“I’m booked until December,” he told me.
The date was July 26th. 🤯
“But I love the person who referred you,” he continued.
“For her, I’ll squeeze you in on my day off.”
Then he listed a single, two-hour time window he might be able to take me.
I wasn’t free then…
But you can bet I moved my other appointment.
This is the power of being oversubscribed, which the Oxford English dictionary defines as “Applied for in greater quantities than are available or expected.”
Top tier colleges with low acceptance rates?
Trainings with insane waitlists, like the IFS Institute, which uses a lottery to admit people and apparently has 10,000 people waiting to take their intro course?
Anything that sells out as soon as it’s available?
Being oversubscribed is a very, very good thing for your business.
It’s a reversal of the normal power dynamics.
Customers are chasing you, changing their schedules, jumping through hoops — anything to get a chance to give you money for what you’re offering.
You become the prize.
So how do you get there?
Well, step 1 is setting the intention to do so.
Step 2, follow this core, counter-intuitive rule: demand breeds demand.
People are more likely to want something that’s very popular and hard to get.
It’s actually not a problem if your events always sell out and your calendar is always “full” — it’s a good thing.
Better to sell 25 seats to 50 interested people than 30 seats to 30 interested people.
Step 3, focus on the people already buying, not on your desire to sell.
In both dating and marketing, desperation is the opposite of attractive.
Don’t show me how much you want to sell what you’re selling.
Instead, celebrate and showcase the people already buying from you.
“Treat your clients like they’re celebrities and let them pull a crowd.” —Daniel Priestly
Step 4… It’s much easier to do this if you offer the absolute best solution to a very narrow problem (for a very specific person or circumstance).
Big fish, small pond.
Be famous to a few.
If the idea of being Oversubscribed really appeals to you, definitely check out Daniel Priestly’s book of the same name for more detailed strategies.
For now, just remember: It’s not necessarily a problem if you’re scheduled 6 months out.
It can be just what you need.
PS – Did I brag already about Ken Norton’s awesome website? I loved working with Ken to help him turn his popular blog site into a clear expression of the coaching he’s selling these days. I spoke with several of his clients as part of our work together. That let us refresh his testimonials and hone the words that would resonate most with his ideal audience. Once he approved the new copy I’d written, he built and launched the new homepage within a couple days (!) “It feels really good how much it sets people up for a conversation with me ahead of time,” he told me. “Now they understand exactly what to expect and what I actually do. I’m so glad I reached out to you.”
PPS – Want the satisfaction of a website as congruent with you as Ken’s is for him? Let’s chat.
This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.