People Not Taking Action? Try This.

We’ve all been there…

You’ve got someone interested in booking you. (Really interested! They sound quite enthusiastic!!)

So now you’ve racked your brain to come up with a price quote that should be irresistible for them, and (hopefully) livable for you.

It should only be a matter of hours – or minutes! – before you’ve got the gig.

But then . . . .

Dave Ruch musician adviceThen . . . .

Dead silence.


They don’t respond to your follow-up call or email either.

What now?

When you’ve got a person – or group of people – not pulling the trigger on something you know would be of benefit to them, consider this . . . .

FOMO Might Be Your Ace In The Hole

FOMO is an acronym for “FEAR OF MISSING OUT,” and behavioral economists will tell you it’s a mighty powerful motivator of consumer behavior.

In fact, not missing out on something has actually been found to be more important to human beings than gaining something new.

Think about that.

A Real Life Example

I had a fascinating experience a while back with FOMO.

Currently, there are five video training webinars for musicians and performers offered on my website.

Covering topics like How to Book Shows in Schools and Email Marketing for Gigs, I was selling these for ridiculously low prices far below their value.

But Nobody Was Taking Action

In spite of being really underpriced (at $79 each), almost nobody was buying these trainings after the initial live events had occured.

I didn’t push them hard, but most of my subscribers knew about them, and I’d send an email occasionally or include them in articles to make sure people were aware of them.

But sales were trickling in, at best.

And I KNEW these were greatly helpful for everyone who took them.

So I decided to raise the prices from $79 to $129 (and from $97 to $147 on the grant funding webinars) to put them more in line with the market.

Then I Used FOMO!

This was the perfect opportunity to test out FOMO.

Prices were going up on a Monday, so I sent an email to my subscriber list the Thursday before letting them know that current prices were available only until Sunday night.

After Sunday, everything was going up by $50.

So again, this is a group of people that theoretically already knew about these $79 and $97 webinars and had chosen not to purchase to this point.

But now, the price was going away in a few days, to be replaced by a higher price.

What happened?

A flood of orders came in from people who wanted to take advantage of current pricing before it disappeared.

In those four days, I sold almost $2,000 worth of webinars.

(Actual numbers below.)

How To Use FOMO In Your Gig Quotes

So how do we apply this to Sally Dragging-Her-Feet at the local town park gig?

Or Jimmy I-Was-Excited-But-Now-I’m-Not at the big music festival?

Example #1

How about a follow-up email or phone call saying something like:

“Hi Jimmy – just checking in to make sure you received my quote for xyz? I’d love to do it, but I’ll need to release the date next Monday if you’re not going to take it.”


Example #2

“Hi Sally – I now have another request for the date of xx/yy/zzzz that we discussed. You have first dibs if you still want it, but I’ll need to know in the next day or so.”

Or… (use the next two ONLY if they are authentic)

Examples #3 & 4

“Dear Jimmy – I wanted to let you know that I have a rate increase coming on xyz date. I’m happy to honor the rate I quoted you as long as we can get this booked before then.”

“Dear Sally – Wanted to let you know that I’m giving away a free [something she would care about] to all gigs booked between now and xyz date.”

Putting Yourself in the Driver’s Seat

You’ve probably noticed something else that’s working in your favor with each of these scenarios – YOU (rather than they) are now in the driver’s seat.

You are dictating the terms of booking your act – – and this is perfectly acceptable.

Your time is valuable, and your calendar space is finite. (Yeah, I know, maybe not during COVID.)

It’s very helpful to gently remind them of that.

Other Uses of FOMO

Selling CDs or Books?  Perhaps you can give something away with each sale for a limited time window.

(The giveaway needs to be something your potential buyer actually cares about.)

Rebooking  Just did a great show for a very happy buyer? Strike while the iron is hot and tell them your calendar is likely to be crazy next year around this time. You’d be glad to save them a space if they’d like.

General Calendar Scarcity  Looking at dates with a potential booker? Make sure to mention unavailable dates or blocks of time, thereby making your available dates a bit more of a scarce commodity.

Reminders Are Key!

Going back to the webinars for a second – – remember that Thursday email I sent to let subscribers know that prices were going up on Monday?

Well, that generated about $475 in sales.

If that were the only notice I’d sent, that might have been the total revenue.

Not bad.

But I sent a second email, on the final day (Sunday), reminding people that prices go up tomorrow.

That one generated an additional $1,275 in sales!

Yes, 73% of total sales came on the last day, only after a second notice had been sent.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Nobody wants to miss out, but we’re also chronic procrastinators! A final reminder is always going to improve your results.

Wrapping Up

Your use of FOMO needs to be genuine and authentic. Please don’t create fake sales or contrived offers that don’t relate to what you’re actually doing with the rest of your business.

But I encourage you to think about ways to make this work for your situation.

As consumers, we all have good intentions about considering purchases on our own time, when we can “get back to it.”

We also spend a lot of time thinking about things we “should” do.

But life gets busy.

So sometimes, we just need a reason to do it right now.

And then we’re glad we did!


I’d love to hear your thoughts. The “Comments” section is just below.

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About The Blog

The Largest Online Gathering of K-5 Classrooms for Connected Educator MonthSince leaving a white-collar marketing job in 1992, Dave Ruch has been educating and entertaining full-time in schools, historical societies and museums, folk music and concert venues, libraries, and online via distance learning programs.

Along the way, he’s learned a great deal about supporting a family of four as a musician.

The Educate and Entertain blog provides articles, tips, encouragements, and how-to’s for regional performers (in any region) interested in making a great full-time living in the arts.

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30 Responses to People Not Taking Action? Try This.

  1. Funny thing…I had been trying to get my band into a venue for months with no luck…read this article and changed the approach of the email and VOILA’..we have a show booked din July :). Oddly, I was aware of all these points but just reading the article made me take a closer look at my email copy and that did it. Thanks Dave 🙂

  2. Thank you Dave for the good advice. Dixie Divas Music received our first Letter of Recommendation this week!! Yay!!

  3. I love your way of putting us musicians in the driver’s seat. We have gifts to give, so these techniques allow us to give them. Thanks Dave!

  4. These tips are going to be so useful!! My group, Dixie Divas Music, has just started out and I am sure I will be using these tips. Much appreciated and I look forward to getting your emails each Monday.

    Thank you,

  5. Very interested in your opinions. I am an Artist Agent for Jess Wayne, who is an Author/Songwriter/Musician

    Thank you


    Unole Adnvdo Unega Soquili Cooper
    (Thunder Spirit White Stallion, my name in English) I am Cherokee/Choctaw/Creek

  6. Nice Dave,
    The subject was so interesting to me, that I couldn’t put it aside to read later. And I really wanted to! But this is something I am dealing with more and more lately. It’s not like the old days of booking gigs.
    Thanks, as always!

  7. Great post Dave! In my experience, your suggestions will often work when the potential booker still has INTEREST in your services. Maybe they’ve been busy with other things and just haven’t gotten around to responding back to you. If, after getting a price quote or other information from you, the booker or committee decides NOT TO HIRE YOU for whatever reason, there’s really not much you can do. Follow ups, reminders, and FOMO strategies usually have not effect on these people. Just because things don’t work out this year with a potential client, doesn’t mean they won’t be interested next year. In the business of performing, you win some, you lose some. It’s the way it goes. That’s why it’s important to have tons of potential clients at your disposal. Not every inquiry is going to lead to a booking. Best of luck to all of you!

      • Hey Dave,

        I’m curious on how you apply FOMO with people who ask for a price quote but do not mention anything about a date or time. This exact thing happened to me on Monday. Received an email from a scout group asking for a price on one of my shows. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

        • Probably difficult in that case Bill. If someone asks me for a price but has no specified event date or even ballpark time frame, then I don’t really consider it a serious inquiry.

  8. Thanks again, Dave, for this valuable information! I knew some of these “tricks”, but definitely needed this reminder! Bless you!

  9. Great article Dave (as always). Thanks. I like the idea to use FOMO for booking. However I just wonder if in a saturated market like Portland, OR, is, with many musicians that are ready to play for free, if it would work or if it’s a dangerous approach to take ?
    Thanks for sharing, always a pleasure to read your blogs,

    Eric John Kaiser
    “French Troubadour”

    • Hi Eric John – always good to hear from you. I’d say it might be dangerous if you want to be thought of among that category of people who play for free.

      If, on the other hand, you want to separate yourself from that “pack” and demonstrate that you have more value, this could actually work in your favor. Showing people that there’s a value on your time and a value on a booking with you can lead to good things. People will only ever buy what’s cheap or free until they think there’s something better out there. (Of course, some will continue to pursue the cheap and free, but you’ve now positioned yourself differently)

  10. Man is this article for me or what?! I have had SEVERAL experiences like this in the past few months. Some venues actually reach out to me, asking me for availability/quote only to hear nothing…ever. I can sort of handle this when “cold call” people and they are initially receptive to my ideas then fall of the face of the planet. What chaps me is the string-along people. I will have an initial conversation with an interested party and then get the “well the committee doesn’t meet until such and such time (months away) but I will let you know.” Then crickets. I email back at such and such time only to be greeted with; the committee hasn’t met yet, the committee has decided to go another direction, or absolute radio silence.

    So I have tried to institute FOMO many times with “threats” of potential concurrent bookings and lack in availability. So far it hasn’t worked lol. I even baited them with news of my EP release in hopes to parlay that into a discussion of “oh yea, we were talking about booking you guys weren’t we???”

    I love what you do Dave and you have certainly given me hope and great ideas. I am beginning to wonder, however, if I am either cut out for this at all or I am just in the wrong market demographically.

    • A lot of what you are describing Nathan is just the nature of it. People DO have committees they need to meet with, and committees DO frequently have delays, and they DO sometimes go in other directions. All of that is just part of the equation in my experience. The wider your net, the more opportunities you will have for meaningful bookings.

      • Im fine with committees and all that, I would just like for people to get back with me lol. I’ve been “waiting”: to hear back about a potential booking for this June since last August, and that’s not the only one that is doing that. I don’t know if people think it’s easier to just not get back in touch over saying no??

        A wide net is good for sure and honestly these bookings that haven’t gotten back with me are on the outskirts of that net. I don’t think I could cast it any further and it still be worth the time/travel/money. I work full time and that greatly dictates what I can and cannot take on as gigs. So when this junk happens, it may be more frustrating to me than it should be. :-/

        Have you written an article on how to become a community staple in your own town??? That’s what I need lol.

  11. Great ideas, Dave…
    I’ve used some of these FOMO concepts before, however, you’ve outlined them in an organized, practical approach!
    Thanks • Rick
    Calgary, Alberta

  12. Great insights Dave, as always. I’m on the verge of releasing some new material (books, speaking gigs and trainings) and these tips are certainly going in my quiver for use. Thank you!

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