The Power of a Deadline in Sales

I often talk about the power of a deadline.

While it’s not a silver bullet, it’s one of those rare things which, when implemented correctly, can have a remarkable and immediate effect on sales.

Makes sense though, right?

If I told you you could buy something for £10 today, or £10 a hundred days from now, what reason have you got to take action?

But if I told you you could have it today for a tenner, but if you waited until tomorrow, it’d cost you £20, or worse, would no longer be available to buy…

The chances of you making a buying decision are significantly greater.

I’ve run a few dozen of campaigns for my business and for our clients using deadlines, and the same thing always happens.:

There’s a spike in sales right before the deadline.


Consider your own behaviour.

It’s true that it’s often only when you’re forced to make a buying decision, that you hit ‘buy’?

But somewhere, one day, somebody worked out how to trick the brainpower of reluctant customers (or so they thought).

The plan was straightforward.

Once the deadline had passed, and the spike in sales had come and gone, they’d suddenly re-open the offer for an extra 24 hours.

They’d blame it on the website not being able to process all the sales, and not wanted you to miss out, or a feeling of guilt that you’d not yet invested.

And you know what happens when you do this?

You get a second, smaller spike in sales.

Here’s the problem with this approach.

It only works once.

You see, your customers aren’t stupid.

Pull a stunt like that once, and it won’t be forgotten.

The result?

The power of the deadline is diminished.

Because once you’ve ‘reopened the cart’ once, they know you’ll probably do it next time.

…And the time after that.
…And the time after that.

So there’s no reason to buy today.

My advice?

If you say you’re going to do something, do it. It’s called honesty.  It’s called Integrity

Whether that’s limited numbers on a course or programme, raising the price, or having a deadline.

It might not make you as much money in the short term, but it will pay dividends in the long term.