How To Market Depreciating Value, or “Get’em While They’re Hot!”

Ok, so here’s how I got this one, and how it’s such a cool technique for you…

A few weeks ago, my family friend threw a flier halloween party. He does this every year. He’s a DJ, so this is a club party at a rented hall. Since 800+ people on average come every year, he needs a good number of staff and guards to run the front door.

I helped out by running the online ticket sale table. Guests that prepaid online came up to me and showed their online receipt to get a physical ticket before they got in line to get into the party.

Lot’s of people in interesting costumes, but somehow the girls’ costumes are always more appealing (and revealing) 🙂

Every year there’s a few lackeys trying to hustle the front door. They don’t want to pay the $20 cover to get in. Sometimes they try to hustle me for tickets for $10-$15, but my family friend gave strict orders not to cut deals with anyone.

However, this year, one guy was really persistent…

He kept trying to talk us into a cut rate deal. My friend and I ran the table, and both of us kept giving him excuses on why we can’t do it. “It’s not my party, I can’t do that” wouldn’t stop this guy.

He held up the line sometimes, so we kept telling him to come back later, trying to stall. It got to a point where the guards noticed, and they kept looking at us, signaling “just say the word, and we’ll kick this guy out”.

It was kind of funny, it was obvious the guy and his friend really wanted to get in (I suspect it had something to do with the girls) but they didn’t want to pay $20 each. Whenever he had the chance, he would come back and try to hustle some more. He claimed he was a “marketer” too and knew all the tricks (but he was still outside! ha…)

Nothing we said would phase him. We tried everything to convince him the party was worth $20. The girls, the music, the cheap drinks, you name it. It seem like nothing would work on this guy…

but finally, out of frustration, I bluntly said,

“Look buddy, its 11:45, and this party ends at 2. Now you could waste my time and yours by trying to convince me to get you in for $10, but how long are you willing to wait for that? I showed already that I’m not budging, and so far its been over 45 minutes since you’ve been trying to hustle me, so by the time you get me to come down, you’ll miss out on most of the party. You could leave, but you wanna pay $20 somewhere else where you’ll get in line by, what, 12:30? Enjoy a party for maybe 40 minutes at best? What’s that worth? but… if you and your friend pay $20 right now, you two get in now, and enjoy a great party for a good amount of time, where as $10 later will barely get you any of the party. Now if I were you, I would just pay the $20 now and go in and get some girls before some other dudes take them!”

Right then, his friend pulls out $40, for tickets for both of them. I gave them their tickets, and after some more complaining by the guy, they went in. (phew! Finally!)

How I did it, and you could too, even in this economy…

Well, if you read again what I said to them, I was just honestly appealing to their common sense and self interest, that’s for sure.

But… and take note of this, I showed them that the value is going to depreciate soon, that buying now is worth alot more to them than buying later

This is using time sensitive value to your fullest advantage (and your customers). It basically says “you’re losing out every minute you don’t buy, don’t waste your time buddy” You’re displaying the cost of their indecisiveness, their skepticism, their persistent “hustling” attempts. In other words “Get’em while they’re hot!”

It works because your customers value their time. Every minute they do without is a real cost. In economics, the actual cost of waiting or doing without varies for each person, called time preference.

You can use this technique if you have a time sensitive product, where something will be worth less to the customer the longer they wait to buy it (i.e. fresh food, event tickets during the event, study skills, etc.)

Or if you can make it clear to your customers that the longer they wait to buy, the worse off they are, then you’ve hit a large nugget of gold…

Examples.

If you sell hot food, you could market or sell to interested but reluctant buyers that the longer they wait, the hungrier they’ll get.

If you sell financial advice online, a convincing ad might include “every day you don’t use this is everyday you’re pointlessly losing money”. Dating advice “how many lonely nights are you willing to take without these dating secrets?”

Imagine throwing in a money-back guarantee? “Don’t go another minute without it, try it now, if it doesn’t work out, its on me” Something like this in an ad or in person is pretty enticing…

So start thinking about real reasons why it hurts your customers to go on without your products any longer. Throw in a trial period money back guarantee.

You’ll much better sell the reluctant buyers, the skeptics, and stop the hustlers right in their tracks.

Don’t wait, every minute you do without this technique is free sales revenue down the drain… 🙂

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