🤦‍♂️ Probably the dumbest thing I did in Middle School.

How to get people lining up to do business with you...

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In 7th grade I was in a mostly all boy class with an attractive teacher.

So of course, we looovveed that class, and we were very … ahem… shall I say… attentive!

Although, I will admit I forgot what subject she taught.

You know the saying “people will forget what you said but will always remember how you made them feel”… 😉

Anyway, we were a young and rambunctious group of middle school boys and one day, somebody got the ‘not-so-clever’ idea to pick on the teacher.

Their idea was to erase what was on the whiteboard that she had meticulously filled to the brim with notes and things she was going to teach us that day.

Not only that, somebody suggested that we pour some hand sanitizer on her desk chair so that she’d get it all over her pants.

The only problem – who in the group was going to actually DO it?

A soft voice piped up… “I’ll do it!”

Somehow the teacher’s favorite student was now on board. She was the only girl in our class. She didn’t speak much, always got A’s, and always seemed to follow the rules.

While a group of us looked out for the teacher in the hallway, Michelle (not her real name) got up from her desk in the front row, erased the entire board and poured hand sanitizer on Miss Gonzalez’s (not her real name either) desk chair. She was the only brave one who actually did it!

We all cheered.

And then Miss Gonzalez walked in ready to start the class. She knew something was up because all of us had a grin on our face and an expression that may as well have put the word “guilty” in bright red letters on our foreheads.

I don’t have to tell you she was very upset. She had worked so hard on preparing the class and writing/drawing on the whiteboard. To our dismay, she was so busy scolding us she never sat down in her desk chair.

Looking back, I’m not proud of what we did. I know it was wrong. And we paid for it with a few days of detention where we had to stay after school and do extra work with Miss Gonzalez (we didn’t complain).

What was it that could’ve convinced Michelle to get on board with us and actually execute the prank? Peer pressure, maybe she didn’t want to get left out, or she saw that we were all excited & having fun so she probably wanted to be a part of it and have some fun too – even though it’s something she had never done before (to our knowledge).

It could have been one of those things or perhaps a combination of all of them, I’m not sure. What I do know is…

As adults, those same thoughts & feelings don’t… go… away.

Many people in your audience want to “join in” too, especially if they see that others are already joining as well.

That desire gets even stronger if they realize that LOTS of people want what you have but that there is only so much of YOU (your time, your products, your services, etc) to go around.

Which means…

They could potentially be left out if they don’t act on their desire fast enough.

Recently, I was listening to the book “Oversubscribed: How To Get People Lining Up To Do Business With You” by Daniel Priestley on Audible.

The core premise of the book being that if there is more supply of YOU (your time, your products, your services, etc) than there is demand for you, then you will have to fight to get customers.

However, if you can manage to flip the script where there is more demand for you than the supply, then you are in position for customers to fight over you!

It’s why sometimes concerts will sell tickets in small batches to get people furiously refreshing to make sure they’re able to snag some tickets before they’re all gone. They’ll schedule one or two dates for the concert. They’ll sell out fast. Then they’ll come back and add more dates, which then people who may not have decided to buy previously will now rush to buy because they saw the first two dates already sold out.

Or how the chicken sandwiches at restaurants like Popeyes & Wingstop have become so popular. Both of them launched a chicken sandwich and immediately sold out. The customers who managed to get one of the first batches raved about them. That increased demand and when they finally got more supply, a lot more people rushed to go buy them.

My biggest takeaway from the book “Oversubscribed” was…

People don’t want to buy what you are selling. People want to buy what they THINK others are buying.

There’s a lot to unpack from those couple of sentences but I’ll give you an example of how I did this for the launch of one of my info-products (a vegetarian cookbook) a few years ago.

Before launching it, we made a quick post on our Facebook page.

“If we were to create a two week menu filled with delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes that [insert name of the face of the brand] used to lose weight naturally over 8 months, would you want to buy it? Comment ‘Yes’ below.”

Within just a short time period we had over 800+ ‘yes’ comments on that post.

We then built up some anticipation and over the next few days got over 1,000+ people to join a waitlist to get first dibs on reserving their own copy of the cookbook at a discounted rate before it was released to the general public at full price.

Every step along the way we made sure to let people on the Facebook page & email list know that there were X number of people on the list who had all expressed an interest in buying the menu.

Were all 1,000+ people on the waiting list or 800+ people who commented on the Facebook page going to buy it? Of course not! But that didn’t matter.

What did matter was all that VISIBLE ACTIVITY and demand for the menu created a reason for lots of people to want to get off the fence and buy.

When we finally opened the cart, we got a surge of buyers on the first day and after a few days we ended up with a little under 300 sales before we closed the pre-release offer.

We probably would have made less sales if all I did was send out one email saying the cart was open and those that wanted to buy could go buy. Without the buildup or visible activity/demand we may have sold only a handful.

What made it work was that people saw that many others wanted it, and so therefore now they also wanted it.

How might you apply this “Oversubscribed” concept to your business?

Before you launch a new product or a new offer for an existing product (or service)…

Ask for an indication of interest. This can be as simple as commenting on a social media post or replying to an email.

Ideally ask for that indication of interest in a VISIBLE place so that others can SEE that others also want it – or at least have a way to show how many people replied or opted in (screenshots of pages of replies or # of subscribers on the waiting list, etc)

Then limit your supply somehow.

If you’re taking on private clients then there’s a real limit there because there’s only so much time you have to go around. Maybe you only take a certain number of clients per month or per quarter.

If you’re selling an info-product of some kind, you could offer a special pre-release pricing or perhaps a bundle of bonuses that is ONLY available for the first X customers.

Then go back to the people that expressed interest, let them know how many people have expressed an interest, and make your offer with a real limit that is lower than the visible demand.

For a full explanation of this process, I recommend you go pick up the book (or Audible) Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley. It’s a fast read (or listen) and you’ll end up with a lot of actionable ideas you can implement right away.

Disclaimer: Yes, I’m an Amazon Associate so if you buy the book (or anything else — say a refrigerator, big screen TV, or you know any big ticket item of your choice) I get a small thank you commission 🙂

See you on the next one…

Eddys Velasquez
DigitalMarketingRx

P.S. No, I didn’t use AI to write this blog post 🙂

I entered the prompt “time & effort” and did it myself lol