Client scarcity mindset is a thing and it’s something I have suffered from in my business.
The idea that the next client is not going to appear. So you do things like take on less than ideal clients, discount like crazy and make your calendar wide open to people who want to book discovery calls with you.
I am not there yet with conquering this. I find it hard to say no to less than ideal clients. But one area I have conquered this mindset is with my calendar and when people can book a discovery call with me.
I have made two changes to my calendar and when people can book time with me:
- No more crazy call times. Living in Australia, some of the time zone conversions can get awkward. To meet with someone on the East Coast of the US during their day time I was scheduling calls at 6 am my time. I never felt fully prepared for the call nor awake at the time of the morning and it wiped me out for the rest of day. Not a good outcome for me or my clients.
Now if people on the East Coast aren’t willing to talk to me during their evening then I am not the right person for them. It means I lose some clients – they could have great reasons for not being free in their evening. But if they do talk to me in their evening they get to speak to someone who is fully alert and focused on them. I don’t want to do sub-standard calls with anyone.
- Blocking off at least one day when I don’t do calls. As an introvert, I find that having clear days for working quietly at home on tasks for my business and for my clients is a must for my best work. I get into a flow. Again, it is not just good for me. It is great for clients as well as potential clients who I might be creating content for.
Setting up your calendar to work for you is one of the simplest things you can do to make your business more introvert friendly. What I have shared works for me won’t necessarily be the best format for you. But if you are struggling to work out what your ideal week would look like, I’ve three possible models for you to think about:
01. Spreading your calls out over the week
I sort of do this. I block off one day where I don’t take calls but other than that people can book calls on most days of my work week. This is because I don’t want to have to do a whole day of calls to meet my clients’ needs or make my sales targets. I love talking to people about their businesses, but as an introvert it still drains me.
If I tried to do 8 calls in a day there is a good chance that client 8 wouldn’t get a great version of me. And I would be wiped out for the next day. So I limit how many calls I do in one day.
02. Batching calls
In some ways, I would love to be able to have just one or two days when I do calls. To have the rest of the week free for creating. I have been slowly building up my resilience to do more calls in a day.
I know some introverts who use and love this model. It works particularly well for those businesses where calls are not a key part of their business. If you are a web designer a lot of your work is actually designing the website which doesn’t require a one on one call. It needs time for you to think and create. You can schedule all your discovery and follow up calls on one day, allowing the rest of the week to get in the flow with designing.
It is more difficult to put in place if your business is based on calls with clients such as a coach but not impossible. Especially if your prices are high enough that you don’t have to do a lot of calls to make your income target.
03. A/B weeks
One other option is to split your fortnight up rather than your week. In week A you do all your calls and in week B you don’t do any calls.
If I used this model, I would also need to think about my personal life and scheduling what I do on weekends. I would want the weekend after the my call week to be quiet with lots of time for myself to read, relax and get into nature.
But it would also mean that on those weekends following a non-call week I could be more social than I am now on weekends. I usually have one day each weekend where I don’t schedule any social activities.
You can be flexible
Just because you have set up a call schedule doesn’t mean you have to stick to it religiously. With my calendar, I have a message saying that if people can’t find a time that works they can email me.
But I am picky about who I am flexible for. If people want to schedule a time outside of my usual calendar then before agreeing I’ll normally ask some additional questions about their business and check out their website. If I am going to be flexible I want the person to be a great fit.
It is not set in stone
One of the reasons I find doing a lot of calls in one day draining is my social anxiety. It is like an energy zapping booster to my introversion. I am tackling that anxiety and am getting comfortable talking to more people on a daily basis. I’ll probably block off more days when I don’t do calls and take more calls in a day. I will probably also test an A/B week model.
To get started with tackling this aspect of your client scarcity mindset, set aside half an hour to think about what your ideal week would look like. If you have a calendar booking app (and you should!) set it up so you only take calls as your ideal week would look like.
Then start testing. If you get a lot of people asking for times outside your usual calendar, what would you need to change to make it work? If your discovery call numbers drop off, then make a change. The lovely thing about owning your business is you get to experiment and see what works best for you and your clients.
If you aren’t yet using a calendar app then I recommend getting one in place. I use Acuity Scheduling (this is an affiliate link so I will get paid a small commission if you sign up using this link but there is no additional cost to you.) Another good option is Calendly.