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June 21st, 2017

We’ve all seen promotions “for a limited time only” products. There’s a reason these are popular, they work. Today, I want to talk to you guys about scarcity and how using it can boost your clientele drastically. So, you’ve more than likely seen the commercials and ads for the McRib from McDonald’s, right? It has this bizarre, cult following. Like there’s seriously a website devoted solely to locating the latest places you can buy a McRib. It’s really freaking weird to me, because I think it’s absolutely disgusting but whatever floats your boat, I guess. Anyway, how did McDonald’s create this sort of fascination and desire for a product that’s just a pressed pork sandwich? Well, it was actually a very poor seller when it was first released. So, they yanked it off the menu and then they brought it back only for a limited time. What developed was a crazy hype around the product. Just like you see any other limited time only promotion, whether that’s for a sale or anything else, the point is to appeal to people’s fear of missing out. When I say limited time only promotions, please don’t think you have to run some sort of crazy discount that’s only available for a short time. We’ll do a whole other video on why discounting sucks, but for today, just realize that scarcity doesn’t necessarily have to do with a discount. It has to do with you, you need to be scarce. People need to fear that they will miss out on an appointment with you and your amazing skills. This is probably the number one thing that pushed my practice into where it is now. I’m currently booked out a year in advance primarily with regulars who have standing weekly bi-weekly, or monthly appointments which is really nice. One of the biggest mistakes I see therapists make, especially those of you who are just starting out who are desperate for clients, is that you appear desperate and you never want to appear desperate. If you’re not busy, people think there’s a reason. That maybe you’re not that good at what you do. But the busier you are the more desirable you are and your time is scarce so they better make that appointment. So, here’s three ways you can change the way you speak to create that scarcity. 

#1 Set the Tone for Scheduling an Appointment 

If you’ve got a whole week without a single client booked and somebody calls for an appointment, you do not tell them that you’re available just whenever is convenient for them. No, you set the day, and the time. Stop saying that you can get them in any time, and instead say something like “What days and times are best for you and I’ll see what I have available that’ll work for you.” This is in no way dishonest, you’re not lying, or even stretching the truth at all. You’re simply checking their schedule first and then picking a couple times that might work for them. It saves time in the appointment setup process, and it makes you appear to be busier than you are because you’re checking your availability. Then once you see what works for them, please don’t say I can do anytime after 3 o’clock that day. Instead, say something like this “I’ve got a three o’clock and a 4:30 available that day would either one of those work for you?” You set the tone that you have only those two appointments available even if you have much more. If there’s a three, or four-hour time slot that they can get in. Then, they don’t need to know what the rest of your day, or the rest of your week looks like. 

#2 Your Time Off is None of Their Business 

People don’t need to know you’ll be out of the office for a doctor’s appointment or because you have to take your kids up from school or whatever the reason of the day is. So, someone asks for a specific day and time when you can’t see them, instead of saying “I’ll be up that morning for a doctor’s appointment” simply say something like “I don’t have any openings that morning, but I’ve got a two o’clock that afternoon available.” Although you’re not telling them you’re booked with clients that morning, but that’s the impression most people will take away meaning they think you’re already booking up. 

#3 Tell Clients Your Schedule is Filling Up When You’re Rebooking Them 

When a client is checking out, ask them to not only book another appointment but go ahead and get a few set up. You can simply say something like “This time slot is pretty popular, so do you want to go ahead and get on the books for the next couple weeks? If your schedule changes, and we need to move anything around, no big deal. I just want to make sure that you don’t miss out on this spot.” Or, how about “I’m starting to book out a bit in advance, how about we go ahead and set up a standing appointment every week and you can just call me if you need to reschedule.” Obviously, change that up to fit whatever is natural for you. Now, I know some people prefer a little more of a hard sale when rebooking, but I always like to give an out because. I’m one of those people that as a consumer hates the hard sell. If somebody gives me an out by saying something like you can always reschedule, I’m much, much more likely to go ahead with it and book that appointment and then probably follow through with the appointments. But that’s just me, like anything else I say, take what you will. When I started getting those weekly regulars, I had them go ahead and booked at least three weeks in advance so they wouldn’t miss their spot. Then that turned in to six weeks and then six months and now a year’s as far as I go. That’s as far as I want to go, but the minute I told people I was booking out three weeks in advance, more, and more were willing to go ahead and make that appointment right then and there. They didn’t want to miss out, and my book just filled up. Letting clients know that you’re booking up even if you’re not fully booked for that time gives them that sense that they may miss out. I sincerely have people call for an appointment with me now and I tell them it’s going to be a year until I can get them in and guess what some of them still book with me. Their response is usually something like “Wow, you must be really good, let me go ahead and make the appointment.” That’s the perception when you’re busy, if you’ve got that many clients clamoring for your time you must be amazing and nobody wants to miss out on something amazing right?  

Scarcity works, changing how you word these sorts of conversations with clients and prospective clients can drastically change the perception of you and your business. The busier you are or at least a busier you appear the more desirable you are and therefore more appointments you’ll start getting. So, take a look at how you’re speaking to clients and change some things up. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.  

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