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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Persuasion: Scarcity

This is the FINAL in a six-part series from a book review of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive.

Scarcity: Brian Ahearn of State Farm Insurance Company is responsible for recruiting new independent insurance agencies from across the country to partner with State Farm, thus giving the insurance company expanded territorial coverage. And every year, Brian and his team send out recruitment letters with little direct success from the mailing. More recently, he decided to use the scarcity principle in his letter by using legitimate information about the offering. His new letter now includes that while they were looking for new partners, they were looking for only 42 firms nationally and that State Farm had already lined up 35 firms. His letter contained this sentence: “It’s our sincere hope that your agency will be one of the remaining agencies that we appoint before the year end.” Within days, he began to get eager responses from agencies that did not want to lose out on the opportunity. Scarcity derived from legitimate information drives behavior. Encourage your colleagues at work to register now for the Spring 2009 GMU Leadership Communication Series while there are still seats available!

Note: If you want more—lots more about persuasion—go to Amazon and buy the book: Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive (2008, Free Press).

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