine people who listen to our podcast, I don't think he is, he'll do that. But what the similarities that we, so we talk about pitch and anything and flip the script, Chris, certainly what you have with your vaunted sales experts inside of ConnectAndSell and a lot of interesting overlaps in that that I think we're onto something these experts and certainly as a doctor of finance, and Mindy certainly is a doctor of psychology here in tapping into mere lays salespeople like us and what makes us tick.
Well, one of the funny things that, people don't talk about this very much, but sales is interesting. I'll make a comparison. So accountants don't join companies that have great products. They might care about the product, they might not care about the product, but the fact that a great accountant works at a company doesn't cause you to trust that product more. But when you interact with a great salesperson who is an expert, who is sincere, who is on your side, that immediately tells you, this must be a great product because this person could sell anything and they chose to sell this. And that actually creates instant scarcity because great salespeople are naturally scarce. They just are. They're like, if you're building a basketball team and well, you could get ahold of somebody who's seven feet tall, has great athletic moves, great stamina, and 165 physical IQ, that's scarce.
Without watching them play, you'll probably draft them. And without watching you play, folks will buy from you because you're an expert, you're sincere, you're on their side, and you're handling them, so to speak, in a way that they like to be handled. It feels right to them. And somewhere in there it says, oh, this person could be selling anything and they're selling this, so this stuff must be good. It creates a relationship between sales and I don't even want to call it skill, it's just sales quality and product quality because there's a fluidity, a liquidity in the sales world.
Salespeople are the only people in business who can just go work anywhere. If you're really good at sales, you can work anywhere. I don't know if I'm any good at it, but I've sold Fuller Brush door to door. I've sold a little spider spray in my day and I sold Helen on marrying me in two days. She asked, she said, "That's an interesting problem. Is it you, the salesperson or you the product? I can't really tell." Now that's a case where it converges and you have to be skeptical, which fortunately she's good.
Sure, yeah. As a good friend, Brad from Ferguson, from Sandler Sales says, "You have to learn to become the product of the product." And I think certainly Chris, you do that and what you talk about ConnectAndSell, and certainly you do that as the sage of sales, as we all know you. Well, as we're up against the gun here, final thoughts, Mindy, on scarcity, and especially when, as you know what Chris and I have been talking about for the last, gosh, I think four years, coming up on four years or so, Chris, is market dominance. And I know we talked about it briefly last week, Mindy, when you visited us here at Branch49, but any final thoughts on scarcity and how we can under-use it or overuse it or how we should be better using it today as professionals in our craft?
Yeah, three things to think of. Number one, when we are talking about the whole idea of scarcity, just think about the words you're using and how are you communicating? Because it's not necessarily something brand new to bring to the table, and it's this shiny new sales tool. It's just the words that you're using. So how can you just change your vocabulary to show that there is some true, so authentic, you want to be genuine scarcity that exists. And then the second thing, which I alluded to this, but don't try to use just randomly, "Oh, I'm going to try this scarcity approach." Know who you're trying to reach to make sure that that form of scarcity is going to be something that's going to resonate with them. And then three, and I'm actually, just as our conversation, actually is making me think about this, three, have that confidence and value of what you are providing because that comes through and that's going to show that you know what, you can be trusted. And so those are three things, very tangible. Again, it's just how you're going about it, is the biggest thing.
I love that. We certainly are going to make the power of scarcity part of our curriculum here. I think it's a perfect add on. And as Chris knows, I haven't had an original thought since 1998. So any ideas that we glean from the power of scarcity will certainly be in our Branch49 curriculum and client book.
Well, first, thank you. Fantastic to have. You're hitting the real stuff. You've actually taken what it is that makes us tick and helps us make a decision. And in a way, when somebody speaks to us as in a strong sense, when they speak to us in a way that lets us recognize scarcity, short circuit our decision process, and then make a good decision, that's a gift. They've given us time, and then they've also given us the outcome of the decision. And that's our job in sales, is to give folks that gift. If we don't know how to give the gift, wrap it up and put it in their hands in a way that they'll go, "Oh, this is worth opening and I'm going to have a look at it," we're actually dis-serving them. So it's ironic in a funny kind of way that we're obliged to understand to the level where we could manipulate in order to deliver value without manipulating. And I think that's kind of the essence of the whole thing, and that's why this stuff ain't easy and doing it well, is itself, scarce.
Yeah, for sure. Well, excellent. Well, thank you as always, Chris, for your insight and your partnership over these last four years. Thank you, Dr. Weinstein, for the great insight and carving out the time on your day. You're also, in addition to a much in demand speaker, you have your own CEO and marketing consulting firm.