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Beginning of shortage: a trick to encourage us to buy

Beginning of shortage: a trick to encourage us to buy

December 5, 2021

Sellers know very well that a good trick to improve the sales of any product is to warn the customer that a period of shortage is approaching. And I do not mean here the sellers who work in stores and stores for the public, but the vendors who represent factories and companies, who periodically visit their customers in their own stores to take orders from them.

Communicate to the client that this or that product will be missing from next week, either because the factory closes for vacations, because it ran out of raw material for its production, or whatever it was, is a way to encourage him to ask for more than usual to feel safe and with the immediate needs covered. It is about the principle of scarcity.


Beginning of shortage, useful to sell anything

The investigations also say that the order of the article in question can reach double or triple when the shortage that the seller predicts has the character of "rumor" or "exclusive information". The strategy translates to something like this:

"That is between us, but it seems that premium champagne will be missing for Christmas. The factory is with a union problem and the workers plan a strike for that time. Carlitos told me, the facturist, who is a friend of the delegate of the plant. The owners of the company still do not know anything. Maybe you should reinforce the order with some more boxes, but nobody can know this. I tell you about the trust that unites us after so many years. "


But the struggle for the scarce good can take other forms . Let's see what they are.

Competing for the same

In addition to the "exclusivity", there is another variant with which you can get the most out of this psychological trick: the "competition" for the resource scares or . To exemplify, I quote the bench of the defendants to the real estate, which is likely to end up winning me the furious hatred of the entire sector.

Let's take an example. A couple who is planning their wedding and then move in together combines an appointment with a real estate agent to visit an apartment that is for rent. The property is what the couple needs: it has three rooms, it is bright, it has low bills for utilities (gas, electricity etc.). According to the technical information, the place is perfect. Now we just need to see what state it is in.


But the astute real estate agent (who has been attending inquiries about the property for some time) cites several interested people for the same day, with a difference of 10 or 15 minutes, with which, inevitably, the following will occur: after the couple of unsuspecting lovebirds walk the floor guided by the seller, and while they deliberate among themselves about the advantages and disadvantages of renting it, a second couple arrives with the same intentions ... What happens next is the key to the trick.

The real estate agent approaches the first couple and tells them confidentially, almost in a whisper, that they excuse him for a moment while showing the property to other people, but do not worry, that they have priority, in the case who want to leave a sign that same day.

On the other hand, in similar conditions, the newcomers tell them that there is a couple who arrived earlier and wants to keep the property. However, anyway, since they have gone there, it will show them the excellent place, and they will be able to keep it if the other interested parties change their mind.

The trap is armed. Both the people who arrived before and those who arrived later, they feel that the original interest they had for that apartment is growing exponentially . Suddenly, it is a scarce commodity, and for which they must also compete.

Competition in restaurants

When a product has a high social demand, or at least we believe that, thanks to vile psychological tricks, our interest in owning it increases automatically. This is the idea behind a homemade marketing strategy, but effective, implemented by many restaurants .

Even though there is enough physical space inside the establishment, the room teacher or administrator of the place makes sure that arriving diners have to wait outside on the sidewalk. Thus, many times long lines are formed at the door of the place, suggesting to anyone passing by that, if there are so many people waiting patiently for dinner, surely it must be because the food is excellent. After all, who would voluntarily submit to such torture if the end result was not worth it?

Simulating the demand

The same applies to public shows . Guided by the notion of social demand, we came to think, mistakenly, that if a film that is currently being shown has a large audience, either because we have read it in the newspaper or because we have seen with our own eyes the extensive lines that they form in the entrance of the cinema, it has to be, necessarily, because the film is an authentic marvel of the seventh art.

Even more. There are doctors, psychotherapists, and even fortune tellers, tarot readers and fraudsters of the most varied nature publicly expose their agendas so we know the large number of people who come to them . The delay to obtain a turn becomes, in certain cases, several months. The objective is always the same: to increase the degree of difficulty in accessing the service so that it also increases, in positive correlation, the degree of desirability and perceived professionalism.

The rationalization

There are times when people throw themselves wildly and compete for a scarce good such as a bank of hundreds and thousands of piranhas on a small fish.

"If something is scarce, it is because everyone wants it. And if everyone wants it, it's because it has to be good. "

This seems to be the logic of thought (or rather "illogical" thought) that underlies this particular psychological phenomenon. All the positive attributes that we attribute to the product or service for which we are suddenly caught up in a struggle with other people are composed, most of the time, by mere rationalizations to justify and reassure us about our excessive actions.

"Well, I had to wait for an hour and a half to get into the restaurant, but it's always worth it, they make the best rabas in the country."

Comments like this are typical when we tell our experience to a friend. Now, do they really make the best squid there? It is very doubtful that it really is, but we need to believe it to leave our conscience calm and our self-esteem unharmed.

It is an argument that we actually use to convince ourselves that we have done the right thing , when we have some doubt about the decision to wait so long in the open to eat a simple dish of squid.

The competition in personnel selection

Many company consultants resort to the same dynamic when they are entrusted with a search and selection of personnel. Nowadays, it is very common to meet all the candidates who aspire to a certain position in what is called a "assessment". Basically, it is a group interview in which the different applicants must interact with each other and participate in a series of activities in which they have to solve problems related to their work area.

While in principle the idea of ​​assessment is to gain time and assess the social skills of people and their skills when working as a team, the process does not stop being, badly that it weighs to them to the psychologists who dedicate themselves to this, a gladiatorial fight They fight to obtain a unique and valuable job, in a kind of XXI century model coliseum.

With some edges of exaggeration, the film "The Method" by Marcelo Piñeyro shows in a strong way how hostile and ruthless can become a assessment when several candidates for a manager position in a multinational company are pushed by the circumstances to face each other to get the desired trophy, while outside the building in which the process is performed, the viewer can see a world in complete crisis, engulfed in hunger, social discontent and protests, which generates a strong counterpoint to what happens indoors.

Competing in personal relationships

This unique psychological phenomenon can be observed even on a more intimate and personal level , in social relations.

A couple decides to end their relationship after a few years of courtship. Both are convinced that love has run out and it is better that everyone continue on their own. They manage quite well alone, for a few months, until he starts dating a new girl and the information reaches his ex-wife's ears. Reached this point, she begins to feel jealous. Not before, now.

Suddenly, he feels an intense and inexplicable interest in the boy . And while they were not together for a long time, she can not help but experience feelings of regret and desires to recover what no longer belongs to her. Of course, now "belongs to another." And the certainty of the unavailability, added to the appearance of a competitor, reactivates the lost interest and triggers the possession instinct.

Does the reader friend think that the case I am raising is fanciful and exaggerated? No way! It is something that happens with unusual frequency, I have observed it permanently throughout my professional career. This way of changing and contradictory we can become.


The Preventable Shortage of Manpower | Andrian Chan | [email protected] (December 2021).


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