My exorbitant date with Taylor
Everyone knows that a key part of sales and marketing is making the sales process as easy and frictionless as possible.
Look at Amazon – three buttons, and you can buy anything you want. No friction, no hoops to jump through equals lots of sales and lots of profits.
But with all that said, there’s something to be said for a sales strategy at precisely the other end of the spectrum.
I experienced exactly this when my daughter asked me to join her at a Taylor Swift concert next year.
(If you’re a parent of a late-stage teenager, you’ll understand why I grabbed this opportunity with both hands!)
Getting the tickets was no mean feat.
- You had to apply in advance to try and get a code.
- If you got a code, you could apply for tickets. No code, game over.
- With the code, you could try and buy tickets when the website “opened” at 11am on Monday.
- Only once you’d entered the code could you see if there were tickets left.
- If there were tickets left, you then had 5 minutes to work out the ticket location, whether you wanted them and what price you were willing to pay. Go over the 5-minute mark, and your tickets are gone, slide back down the snake and start again.
- If you made it through the gauntlet and selected your tickets in the time frame, you then had the privilege of wincing, putting your card details in, and then wondering how you’re going to pay the bill at the end of the month.
My daughter was one of the lucky ones – she got a code, which she pinged over to me for me to complete the transaction.
We’d had a brief discussion about ticket prices, so I had an expectation of cost in my head, but of course, by the time we got in, all the “normal” tickets had been sold, and only the VIP tickets remained.
A more sensible person might have cut their losses there, but the perfect storm of my daughter actually wanting to do something with me, combined with the knowledge of just scarce these tickets were and the urgency of only having five minutes to make the choice, resulted in me hitting the ‘Buy Now’ button.
So, I’m now the proud owner of four Taylor Swift tickets, all for the very reasonable price of a family holiday.
Oh, and of course, I ended up taking the hotel upsell, securing a bog-standard room in the Wembley Hilton for near enough the price of a Four Seasons suite.
Friction can kill sales, but if your audience wants something enough, scarcity can counteract that and then some.
Now, if I could just work out how to make HR a scarce resource, as well as a hugely desirable one, I will be made!