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8 B2B Scarcity Examples That Are Working Right Now

Josh Slone posted this in the Sales Skills Category
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Scarcity examples primarily occur in a B2C environment, but here are 8 winning B2B scarcity examples you can use.

Certain sales tactics are more powerful than others. Like any tool, they should always be used properly. Today’s post has several scarcity examples. This is perhaps one of the most powerful tools in the bag of business owners and reps.

Proceed with caution :).

Anyhoo. Yes, there are people who use scarcity to corral people and even manipulate them into spending money. Nearly every American big box retailer uses certain tactics this during the holiday season. Most notably the day after Thanksgiving.

If you’ve been to one, you may know what I mean. If you haven’t, take a look at this gif.

b2b scarcity examples

The examples we’re going over today do not (in any way) resemble this, but they should be used honestly and tactfully.

you may be wondering, “What is scarcity?” In the sales world, it’s creating an atmosphere of limited timing or availability of a product/service.

So let’s look at eight B2B scarcity examples working today.

B2B Scarcity Example 1: Limited Stock

Most of our readers either don’t have a limited number of items or don’t have physical products at all. You’re either a consultant, and agency, or other service-based business. But this tactic IS for B2Bs and service businesses, too!

If you don’t have “stock”, the quality of your work and the availability of your team (or yourself) could be grounds enough to produce scarcity.

Our friends at Explainify do just that. They’re a custom explainer video producer that works with some of the biggest companies in the world.

They also have a close-knit, busy crew of talented folks. This creates a natural scarcity. Their own explainer video gives us one of the best scarcity examples. You can watch the video on their homepage, but here’s the line that makes it happen at about 40 seconds in;

Oh, by the way. We only take a few clients at a time.” — Explainify

It doesn’t always take complex timers and email sequences to produce scarcity. Sometimes it just takes a good product.

Who It’s For:

  • Low Volume, High-Price Products: If you happen to have a custom, or limited product that is slow to produce — there is no reason you shouldn’t be using scarcity in your copy and sales presentations.
  • Marketing Agencies: If you’re aggressively using outbound, it may not be a good idea. It’s kinda like saying, “Hey, you wanna go out Friday?” Then, the other person responds with a “Yea!” And then, you say, “Well, let me check my calendar.” BUT, your inbound leads or leads you get via another type of promotion (like a webinar) would be perfect for scarcity.
  • Consultants, Skilled Agents: Let’s say you’re fantastic at PPC. You have people contacting you all the time via referrals, but few are pulling the trigger. Scarcity could be your example. Tell them (in a polite, yet direct way) that you are very quickly booked up and the quote and availability you have given will only be good until [insert reasonable date here]. Then, follow up closer to that date.

B2B Scarcity Example 2: Price Increase

This is one of the easier scarcity examples to implement. Anybody can increase their prices. As Ramit Sethi has said;

Price is a mere triviality.” — Ramit Sethi

However, it may not be the best idea to send cold emails to people about how you’re about to increase the price of your goods and services. Using this scarcity example is for a different reason than most of the others.

Our other examples help convince people who are slower in their decision making to pull the trigger faster. Increasing the price can help with this, but this tactic is best used for long-time fence sitters. Those people hanging around your social profiles and laying around your email list.

You know. The ones who’ve consumed all your content, kicked every tire, and maybe even spoken with you directly — but have yet to say yes OR no.

In order to move these prospects and suspects, it’s time to put the scare back into scarcity.

b2b scarcity examples

Price Increase Best Practices

Don’t Increase Current Customers

This is for companies like SaaS and other subscription-type services (e.g. SEO monthly services). But if you can provide multiple contracts to the same client over the course of many years, it may be ok to bump up the cost with current rates.

Increasing fees of current buyers will likely cost you business in the short term. Netflix just announced another price hike for active subscribers — even though it caused poor growth last year (when they did the same).

b2b scarcity examples

(Source: Forbes)

Set a Date

It’s all talk until it has a date. None of this, “We don’t know how long we’ll be able to keep X at these prices”. Put a price tag and a date on your increase, it’s the most effective way to put a clear call-to-action in front of your slow moving pipeline.

Let Everyone Know

Once you’ve set the date, you’ll have to tell everyone who’s aware of your brand. First, current customers. Tell them that;

  • Their prices will stay the same, and
  • To tell their friends and colleagues that aren’t clients

After that, you’ll want to alert your email list, social media accounts, and even previous clients who didn’t stick around.

Scarcity can be a great way to win back customers who have went by the wayside Click To Tweet

B2B Scarcity Example 3: Limited-Time Opening

This one is most commonly used by content and course creators. People we’ve all heard of like Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, and others, use this with great success. B2Bs have a lot to learn from the method, even if you have your products open full-time.

The cadence typically works like this:

  1. Create course, make it open for registration for a limited time, and close it down.
  2. Take care of the students/enrollees, improve the content as more people move through it, and get testimonials for the next time the course is open.
  3. Re-open the new and improved course (usually with a higher price than last time).

The good side and the bad side of this method go hand in hand. The scarcity it creates is top notch. People are motivated to move. But the reason they move is a potential downside. Once it’s closed, it’s closed.

Take a look at Pat Flynn’s Power Up Podcasting Course. It was closed at the time of screenshot, but here’s a link to see if it’s open (we’re NOT an Affiliate).

b2b scarcity examples b2b scarcity examples

How can B2Bs best use it? It may require thinking outside the box, but here are a couple ideas:

Lead Gen/Starting Conversations

One thing we always recommend to our clients is to use a Calendly link in their cold emails. Basically, it allows leads to schedule a time to talk on their terms. But it also creates a little mini-scarcity.

If you limit your time well enough, it should seem like there are only a few slots available — creating the impression of value and scarcity.

I know this is one of the scarcity examples we are using currently. Our CEO, Justin McGill, actually gets on calls with new customers to get them onboarded and to kickstart their campaign. However, there are only so many time slots per week where he can do this.

Seasonality

If your business helps other industries that have certain things happen at set times, you could have some good scarcity. For instance, the end of the month is busy for mortgage and loan companies.

Open enrollment is crazy for anyone attached to HR. Holidays are huge for retail and hospitality. Use this to say things like, “Get X done before [insert scary/busy time] is here” or “[Scary time] is almost upon us again.”

To best use seasonality:

  • Pre-Plan well and time it right. Not too soon to where leads aren’t thinking about it, but enough time for them to react and decide.
  • Communicate it well. Use it in your cold email sequence to warm up leads. It will tell them you understand their industry. Use a subject line like, Question about [scare time], {First.name}.
  • Understand why it’s a busy/scary time. Don’t just know about it. Know why it’s crazy and what to do about it. It’ll help you build rapport with your responses.

B2B Scarcity Example 4: Combination Offer

Nowadays, it seems, the more segmented and complex the sales process is — the more deals are closed. At least when it’s done right.

Many of us don’t want to limit our stock. Our prices are good to go at the moment, so that one is a “meh” too. And, like us, don’t want to shut down the product/service just to get people to buy only to have to significantly revamp the product and re-release later.

If that’s you, it’s ok. Our last one is one that we actually use (at the time of this writing) and it’s a combo-style offer involving a webinar with bonuses.

We’ve made a lot of positive changes to the product, but none of which used scarcity. In order to do that we created a few offers exclusively for clients who came in via a webinar. But only if they bought within a certain amount of time (i.e. scarcity).

Here’s how to do it:

  • Create an Incredible Webinar: It’s gotta be valuable enough to pay for in and of itself to get the right people to show up.
  • Come up with your extras: You can use a kick-off consultation call, extra services, joint venture with other products/services — the sky is the limit, just make them good. The better your bonus offers, the more is on the line. Thus, increasing the power of your scarcity.
  • Get People to Your Webinar: Use FB ads, partnerships, even cold email to do this. Fill up the seats, give them tons of value and pitch them with all the bonuses — exclusively for attendees.
  • Put a Date to It: A week from the webinar seems to be best, but experiment to find the right fit for your offers. You’ll have a significant percentage (again, if done right) sign up right away. Then, email them a few times. You should notice another chunk come in at the last minute.

B2B Scarcity Example 5: Removing Features/Services

This was another of the scarcity examples we ran recently with great success.

It’s akin to upping your price. When restructuring your plans, you can also test the feature set available in each plan. For instance, if you’re a SaaS and have always included a certain feature in your lowest plan — it may be time to bump it up to premium.

Doing this with much communication to those aware of your brand should prompt some action.

Or, if you’re an agency that bundles services together, this could work (if it makes business sense). Let’s say that you lump in 3 months of SEO services with every new web design and it’s not very cost effective. Switch it to one month.

Here’s the thing;

The key isn’t what you change, it’s how well you tell your world about it.

B2B Scarcity Example 6: Expired Bonuses

A lot of times you might get extra bonuses if you sign up within a certain timeframe. It could be ebooks, guides, videos, etc. From time-to-time, we’ve used this scarcity example by adding an allotment of extra leads per month to plans if they ordered by a certain deadline.

This tip is great to use in conjunction with others. It could be during a promotion with a partner, celebrating a new integration or launch, you name it.

It can be like launching your product a couple times a year.

Retailers, to their credit, use this tactic often. Go to a mall, and every once and a while you’ll see “Semi-Annual” sale. It’s usually not just a sale, but bonus offers and such that are only good for a limited time.

B2B’s can use this to constantly be cleaning out their list.

Bonus Tip: One of the best ways to do it is via partnerships. Other companies in similar industries want more business and will likely offer a discount on their services for those who buy yours. It’s a win-win-win for the right leads.

B2B Scarcity Example 7: Invite Only

This is one of the scarcity examples MeetEdgar did with their launch to much success. The Edgar team sought out influential marketers who were already working very hard on their social profiles. This allowed for promotional time, beta testing, and some great buzz.

For a large chunk of time, you could only get into Edgar if they chose you — creating some intense loyalty amongst those fewer users.

But it doesn’t just have to be at launch, you can use this same tactic for:

  • New Beta Releases
  • New Services
  • Limited Offers

Send an invite to your list and let them know there are a limited number of spots and a limited number of people who were invited. Make sure to clearly outline the terms of the deal, your part and theirs to avoid confusion.

B2B Scarcity Example 8: Competitions and/or Contests

One of the last scarcity examples you can use in B2B is competitions or contests. After all, there can only be so many winners.

There are tons of great resources online showing how to run a great contest. I’ll link to a few updated favorites.

Using Scarcity the Right Way

b2b scarcity examples

Every day, “As Seen on TV” products, retailers, and others are using scarcity poorly, but don’t let that turn you off.

It can be a fantastic tool to help:

  1. Accelerate the buying cycle
  2. Motivate lazy leads
  3. Clear out suspects
  4. Increase conversions

What are some scarcity examples you’ve seen (or used)?

Josh Slone
About Author: Josh Slone
Josh Slone is the Head Content Writer for LeadFuze. Josh writes about lead generation strategies, sales skills, and sales terminology.

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