Techniques on how to persuade people have been around for many years now. Sometimes, we’re aware of what exactly it is we’re doing. Other times, we apply these methods of persuasion subconsciously.
Let me tell you a story on how to persuade people using one of the techniques called the law of scarcity.
A few years ago, a case involving the theft of one very important piece of American history surfaced in North Carolina. It concerned one of the 14 hand-drafted Bill of Rights commissioned by President George Washington back in 1789.
The president had kept one copy for his own and distributed the rest of the copies to the 13 states. The copy in question was that of North Carolina’s, which had been stolen some time in 1865. While this whole set-up sounds just like the plot of National Treasure, it did, in fact, happen in real life.
The dealers offered the Bill of Rights to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia for a whopping $ 4 million and warned the organization not to alert the law. In fact, the dealers even threatened to destroy the Bill of Rights if the police ever got involved.
If the artifact in question was just a common piece of art or something that every museum had, the National Constitution Center wouldn’t have given the offer much attention. However, the dealers knew how to persuade people to do something about the situation using the law of scarcity.
Why The Persuasion Law of Scarcity Works
Destroying the piece would mean destroying a very important part of history forever. There may be 14 Bill of Rights in all, but only one copy intended for North Carolina. The law of scarcity states that something perceived to be of limited supply is perceived to have greater value.
The organization wasn’t the only one clamoring for the ancient documents. Other buyers all over the world wanted that one-of-a-kind North Carolina parchment.
It was a unique item you certainly don’t see everyday. The National Constitution Center couldn’t just let it go in the hands of private collectors.
How To Persuade People Using The Law Of Scarcity
While I do not urge you to use this persuasion technique in a negative way, the example above does explain how the law of scarcity works. You can use it to influence people to think or act a certain way if you know which buttons to push.
For example, you want to boost your t-shirt store’s popularity. Instead of dropping your prices to the point of going bankrupt, why don’t you start selling limited edition products? By using the law of scarcity, you are persuading people to pay more attention to your store.
Remember: The more scarce a resource is perceived to be, the higher its perceived value.
Customers will flock to your store wanting what only a select people can have. They want to have exclusivity and will do almost anything if you dangle your bait well enough. If they’re rich enough, they’ll even pay double the product’s worth.
If you want to learn how to persuade people using the law of scarcity, you have to be mindful of how you build up a certain product or idea. You have to make sure that the others understand how rare your product is and how it is selling like hotcakes.
If you’re curious about the art dealers who held the Bill of Rights hostage, they were eventually arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While the law of scarcity might have been a great way to persuade the National Constitution Center to sit up and take notice, it wasn’t enough to keep the culprits out of jail.
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