Create A Line-Up
In a typical sales situation, the salesperson is trying to get the customer to buy the product or service. However, this is not necessary the best approach because the customer then has all of the power. They can decide if they want to buy the product, and because it is obviously readily available in abundant supply, they can haggle with you, and also wait until later if they want. This power imbalance makes it hard to get a good price for your product/service, and to close prospects.
But what if you created a line-up? What if you told prospects that your product/service was in short supply? What if you told them it was not for everyone? What if you created a waiting list? Under this scenario, you have much greater power. You have at least leveled the playing field. That's because there is one thing people want more than anything else: Something they are afraid they might not be able to get. If people worry they might not be able to get something, their hoarding and competitive instincts take over, and it makes them want what you are selling. This might sound manipulative, and it is, but it is okay as long as you are doing it to actually help them buy something they need.
This is how it can work. One, you need to give them a choice between basic and advanced (See Lobster Lesson #7 Sell Fast Food and Gourmet). The basic fast food choice is available to anyone, and is in great supply, not just from you, but many of your competitors. However, the advanced program is only available from you, and you only take a certain number of "members." Because it is a gourmet product/service, and involves an on-going relationship, you get to decide who gets in, and who doesn't. This is nicely communicated by simply stating that the advanced program is "not for everyone." When they hear that, they will really want it because it sounds exclusive and high quality, but more importantly, because now they are worried that they won't be able to get in. Now you have them engaged.
To increase the impact of this strategy, you can do two things. 1. You can tell people how many members you will take, let's say 25. Then tell them that you already have 5 to 10 members. (These members can be immediately added to the club from your roster of existing clients or customers.) Ask them if they would like to be the 11th member. Give them a discount for being the 11th. The next person, #12, will pay more, and so on. They will join the club because they don't want to miss their chance, and don't want to pay more later.
Secondly, when you reach 25 members, start a waiting list. You can still work with them, but not in the advanced program. This will create huge demand for what you are doing. As well, none of your existing members will want to drop out because they know they won't be able to get back in. Remember, that you won't lose any customers with this strategy because everyone can still buy the basic. Try it and see what happens.