As you might know, Sales Without Shame was launched in the last few weeks. And there’s a major lesson to learn about your business in my own story.
The introductory pricing offer was open for 8 days. I assumed that, since I had done lots of work getting peeps using the sampler, downloading goodness, rockin’ portrait sales, and stoked to purchase, they’d hop on that Add to Cart button like a hungry sumo wrestler in a sushi restaurant. I was w-r-o-n-g.
Only 14% of total sales happened in the first 24 hours. I was devastated and mopey and thought that my hard work was useless. That the launch was a flop. That I had made serious errors by believing in myself, my product, and my business, and my abilities.
Time passed. I even showered. A surprising thing happened.
Even though I had done a lot of work promoting, even though peeps wanted to buy, and even though they would EVENTUALLY buy, 54% of sales happened in the last 48 hours of the promotional pricing offer.
Over HALF of sales happened in the short window before the offer ended. (This is not an isolated phenomena, by the way: I spoke with a friend who just completed a launch MUCH larger than mine and the same thing happened. We’re talking serious cash avalanche in those last hours, people.)
I call this behavior The Procrastination Principle. Here goes:
The majority of customers will wait until the last possible moment to act upon a promotional offer — even for something they intended to purchase from the moment they heard about the promotion.
No matter what your business happens to be, understanding The Procrastination Principle can help you increase your business income significantly.
It’s your job to give people a reason to buy your products or services.
Promotions, events, and one-off happenings create momentum in your business.
Nothing happening? Same ol,’ same ol? Just call me to book anytime and I’ll fit you in? Sales decrease.
That decrease is not the fault of your work, your products, or your services, but of human nature itself. We need reasons to buy, or we figure we can just get that — whatever that is — later. And later. And later.
Applying The Procrastination Principle can be as simple as keeping potential clients informed of how much space is left on your calendar or how much inventory is left in your store. Messages like ’6 sessions left before 2013′ and ’3 Huggy Wuggy Warmers left at $49′ work well at getting peeps to take action.
The Procrastination Principle also includes, but is not limited to:
- hosting parties to show off your wares in people’s homes or at people’s organizations (craft parties, storytelling parties, photography lesson parties)
- planning and holding live events with local businesses (portrait session dates with a local salon’s partnership to handle hair and make-up)
- planning and holding promotional events with local businesses (promote craft sales with a local summer camp; get more violin lesson sign-ups with local symphony promotion)
- limited edition product offerings (select albums only available for x weeks; pumpkin latte)
- limited edition service offerings (pumpkin facial; pumpkin patch portraits; pumpkin house cleaning. If you create a pumpkin house cleaning, hook me up!)
People will wait until the last possible second to RSVP, to attend, to peruse, and to purchase — but purchase they will.
Limited edition offerings, events, parties, and promotions create momentum in your business.
One job begets another, begets another.
They also create an urgent reason to buy.
After all, people can’t sign up for Limited Edition Fall Portraits — which are being held on October 1st — come October 2nd. They’ll have to act to work with you, even if it is at the last possible second.
As you complete your business planning for the second half of the year and into 2013, consider putting The Procrastination Principle into play in your business. Oh, and I want to make perfectly clear that The Procrastination Principle does NOT mean putting your products or services on sale, though that will typically cause a bump in your bottom line.
Work reasons for potential clients to turn into paying clients right into the framework of your business using The Procrastination Principle, and your business revenue will increase accordingly.
Got Procrastination Principle feedback, stories, or ideas? Share ‘em in the comments! And as always, if you enjoy this post, please share it on the Facebooks.