‘Oversubscribed’ by Daniel Priestly

Book review by guest blogger Amy Dudbridge


Oversubscribed is a guide to marketing your business’ services in a way that causes you to have customers queuing up to buy your product or service.

The founding principle is that for each marketing campaign that you do, you do it in such a way that you create a buzz around what you are selling, causing more people to want your product or service than you actually have the capacity to deliver.

Essentially, it plays on the idea that people want what they think everyone else wants, especially if it appears that thing is in short supply. Priestly explains that if you market your product or service the right way you can achieve this effect even if it’s the first time you’ve sold it.

To begin with, we felt the start of the book came across as somewhat self-important in tone. Priestly had a high opinion of his achievements and what he considered to be very effective methods. However, on reading the rest of the book you felt like he was justified to make such claims.

So how do you become oversubscribed?

Priestly goes on to flesh out the details of how to become oversubscribed. The impression of scarcity was widely discussed. He gave a great example of handbags; at the exclusive end of the scale, customers might queue for hours outside a store for their turn to browse and buy. Others selling a similar product could find themselves in a continual loop of price cutting, giving an air of desperation that puts customers off. Priestly clarified how you should actively discourage those who are not your ideal customer, but instead create your own market to attract your perfect clients.

Spoil your clients

Priestly explained how it was important to provide your best service for your best customers, turning your marketing budget into a “remarkable” budget. By doing so, these customers become clients – loyal ambassadors for your business, who end up doing your marketing for you.

We discussed different ways of how to provide exceptional service. Showing gratitude with handwritten notes, welcome gifts for new or prospective customers, remembering birthdays. The finer details of providing a memorable experience could even come down to knowing how your clients take their coffee.

Surprising customers during their purchasing journey helps cement your memory in your customer’s mind – under promise, over deliver. We agreed you shouldn’t give everything away at the beginning; but hold back the special touches and deliver them when they will have maximum impact.

The 7-11-4 rule

Priestly spoke of how multiple touch points are needed when prospecting: the 7-11-4 rule (7 hours, 11 interactions, 4 hours). More frequent, high quality touch points are needed when bidding for a large contract or selling an expensive product.

We spoke of how this boils down to overcoming people’s reasons not to buy from you, giving real examples of how someone like them was worried about the same thing, and why it was nothing to be concerned about. You are digging down to the emotional decisions people make when buying something; you need to give them plenty of time to do this to avoid giving the off-putting impression of a pressured sale.

That might seem counter intuitive when Priestly also said you should be using the scarcity technique. However, he explained you got around that by giving your audience plenty of advanced warning before making your product or service available to them. We said how the side benefit of this is that you quickly eliminate people who aren’t your customer – you don’t want to waste resources trying to bring on board people who are never going to buy, or who will end up giving you bad press when they are inevitably dissatisfied with their purchase.

Any drawbacks?

Priestly mentioned that using his methods to become oversubscribed could be difficult  without having the right team of people to deliver it. However, if you are the only person in your business, we spoke about how this could still be achieved by bringing on board the services of other individuals who are experts in a particular area. There’s more than one way to create a brilliant team.

Who should read it?

This is a great book for helping you understand the importance of not trying to market to everybody, and that it is perfectly OK to decline sales to those who are not your intended audience. It explains how you could make fewer sales for a higher price and avoid being overwhelmed and overworked. People having to wait to get access to your product or services is often seen as a negative, but Priestly does a great job of explaining how this is not the case.


About BookCLUB

BookCLUB is a monthly meeting of business owners who want to continually grow and develop themselves through reading. On the last Thursday of each month, the group meet to discuss a hand-picked book chosen by business growth specialist Kevin Riley. Learnings, views and opinions are shared in an open forum, followed by group business coaching and the opportunity to network. New members are welcomed every month with a free session. Visit our events page for full details and to sign up today.


About Our Guest Blogger: Amy Dudbridge

Amy Dudbridge is the Founder and Director of Your Site Matters, providing WordPress website design and support for UK businesses and organisations. Amy prides herself in creating websites that represent her clients organisations perfectly, that work brilliantly and appeals to their target audience. You can find Amy on  on LinkedIn, Facebook, yoursitematters.co.uk or 01926 757575.