Book Review – Oversubscribed


It has been a long while since I last read a book. Of course, there is no reasons, just excuses. Books are expensive and reading does takes up time. But good books are worth the read. Yesterday, I bought (and finished) the book Oversubscribed – How To Get People Lining Up To Do Business With You.

After deliberating at the bookstore for very long, searching for online reviews, and of course finding for downloadable version, I’ve finally decide to buy it. All for a simple reason, I want to get oversubscribed. Note the difference between oversubscribed and overworked.

The author, Daniel Priestly, is a successful entrepreneur and has built a multi-million dollar event marketing and management business. And as you have guessed it, his talks and events are oversubscribed. Even though they are priced above market prices. In his book he clearly explains the principles and strategies that makes it happen.

My Review

Is the book worth the read? Definitely! I can’t tell you how much I hated books that talks about idea and conveniently left the implementation segment out. In fact, in the book, Daniel talks about how people do not want ideas anymore. Ideas are given freely across the web. They want to know how it can be implement it. If you can help them do it, they will even pay the extras!

The book shows you how you can reposition yourself and your business to achieve a better product-market fit and differentiate yourself from competing businesses. It encourages you to break away from the norm and help you differentiate clients and customers. In short, it is to “Find a market that highly values you, has the capacity to pay you, and that you want to serve.”.

Finally the book encourages you to have a life! You know what should go on the yearly plan before all the important milestones? It’s your vacations, retreats and personal trainings. You know what should conclude a successful campaign? If you are guessing “More work”, you should read the book to find out why it should be a party.

Key Concepts

The book is structured into two main segment, the first talks about the 7 principles to being oversubscribed. They are as followed:

  • Demand & Supply Set the Price
  • Separate Yourself from the Market
  • The Four Drivers for a Market Imbalance: Innovation, Relationships, Convenience & Price
  • Buying Environment Create Buyers
  • It’s Ok to be Different
  • Value is Created in the Ecosystem
  • Nothing Beats Being Positively Remarkable

The second part of the books talks about the 5 phase of creating campaigns that drive your business to be oversubscribed. They are as followed:

  • Campaign Planning: Know Your Capacity, Who It’s for and When You Can Deliver It
  • Build Up To Being Oversubscribed
  • Release When Oversubscribed
  • Remarkable Delivery
  • Celebrate & Innovate

The concluding segment of the book talks about how you can build a team to achieve that.

Key Takeaway

Notes on oversubscribed

Of course for those who are interested in the content, here are some of the important points from the book.

  1. Separate yourself from the market – write a book, tailor offerings to market, speak at event, get featured in exclusive magazines, etc
  2. Key ingredient for being famous
    1. Consistent & repetitive message
    2. Content
    3. Commercial ecosystem
    4. Continuity
    5. Collaboration
  3. Pick one primary and secondary imbalance
    1. Innovation
    2. Relationships
    3. Convenience
    4. Price
  4. People don’t buy what others want to sell. They buy what others want to buy. Ask what people want and build it for them the way they want it.
  5. It’s okay to be different. When you develop a clear philosophy and put it out to the world you’ll begin to create your own market.
  6. What are the expected norms in your industry? What is everyone else doing? What would the opposite be and how would you do that really well? Do not be afraid to say no or make your customer wait.
  7. Give away ideas and charge for implementation – Spectrum of implementation: Ideas/Information > Components > Supervision > Done with you > Done for you
  8. Do not immediately get your customers to buy. Start with an “expression of interest”. With the numbers, you can see if you are oversubscribed. Once you are, turn that into reality by releasing your products/services.
  9. Innovate but DO NOT mess with the winning formula.
  10. Stop behaving like a business and become campaign-driven enterprise with a goal to becoming oversubscribed.
    1. Planning – Know your capacity and design a 12 month rolling campaign schedule.
    2. Build-up – Share genuine insights that lead people to conclude that they desire to work with you.
    3. Oversubscribed release – Announce that you are about to release your product.
    4. Remarkable delivery – Surprise and delight your clients.
    5. Innovate & celebrate – Tell the stories, share the numbers, issue reports, capture the magic moments & spread the words about your campaign’s achievements.
  11. Every purchase is driven by one of the four driving forces. Find out how your products can do that.
    1. Save money or help make more money
    2. Save time or eliminate wastage
    3. Deliver greater emotional benefit
    4. Remove pain or negative emotions
  12. Find a market that highly values you, has the capacity to pay you and that you want to serve.
  13. Have two sets of products
    1. Product-for-prospect – Aimed at generating lots of happy customers
    2. Core offering – Full and remarkable client relationship that evolves over time
  14. Talk about something bigger than what you do. Lifestyle or the customer, philosophy, big problems you want to solve or transformation you want to see around the world.
    1. Nike has Michael Jordon on “Failures”
    2. Apple has Steve Jobs on “Think Different”
  15. Divide each campaign into its components
    1. Start & end dates of each campaign
    2. Communication schedule – emails, direct mails, press release, advertising, etc
    3. Milestones – price rise, cut-off dates, early bird specials
    4. Supporting events – partnership meeting, pre-launch, celebrations, sales meeting, etc
    5. Shipping dates – sending out products, delivering the services, etc
    6. Post campaign activity – telling stories, reporting results, follow up, thank you message
  16. Name your terms – “If you want to work with us, you need to behave a certain way.”
  17. Rather than asking people to buy, ask them to signal interest. Let them know a widget will be for sales soon and if they are interested, they can email you or fill in a form.
  18. Entertain & educate your audience of interested people.
  19. Clock up 7 hours (or 11 touches) of content, ideas, conversation and connection.
  20. You are oversubscribed when
    1. 5 times more strongly signalled interest
    2. 10 times more educated or entertained customers
    3. 100 times more audience with soft interest
  21. Manage the energy and keep it high
    1. Staged release – smaller chunks
    2. Limited/Special edition – smaller subgroups
    3. Price rise/time limit