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.

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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