Small-Business Bromides: Who Stole My Sleep?

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So you want nothing more than to get your phones ringing, right? So does Steve Moody, owner of Extraordinary Events, but he’s got a wacky theory of how to do it: inconvenience your customers. Sounds to us like one of those counter-intuitive small-business bromides being peddled in some best-selling book from a guru like Tom Peters or Seth Godin, but we figured we’d allow Steve a chance to explain his Inconvenience Theory further. So we gave him a call—at 3:00 in the morning.


Steve Moody: Harumph…huh…who the…hullo?

DJ Times: Hey, Steve Moody, it’s DJ Times calling…how are things?

Steve: Huh, who? What the #*&^ time is it?

DJ Times: Let’s not get distracted, let’s just focus on your theory about how to get clients calling by inconveniencing them, your Inconvenience Theory.

Steve: Wha? God, it’s three in the morning!…You’ve hurt me and my family for the last time…My kids get up in three *&^%*^% hours…

DJ Times: Bless them. Now, what’s with this idea of using inconvenience and “social proof” to book more gigs?

Steve: Geez…uh…right…when, uh, making decisions, many times people are influenced by “others”—if they’re not sure which way to lean…God! You know, I was in the middle of a dream, on a pirate ship…

DJ Times: So how does the inconvenience bit come in?

Steve: In a book I’m reading, the authors share info about an entrepreneur named Colleen Szot, who changed the wording in the “call to action” for the Nordic Track Commercial to persuade people to call now. Sales skyrocketed when they changed the wording from “Operators are waiting, please call now” to, “If operators are busy, please call again.”

DJ Times: I see, it puts the burden on the potential client—that’s the Inconvenience Theory.

Steve: (Yawns) It also creates the idea that it might be difficult to hire us…as everyone else is calling. It’s persuading the client that they may not have the convenience of waiting around to call, so they better get on the ball and make the call now.

DJ Times: How can Inconvenience Theory be used in the DJ business?

Steve: When speaking of our DJ services, we can say things like: “Brides Are Raving…only a handful of dates left in 2010…call now!” Or “Due to our overwhelming amount of referrals from previous clients, we only have a few openings in 2010…call now!” Or “Join the countless number of couples who have been completely charmed with our Disc Jockey service.” Using wording like this on our marketing materials and websites can be extremely persuasive.

DJ Times: Why not just tell them to call you after 3:00 in the morning if they want to book you…that would certainly qualify the prospect, no?

Steve: Zzzzzzz….

DJ Times: Steve? Hello?